2016 MLB Playoffs

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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby Bog » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:53 pm

Mister Tee wrote:One last thing about Wednesday night: I understand the instant euphoria around the game, but even the lifelong Cub fan I saw last night (who was at Progressive Field for the clincher) questioned the widespread "greatest game ever" verdict being bandied around. It strikes me as equivalent to saying "best sex I ever had" two minutes after orgasm.


Your analogies are always so fucking spot on...and no pun intended...well maybe that's a lie haha

So for fear of sounding as contradictory as possible....I totally agree with you against this prisoner of the moment hot take running rampant...largely because of Maddon. YES I defend him as Krazy Professor and yes I think it is dumb to go apeshit critical on him when he told us who he trusted a la who he was going to use. Not letting Hendricks go farther after dominating (Smoltz said it best...and it holds true in most professional sports...do not purposefully do something that will make the opponent ecstatic i.e. Hendricks removal when only the ump even allowed Santana to reach base, going for it on 4th down when a stop will turn momentum enormously, resting the hit hand in basketball because it's the start of 2nd or 4th quarter normalcy etc.) was a very questionable choice, I just never imagined the crazy combo of him pitching less than 5 plus Lester being brought on plus Ross, both cold, into a hideous situation for a starter who hasn't been brought in dirty like for over a decade I think.

But in the instance of this being considered the best game ever...Maddon paradoxically caused such hyperbole as well as simultaneously likely being able to avoid any potential comparison to any decent clinching game ever by removing Hendricks combined with the Chapman/Lester inning position swap.

Did I think Hendricks was removable via Maddon any time after he faced the entire lineup and let a runner on...specifically at the top of the order ? Yes

Did I think he absolutely would pitch Chapman in game 7 no matter what transpired in game 6 or then vitriolic reaction ? Yes

Did I think Lester would pitch 2 or 3+ innings in relief and this was largely why he used Chapman extensively in game 6? Yes

Do I also think Hendricks likely retires Kipnis via ground ball right after the non-K to Santana? Yes

I thought Krazy Professor set it up and had it working almost exactly how I envisioned and predicted:

Hendricks goes into the 6th...if he needs mid-inning help, Chapman is ready to close the 6th and depending on how the 6th went...maybe pitch the 7th...then Lester comes in totally fresh (Ross also beginning of inning fresh) either to start the 7th or 8th inning and close out what is likely a 6-1 or so victory.

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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby Mister Tee » Fri Nov 04, 2016 3:54 pm

Maddon has clearly marched to his own drummer for a long while, and in many ways you can't deny his success. The extreme defensive shift had always been mostly a myth in my mind -- something I'd heard was done for Ted Williams, but basically never else. Maddon started employing it with regularity with the Rays, and, damn, it seemed to largely work: ground balls that 40+ years of TV watching had me accustomed to assuming as hits were suddenly being gobbled up by infielders way out of (normal) position. At this point, it seems most teams in the league use it, and pull hitters (like Brian McCann, my local example) are foiled way more than they used to be. Maddon gets a big point on the scoreboard for that.

But I'm not sure this use of Chapman falls into that Krazy Professor Getting Results category. This seemed to me just a blatant misuse of a prime resource that damn near cost his team the championship (if Chapman had given up one more big hit in the 8th, Maddon's name would be alongside Grady Little's in the Hall of Shame -- only winning the game saved his reputation). Now, granted, many managers use their top relievers to a greater degree in the post-season -- a huge percentage of Mariano Rivera's LCS/WS appearances were for more than an inning, something rarely the case in the regular season. And Francona clearly pushed Miller/Allen, in number of innings, way more than he should have (you could make the argument the Indians would have won in regulation without Miller's sub-par performance, which we might as well assume was fatigue-related). But using Chapman the way Maddon did in Game 6, for three innings with a 5-run lead, just seemed indefensible -- bound to be a drain on Chapman in Game 7 (as Fox reported, he didn't hit 100 on the gun once Wednesday night), and contemptuous of every other reliever on the staff. Even if Maddon didn't have full trust in these other relievers, he needed to show some respect in case he needed them later (which, as danfrank notes, he did). Maddon's performance reminded me a bit of Gene Mauch's overuse of Bunning/Short in September '64, when the Phillies suffered one of the great collapses in MLB history because Mauch refused to use any other pitchers because, as he said "I saw the fear in their eyes". I'd have waited till the game got to at least 7-4 before even getting Chapman up to throw. As I said, the Cubs are champions, and hooray for that, but Zobrist helped Maddon dodge a bullet in history.

I'm glad you guys feel Cleveland has a chance to get a championship in the years just ahead -- certainly getting back their number two and three starters should make them stronger -- because now that the Cubs are taken care, Cleveland deserves a little love for their long drought. 1948 isn't just a long way away in real terms; check this fact: Cleveland is now the only one of the original 16 teams (including ones who've changed city/identity, like the Twins/Senators or Orioles/Browns) that hasn't won post 1978. (And 1979-82 only need be included to get the Pirates into the mix; the other 14 have all won from 1983 on.) And if Cleveland should pull a win off, we'll have to then start thinking about those original expansion teams from the 60s as the most-deprived -- only 3 of the 8 teams added that decade have ever won the championship (Mets, Angels, Royals); the Rangers (nee second-generation Washington Senators), Astros (nee Colt 45s), Brewers (nee Seattle Pilots), Padres and Nationals (nee Expos) have never made it to the top. Maybe if they had, there wouldn't have been so many changing cities.

One last thing about Wednesday night: I understand the instant euphoria around the game, but even the lifelong Cub fan I saw last night (who was at Progressive Field for the clincher) questioned the widespread "greatest game ever" verdict being bandied around. It strikes me as equivalent to saying "best sex I ever had" two minutes after orgasm. In terms of Game 7's, 1960/1991/2001 might want a word. If you're talking Game 6's, 1975 and 1986 would surely want to be heard from. And there are other winner-take-all games -- like "the Giants win the pennant!" and "Bucky-fucking-Dent!" -- that would have to be in the conversation. Let's leave it that, given an event like the Cubs overcoming their century-plus drought, for it to have occurred in a Game 7 that featured late reversals and extra innings was simply a gift to fans of all stripes, and a reminder of why baseball remains such a great game despite having been uncool for about 50 years.
Last edited by Mister Tee on Sat Nov 05, 2016 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby danfrank » Thu Nov 03, 2016 10:59 pm

Nope, don't watch Cubs regularly. I'm a west coast Giants guy with a long-term fondness for the Cubs. To me it doesn't matter that much how he normally manages (though he certainly doesn't normally go to Chapman in the 7th), that was just suspect managing. I was texting throughout the series with some hardcore Cubs fans who do watch Maddon regularly and they were also quite critical of his moves, as were several professional baseball analysts I respect. Giants color guy Mike Krukow, who started his pitching career with the Cubs, was pretty outraged by what he called "arrogant" managing by Maddon, inserting himself in the game instead of letting his players play. I'm not a Maddon hater. In fact I've always liked the guy. But I think he deserves criticism for his management in that series, the last two games in particular. I would also criticize him for letting his bullpen know that he didn't trust them given that he was likely going to need them, as indeed he did last night.

I don't mean to be too negative here. It was one of the greatest World Series I've seen in my lifetime and I'm quite happy with how it all turned out. I just think any analysis of the series needs to address Maddon's unconventional moves, and I happen to have an impassioned opinion. Maybe Maddon is a genius and is operating at a level I just don't understand. All I know is that I didn't like what I saw.

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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby Bog » Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:40 pm

I agree with the arm fatigue and I agree the Indians are just a damn good team and Francona not eventually helping them end their drought a la his job in Boston would be more the surprise than not at this point, in my opinion...so kudos for what they've built in Cleveland for 2 of the 3 pro sports.

So I guess where I still differ (clearly the minority of minorities based upon the online specifically twitter reaction) I suppose because I'm crazy...my pet peeve is a team who comes to the forefront in postseason play where many more eyeballs are now watching, higher profile networks being utilized, and even non baseball fans are brought into the fold...and this is when we choose to criticize what we think is "out of the ordinary", "dumb", "stupid fuck bad moves", etc. I'm not going to sit here and say I understand fully why Chapman pitched up 5 runs in game 6, which seems to be the crux of every "Maddon is a huge hack" type premise. I've been a side piece Maddon admirer/junkie for about a decade, so I'm sure I'm biased...but one thing I know is Maddon is the eccentric genius intellectual numbers-obsessed, righty shifting, pitcher change in middle of count, clubhouse DJ, road trip theme dress uo, umpire kissing, hoodie trend starting over-managing manager he has always been. If he suddenly became what all these new eyes want him to be and not himself once games 5, 6, and 7 of the World Series rolls around, maybe he would be wearing the ring he is wearing today, but I sure would be disappointed.

He already told us he basically didn't trust anyone but Chapman from the bullpen and he clearly was doubling down on winning or losing via the 102mph fastball. In analytics no switch goes off all the sudden and says...it's only game 6 of the world series...ease off on the other arms in the bullpen with a 5 run lead...they won't blow it. Somehow over these 10 days Maddon has become Steph Curry after a stint in extreme spotlight...I find it a shame.

Danfrank, you watch this guy every night don't you? Tee, you had to put up with this guy 19 times a year for like a decade...he ain't changin

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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby danfrank » Thu Nov 03, 2016 3:43 pm

A few day-after thoughts:

* Wow, that really happened!

* Kudos to the Indians, who played high-caliber ball throughout the postseason and came oh-so-close to winning it all. How close? Each team scored exactly 27 runs during the course of the series, and game 7 speaks for itself.

* Arm fatigue seemed to play a role in last night's game. Kluber, Miller, and Chapman all underperformed after lots of recent work. Speaking of that...

* The Cubs won despite Maddon's maddening overmanaging. His strategy of Hendricks-Lester-Chapman was sound, I thought, but... how in the world does it make sense to bring Lester into a situation he's completely unfamiliar with (2 outs, 1 man on), especially when Hendricks seemed to be doing just fine? He also brought in a "cold" catcher (Ross) in the heat of the battle, who struggled mightily that inning. I think he also should have let Lester finish the 8th instead of bringing in the fatigued (see my rant from game 6) Chapman. Those decisions cost 5 runs. It was also boneheaded to have Baez bunt with a 3-2 count in the 9th inning. The Cubs won it with their drive and talent, with a possible assist from Heyward's pep talk during the rain delay, but Maddon almost blew it for them.

* The Cubs lose their special status as loveable losers--a constant all my life and well before that-- and now are just another team, albeit a team that is now the reigning champion. Am I happy about that? Yep.

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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby danfrank » Thu Nov 03, 2016 2:08 am

There's a ton to say about this game but all I can say is what a great epic win for the Cubs! You couldn't script it any better. It was torture, it was ecstasy. It was clawing their way to a dramatic win--with a rain delay for extra-dramatic effect--after 108 years. This one will be discussed for decades. What a great thrill!

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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby Big Magilla » Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:07 am

Congrats to all the Cubs fans, especially Hillary for whom the Cubs' historic win is an omen. In every fourth year since 1952 when the World Series has gone to 7 games and the winning team was from the American League, the Republicans won the Presidency. When the winning team was from the National League, the Democrats won.
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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby Mister Tee » Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:04 am

I was hoping the Indians would put one more guy on, just to make the tension unbearable. But this will more than do. The better team won -- though Cleveland should feel no embarrassment about getting this far without some of their top talent.

Easily one of the best Game 7s, ever. History plus a great game almost never happens. Savor.

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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby Bog » Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:55 pm

Okri sure has me rooting hard for the Cubs haha

Naturally in a game full of postseason naivete and children, the guy wearing the ring from last year comes through in a game this wild and tense.

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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby Bog » Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:18 pm

Mister Tee wrote: "That stupid fuck Maddon!"


Haha you made me laugh out loud...but no totally honestly...choked up for contact on a slider that would have hit him had he not swung...it actually wasn't what I thought. That pitch (a ball every time) with 2 strikes is exactly Chapman's pitch immediately prior to a fastball at the eyes that Ks 98/100 guys.

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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby FilmFan720 » Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:09 pm

This game is now officially longer and more stressful than any Oscar ceremony ever.
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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby Sonic Youth » Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:00 pm

Just think, we'll all be doing this again next week, because we're such good Americans.
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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:55 pm

Bog wrote:P.S. what a terrible terrible shame Rajai Davis will be given ZERO credit for that phenomenal swing...all Maddon and Chapman overuse, Bartman, goat talk, etc

Tell the truth, though: wasn't "That stupid fuck Maddon!" your first thought when the ball reached the seats?

Honestly, if the Cubs had just held on with their big lead, it would have been a deflating Game 7, given the near-two-centuries of history involved with these franchises. I found myself thinking "Make it a classic, somehow". Which it is already, and we don't even know how it'll end up.

Oh, Jesus: now rain?

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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby Bog » Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:16 pm

I will say...going forward...Maddon's bullpen paralysis as the playoffs have gone on sure is something to behold. Now if the Cubs win a ring after 108 years a very few will actually CARE what happens in the near future, however with 2 wild card spots this team will be playoff bound for another half dozen years...he damn well better figure out how to replace or utilize confidently what he has down in his 'pen.

P.S. what a terrible terrible shame Rajai Davis will be given ZERO credit for that phenomenal swing...all Maddon and Chapman overuse, Bartman, goat talk, etc

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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby Okri » Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:26 pm

Posted on Twitter: "In the last 8 times a World Series went to a Game 7 in a prez year, when the AL team wins, WH goes GOP; when the NL team wins, Dems do too."


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