Thoughts from the Dugout: World Series Preview

Image of 2014 World Series

It starts tonight. The World Series is afoot. By now, you’ve all heard about the magical #Yostseason of the Royals, and about the perils of facing the Giants with their #EvenYear sorcery. (Yes, Twitter has compartmentalized the sum of all postseasons for us, now TWEET IT.) So, what should we expect?

In summary, many things. In a more drawn out fashion… [Read more…]

Thoughts from the Dugout: League of Champions

Image of Clayton Kershaw and Matt Adams

Baseball is a game of inches. It’s also a game of luck. It’s also a game where your weaknesses can – and will – be magnified by those inclined to exploit them.

Let’s examine the key moment of Game Three of the NLDS between the Dodgers and Cards. You had the Dodgers with a 2-0 lead in the top of the 7th. You had Clayton Kershaw, widely accepted as the best pitcher on the planet, coming off of six innings of one run, two walk ball and 94 pitches on three days of rest. He led off the inning by giving up two singles, but didn’t appear to be struggling too badly.

Then Matt Adams came to the plate.

[Read more…]

Thoughts from the Dugout: Coach Speak

Image of Mike Scioscia

Press conferences featuring coaches and managers rarely offer much insight – in the corporate controlled world of professional sports, the suits at the top frown on those who offer much more than the company line or a string of well-rehearsed cliches to ravenous sports writers eager for something to exploit. Fortunately, we here at the Addison Recorder have invented a device that translates these dull affairs – “coach speak”, if you will – into a more accurate reflection of the mental state of the skipper. This is all part of our efforts to offer you better insight into what exactly the manager or coach is trying to say.

[Read more…]

Thoughts from the Dugout: Death by Short Division (Series)

Image of Kansas City Royals winning Wild Card Game

Well, that was fun. And alternately depressing

We are literally only two days into October, and already I’m 0 for 2. Someone recently described the Wild Card round as a coin-flip, which only serves to make me feel a little bit better about my record. Then I remember that, at the end of the day, I’m able to write about baseball every week, and that there’s only more where this came from. And that makes me feel a great deal better.

I’m slightly revamping how these columns are going to function going forward: I’m going to spend less time talking about what I think is going to happen and how certain strengths and weaknesses are going to play out. Predicting sports is about as accurate a science as meteorology. Instead, I’m going to focus on what I feel is my strength, which is reacting to what we’ve seen and trying to figure out exactly what it all means. Which works out well, because we’ve had a doozy of a Wild Card round this year.

[Read more…]

Thoughts from the Dugout: Wild for the Wild Card Games!

Image of Madison Bumgarner

After much ado (or relatively little), we’ve reached October, the best time of the year to be a baseball fan. Ten teams will vie for the right to play in the World Series. It’s a month long extravaganza featuring the best of the best.

But first…

Wild Card Round

A one game playoff where the winner moves on to play the division winner with the best record in their respective league, and the loser goes home.

[Read more…]

Thoughts from the Dugout: The Domino Theory

Image of the Washington Nationals

We’re near the end-game. Two more September updates, and then it’s time for playoffs, aka: that time when everyone else on staff hates me because the Recorder will be swarmed with baseball articles. Tuesday night, the first two division berths were secured by Beltway powerhouses Washington and Baltimore (let that sink in for a moment), both of whom easily clinched their divisions with leads of 12.5 and 13.5 games (as of Wednesday). In addition, the Angels are assured of a berth of some kind – barring a monumental collapse of infinitely small odds, they’ll clinch their division sometime this week. (Before Wednesday’s games, they had a magic number of 2 to clinch the division – one A’s loss and an Angels win would grant them the title, in other words. Again, we’re talking an unprecedented collapse for them not to win the division.)

(Thursday update – Sure enough, last night, the Angels clinched the division by winning 5-0 against Seattle as Oakland dropped a game against Texas 6-1. Rather than edit everything, I’m simply noting that I submitted my copy for deadline before Wednesday’s slate of games. You’re on your own.) [Read more…]