MVP of Yesterday (July 9, 2015): Zack Greinke

Zack Greinke is on fire, and yesterday, he dominated again, 1-hitting the Phillies (which isn’t quite as impressive as some other feats) and striking out 8 in a shutout victory.

Standings, as always, after the jump:

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MVP of Yesterday (July 8th, 2015): Clayton Kershaw

The MVP of Yesterday is the person who should win the NL All-Star Final Vote: Clayton Kershaw. He threw a complete game shutout, striking out 13. Of course, it was against the Phillies, but still.

Standings, as always, after the jump:

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“30 Teams, 30 Posts” (2015): For the Dodgers, there is no kill like overkill

In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2015 season. Previous installments can be found here. Today, the Dodgers.

Today, the Dodgers reportedly signed Cuban 3B defector Hector Olivera for six years and 62.5 million dollars. Now, they have a 3B currently in Juan Uribe, and his secondary position of 2B has Howie Kendrick there, but this is the Dodgers, and for them, there is no kill like overkill.

Flush with cable cash (despite the fact that, ironically, most of LA’s population is unable to watch due to carriage issues) and the fact they are in Los Angeles, and with star power on the field, in the stands and in the owner’s box (when Magic Johnson calls to see if you are interested in playing for the Dodgers, you listen), the Dodgers have, in some ways, taken over for the Yankees as the team for which money is no object.

For example, the Dodgers certainly could have been fine if their rotation was Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu (who is currently hurt) and then two other guys, but, nope, they go ahead and give Brandon McCarthy 48 million dollars, despite the fact he struggled with the Diamondbacks last year, only to inexplicably turn it around after going to the American League with the Yankees. Because they are the Dodgers, and if they want the best Twitter-user in baseball to be their number four starter, they will do it. It wouldn’t be shocking at all if they add somebody else, like Cole Hamels, sometime during the season, thus pushing McCarthy to fifth on the depth chart, should Ryu be healthy by that point. Oh, and they also have Brett Anderson and Brandon Beachy (who should have recovered from Tommy John surgery by mid-season), too. And, while I’m no expert on the Dodgers’ farm system, I’m sure they have somebody at AAA who is willing to step up if anybody gets hurt or underperforms.

And then, of course, there is the lineup. Here’s what the opening-day lineup for the Dodgers will likely be:

1. Jimmy Rollins

2. Carl Crawford

3. Yasiel Puig

4. Adrian Gonzalez

5. Yasmani Grandal

6. Howie Kendrick

7. Joc Pederson

8. Juan Uribe

9. Pitcher

That’s a good lineup. But, don’t worry, if that lineup doesn’t work, it’s nothing that money won’t fix. Because there’s no amount to high, and no kill like overkill.

Tomorrow: The Rockies

 

 

 

2014 SEASON PREVIEW (PART 5): Best Case/Worst Case for… the NL WEST (with Getty Images)

We went from East-To-West for the AL, but we’ll be going West-To-East for the NL, so… who is ready to learn what could go right and wrong in the NL West? And who wants to see some vaguely-related images from Getty, too?

Thought so.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Best-Case Scenario: The season begins in Australia and ends with Commissioner Selig handing the World Series trophy to Magic Johnson (or some other representative of the ownership group) in October. Clayton Kershaw wins CYA.

Worst-Case Scenario: Dingos eat their babies.

Worst-Case Scenario That Could Actually Happen: Injuries. It’s unlikely that a healthy Dodgers team can be beaten in the NL West.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Embed from Getty Images

Best-Case Scenario: The Diamondbacks get their vengeance, kick the Dodgers out of their pool, and then make a playoff run.

Worst-Case Scenario: Mark Trumbo and Paul Goldschmidt get their butts kicked by a group of angry kangaroos.

Worst-Case Scenario That Could Actually Happen: Things go horribly wrong, injuries and steps-back to and by key players send the Diamondbacks tumbling into the cellar of the NL West. The Dodgers again celebrate in the Diamondbacks’ pool.

San Diego Padres

Embed from Getty Images

Best-Case Scenario: People actually remember that they exist come September. Because, really, the Padres may well be the most anonymous team in baseball, and they are going to have to do well if they are going to change that.

Worst-Case Scenario: You forget the Padres even exist by September.

Worst-Case Scenario That Could Actually Happen: See above.

San Francisco Giants
Embed from Getty Images

Best-Case Scenario: The pitching staff is revived as Tim Hudson– now back in the Bay Area- and Ryan Vogelsong have bounce-back years and Tim Lincecum finds his old groove.

Worst-Case Scenario: Godzilla Attack.

Worst-Case Scenario That Could Actually Happen: Pitching isn’t amazing. The lineup isn’t good enough. Another middle-of-the-division finish.

Colorado Rockies

Best-Case Scenario: Justin Morneau becomes his old self in the thin (but humidified) Colorado air, and he joins forces with a healthy Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez to bring back the Blake Street Bombers of old. While the pitching keeps them from being a serious playoff contender, they sure end up being fun to watch.

Worst-Case Scenario: The Colorado Rockies organization ceases to exist, since Todd Helton isn’t around playing for them anymore.

Worst-Case Scenario That Could Actually Happen: They finish in the basement and aren’t particularly fun to watch, either.

Next Time: THE NL CENTRAL

$30.7 Million Dollars a year….

For $30.7 million dollars, you make enough money (before tax) each year to….

  • Stockpile 1697 pounds of gold a year
  • Stockpile over 52 tons of silver (short tons)
  • Make a little over three times the annual nominal GDP of the island country of Niue.
  • Finance 7.719 Gone With The Winds a year (note: not adjusted for inflation)
  • Finance 2.791 Star Wars: A New Hopes a year (again, not adjusted for inflation)
  • Actually, it would be enough to finance at least one equivalent production of any single movie ever made before 1963 before inflation. (Cleopatra was the first film that you couldn’t finance at least once with $30.7 million dollars)
  • (Also, while we’re at it, can I just say as an aside it’s amazing that the first Star Wars only cost $11 million dollars or so in the 1970s?)
  • Pay Babe Ruth‘s entire career salary (ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION) nearly twice.
  • Pay the total opening-day salary of the 2013 Houston Astros with over six-million dollars left over to spare.
  • Make about 76.75 times the average salary of the President of the United States (probably much more, given that they usually donate it to charity).
  • Be able to afford to pay one year of the contract of Clayton Kershaw under his new deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In short: Clayton Kershaw now is making a bunch of dough.

Preview/Predictions for the 2013 NLCS

It could be a classic series in the making in the National League Championship Series. After all, we are seeing two pitching-rich members of the “Original 16” facing off, with exciting hitters old and new dotting their lineups as well. Who holds the edge? Well… I don’t know. As I’ve said before and will say again, it’s really difficult to predict a series, where one funny hop or blown call can change everything. So, let’s go aspect by aspect.

First, starting pitching. In this aspect, the Dodgers have an edge. Not too big of an edge, but an edge nontheless. First off, the fact that they were able to finish off the Braves in four games means that they can set up their rotation roughly how they want, with the exception that they will have to swap Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw in the rotation, which, while not what they would have preferred, is hardly a death-blow. By comparison, the Cardinals will be unable to call upon their ace, Adam Wainwright, until Game 3, although they will be able to have young phenom Michael Wacha go against Kershaw. This leads to another advantage that the Dodgers’ rotation has over the Cardinals: depth. Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly are certainly capable pitchers who could defeat the Dodgers, but they aren’t quite at the one-two punch level of Hyun-Jin Ryu (who would be a Rookie of the Year candidate most seasons) or Ricky Nolasco.

Now, lineup. This goes in St. Louis’ favor. They have a deeper bench, more depth, and have Carlos Beltran, who, as has been noted before and will be noted again, is the greatest postseason hitter of our era, if not any era. The redbirds scored 77 more runs this season than any other NL team, and there’s really only one hitter of their eight position players (Pete Kozma) that I wouldn’t fear due to either numbers or reputation.

So, what about bullpen? I give this one to the Dodgers, slightly. Kenley Jansen is an awesome reliever, especially when you consider he once was a catcher. And they also have Brian Wilson, who seems to be back to normal (or whatever he calls normal), as well as other good relievers like J.P. Howell. While the Cardinals certainly aren’t hurting in the bullpen, with Trevor Rosenthal at the helm most notably, but I feel like the Dodgers have a slight advantage here- I’m not entirely sure why, I just feel that way.

However, there are other factors to keep in mind: the Cardinals have home field and more experience, for example, and, well, Don Mattingley still hasn’t won a World Series, despite playing for and then coaching with the Yankees, so you have to wonder if there is some sort of hex upon him.

I don’t believe in hexes, though. Well, not for the purposes of this article at least, as I predict the Dodgers will win in 7.

Remember, children: Brian Wilson’s beard is weird

In honor of Brian Wilson‘s return to baseball as a member of the Dodgers, here’s a classic commercial from ESPN that revealed the horrible truth about Wilson’s beard and it’s dark powers: