THIS YEAR’S MYSTERY TEAM WILL BE THE ███████

Next week, the Winter Meetings begin in Orlando San Diego. And while we no doubt will see funny images on MLB Network like Kevin Millar hanging out with Goofy at the Zoo and Brian Kenny trying to explain to Captain Jack Sparrow the Chicken why the win stat must be sent to Davey Jones’ locker  the slaughter, ultimately, it will be about one team. What team is that? Why, it’s the ██████████████!

Here’s how it will happen, of course:

The ██████████████, after all, will no doubt be the ones that will be rumored to be signing ███████████ on the first day, and the team that will be behind the massive three-team trade involving ██████████████████, █████████████, and ██████████████, which will feature ███████ and top prospect ███████, amongst others. Everybody will think the deal is nuts, but some will praise the ███████████’s GM, █████ ██████████, for his initiative and brilliant thinking. Others will call for his firing.

Meanwhile, the ██████████████’s current star, ███████ ███████, will then make a funny comment on Twitter about how he fell asleep in his █████████ home a few hours ago and is honestly wondering if he missed anything, and then make a second comment saying that this is the first time he heard about the ███████████ trade. It’ll be retweeted by everyone and become a meme, with people talking about how “█████████ is sleeping, make sure you do your deals now” or what-not. Everyone will be sick of it within 48 hours and it will then be resigned to the dustbin of baseball memes.

Then, however, a lull will fall upon Orlando San Diego for most of the second day. Instagrams of Joe Maddon walking around EPCOT SeaWorld and Alex Rodriguez showing up for reasons beyond mortal minds will fill the void while Ken Rosenthal is forced to tell Twitter people that A) he is taller enough to ride Space Mountain than a panda bear so stop asking and B) he’s too busy to go to Disney World the San Diego Zoo right now. But then, the ██████████████ will be rumored to have been talking to Scott Boras. But about who? The speculation will go throughout the day, until finally, we hear that █████████ has signed a deal! Except, it’ll turn out that that report is actually a fake account, and that ██████████ is actually going to somebody completely different.

Overnight, people will start talking about how lots of pizza is arriving at the ██████████████’s suite, and wonder whether this is proof that ██████████████ will be signing ████████. Nothing will really materialize, but, hey, it’ll kill time.

Then, later on, the ██████████████ will make that one final splash, signing ██████████. People will instantly declare them to be World Series favorites…

….and then, in 2015, they’ll miss the playoffs.

Whoops. Well, at least the ██████████████ will always have their great 2014-2015 offseason to remember.

(This article was originally published last year– hence the crossed-off parts)

Josh Donaldson is the best player most people aren’t familiar with

In case you missed it, Josh Donaldson was traded from the Athletics to the Blue Jays in exchange for Brett Lawrie and prospects Kendall Graveman, Sean Nolin and Franklin Barreto. The wise among us immediately saw this as a great deal for the Blue Jays, at least in the short-term, and a puzzling one for the Athletics, at least in the short-term.

Then there were others who disagreed with these assessments. “Orioles Uncensored” perhaps had a good response to them:

While no doubt the people @OsUncensored was speaking to may have been Orioles fans who remember the Donaldson/Manny Machado spat of last year, the fact is that many people probably don’t truly understand how good a player Donaldson is. It’s not their fault, after all, Donaldson is a relative newcomer (he’s only played 405 career games) and has played his career in Oakland. His traditional stats aren’t too flashy (his career BA is .268), and last year was his first time as an All-Star.

So here’s a bit of a primer. Donaldson is a 28-year-old 3B (although he has played C in the past) from Florida, although he grew up and went to both High School and College (Auburn) in Alabama. He didn’t grab hold permanently in the majors until 2012, his age 26 season. He didn’t become the type of player who gets into headlines for being traded, though, until his sophomore season in 2013. He hit .301/.384/.499, and his WAR was second-best in the AL, behind only Mike Trout. While his averages were down in 2014, he still was the 2nd best in WAR in the AL, and he had the third best WAR overall across the past two seasons, behind only Trout and Andrew McCutchen. Why? Because WAR doesn’t just hitting- Donaldson is a spectacular fielder, winning the 2014 Fielding Bible Award (a more sabermetric version of the Gold Glove) while being credited with saving more than 30 runs since 2012. That, along with his hitting, make him one of the best 3B in the game.

And those offensive numbers that seem a bit low, by the way, will likely grow. He is now going from O.Co Coliseum- an infamous pitcher’s park- to Rogers Centre, where extra-base hits are plentiful and where the park factors are more favorable for the hitter.

So, that’s who Josh Donaldson is.

Looking at the Team MLB roster for the Japan All-Star Series

Above, you can see the roster for the Japan All-Star Series for Team MLB. As you can see, the term “All-Star” is sort of loose. Oh, yes, it’s a good team, and there are plenty of All-Stars on it. It’s definitely a team you’d be able to make the post-season with in a 162 game schedule. But on the other hand, the pitching staff isn’t exactly world-beating and the outfield is thin due to the pull-outs of Bryce Harper and Adam Jones, meaning a utility player like Ben Zobrist or Chris Carter will be playing a bit there. Another worry is that Evan Longoria might have to leave early because his fiancee is very pregnant, and, honestly, I’m surprised he’s going in the first place with something like that going on.

Anyway, here’s a bit of a run-down on the MLB roster… after the jump:

Continue reading

Headlines From Around The Continuum (October 30, 2014)

A sampling of baseball-related headlines from the Newseum, as well as some websites, with the occasional note from me on what they are talking about:

(Note that I try to copy the style of the paper as well, hence why some are in ALL CAPS while others aren’t. Also, I ignored extremely basic-and extremely common- headlines like “Giants Win” or “Bumgarner MVP”. I’ll occasionally make an exception for the team’s “home” newspapers)

Headline: Giants win Game 7 and Series, Bumgarner MVP after 5-inning save

San Francisco Chronicle: DYNASTY (also used in Stockton and probably some other papers)

San Francisco Examiner: YES! YES! YES!  (Also used in Marin, Santa Cruz, etc)

Kansas City Star: ALMOST HOME

Foxsports.com: MAD MAN

CBS Sports: Giants on top of the world

SI.com: FIVE SEASONS. THREE TITLES. ONE INCREDIBLE FRANCHISE.

ESPN.com: ANOTHER GIANT MOMENT

Arizona Republic (Phoenix): ANOTHER GIANT OCTOBER

Enterprise-Record (Chico, CA): GIANTS TRIUMPH!

Eureka (CA) Times-Standard: ‘MAD’ ABOUT YOU

Fresno Bee: TRI-UMPHANT (emphasis on the Tri)

Lodi (CA) News-Sentinel: GIANT HERO (Bumgarner)

Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA): TROPHY TRILOGY

Merced (CA) Sun-Star: A 3-RING CIRCUS FOR GIANTS

Modesto Bee: 3-RING CIRCUS

The Herald (Monterey, CA): BACK ON TOP OF THE WORLD

Oakland Tribune: MAD-NIFICENT! (also used in San Jose, etc.)

The Desert Sun (Palm Springs): A GIANT VICTORY

Daily News (Palo Alto): THE NEW MR. OCTOBER

Sacramento Bee: A NEW DYNASTY

Salinas Californian: MADNIFICENT (no dash)

San Diego Union-Tribune: Giant performance

The Reporter (Vacaville, CA): THRICE AS NICE (also used in Vallejo)

Pueblo (CO) Chieftain: THE BOYS OF ‘BUMMER’

Bradenton (FL) Herald: Total MADness

Augusta (GA) Chronicle: TO THE END

Des Moines (IA) Register: BUM(GARNER) FINISH FOR ROYALS

(Nampa) Idaho Press-Tribune: PUSHED TO THE LIMIT

Chicago Tribune: SAN FRANCISCO FEAT

Journal Star (Peoria, IL): GIANT STEP

Hutchinson (KS) News: Royalty to the end

Junction City (KS) Daily Union: Oh so close

Lawrence (KS) Journal-World: ‘It was a great run’

Wichita (KS) Eagle: No fireworks, no joy

Times-Picayune (New Orleans): GIANT WIN

The Times (Shreveport, LA): GIANT EFFORT

Herald News (Fall River, MA): CEMENTING A LEGACY

Missourian (Columbia, MO): Heartbreak

New Tribune (Jefferson City, MO): ROYALS BUMMED

Joplin (MO) Globe: ROYAL BLUES (also used in Springfield, MO)

St. Joseph (MO) News-Press: Royals’ dream season falls short

News-Topic (Lenoir, NC): A GIANT MOMENT (This paper devoted a large amount of above-the-fold space to the Series due to Bumgarner being from nearby Hudson, NC)

Lincoln (NE) Journal Star: Kansas City bummer

Omaha World-Herald: HEARTBROKEN IN K.C.

Las Vegas Review-Journal: GIANTS TRIUMPH AGAIN

Reno Gazette-Journal: BEST AFTER 7

Times-Union (Albany, NY): Giants stand tall again

New York Times: A Pitcher Rises To The Moment, And Jaws Drop

Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, NY): DYNASTY BY THE BAY

Sandusky (OH) Register: It’s a Giants world

Register-Guard (Eugene, OR): A GIANTS DYNASTY

Morning Call (Allentown, PA): BASEBALL’S DYNASTY

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: EMBRACING VICTORY (with image of Buster Posey hugging Bumgarner after game)

Times-Tribune (Scranton, PA): A SAN FRANCISCO TREAT

Dallas Morning News: Another Giant conquest

Salt Lake Tribune: BUMGARNER RULES

USA TODAY: GIANTS STAND TALL AGAIN

Kitsap Sun (Bremerton, WA): BUMMED OUT

Wisconsin State Journal (Madison): GIANT MOMENT

Starphoenix (Saskatoon, Canada): GIANT VICTORY

Metro Vancouver: GIANTS REIGN AGAIN

El Heraldo (Baranquilla, Colombia): Los Gigantes se dieron el baño de gloria (Can roughly be translated into something like “The Giants bath in glory”)

Novedades de Quintana Roo (Cancun, Mexico): El gigante de las Grandes Ligas se consagra tricampeón (roughly can be translated as “The Giants are enshrined as three-time MLB champions)

Milenio (Guadalajara, Mexico): Enormes. (“Huge”)

El Norte (Monterrey, Mexico): SI SON GIGANTES! (“Yes there [they?] are Giants!”)

Milenio Novedades (Yucatan, Mexico): Gigantes vuelvan al trono (Giants return to the throne)

El Nacional (Caracas, Venzuela): Gigantes se coronaron en la casa de los Reales (“The Giants were crowned in the house of the Royals”)

Virgin Islands Daily News: San Francisco nets a Giant victory

 

…Woo, that’s a lot.

Last Night’s and This October’s MR. OCTOBERS

It’s over. And, once again Madison Bumgarner is last night’s Mister October for pitching. For position player Mr. October, it’s Pablo Sandoval.

And that means that MADISON BUMGARNER AND PABLO SANDOVAL’S ARE 2014’S MR. OCTOBERS!

 

Standings (PP= Position Player, P= Pitcher, * means eliminated from playoffs):

P Madison Bumgarner 51

PP Pablo Sandoval 35

P Yusmeiro Petit 18

P Kelvin Herrera 15*

P Greg Holland 15*

PP Lorenzo Cain 15*

PP Alex Gordon 13*

PP Eric Hosmer 13*

P Yordano Ventura 13*

PP Brandon Crawford 11

PP Travis Ishikawa 10

PP Hunter Pence 10

PP Billy Butler 10*

PP Mike Moustakas 8*

P Andrew Miller 8*

PP Nelson Cruz 6*

PP Matt Carpenter 6*

P Wade Davis 5*

PP Kolten Wong 5*

P Pat Neshek 5*

P Jeremy Affeldt 5

PP Buster Posey 5

P Kevin Gausman 3*

PP Delmon Young 3*

PP Joe Panik 3

P Jake Peavy 3

P Jered Weaver 3*

PP Brandon Belt 3

P Zack Greinke 3*

PP Matt Kemp 3*

P Bud Norris 3*

P James Shields 3*

P Doug Fister 3*

PP Wilson Ramos 3*

P John Lackey 3*

PP Matt Adams 3*

P Trevor Rosenthal 3*

PP Bryce Harper 3*

P Ryan Vogelsong 3

PP Brandon Moss 1*

P Brandon Finnegan 1*

Headlines From Around The Continuum (October 29, 2014)

A sampling of baseball-related headlines from the Newseum, with the occasional note from me on what they are talking about:

(Note that I try to copy the style of the paper as well, hence why some are in ALL CAPS while others aren’t. Also, I ignored extremely basic-and extremely common- headlines like “Royals Win” or “Game 7 Tonight”. I’ll occasionally make an exception for the team’s “home” newspapers)

Headline: Royals rout Giants, Force Game 7

San Francisco Chronicle: Blowout delivers fitting end: Game 7

San Francisco Examiner: Party on hold

Kansas City Star: HEAVENLY (as in… “Seventh Heaven”… get it?)

Arizona Republic (Phoenix): Up against the wall, Royals force Game 7

Daily Courier (Prescott, AZ): Yep, we’re having a World Series Game 7

Eureka (CA) Times Standard: A ROYAL CRUSH

Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA): ROYALS FLIP THE SCRIPT

Merced (CA) Sun-Star: ROYAL RALLY FORCES GAME 7 SHOWDOWN

The Herald (Monterey, CA): GOING TO GAME 7 (This was also in other papers throughout the country)

Sacramento Bee: S.F. FACES SERIES SHOWDOWN; Giants must overcome history

The Tribune (San Luis Obispo, CA): IT’S ALL ON THE LINE TONIGHT

Marin Independent Journal (San Rafael, CA): NO BUM A BUMMER

The Record (Stockton, CA): One more game for everything

Times-Herald (Vallejo, CA): A ROYAL ROUT (This was also in other papers throughout the country)

Ventura County (CA) Star: SERIES TO SEE GAME 7

Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune: ONE LAST GAME

Des Moines (IA) Register: SEVENTH HEAVEN

Telegraph Herald (Dubuque, IA): Royals spank Giants to force Game 7 (“Spank” isn’t a word you see in newspaper headlines that much)

Decatur (IL) Herald & Review: Safe at home (this was also used in Syracuse)

Lawrence (KS) Journal-World: HOME SWEET HOME. (with the period)

American Press (Lake Charles, LA): GET READY FOR A GAME 7

Herald News (Fall River, MA): ROYALLY ROUTED

Joplin (MO) Globe: ALL EVEN

News-Leader (Springfield, MO): KANSAS CITY CULMINATION

St. Joseph (MO) News-Press: THE MAGIC NUMBER IS 1

Bozeman (MT) Daily Chronicle: GAME 7

Santa Fe New Mexican: Royals make statement in forcing Series Game 7

Reno Gazette-Journal: IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS

New York Times: One Game to Go

The Repository (Canton, OH): KANSAS CITY FELLS GIANTS TO TIE SERIES

Times-Tribune (Scranton, PA): ROYAL SHUTOUT

Times Record News (Wichita Falls, TX): ONE MORE GAME

El Universal (Cartagena, Colombia): Reales aplastan a San Francisco (Royals crush San Francisco)

El Informador (Guadalajara, Mexico): Joven Maravilla empata la Serie Mundial (“Young Marvel ties the World Series”- referring to Yordano Ventura)

Reforma (Mexico City): HABRÁ REY ESTA NOCHE (Roughly “There will be a king tonight”- this headline was also used in El Norte)

Lider Informativo (Nuevo Laredo, Mexico): REALES CONTRAATACAN; HOY SE DEFINE (Roughly “Royals Strike Back; Today it will be defined.”)

El Siglo de Torreon (Mexico): HABRÁ SÉPTIMO JUEGO (“There will be a seventh game”)

 

Note that some papers seemingly didn’t have their front pages up (yet) on Newseum, so I might update later if they go up.

Last Night’s Mr. Octobers (October 28, 2014)

Yordano Ventura and Lorenzo Cain were the Mr. Octobers of last night’s rout.

Tonight: Game 7. While Madison Bumgarner has basically clinched being the pitching Mr. October, the position player title also is up for grabs. And, of course, the MLB title.

Standings (PP= Position Player, P= Pitcher, * means eliminated from playoffs):

P Madison Bumgarner 31

P Yusmeiro Petit 18

P Kelvin Herrera 15

P Greg Holland 15

PP Pablo Sandoval 15

PP Lorenzo Cain 15

PP Alex Gordon 13

PP Eric Hosmer 13

P Yordano Ventura 13

PP Brandon Crawford 11

PP Travis Ishikawa 10

PP Hunter Pence 10

PP Billy Butler 10

PP Mike Moustakas 8

P Andrew Miller 8*

PP Nelson Cruz 6*

PP Matt Carpenter 6*

P Wade Davis 5

PP Kolten Wong 5*

P Pat Neshek 5*

P Jeremy Affeldt 5

PP Buster Posey 5

P Kevin Gausman 3*

PP Delmon Young 3*

PP Joe Panik 3

P Jake Peavy 3

P Jered Weaver 3*

PP Brandon Belt 3

P Zack Greinke 3*

PP Matt Kemp 3*

P Bud Norris 3*

P James Shields 3

P Doug Fister 3*

PP Wilson Ramos 3*

P John Lackey 3*

PP Matt Adams 3*

P Trevor Rosenthal 3*

PP Bryce Harper 3*

P Ryan Vogelsong 3

PP Brandon Moss 1*

P Brandon Finnegan 1

Headlines from around the Continuum (October 27, 2014)

A sampling of baseball-related headlines from the Newseum, with the occasional note from me on what they are talking about:

(Note that I try to copy the style of the paper as well, hence why some are in ALL CAPS while others aren’t. Also, I ignored extremely basic-and extremely common- headlines like “Giants win” or “Game 5 Tomorrow”. I’ll occasionally make an exception for the team’s “home” newspapers)

 

Headline: Giants win Game 5, one win away from WS Title

San Francisco Chronicle: World Class

San Francisco Examiner: Ace of October

Kansas City Star: DOMINATED

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock): Bumgarner does it again

Bakersfield Californian: MAD BUM

Enterprise-Record (Chico, CA): ROYALS BUMMED (this was in other papers too)

Oakland Tribune: SHOW-STOPPER (this was used in other papers too)

Merced (CA) Sun-Star: BUMGARNER IS PITCH PERFECT

Sacramento Bee: GIANTS FANS WATCH MAKING OF LEGEND

Tribune (San Luis Obispo, CA): ONE TO GO

Marin Independent Journal (San Rafael, CA): BUMGARNER BRILLIANCE

Santa Maria (CA) Times: BRILLIANT BUMGARNER

The Record (Stockton, CA): MASTERFUL, MAGNIFICENT, MADBUM

Ventura County (CA) Star: MAD ABOUT BUMGARNER

Washington Post: Giants on verge

Lawrence (KS) Journal-World: ACE UP THEIR SLEEVE?

Salina (KS) Journal: Royals in trouble

Joplin (MO) Globe: SHUTOUT

St. Joseph (MO) News-Press: FACING ELIMINATION

Omaha World-Herald: A Giant step closer to the crown

Vanguardia (Saltillo, Mexico): BLANQUEADA LOS PONE A UN TRIUNFO (not entirely sure, something about “putting the bleach out” to win)

Headline: Oscar Taveras, Cardinals Super-Prospect, passes away after car accident

St. Louis Post Dispatch: TAVERAS KILLED IN CRASH

La Presse (Montreal): FIN TRAGIQUE POUR UNE ÉTOILE MONTANTE (“A TRAGIC END TO A RISING STAR”- note that Taveras spent parts of his childhood in Montreal)

 

Last Night’s Mister Octobers (October 26, 2014)

Madison Bumgarner is awesome. Seriously, there are no other ways to truly describe his performance.

Also, so is Brandon Crawford, who had 3 RBIs last night.

Standings (PP= Position Player, P= Pitcher, * means eliminated from playoffs):

P Madison Bumgarner 31

P Yusmeiro Petit 18

P Kelvin Herrera 15

P Greg Holland 15

PP Pablo Sandoval 15

PP Alex Gordon 13

PP Eric Hosmer 13

PP Brandon Crawford 11

PP Travis Ishikawa 10

PP Hunter Pence 10

PP Billy Butler 10

PP Mike Moustakas 8

P Andrew Miller 8*

PP Nelson Cruz 6*

PP Matt Carpenter 6*

P Wade Davis 5

PP Kolten Wong 5*

P Pat Neshek 5*

P Jeremy Affeldt 5

PP Lorenzo Cain 5

PP Buster Posey 5

P Kevin Gausman 3*

PP Delmon Young 3*

PP Joe Panik 3

P Jake Peavy 3

P Yordano Ventura 3

P Jered Weaver 3*

PP Brandon Belt 3

P Zack Greinke 3*

PP Matt Kemp 3*

P Bud Norris 3*

P James Shields 3

P Doug Fister 3*

PP Wilson Ramos 3*

P John Lackey 3*

PP Matt Adams 3*

P Trevor Rosenthal 3*

PP Bryce Harper 3*

P Ryan Vogelsong 3

PP Brandon Moss 1*

P Brandon Finnegan 1

Headlines from around the Continuum: October 26, 2014

A sampling of baseball-related headlines from the Newseum, with the occasional note from me on what they are talking about:

(Note that I try to copy the style of the paper as well, hence why some are in ALL CAPS while others aren’t. Also, I ignored extremely basic-and extremely common- headlines like “Giants win” or “Game 5 Tonight”. I’ll occasionally make an exception for the team’s “home” newspapers)

Headline: Giants win Game 4 big, tie up series.

San Francisco Chronicle: After the rain, Giants pour it on

Kansas City Star: FRISCO MELT

Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA): Fit to be tied

Modesto Bee: On the big stage, little things count

The Herald (Monterey, CA): EVENING IT UP

Oakland Tribune: GIANTS 2-2 GOOD (also the headline in San Jose and other affiliated papers)

Sacramento Bee: Bochy goes with gut, brings Giants back from the brink

Marin Independent Journal (San Rafael, CA): MAUL BALL

Santa Cruz (CA) Sentinel: GIANTS’ BATS COME ALIVE TO TIE SERIES

The Record (Stockton, CA): Ushering his way to a dream (on a SF Giants usher from Stockton)

The Hawk Eye (Burlington, IA): Royals flush

Lawrence (KS) Journal-World: REDEMPTION TONIGHT

St. Joseph (MO) News-Press: ROYALS LET THE GIANTS SLIDE BY IN CRUSHING DEFEAT

Vanguardia (Saltillo, Mexico): IMPONEN RESPETO EN SU CASA (Something along the lines of the “Imposing respect in their house” or “Command respect at home”, referring to the Giants)

Check back throughout the series for more headlines!