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#1 Goondal

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 03:46 PM

Anybody interested in discussion the sport outside of the couple of team oriented threads?  Baseball is my favorite sport but outside of watching Kershaw and Harvey pitch I really do not have much to say on those teams.

 

What does everybody think of the Pirates leading MLB at the mid-way point?



#2 Zaximus

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 12:40 PM

I think it's awesome for the Pirates, I honestly can't remember a time in my life (I'm 28) where they were good.  I worry they will fall flat like last year though but I hope not.



#3 Goondal

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 08:43 AM

I think it's awesome for the Pirates, I honestly can't remember a time in my life (I'm 28) where they were good.  I worry they will fall flat like last year though but I hope not.

 

I too hope they can avoid a third consecutive fall.  A good friend of mine is a Pirates fan and like last year he refuses to get excited until they are in a playoff spot at some point in September.  Kind of like me and the Panthers, only I choose December.  I suppose it saved him a lot of misery last season.  I know other Pirates fans that were very depressed.

 

I do believe that this year is different though.  Last season they were also in first at the mid-way point but were helped by being in a poor division as they had won forty-five games.  This season they have the best record in baseball.  Also, I think that last season was mostly about McCutchen have an unbelievable first half.  This season they have Alvarez, Marte, and Martin also as big contributors, a stronger rotation and Melancon/Grilli at the back of the bullpen.  I still expect Cincinnati to win the division in the end but with a second wild card and so many other teams in the NL sputtering I really feel that October baseball is in their future.



#4 Zaximus

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 09:03 AM

The team is definitely better now and more people are contributing so that is good.   If they make playoffs and keep this season up I worry this team will break it apart and start trading/not resigning like they seem to do with their stars.  I hope not though.



#5 Goondal

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 02:36 PM

The team is definitely better now and more people are contributing so that is good.   If they make playoffs and keep this season up I worry this team will break it apart and start trading/not resigning like they seem to do with their stars.  I hope not though.

 

I think things will be different this time around.  I read an article several years ago about Neil Huntington and the ownership group.  It explained that when he took over the team was not only awful at the MLB level, but had a terrible minor league system as well.  They really saw no point in spending money on major league players as it would not be enough to compete and would do nothing to help them in the future.  He spent a lot of time trading anything of value.

 

At the same point however, when it came to money spent on draft picks and in scouting and development and whatnot, the Pirates were at or near the top in most areas.  So they were spending money, just not on the MLB roster.  All the while they were waiting for the right player to spend on to build around and the right time to start spending to win.

 

They clearly have that player now in McCutchen and have locked him up.  I am hopeful they continue to follow through as there are several really strong young players on the roster and the best the best is still in line to join the rotation next season in Jameson Taillon.

 

It sure would be nice to see them compete regularly.  That is a great baseball town with a beautiful stadium and wonderful fans that deserve a winner.  After living in the Tampa area and seeing how they refuse to support that franchise it makes me even more hopeful that fanbases that deserve a winner finally get their shot.



#6 Goondal

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 02:39 PM

Who would you say are the front runners for post-season awards at the mid-way point? Mine:

American League
MVP: Chris Davis: despite the fact that Miggy has actually been better than in '12, I think I have to go with Davis at this point. This is painful for me as he was on my fantasy team in '09, '10, and '11, then I gave up. A 60 HR pace right now is something special.
Honorable Mentions: Miggy, Trout 

Cy Young: Max Scherzer: this one is pretty easy for me. In a season where more of the best pitchers have been in the junior circuit, Scherzer's star has shown brighter than the rest of his AL peers.
Honorable Mentions: Darvish, Sale, Iwakuma 

Manager of the Year: John Farrell: okay, so maybe this is a bit of a homer pick, but even our biggest fans did not expect this team to have the best record in the American League after eighty-one games. Oddly, Tito may be his biggest competition.
Honorable Mentions: Terry Francona, Bob Melvin, Buck Showalter

Rookie of the Year: Jose Iglesias: this one I do not feel as a homer pick but rather as a situation where nobody has been better. I still expect Wil Myers to win it though as nobody came close to running away with it while he was down in AAA
Honorable Mentions: Nick Franklin, Oswaldo Arcia

National League
MVP: Paul Goldschmidt: this one really was tough. There are so many really good candidates but nobody on the level of the top three from the AL who have separated themselves. Molina is his closest competition but there are many worthwhile candidates
Honorable Mentions: Ydier Molina, Buster Posey, Troy Tulowitzki, Joey Votto, Andrew McCutchen, Carlos Gomez

Cy Young: Matt Harvey: as with the MVP race, there are so many worthwhile candidates. The big difference here though is that Harvey has been so outstanding that to this point he is the easy choice for #1
Honorable Mentions: Clayton Kershaw, Adam Wainwright, Patrick Corbin, Jordan Zimmermann, Jeff Locke (as absurd as that was to type)

Manager of the Year: Clint Hurdle: the Pittsburgh Pirates have the best record in baseball through eighty-one game. No more explanation needed
Honorable Mentions: Nobody. When the Pittsburgh Pirates have the best record through eighty-one games, this section remains empty 

Rookie of the Year: Shelby Miller: similar to the NL CYA, there are many very worthwhile candidates, but Miller is so good that the top choice at this point is easy
Honorable Mentions: Jose Fernandez, Julio Teheran, Yasel Puig, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Jedd Gyorko, Marcell Ozuna

 



#7 Zaximus

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 09:39 AM

The Chris Davis vs Miguel MVP debate is tough.  I'd give it to Cabrera right now because he's hitting 30 points or more higher than Davis.   I'll admit, I hate that Davis is having a good year only because it would be amazing to see someone win Triple Crown back-to-back years.



#8 Goondal

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 08:50 AM

Yeah, depending on what happens from here on out the AL MVP debate could be just as contentious as last season.  As a Trout owner I would love for him to pick it up a little more and get into the discussion as well.



#9 Zaximus

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 10:01 AM

Cabrera with 28 hrs, 90 rbi, and hitting .368 ?  Are you kidding me?  Even if the season ended right now he'd be in MVP discussions.  This guy is dominating his sport more than anyone right now if you think about it.



#10 iamcline

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 06:31 PM

Cabrera with 28 hrs, 90 rbi, and hitting .368 ?  Are you kidding me?  Even if the season ended right now he'd be in MVP discussions.  This guy is dominating his sport more than anyone right now if you think about it.

 

Don't forget about Chris Davis.  He's right there with Cabrera.  Trailing by 5 in RBI, and only has a .310 average, but he's hit 33 home runs.  Nuts.

 

I think both will cool down after the break, but those two are dangerous.



#11 iamcline

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 12:31 AM

I don't think this will end up the same but in 1998, McGwire and Sosa both had 37 entering the All-Star Break.



#12 Zaximus

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 11:43 AM

Everyone I talk to believes Davis is juicing, but I hope not.

 

I do hope he slows down because I really really want to see a back-to-back triple crown winner.



#13 Goondal

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 10:57 PM

Everyone I talk to believes Davis is juicing, but I hope not.

 

I do hope he slows down because I really really want to see a back-to-back triple crown winner.

 

I have learned to never say a guy is or is not juicing.  But I will say that if he is, I do not believe he all of a sudden started doing it this season.  The man has always had prodigious power, just always sucked at hitting.  In the first two seasons of my main fantasy league (09-10) I had him both seasons, drafting him very high the first time around.  I have followed him for some time and always been interested in him.  His problem was always that he did not make enough contact/struck out too much.  He is better at hitting the ball now and with more hits comes more HR.  Again, I am not saying he is clean, but I do believe if he is juicing, it is not a new thing to him.



#14 Goondal

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 10:59 PM

Anyway, Cespedes won the Derby tonight.  Another member of my league joked that he was the new C. Davis.  Someone I would own for several disappointing seasons and would turn into a god shortly after I gave up. I know some have said the Derby messes up swings but maybe it will have an opposite effect on Cespedes, because he has bee nothing but a headache this season.



#15 Peppers90 NC

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 02:18 PM

I think it's awesome for the Pirates, I honestly can't remember a time in my life (I'm 28) where they were good.  I worry they will fall flat like last year though but I hope not.

early 90's - Bonds, Bonilla, Van Slyke, Bream, Backman.  Since Bonds left they have been shat though.




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