May 31, 2016

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 07:00 AM - 24 comments

The punch of the season is still bringing us gifts.

"I could have hit him. I could have hurt him. I chose not to. My cleats were down. I slid through the bag. Was it late? Yes, a hundred percent. But what can I do after they hit me? Should I ask my manager to let me pitch, which he is never going to let me do? Like, what am I supposed to do? Just sit there and take it?" -- Joey Bats

His rule for himself: I can't be expected to sit there and take it.

His rule for Odor: Sit there and take it.

posted by rcade at 04:16 PM on May 31

Sit there and take it

Take what, a hard slide that caused no injury?

My thought would be: Yes.
Unless of course, you're still hurt deep in your soul because
the big bad man hit a home run 7 months prior.

posted by tommytrump at 04:42 PM on May 31

Meanwhile, tennis players are blaming the administrators of the French Open for the rainy weather.

So while it may be National Macaroon Day on the official calendar in the US, in the world of top level competitive sports, it's actually International Perpetual Victims Day.

posted by beaverboard at 05:27 PM on May 31

Take what, a hard slide that caused no injury?

The hit by pitch caused no injury. Why did it entitle Bautista to anything?

If he thinks he was entitled to one dirty play as payback, so was Odor.

The normal payback for a hit by pitch is a hit by pitch. Prince Fielder took one later that game, which fortunately he prepared for during the off-season at DFW's finest Tex-Mex restaurants.

posted by rcade at 05:28 PM on May 31

In other news on this story, a Dallas TV station shared a theory that Bush decided to plunk Bats because he was employing prison logic:

In prison, a big theme is that you always have your 'people.' You either have their back, or you risk actually having them turn on you in terrible fashion. I don't think for a second that wasn't something that's still on his mind only about six months removed. It's still, at times, something I have to try to remember doesn't apply outside prison.

posted by rcade at 05:36 PM on May 31

The hit by pitch caused no injury. Why did it entitle Bautista to anything?

You think a 95+ mph pitch in the ribs caused "no injury"?

Let's get you in front of a pitching machine and find out if that's true.

The normal payback for a hit by pitch is a hit by pitch.

And the normal payback for getting beat in the playoffs is to take it like men.

It looks like no one was following the rules.

That's okay. If Profar proves to be even moderately good, either Jays playoff hero Andrus or Stinky is probably going to be traded by the end of the year.

posted by grum@work at 05:54 PM on May 31

You think a 95+ mph pitch in the ribs caused "no injury"?

Yes. He didn't miss any time. The team didn't report an injury.

And the normal payback for getting beat in the playoffs is to take it like men.

The payback was for the bat flip.

Bats should've been happy he was hit. It was late in a one-run game.

posted by rcade at 06:09 PM on May 31

Bats should've been happy he was hit. It was late in a one-run game.

So what you are saying is that the Rangers were DOUBLY stupid for doing it?

Not only does it show them to be petulant children, but IGNORANT petulant children?

Interesting admission.

Ah, well. At least the Rangers have some reading material for the next while.

posted by grum@work at 07:20 PM on May 31

You can call it what you like, because the Jays didn't make them pay for it. Joey Bats wanted payback more than he wanted runners on base.

Peter Falk can get bent. The Rangers have won the American League twice, produced six AL MVPs, thrown five no-hitters and reached the postseason four times in the past six years. Toronto has two World Series titles, two AL MVPs, one no-hitter, four Cy Youngs and one post-season trip in 22 years.

I'd love those WS wins and at least one Cy Young, but all things considered I'd rather be the Rangers.

Added bonus: Texas looks more like a postseason team so far this year.

posted by rcade at 07:54 PM on May 31

Joey Bats wanted payback more than he wanted runners on base.

I'm guessing you don't actually remember how it played out because of the bloodlust when it happened.

If Bautista doesn't aggressively slide into second, it's a double-play anyways. It was Justin Smoak running to first, and he was going to be out by a mile.

and one post-season trip in 22 years.

Nice selective end points.

How about:

Blue Jays: 2-0 in the World Series, 6 playoff appearances in 39 seasons.
Rangers: 0-2 in the World Series, 7 playoff appearances in 44 seasons.
(not counting the second Washington Senators, of course)

Added bonus: Texas looks more like a postseason team so far this year.

Nice! The self-inflicted jinx!

I'm surprised you'd say that since the Rangers were only a half-game up in the division coming into tonight, and only 4.5 games ahead of the Jays.

Besides, lots can happen between May 31st and the end of the season.

Surely you can remember what the standings looked like for both teams last May 31st.

posted by grum@work at 10:24 PM on May 31

Gentlemen! Gentlemen! Please settle down and let's remember that...OH MY GOD!! THE MINNESOTA TWINS WERE KICKING ASS THIS TIME LAST YEAR?!

posted by NoMich at 10:35 PM on May 31

Side note:

produced six AL MVPs

Josh Hamilton - legitimate choice
Alex Rodriguez - oh, so now he's a good guy again? :)
Ivan Rodriguez - maybe one of the worst choices in the past 20 years, as Pedro Martinez was a much better choice and would have won if two writers had not left him off their ballots entirely.
Juan Gonzalez - wait, found the even WORSE choice! He finished 15th in WAR among those that got MVP votes in 1999, and 17th in WAR in 1996. Albert Belle beat him in literally every category except RBI (157 to 152) in 1999, and Gonzalez was even less impressive statistically in 1996.
Jeff Boroughs - Back when RBI = MVP, there is no other explanation for him winning this award. His teammate (Fergie Jenkins) or Rod Carew would have been better choices, as would probably 20 of the 24 players ahead of Boroughs in WAR.

two AL MVPs

Josh Donaldson - 0.6 WAR less than Trout, but still well ahead of #3 and with a much better narrative/result than Trout.
George Bell - horrific choice, Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, or Alan Trammell (especially how that season ended) would have been much better winners.

posted by grum@work at 10:44 PM on May 31

OH MY GOD!! THE MINNESOTA TWINS WERE KICKING ASS THIS TIME LAST YEAR?!

Only two teams that led their division at this time last year (Cardinals, Dodgers) ended up winning it, two of them grabbed the wild card (Astros, Yankees), and two of them missed the playoffs (Twins, Nationals). That's why talking about playoff positioning on May 31st is a bit premature.

posted by grum@work at 10:46 PM on May 31

Tablets, craft beers, and swim noodles at dawn.

posted by beaverboard at 08:06 AM on June 01

I prefer mimosas at dawn, myself.

posted by ursus_comiter at 10:28 AM on June 01

Nice selective end points.

Of course they're selective. But I think most fans would rather have their best run in franchise history now as opposed to a quarter century ago.

There are a lot of ballclubs that could Falk the Rangers and there'd be nothing I could say about it. But I gotta take that guff from Toronto? The Jays suffered so long even I kind of liked them in the ALDS.

Who wants to be the sentimental favorite across the league -- the scrappy kid brother whose good plays get an attaboy even from an opponent? Not me. I want Texas to stay good long enough for their success to elicit fear and loathing.

I'm surprised you'd say that since the Rangers were only a half-game up in the division coming into tonight, and only 4.5 games ahead of the Jays.

They have the second-best record in the AL. I am aware of the date on the calendar, but 10 games over .500 after two months is a good place to be.

P.s. Nine-year-old me, a proud member of the Junior Rangers club and an every-single-night listener to games on WBAP, will brook no slight to Jeff Burroughs. Forty-nine-year-old me was shocked to recall he was an MVP.

posted by rcade at 12:03 PM on June 01

While Toronto fan and Texas fan engage in the ritual airing of grievances, Oakland fan has a lesson for us all.

posted by rcade at 12:32 PM on June 01

But I think most fans would rather have their best run in franchise history now as opposed to a quarter century ago.

But, even "now" becomes "a quarter century ago" in the blink of an eye, and if you haven't actually won a championship then is that "best run" really something to celebrate when it's become "a quarter century ago"?

Just for the record, in the 20 years since they've had full seasons with the expanded playoff format (1996-2015), the Jays have had a better record than the Rangers in 10 of them.

(And that's while playing in the "Division of Death".)

They have the second-best record in the AL. I am aware of the date on the calendar, but 10 games over .500 after two months is a good place to be.

It is. Just ask the Chicago White Sox back on May 15th. They might give you a different answer compared to today.

posted by grum@work at 02:19 PM on June 01

... if you haven't actually won a championship then is that "best run" really something to celebrate when it's become "a quarter century ago"?

When you have been a fan since 1972 and endured 24 years before a single post-season trip, then another 14 years before winning a post-season series, you celebrate winning the AL twice and the AL West three times in six years.

Will we celebrate the current era in 25 years? Hope not.

Before this season, the Jays have won 820 games the past decade; the Rangers 846. I think we're all clear on the superiority of a team that won 2.6 more games a season. That's almost a series!

posted by rcade at 02:54 PM on June 01

I think we're all clear on the superiority of a team that won 2.6 more games a season. That's almost a series!

It's more wins than the first three playoff appearances for the Rangers! :)

posted by grum@work at 03:39 PM on June 01

The Rangers have more former managers being held in cryogenic storage than the Blue Jays do. If you end up needing a tiebreaker, that should do it.

posted by beaverboard at 04:01 PM on June 01

But I think most fans would rather have their best run in franchise history now as opposed to a quarter century ago.

As a Boston sports fan, I completely concur but am confused as to what success you're seeing locally.

posted by yerfatma at 10:23 AM on June 02

Hey, remember that time when people got angry about a bat flip, and there was a late slide into second base that wiped out the defender, and the benches cleared?

Sure you do!

(Order of events may be different than expected.)

Please note who slid into second base...

posted by grum@work at 02:37 PM on June 02

It was the third time this season that Bumgarner reacted with visible anger to a hitter expressing frustration at making an out.

Madison Bumgarner has an odd fuse. I demand when I pitch that you respond to an out with defeated acceptance!

posted by rcade at 06:13 PM on June 02

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