“30 Teams, 30 Posts” (2016): The Texas Rangers shouldn’t claim all of Texas

In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post (of varying amounts of seriousness) about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2016 season. Earlier installments can be found here. This is the Rangers’ entry.

Okay, this is something that, while not the April Fool’s joke of Continuuvideo, is still on the irrelevant side:

Why does the team in the Dallas-Arlington metropolitan area, the “Texas Rangers”, claim all of Texas, when the Houston Astros exist?

To be sure, the act of claiming an entire state even while there are other MLB teams in it isn’t new. It took awhile for the Marlins to stop being the “Florida Marlins” and instead the Miami Marlins, and the Angels renamed themselves the “California Angels” even though multiple other teams had already been in California. And yet, now, the Texas Rangers remain of Texas, even though at no point were they the only MLB team in the Lone Star State.

It’s obvious, of course, why they remain that way: there’s no such thing as a “Dallas Ranger” or “Arlington Ranger”, and the team has been around too long and seen too much success (most of it recent) to go and change it now, there’s too much merchandise and cache attached to it. It’s the same reason why a certain Los Angeles NBA team is named the Lakers even though there are no natural lakes in LA and why Salt Lake City’s NBA team is called the Utah Jazz even though Utah is probably one of the least jazzy states of the union (my apologies to all Utah-based jazz musicians). Or how a certain NFL team has a racial slur for it’s nickname even though every sane person who isn’t actively being paid by that or wasn’t literally raised as a fan of that team knows it is a slur (and even those people know it’s a slur, they just won’t admit it). The inertia of the brand is too much.

But still, c’mon, Rangers. Why are you pretending Houston doesn’t exist? Not cool.

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“30 Teams, 30 Posts” (2016): Introducing CONTINUUVIDEO, with a preview of the SAN DIEGO PADRES!

In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post (of varying amounts of seriousness) about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2016 season. Earlier installments can be found here. This is the Padres’ entry.

With the renewed vigor of the Continuucast, I am proud to announce that the Baseball Continuum will also begin doing a VIDEO SEGMENT, entitled CONTINUUVIDEO. The first installment deals with the San Diego Padres.

Among the topics covered:

-San Diego’s preparations for the 2016 All-Star Game

-Discussion of GM A.J. Preller’s strategy after last year’s failures

-The Padres’ somewhat underrated pitching staff

-Fun anagrams for Yangervis Solarte (including “Solitary Avengers” and “Greatly Aversions”)

-And a special appearance by a guy who used to sell fish tacos at Petco Park!

Go see it here!

Over at @HOVG: The latest “Wisdom and Links” has the “30 Teams, 30 Posts” for the Reds

Cincinnati gets it’s “30 Teams, 30 Posts” time in the sun over at the Hall of Very Good today. Check it out.

BREAKING OOTP Ep. 7: Schlafly’s Royals (Also “30 Teams, 30 Posts” for the Royals)

In BREAKING OOTP, I push Out Of The Park Baseball to it’s limits in various scenarios. Some will answer questions, some will settle scores, and some will push Out Of The Park Baseball to it’s very limits, to see if I can literally cause the game engine to beg for mercy.

In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post (of varying amounts of seriousness) about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2016 season. Earlier installments can be found here. This also fulfills the Royals part of that.

This will be a controversial entry in BREAKING OOTP. It’s going to be a bit political. You see, not too long ago, a woman named Phyllis Schlafly had an opinion on baseball. There’s nothing wrong with that. People have opinions about baseball all of the time. Some of them are even insightful.

Her opinion, however, was hateful, ignorant and wrong. She believes that MLB should KICK OUT ALL OF THE FOREIGNERS. In fact, she openly says “It is time to cut off visas for foreign baseball players, and return our National Pastime to Americans.

This, needless to say, is a bigoted and xenophobic view of baseball, and anyone who honestly believes it should be rightly sent to the dustpan of history. However, it’s also objectively wrong and ignorant. Even if she was right that Americans have a god-given privilege to have every baseball job in America (AND SHE IS MOST DEFINITELY NOT RIGHT), her arguments for the superiority of American MLB players are so paper-thin you could poke holes in them with a baby’s finger. For example, she uses the claim that the vast majority of Hall of Famers are American to “prove” that foreign players are inferior, utterly ignoring the fact that the vast majority of Hall of Famers came from an era before baseball became the diverse multi-national pool of players it is now. She also uses as “evidence” the fact that only Americans won the big awards in 2015, ignoring the fact that that was an aberration and that plenty of people from outside the United States have won those awards in the past.

So, to prove this bigoted old lady just how wrong she is, I’m going to show just how out-of-their-league a team made up entirely of American white guys would be in modern-day baseball. But who?

Now, she seems to think (according to her actual article, which I’m not linking to because I don’t want to give her the pleasure of the hits) the 1944 Cardinals were the pinnacle of baseball. Never mind that 1944’s Cardinals weren’t even the pinnacle of white American baseball, given most of the stars were off fighting WWII. Still, the 1944 Cardinals did win the World Series, so to produce her vision, I figure it would be a good idea to do it to the most recent MLB champions, the Kansas City Royals. It’s obviously not a one-to-one correlation, but it’ll do. Go below the jump for more:

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“30 Teams, 30 Posts” (2016): Jarrod Parker, the A’s, and how baseball isn’t fair

In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post (of varying amounts of seriousness) about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2016 season. Earlier installments can be found here. Now, the Athletics.

Baseball is an unfair game. It’s a cruel game.

It’s financial structure is cruel: the biggest markets still have major advantages, both in exposure and in resources.

It’s success/failure ratio is cruel: the best hitters in the world are still failing to put a ball in play over half the time, and it’s best pitchers can still be expected to give up runs every and any time they were to pitch nine innings.

And it’s not fair to people like Jarrod Parker.

Jarrod Parker was- is a pitcher. Could have been a good one. May end up still being one. But it’s doubtful.

Because baseball isn’t fair, and Jarrod Parker is now facing his third Tommy John surgery. Not many people come back from that. As in… two people have.

It’s not because of anything wrong that Parker did. It just happened, the result of the human arm not being made to throw a spherical object that fast.

As Commissioner Giamatti once said: It breaks your heart. It’s designed to break your heart.

“30 Teams, 30 Posts” (2016): Papi’s last ride is a bit more complicated

In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post (of varying amounts of seriousness) about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2016 season. Earlier installments can be found here. Today, the Red Sox and David Ortiz.

Every year, it seems, there is a player who is going on a farewell tour. And this year, it’s David Ortiz.

But this year, the farewell tour is a bit more complicated. Because David Ortiz is more complicated. Yes, he is one of the most beloved figures in 21st Century baseball, and seems to be a pretty cool guy. But there are some things that will make this farewell tour a little uneasy.

First, there’s the steroid talk. David Ortiz has never officially tested positive for anything in his career, but he reportedly was one of those who tested positive when MLB did preliminary testing in 2003 to get an idea of how many MLB players may have been using PEDs before true official drug testing began in 2004. Again, this is not official, but it’s been said to have happened. And Papi himself has admitted that at certain times in his career he wasn’t 100% sure what he was putting in his body.

Secondly, there were his comments this spring on domestic abuse. They were utterly tone-deaf, and a reminder how far baseball- and society- has to go in handling and dealing with these issues.

And lastly, and by far the least important, is how he was on the field. David Ortiz was a good, and often great, player, but he was no slam-dunk Hall-of-Famer like some previous people who got retirement tours, such as Cal Ripken, Chipper Jones, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.

So will David Ortiz get a retirement tour? Yes. Will he deserve it?

That’s less clear.

Next: The A’s.

 

 

“30 Teams, 30 Posts” (2016): The “McFly Prophecy” was bunk, but the Cubs are going to win, and soon

In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post (of varying amounts of seriousness) about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2016 season. Earlier installments can be found here. Today, the Cubs.

Last year, it was said, the Cubs would win the World Series. It was destined. Back To The Future II had predicted it. And as the Cubs actually made the playoffs and won first the Wild Card game and then the NLDS, it seemed, perhaps, that what was once just a few lines in a movie would prove to be an eerie prediction.

Of course, it turned out that that joke back in Back To The Future II turned out to be just that: a joke. Perhaps something that happened in the old west in the third movie invalidated the future where the Cubs beat Miami in the 2015 World Series. Or maybe, just maybe, it was just a joke all along!

But, well, I think the writers of BTtF II did get the decade right, as the Cubs are, finally, going to win their first World Series since 1908 sometime this decade.

Why? Because, in some ways, they are ahead of schedule. They weren’t supposed to be as good last season as they were. Oh, they were supposed to be better, but they were not supposed to be in the NLCS.

And now, though, the Cubs will be one more year more experienced. Last year’s team was young, and while this year’s team will also be young, that experience will make them even more dangerous. Kris Bryant will no longer be a mere rookie. Neither will Kyle Schwarber.

And then there will be the new additions. Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist have been added. So has John Lackey.

And Joe Maddon, the mad genius, is still skippering the team.

There are no guarantees, of course, but it could happen. This could be the year. And the moment that will result could be the Greatest Of All Time.

You know… the GOAT!