Archive for the ‘General’ Category

MLB Suffers Great Loss, Pivotal Game Of World Series Is Played & More!

Monday, October 27th, 2014

By this time next week, this year’s baseball season will be over. The World Series has been a phenomenal battle to this point, with each team doing their best to get a leg up on their opponent. As exciting as the series has been, though, this week will be clouded in tragedy.

Taveres Killed In Car Accident

While Madison Bumgarner was putting on another show during Game 5 of the World Series, Twitter exploded with a baseball-related bombshell that had nothing to do with the game.

Oscar Taveras, a 22-year old outfielder and top prospect for the St. Louis Cardinals, was killed in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic. His passenger in the car, his 18-year old girlfriend Edilia Arvelo, was also killed in the crash.

There aren’t many words that you can say about a tragic event like this one, other than it’s a terrible loss both on and off of the field. Taveras was known as one of the most lighthearted players in the game and his teammates have remarked that he always had a smile on his face.

Baseball truly lost a large part of it’s future with the death of Taveras and it’s a shame that we’ll never get to see what he could have accomplished. After hitting a huge home run in the NLCS and being a genuinely nice person off of the field, Taveras left a big impact on a wide variety of people and will be sorely missed by many. RIP Oscar Taveras.

Bumgarner Rolls Through Royals Again

Despite the tragedy involving Taveras taking center stage, there was some very entertaining baseball that was played this week. The Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants went neck and neck through the first 4 games, which made Game 5 pivotal.

Luckily for the Giants, Madison Bumgarner was taking the mound for them. Simply put, he has been lights out this postseason and has put on a performance that will be remembered generations from now. He has cemented himself as one of the best postseason pitchers in baseball and Sunday’s game furthered that notion.

After hurling 7 innings (and allowing one earned run) in Game 1 to get the win, Bumgarner one-upped himself in Game 5. He threw a complete game shutout and fanned eight Royals along the way. With this start, Bumgarner’s ERA this postseason dropped to 1.13 over six starts.

While he may not have been nationally recognized as one of the best pitchers in the game, this postseason has certainly changed that. At just $3.7 million this year, Bumgarner’s current salary has to be seen as one of the best in baseball, if not the best. If you had to win one game in the playoffs, which pitcher (active or retired) would you make the call to?

Maddon Leaves Rays 

If you’ve ever read the book The Extra 2% by Jonah Keri, you’ll know that the Tampa Bay Rays have relied on a variety of Wall Street strategies to be able to compete with the larger market/payroll teams in their division and across the league. With Wall Street in mind, my advice would be to “Sell” on any Rays stock that you may own, especially with this most recent news.

With Andrew Friedman leaving for the Los Angeles Dodgers last week, the team was already wobbling, but the news of manager Joe Maddon leaving may just be the knockout blow. After weeks of negotiation the team and Maddon were unable to come to an agreement, which is going to leave a large void within the organization.

Maddon, generally considered one of the top 5 managers in all of baseball, has suddenly become the hottest name on the market. Some teams that may have seemingly been set with their manager might even take a look at him. For me, however, the one team that stands out is the Chicago Cubs.

They have the money behind them that Maddon never had with the Rays and they have a ton of young talent that will be coming up over the next couple of years. It seems like a perfect fit and we’ll see how it progress. As for the Rays, they may be in for some rough times without their front office leader, and now their manager. If the Cubs wind up hiring Joe Maddon, who do you think will finish with a better record next year; the Cubs or the Rays?

This Week’s MVP: Hunter Pence (.474/.545/.737, 1 HR, 5 RBI)

This Week’s Cy Young: Madison Bumgarner (2-0, 0.56 ERA, 13 K)

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Why Addison Russell Left the Arizona Fall League

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Yesterday it was announced that Addison Russell was being sent home from the Arizona Fall League (AFL), after just 10 games. Immediately, fans everywhere worry about an injury that derails everything and causes the whole rebuild process to fly wildly off the track. You can relax. Everything is just fine. After playing 11 games in the AFL, the Cubs simply want Russell to shut it down and begin his off-season plan. Rest easy Cub fans, everything will be just fine.

For the record, in his time in the AFL this year, Russell posted a line of .196 / .260 / .348 with 2 HR in 11 games. It’s not the best, but it’s such a small sample. Russell finished his time in AA very strong in 2014, and I think he’s primed to potentially see Wrigley Field late in 2015 if all goes well. Most likely it will be very similar in situation to the 2014 Javier Baez call up, though I’d be fine with him spending the entire year in the minors due to his age.

The Cubs also announced that they were planning on keeping the most recent first round pick, Kyle Schwarber behind the plate for the immediate future. Whether or not that is where he ultimately ends up is still in question, as I would guess that his hitting far out paces his development behind the plate, which would force a move to another spot, but for now it’s encouraging as the catcher position is a weak one in the organization right now.

There is going to be a lot of power in the lineup in the very new future, which has some worried that the Cubs will have tons of bats, but no pitching to back it up. Fan Graphs posted a nice piece about how, perhaps, it’s hitting that is more likely to win championships and not pitching. It’s a debate about as old as the chicken or the egg debate, but if they are right, then the Cubs should be in an unpresidented position given the bats they have and the recent success Theo and Jed have had with piecing together a rotation on the cheap. Add to that the fact that payroll flexibility is going to be there with contracts now off the books and the majority of the core being paid near league minimum and things are getting very exciting. Take a look at the piece and be excited.

Finally, there is a note coming out of Bleacher Nation that the Cubs have recently scouted Korean shortstop, Jung-Ho Kang, who is 27 years old and could potentially be posted by his current team in Korea. The story seems more like fishing for readers, but it bears watching. My guess is that the Cubs are simply doing their due dilligence in the international market, which is a market they have invested heavily in the recent years. You can never have too many shortstops in the organization, but at this point I would guess the odds of an offer on him would be slim.

Friday Five

I wanted to do something a little different today and run a top five list. Most likely when I do these, it will be random things (no, there will not be a return of condiment fingers), but there may be times where we do more sports themed ones. With that said, here are my top five, in no particular order, movies of all time. They may not be the best movies of all time, but they are ones I consider my favorite.

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Off-Season Posting – You Make the Call

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

As we’re nearing free agency and the close of the World Series, I’m calling on you to know about what content you want to see this off-season on the site. Obviously we’d be talking about off-season rumors and moves made, but what other content do you have interest in. Here were just a few of the things I had thought about.

  • Free Agency prediction contest – You choose the destination of the top 25 free agents and put confidence points on each.
  • Season in review for key members of the 2014 team
  • My (or other writer’s) off-season plan were we to be the GM

Let’s hear your suggestions and get some brainstorming going.

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Could the Cubs Be Chicago’s Premier Sports Team?

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Everyone knows that, deep down, Chicago is a Bears town. Sure, north and south siders go at each others’ proverbial throats all spring and summer, but once fall hits we’re all friends again. Well, maybe only on Sundays until the baseball season is over, but the point remains. The NFL started with the Chicago Bears. Aside from Michael Jordan, the most sacrosanct figures in Chicago sports are Bears: Payton, Butkus, Ditka, Halas.

But go back to 1994 with me. A 13 year old kid really wants a Starter jacket because, for some insane reason, every teenager wanted a Starter jacket in 1994. Preferably a Chicago Bulls jacket. He’s at the store to pick up some winter clothes with his mom, and there are Bulls jackets and Bears jackets. The Bulls jackets are full priced, which is a vast overspend for a mediocre piece of outerwear. The Bears jackets are available on a big discount. The mom makes it clear that the full priced Bulls jackets are not an option. The boy settles for a Bears jacket. When the boy first starts wearing him to school, he isn’t teased per se, but he’s asked why the heck he’s wearing a Bears’ jacket. There are Bulls jackets all around him. He’s the only one in a Bears’ jacket.

In case you didn’t realize it, the boy was me. And no, I do not feel traumatized by not getting a Bulls starter jacket. However, a mere 20 years ago, the Bears were not Chicago’s first sports priority. The Bears were midway through a horrendously mediocre 1990s, while the Bulls were one of the best teams in basketball even during Michael Jordan’s first retirement, which would end about six months after the Bears jacket purchase. Chicago was a Bulls town. The Bears played second fiddle, at the least.

Again, it appears that the Bears are mired in a run of mediocrity. Having tied their next few years to Jay Cutler, a quarterback unlikely to ever win a meaningful game, Chicago is ripe for a new team to get behind. Sure, the Blackhawks have been and should continue to be awesome, but hockey is something of a niche sport throughout the US, even in Chicago. The Bulls are a good team, but will they ever get past Lebron? Even if they do, does Derrick Rose have it in him to be the media presence that Jordan was? Does he even want that?

Could the door be open for the Cubs to become Chicago’s number one sports team? The Cubs appear to be on the verge of their longest run of competitiveness… well… ever. When the Cubs win a World Series, whether it be this decade or some other, it will be the single biggest sports story of that decade in North America. Wrigley Field is being renovated. The Cubs have the best set of prospects either side of the city has seen in a long time. Some of them, along with Anthony Rizzo and Jake Arrieta, have star potential. All reports I’ve seen indicate that Kris Bryant has the type of personality that, along with his prodigious power, could make him the biggest star in the game. And, quite frankly, I don’t believe that many young White Sox fans are so invested in their team that they wouldn’t flip to the Cubs if the Cubs are a consistent winner and the White Sox aren’t.

Sure, some things work against the Cubs reaching that level of prestige now that weren’t working against the 1990s Bulls. Fantasy football was a game for only the most intense of football fans and sports gamblers then. Now it is played by a huge proportion of sports fans, while fantasy baseball remains a game played by a small number of die hard baseball fans. The NFL and their partners have been more and more successful turning every NFL Sunday into a full day event.

But cities that are baseball towns first, football towns second, do exist, with Boston and St. Louis being the foremost among those. Could Chicago join them? For the first time in a long time, the answer to that question could be yes.

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Jake Peavy Headed to Chicago?

Monday, October 20th, 2014

I bet you all thought I died. Admit it, you know you did. I just get frustrated with losing and took a break, but I’m back now and ready for the off-season. Let’s get it going with some news and notes.

Jake Peavy in the rotation next year? – Paul Sullivan reported that Peavy still has interest in pitching in Wrigley Field. I think the Cubs will be major players this off-season in the starting pitching market and I believe they will land at least one arm. My guess is that it will be Jon Lester, though I wouldn’t be the least surprised to see them go Lester AND Max Scherzer. Assuming you only get one, it gives you a nice rotation of guys. I don’t think Peavy is needed at this point. I’d rather not take a shot on him and trust Theo and Jed to sign scrap heap starters for depth.

Fan Graphs Top 31 Prospect List – They had a really nice piece that includes videos. It really gets you excited about the future. It’s funny, coming into the season, the player I was least worried about was Javier Baez and the player I thought had the most bust potential was Jorge Soler. After seeing August and September baseball, I’ve done a complete 180 on those feelings for both players. That said, here is the top 31 list.

Albert Almora Can’t Walk? – Also on Fan Graphs was an article focusing on Almora’s plate discipline that is worth your time. I think Almora will be good, but it will take a little time. He’s young, but everything I read is that he has the polish and poise to be a face of a franchise.

What Say You?

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World Series Matchup Carved Out, Ishikawa A Hero & More!

Monday, October 20th, 2014

We’ve nearly reached the end of the line. With the League Championship Series’ behind us and the World Series set to commence, let’s take a look at what happened in the last week to get here.

Friedman Hired By Dodgers

Before we get to the games, there was some action in the management front last week. Aside from the Texas Rangers hiring a new manager (Pittsburgh Pirates bench coach Jeff Bannister), the big news was a personnel move by the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were eliminated in the NLDS.

Looking for the extra push that was needed to get their team in World Series contention, the Dodgers turned to Tampa Bay Rays General Manager/Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman to be their new President of Baseball Operations.

Friedman, who had been in his position with the Rays for the past 8 years, is one of the best minds in baseball, to say the least. He has consistently been able to keep the Rays in playoff contention year-in and year-out despite a shoestring budget. The situation that he’ll be walking into is almost a polar opposite.

The Dodgers, who sport the highest payroll of any of the four major professional sports teams, offer much more freedom financially, which could be scary given Friedman’s eye for talent. The team’s heavy spending on any and every big name player that hits the market may have come to an end, but I expect their decisions to be much more wise with Friedman at the helm. What do you think of this move? Who do you think the best General Manager in baseball is?

Ishikawa Catapults The Giants To The World Series

You could find an example of it every week, but the phrase “You can’t predict baseball,” has never rang more true for the finale of Game 5 of the NLCS between the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals.

To give a bit of background, Travis Ishikawa, a natural first baseman, was playing left field for the Giants (a position he had never played prior to this year). Earlier in the game, he had misjudged a fly ball in the outfield, which allowed a run to score. Luckily for him, however, he would have a chance to rectify his mistake.

With Michael Wacha on the mound and two men on base, the 31-year old journeyman turned on a 2-0 pitch and drilled it over the wall in right field to send the Giants to their third World Series in 5 years. Fittingly, it was the first home run of his postseason career.

It’s great to see someone like Ishikawa, a player who has been up and down from the minor leagues throughout his career, make a play on a big stage like that. It’s certainly a moment that he, his family or Giants fans will never forget. What are some of your favorite examples of surprising players who make a big impact?

World Series Matchup Set

Coming into this season, the odds on the Giants facing off with the Kansas City Royals in the World Series were 38,000 to 1. Looking back, I wish I had thrown the entirety of my bank account at that one. The series is set, but the favorite is far from clear.

The Giants come into this one riding the high of the previously mentioned Ishikawa walk-off home run to close off the Cardinals. The pitching is certainly there, with Madison Bumgarner, Jake Peavy and Tim Hudson manning the rotation. The question is if they’ll have enough hitting, but that problem has not arisen at any point throughout these playoffs.

The Royals, on the other side of things, have all the momentum in the world coming into this matchup. They have not lost a game thus far throughout the postseason and they’ve also done that on the backs of some solid pitching performances, namely a lights out bullpen.

While this doesn’t feature any big name, high spending teams, this has the makings of one of the better World Series’ in recent memory. I wouldn’t bet on either of these teams given that it should be such a toss-up, but if I had to I think that I would lean towards the Royals in 6 or 7 games. Who’s your pick to win the World Series?

This Week’s MVP: Lorenzo Cain (.533/.588/.667, 1 RBI)

This Week’s Cy Young: Wade Davis (2-0, 0.00 ERA, 6 K)

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GirlieView (10/16/2014)

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

GirlieView Definitions

  • Lizzie = A funny, timely quote made on the VFTB site by our writers or commenters.
  • Lizard = The best Lizzie.
  • MVL = Most Valuable Lizzie’er: The person with the most Lizzies in the period under review (usually the past two weeks.)
  • Top 10 of the 2014 Offeason = The folks with the most aggregate Lizzie points YTD (1 point for every Lizzie, 3 points for every Lizard.)

As you already know, this is all completely subjective and according to my whims.

Lizzies

  • Drinks on me!
  • sweet………..crashed the top 25! Gives me something to aim for next year, the top 10
  • Congrats to Jswan on the season ending leading Lizzie board dude! Congrats to me for being second place ahead of Seymour’s butt, that’s one place you don’t want to be is behind Seymour’s butt.
  • Whew. Glad I’ve got Joe and Eddie between me and Seymour’s butt.
  • I am in a sad, sad state of affairs. I’m afraid to look up.
  • Well, I am glad Jedi slipped in right in front of me, because I would not want a Johnson behind me.
  • 7th not bad for a rook, even more impressive for a Dork
  • All those spreadsheets paid off, and your wife said you were waisting your time. Ha to her.
  • Good choice for the Lizard, even though I did not say it. The fact that it is true is what makes VFTB must read material (sorry saber geeks).
  • Greetings from Iowa. Somebody sold something we don’t really make, so off to this place to figure out how to make said something. I missed the corn, but saw some corn mazes from a few thousand feet. These guys and their corn.
  • Say hello to Kris Bryant.
  • Say hello to Chuck.
  • Don’t say hello to anyone (unless you want to lose an hour listening to a stranger’s life story).
  • Ortiz could be an interesting guy to have in the mix for a LHP reliever spot next season.
  • Interesting how? As a pitcher or does he know a lot of trivia which makes interesting conversation? Is Ortiz someone that Seymour would want to dine with at Subway? Ortiz is one step away from fantasy camp.
  • He is familiar with a few bands from his hometown.
  • Are new acquisitions in the bullpen automatically relegated to carrying the my little pony back pack of snacks, or does MLB time served count? This I find interesting about Ortiz.
  • I think time served counts. I can’t see a veteran carrying the pink back pack into the bullpen. What’s in the back pack could be interesting.
  • This is what I get for posting something and not checking back for a day.
  • I know little of his musical preferences and how they line up with Len Kasper’s.
  • Aw, and I was waiting on Jswan’s discussion on what could possibly be in the bullpen backpack.
  • Seeds, gum, and one of Darwin Barney’s old purses.
  • Who is Darwin Barney? Will he be paying to attend Randy’s camp this January?
  • The Cardinals are cock a roches.
  • I’m guessing we’re all Giants fans today…we should get some shirts made up.
  • I am hoping the Giants every other year thing continues.
  • I am rooting for a Giants vs Royals WS, I really like the way the Royals play the game. The Royals play an exciting brand of baseball, I find Royals baseball very interesting.
  • Good thing there’s football tonight or I’d really have to do something weird like talk to my girlfriend or something.
  • Spin her tall tales of doctors who eat sandwiches and docs who sell Ray Bans.
  • What does Dick Allen, Dom DiMaggio, Reggie Jackson, Darrell Porter, Chris Sabo, Kyle Farnsworth and “Deacon” Danny MacFayden all have in common?
  • They are all has beens?
  • They all had better eyes than Dale Scott?
  • They all once killed a man just to watch him die?
  • The metric for this is the: Big Hits for Non Studs- BHNS- the average BHNS is calculated on a per game basis. The BHNS regular season median for 2014 was 1.8. The Royals are running a 3.2 BHNS in the playoffs. The Cubs had a 0.7 BHNS the first half of 2014 and a 1.4 BHNS the second half of 2014.
  • so what you are saying is that the Royals in the playoffs have nice BHNS
  • So Adam is Done?
  • If you talk to Sox fans he was actually done a few years back.
  • Maybe we’ll get lucky and Edwin Jackson will retire.

Lizard

  • Did you hear Joe got DFA’d? They said they weren’t getting enough production out of him.

Shout Outs

  • It’s the first offseason Lizzie for everyone who got a Lizzie this time. Shout outs to all!!!!

MVL

  • Congratulations to Doc Raker, our Most Valuable Lizzie-er this time! Way to go Doc!

Top 10 of the 2014 Offseason (one point for each Lizzie, three points for the Lizard)

1. Doc Raker
2. Eddie Von White
3. Jerry in Wisconsin
3. jswanson
5. Seymour Butts
6. Noah Eisner
7. Dork
7. Doug S.
8. Jedi
8. SBardo
8. SouthKakalakiCubsFan

Chit Chat

  • What will you do for entertainment once the World Series is over? Football? Hockey? Talk to your girlfriend? ;-)
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The Post-Season Concoction

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

If you were constructing a playoff team what would your recipe look like?  Would you litter the starting lineup with OBP and power?  Would you stock up on a stable full of studs for your rotation?  How about the bullpen, is good enough actually enough? What about fielding and baserunning, are these critical to the post-season equation?  Do managers matter…ever?

As October baseball once again washes over me, and as a fan of a developing Cubs team, I am left wondering what it takes to not only make it to October baseball, but what does a team need to advance through the bonus month?

After watching the Tigers, Dodgers, and Angels get eaten alive in the opening round I began to wonder, what did the Orioles, Royals and Giants have that those teams did not?

My hunch throughout the playoffs was that the Royals success lies somewhere in there fielding and pitching.  Sure enough, a quick look at Fangraphs and you will see that the Orioles and Royals both place in the top third in most defensive categories.  They are not far off that mark where pitching is concerned either.  Meanwhile, the Tigers for instance, have a dominant starting staff and massive offensive numbers, but a bullpen that probably would have trouble getting out of an inning with the Mudhens.  Let’s not even start with their defensive liabilities that litter the diamond.  There weaknesses showed up tenfold the second the competition heated up.

All this being said, what about the Royals, Orioles, Giants and Cardinals?  Surely their weaknesses will haunt them? One thing I found prominent in each teams success is that sixth tool…..luck.  Okay, call it timing, clutch, mojo, whatever floats your boat, it’s all the same.  The Royals are defying the regular season stats and have found some offense in the post-season.  All of the sudden Mike Moustakas. who was sent down for a spell at the start of the season, is Mr. October.  Couple that with the surging Eric Hosmer, who hit well in the regular season but not .400 well, and you have the makings of a magic run.

The playoffs have a way of sorting out those weaknesses and showing them in full light at the most inopportune times.  My bet is the Royals real offense shows up.  My bet is, if they grab this third game from the Orioles, those weaknesses will prevail in the World Series.  Those hitting stats from the regular season are bound turn their ugly head, or at least come down from their otherworldy perch and make winning a much more difficult task.

But I digress, I wanted to know what you thought was the right mix for a post-season birth and then a run.  What makes the Cardinals, the Cardinals? (I can’t wait to see these comments) What makes the Giants appear so beatable in the regular season and then turn them into a juggernaut in the post-season?  Where did the powerhouse Dodgers fall short? What’s your post-season concoction?

During this post-season, when I start to think the Cubs are getting close, I look at these teams and compare.  Depending on the team I compare them too, they can look real far away from the ultimate goal…or really close.

 

 

 

 

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Royals Keep Rolling, Big Name Retires and More!

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Wow! What a week of baseball. For those that say, “baseball is boring” I would instruct you to watch any game from this postseason and see if that argument holds up. We’re in the middle of LCS’s, but let’s take a look at the past week.

Royals Take Commanding Lead

After missing out on the postseason for nearly three consecutive decades, the Kansas City Royals are sure making up for lost time. They won their play-in game against the Oakland Athletics and followed that up with a sweep over the Los Angeles Angels (who were the top American League team this year).

There success has carried on into the ALCS, where they’ve taken a commanding 2-0 lead over the Baltimore Orioles. This feat is impressive on it’s own, but what makes it even more surprising is that both games were in Baltimore. They’ll head home on Monday where they hope to finish off the series and be on their way to the World Series.

This team has really come out of nowhere to be a playoff force and their reliance on small-ball is a throwback of sorts. They’re never going to outslug you (aside from Game 2 of the ALCS), but they have an endless amount of speed as a team, their starters are solid and their bullpen has been lights out throughout the entire season (Wade Davis and Greg Holland, especially).

The whole country (aside from Baltimore, San Francisco and St. Louis) appears to be rooting for these underdog Royals. With their scrappy style of play and prior playoff drought, I can definitely see why. I doubted their ability going into the playoffs, but it’s clear that this team has a very good chance of going all the way. Are you rooting for the Royals currently? If not, which team are you supporting (if any)?

Bumgarner Blanks Cards 

If the country wasn’t aware of who Madison Bumgarner was prior to the playoffs, they are now. The 25-year old has been under the radar for a majority of his career, as many haven’t noticed that he took the reigns as the ace of the Giants as opposed to Matt Cain, but this postseason has changed that.

He was shaky as a 23-year old in the 2012 postseason (other than a phenomenal start over the Detroit Tigers in the World Series), but he’s turned that around in a big way this year. After blanking the Pittsburgh Pirates over 9 innings in the one game play-in, Bumgarner stepped up against the red-hot Cardinals and silenced their bats over 7.2 innings, which sent his name into the record books.

With his playoff dominance, Bumgarner has set the record for most consecutive postseason shutout innings on the road with 24, which dates all the way back to the 2010 playoffs. He’s been impressive all season long, but it feels as if he’s pitching his best when it matters most.

We’ve seen many players collapse under the pressure of the postseason, but its clear Bumgarner is not one of those guys. Every time he steps on the mound you know you’re in for a performance and I can’t wait until the next time he’s on the rubber. Has he been the best pitcher from this postseason? Historically, what’s the best pitching performance over the course of a postseason that you can remember?

Beckett, Dempster Call It A Career

The retirements in baseball keep mounting. We knew at the start of the season that this was Derek Jeter and Paul Konerko’s last season, but we’ve had Adam Dunn surprisingly announce that he was finished and just this week we added another two names to that list.

First was Ryan Dempster, who decided to hang up the cleats after sitting out all of this season. He was owed $13.25 million from the Boston Red Sox, but he had nagging health issues that he didn’t want to, or couldn’t, play through. He spent his time as an analyst with MLB Network, so he won’t be far from the game.

Josh Beckett, another former Red Sox player, turned a few heads with his decision to call it quits, too. He had thrown a no-hitter this past season and was still capable of quality starts, but at 34 he had had enough. He retired with 138 wins over 14 years and has 2 championship rings to his name.

With the season a few weeks from coming to a close (I don’t want to think about it, either), we’ll probably see even more retirement announcements. For the sake of entertainment, let’s hope 43-year old Jason Giambi is not one of those names. Are there any other players you could see retiring at the end of this season?

This Week’s MVP: Lorenzo Cain (.750/.800/1.000, 1 RBI, 1 SB)

This Week’s Cy Young: Madison Bumgarner (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 7 K)

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