Not That We Care: a guide to the playoffs, part 1

So, it’s easy to forget, but they’re still playing baseball games. No one really knows why. It’s almost certainly just a scam to suck in money from losers who cheer for other teams. Nonetheless, they’re out there. Playing the “postseason.” First game up tonight is apparently the “Oakland Athletics” against…seriously, it’s hard to write this, but they honestly tell me it’s a team from Kansas City.” Dude, don’t ask. I have no idea.

Anywho. This being the first baseball postseason since 1989 to not include one of the Braves, Yankees or Red Sox it’s likely the case that many of you will not understand this set up. Having no one to cheer for and no obvious evil empire(s) to root against (barring STL later this week, of course), I put together a simple decision tree to try and make sense of things. I hope it helps.

oak_v_kcr

36 thoughts on “Not That We Care: a guide to the playoffs, part 1”

  1. From the previous thread:

    Who is there to replace Evan Gattis?
    Whoever we trade for or sign. Bethancourt doesn’t have to be our starter, and as long as we replace Gattis’ 2-or-so WAR somewhere, who cares what position it comes from.

    My point is that Gattis is at the peak of his value, and Minor is at a low point.

    On the contrary, Minor was a 0.2 WAR player in ’14, and aside from ’13, has been every bit of what he was projected to be: a back-end rotation pitcher.
    Minor’s not as good as his 2013 and not nearly as bad as 2014 either; he apparently played hurt the whole season. He’s not prohibitively expensive and is likely to see positive regression — better to deal him after he proves healthy and reestablishes his value next year if we’re gonna deal him.

    I’m not necessarily against packaging Minor to get rid of BJ…I’m just resigned to the fact that we’re not just going to dump BJ and be done with it…

  2. I’ll go out on a limb & bet the game is 3-2 tonight. Leaning more for the Royals, but guessing Lester will outduel Shields.

    Gotta find something to do sporting-wise between Saturday SEC games & daily Dawg podcasts. Hopefully, an engaging narrative will emerge from the baseball post-season. Hope I can stick with it.

    Some potentially “interesting” WS matchups:

    1) Nats/O’s, Beltway Series. Never thought I’d be rooting for Peter Angelos to raise the WS trophy, but…

    2) Angels/Dodgers, Freeway Series. Trout vs. Kershaw, plenty of star power here.

    3) Angels/Cardinals, The Albert Series. Can’t really embrace this one too much, but a distinct possibility.

    4) Royals/Cardinals, I-70 Series Pt. II. I won money on the last one, but I’m guessing that the umps can’t blow it for me this time.

    5) A’s/Giants, 1989 Redux. Quite a longshot & let’s hope the earth doesn’t shake again.

    6) Orioles/Pirates, ‘71/’79 Re-Run Series. My personal favorite. Maybe the O’s get this one right. Would probably get lower TV ratings than “Facts of Life” reruns.

    7) Of course, you also get every variation of NoCal/SoCal & Beltway/West Coast.

    8) My Guess: Dodgers/Detroit, with Kershaw becoming this year’s Koufax/Hershiser.

  3. Gattis’ 2-or-so WAR is basically free. Replacement is probably going to cost a lot more. He’s too cheap to give up on, imho. Play him in LF on the days he doesn’t catch and he probably hits 30+ HRs. Of course he can’t seem to stay healthy…so there’s that. I’m not sure what I’d do, but I will say that the trade haul we get for him better look really good.

    I’m looking forward to a rent-a-scrub like Bonifacio in CF next year, with Bethancourt behind the plate, and the Braves scoring 1.7 runs per game.

  4. @3 Your last paragraph is what scares the living shite out of me.

    @adam r. I’m really only for trading Minor in the scenario given last thread; to get rid of BJ.

  5. Even though this is old news, here’s what Fredi the Once and Future Manager said about next year for Gattis in the AJC interview:

    Q: What about (Evan) Gattis? Is that going to be a big point this offseason, what to do with him if Bethancourt is going to be the main catcher?

    A: I’ve not thought anything about Gattis as far as how many games is he going to catch next year, is he going to play another position or that kind of stuff. We’ve talked about it internally a lot, and I tell you what, in this day and age with the way offense is going now, it’s hard to get 22 home runs.

    Q: Could he play left field and catch and get 140 games?

    A: That’s an option

  6. I’m still hoping the “trade Gattis” idea/rumor was a Frank Wren idea. Id rather package Bethancourt in a different deal. His defense is shaky at best and he cant hit.

    Hart: Hey Greg, would you like to resign or be fired?

  7. Wouldn’t surpise me to see Bowman and/or DOB report that Gattis is going to spend significant time in the offseason on outfield work. Who knows if the team actually intends to play him there, but attempting to gain some trade leverage couldnt hurt. I’m not sold on trading him being the best move, but the beat guys sure are reporting it as if it’s a matter of when, not if.

  8. The beatwriters were reporting all of that before Bethancourt allowed 6 passed balls, hit sub.600 OPS on the year, and looked lazy his last 15 games caught. When all that happened, they changed their tone to “fatigued”. Catcher of the future, indeed. Bleh…

  9. Old saying: “You can’t coach stupid”. What about when the coach is stupid? I guess one just inserts a comma in between coach and stupid, and the saying lives on.

  10. Actually in the end we did care…why can’t we play in baseball games like this?

    Down 4 runs in the seventh with Lester rolling…the manager had made exactly the wrong decision when his starter tires in the sixth and you’re down 4 runs…

    you’re still down 4 in the bottom of the eighth with Lester rolling…that innings ends with the deficit down to a single run and then you go and leave the tying and go ahead runs on…not a ball was hit hard, there was ballsy base stealing right from the start which rocked the A’s…crowd delirious, FOUR steals, crazy great stuff…

    then in the ninth lead off guy, slow, gets on base with the dreaded full swan dive…pinch runner bunted over, then steals third…game is tied 7/7 with the only hard hit ball i can remember, SFly to deep right…

    All this against a team whose DH collected 5 RBI’s on 2 swings…

    writing this as the game goes to the top of the twelfth…i don’t really care who wins now, i’ve seen a game to remember between two teams that i didn’t think i really cared that much about…it was the game, the way it was played,it was everything you hoped out of a post season one game contest.

    could the Braves have played baseball like this in the post season? 5 runs batted in by your slugger, then that base stealing so late when you were way behind…no, that’s not us is it?

    icing on the cake for KC in the top of the 9th…Finnegan’s Wake…a 21 year old kid pitching in his THIRTEENTH professional game, gets it done at 95..

    A’s take the lead in the 12th helped by a big passed ball…bed…don’t want to watch the end, the first nine were special.

  11. i’m here, ububba…overheard them say Ibanez was on the bench…instant memories of those crazy sequential home runs in New York an October or two back, had to watch…

    but they tied it without him! Hosner 1 out triple followed by high infield chopper…then home town hero Alex Gordon pops out on the first pitch…

    UNBELIEVABLE!! another stolen base with 2 out, then the winning hit slides in down the left field line…

    A stat at Bedtime…SEVEN different Royals stole a base tonight, five scored…

    Will the Braves ever win a game like this? !

    Good night, ububba…

  12. The royals really showed some fight tonight…something we don’t ever see from the Braves…what’s missing?

  13. This from the AJC interview with Fredi is all you need to know:

    “Whew. All of a sudden, we just went dry offensively. Darndest thing I’ve ever seen..”

  14. Why can’t Fredi be humorous? “…like a pair of 50 year old testicles.” That would win me back!

  15. And now Jeff Schultz is on the Moneyball bashing train, of which he’s probably never read and doesn’t understand. I don’t follow the AJC very often but is Schultz as bad of a writer as he seems? Seems like a troll.

  16. And while have read most of, and understand fundamentally the ideas and concepts behind Moneyball, I am still at a loss as to why people are so keen to imitate an organization who has literally had less success than the Braves over the course of their last two decades.

  17. Take your ageist bashing of 50 year old nuts to the next thread, kids. (Where I reserve the right to deploy “your mom” jokes about middle aged nuts.)

  18. That was one of the better baseball games of the past decade…and absolutely nobody watched it. I tried to turn it on when it got to extras but couldn’t find it. Watched MLB network and they were pretending like there wasn’t even a game on. Marketing geniuses, all of them.

  19. @31, a substitution in your phrasing that helps explain the phenomenon:

    “so keen to imitate an organization who has literally had less money than the Braves over the course of their last two decades”

    Anyway, that’s why it’s an organization worthy of admiration. The only way you’d want to imitate them is if the circumstances were the same.

    @34
    If they played both of the wild card games on the same day I bet more people would watch. It’s only a hunch, but I think Occasion Days make better viewing than times when there are merely Play-In Games

  20. the Enforcer…

    if you’re a hockey fan – or even like like me generally indifferent to the game – here’s a book to read..

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/05/books/review/john-branchs-boy-on-ice.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&version=HpSectionSumSmallMedia&module=pocket-region&region=pocket-region&WT.nav=pocket-region&_r=0

    it appeared originally in extracts in the paper last year, i think it won a Pulitzer for the author. It is beautifully written, haunting, evocative.

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