“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!

“30 Teams, 30 Posts” (2016): OOTP ’17 (almost) determines the greatest Marlins team of all

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 Marlins.

I am lucky enough to have on my hard drive a reviewer’s copy of Out Of The Park 17. While obviously the review will not be out for a few more days, I decided that for today’s “30 Teams, 30 Posts” I would use one of OOTP’s newest features to answer a question:

What was the greatest Marlins team of all time? Was it the 1997 Florida Marlins helmed by Jim Leyland or was it Jack McKeon’s 2003 Marlins?

Using the “Historical Exhibition” feature of OOTP 17, I’m going to find out… after the jump:

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“30 Teams, 30 Posts” (2016): A stream of consciousness on Greinke being on the Diamondbacks

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 D-Backs.

I know, as a fact, that Zack Greinke is now a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks. That is something I am 100% sure of.

That still doesn’t mean I truly believe it, though.

I mean, this was Zack Greinke. He’s admitted in the past that he follows the money. And he was in Los Angeles, the richest team in the league in one of the biggest markets in the country.

And yet, he ended up in Arizona. Phoenix. For the Diamondbacks.

I mean, if it was the Yankees or Red Sox, I could see it. Heck, I’d even go with someplace like San Francisco or one of the Chicago teams.

But he went to Arizona. The Diamondbacks.

I still haven’t fully processed this.

I’m not sure when I will.

“30 Teams, 30 Posts” (2016): A Lost Year for Atlanta

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 Atlanta Braves.

Yesterday, it was announced that the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins would play a regular season game at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. In most years, one would think this would mean the Marlins were giving up a home game. However, it’s the Braves who are.

And that seems fitting for Atlanta, a team that will be going nowhere this season as they turn their eyes almost entirely to the future. Defensive wizard Andrelton Simmons is gone. All-Star pitcher Shelby Miller is gone. Guys like Jason Heyward and Craig Kimbrel are now distant memories. The acquisitions by the Braves this off-season have either been entirely aimed at the future (former Number 1 pick Dansby Swanson, for example) or meant to fill a spot and keep the team from being a complete joke. Oh, Freddie Freeman is still there… although you can bet there will be talk of him possibly being traded, even if it could end up as just that: speculation.

The plan is clear: After this season, the Braves will move to the wealthier suburbs up in Cobb County, playing in a new stadium called SunTrust Park. The first year or two there, the thought is, will be a honeymoon, as people will go there just because it’s new.

The Braves hope that by the time the honeymoon ends, the team will be good enough to get people to come to games to see a winning team.

Only time will tell if they are right. But I don’t think it will take much time for the 2016 Braves to stink up the joint. It could get ugly really fast.

 

“30 Teams, 30 Posts” (2016): The Future of Cespedes in 2016 Mets Camp

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, I go over other ways that Yoenis Cespedes can arrive at Mets camp.

The big story this year in Mets’ camp hasn’t been the pitchers, or the fact they are coming in as defending National League champions. No, it’s been Yoenis Cespedes. He’s arrived in crazy cars and on a horse, when he hasn’t been buying pigs for $7,000 just to eat them.

So, I have used a crystal ball to stare into the future and see what the future holds for Yoenis Cespedes in Mets camp:

  • On March 4, Cespedes will arrive in a Aston Martin DB5, like James Bond drove.
  • On March 7, Cespedes and his entourage will go to an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet in Port St. Lucie. They will proceed to eat it out of business.
  • On March 9, Cespedes will fly an autogyro to Tampa, where he will play against the Yankees. He will hit a home run and unleash a massive bat-flip. Certain Yankee columnists will take this the wrong way. It will be glorious.
  • On March 12, Cespedes will arrive at Mets camp driving a go-kart.
  • On March 13, Cespedes will skip the game at the Marlins and instead take a helicopter to Disney World, where he will have a blast.
  • Aware that you should “Beware the Ides of March”, Cespedes will stay inside in his room all day and play video games.
  • From March 17 to 19, Cespedes will disappear to go undercover and takes part in the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando. He will be leading when the Mets find him and haul him back to camp.
  • On March 21, he will arrive at the Mets facility in a DeLorean with Christopher Lloyd, who he has paid to reprise his role of Dr. Emmett Brown.
  • On March 23, he will arrive on a hovercraft.
  • March 25 will see him arrive at the facility in a Harrier jump-jet.
  • March 30 will see Cespedes arrive riding an elephant.
  • On March 31 and April 1, Cespedes will accompany the Mets to Vegas to play the Cubs. He will proceed to break the bank at the Luxor, and then leave Vegas flying a UFO from Area 51.

 

What’s scary is… some of these might actually come true!

 

“30 Teams, 30 Posts” (2016): A running commentary on the first Spring Training Game of the Year

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, I watch the Phillies play their first Spring Training game of the year because I’m a glutton for punishment.

1:07- Severino Gonzalez is pitching for the Phillies. He had a 7.92 ERA last year. Even going with the fact that it was only in 30 innings, that is what is known as “not good”.

1:08- The first pitch in the Philadelphia Phillies march to the World Series is a ball inside and BWAHAAHAHA I actually implied they might make the World Series, my bad.

1:11- Gonzalez walks Dalton Pompey. ONWARD TO VICTORY, CITIZENS OF THE THE CITY OF BROTHERLY LOVE!

1:12- Ryan Howard shows that defense and throws Pompey out at second. Because, y’know, Spring Training. Who cares.

1:13-

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1:15- Chris Colabello is up. Meanwhile, at Twins’ camp, this is happening.

1:16- Chris Colabello hits a infield single that dies in just the right place. Phillies announcers already considering that Gonzalez won’t go his two assigned innings. Phillies Phever: Catch It!

1:18- As the Phillies announcers mention that this could be their opening day outfield, MLB Network’s volume inexplicably increases, as if screaming in terror. Although, to be fair, it does look like a good OF defensively.

1:19- Severino Gonzalez hits a guy. Bases loaded. Darwin Barney is up. So that’s where he ended up.

1:21- Darwin Barney has a 2-RBI double. I’m really regretting doing this with the Phillies.

1:23- The inning is over and I’m making myself lunch.

1:24- Oh dear god, it’s back and I haven’t had an opportunity to eat lunch.

1:29- Marcus Stroman 1-2-3s the Phillies and strikes out one. There was a discussion on how to pronounce the “Franco” in Maikel Franco. Help.

1:33- The required run-down of coaching changes. It happens every spring.

1:36- Gonzalez sends the Blue Jays down 1-2-3. What does this mean? Who the hell knows!

1:38- They just showed the Phanatic welcoming Phillies fans at the airport. I wish the Phanatic welcomed me at airports.

1:45- I get back from lunch just in time to see Carlos Ruiz hit a game-tying 2-run single. Clearly, the Phillies are in good shape this year if I’m eating lunch most of the time.

1:47- Bob McClure, Phillies pitching coach, likens Spring Training to a auto race. Weird. Gregory Infante pitching now for Philly.

1:55- Two-run double again from Darwin Barney. Darwin Barney MVP. Mark it down.

1:57-

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1:58- For those of you scoring at home… don’t.

2:02- Another Spring Training tradition is hawking the future promotions. Like a hat that gives you Phanatic hair. I want one.

2:06- Full disclosure: I’m ending this live-blog at 2:30 because I have other stuff to do.

2:08- HAHA, Freddy Galvis’ car got hit by a BP homer by Maikel Franco.

2:12- Another Spring Training position- gratuitous shots of beaches.

2:16- “The Darwin Barney Show”. Words actually just said.

2:17- Andy McPhail is on TV now, and has a hat that looks more suited to touring Jurassic Park.

2:18- J.P. Arencibia, who apparently is a Phillie now, goes deep to make it 4-3. Our first dinger of Spring Training on TV.

2:30- Well, it’s 2:30 and nothing interesting is happening. So I’m out. Later, everyone.

“30 Teams, 30 Posts” (2016): The Giants Will Win Because It’s An Even Year

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. Last year’s installments can be found here. Today, we get the easy part out of the way, with the sure-to-be-2016 champion San Francisco Giants.

The San Francisco Giants have won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014.

They did not win the World Series in 2009, 2011, 2013 or 2015. In fact, they didn’t even make the playoffs.

So, clearly, history tells us that there is no way that the Giants don’t win the World Series this year. It is inevitable, like the sun rising in the east or a spring training report that somebody is in the best shape of their lives.

Why have the Giants done so well in even years? Maybe it’s just random circumstance. Maybe it’s some strange effect related to President Obama being in office, and it will end once his second term is up. Maybe the Giants like Olympic years.

But for whatever reason, every even years has ended with Buster Posey giving a big hug to somebody. That will, clearly, happen again this year. The only question is who he will be hugging and what team they will be beating.