Posts Tagged ‘Joe Maddon’

Okay, I am a day late but wasn’t a dollar short for parking on my commute this weekend. I was really hoping that by this weekend we would have the contracts/signings for Harper and Machado. But noooo!
My prediction is that he will go or stay in DC. Under Armour is headquartered there. I don’t think any team is going to match the supposed 10 year $300 million offer and if they get close, I’m positive the Nationals will counter to keep him. I know, I know but he’s posted on Instagram once a picture of he and Kris Bryant with #backtoback or what about the picture with him wearing a Chicago Bulls hat. He’s not coming to Chicago. I of course would like to see it just like everyone else here but it’s not happening. Tom Ricketts, despite the cancellation of the owners panel at the Cubs Convention shut down that topic as well as Joe Maddon. Cubs fans I ask, who gets left off this roster to make room for Harper? There’s a thousand different scenarios but he’s still not coming here. The one thing I found most interesting is the lack of positioning on behalf of the Scott Boras agency this year as opposed to last years off season. There has not been reports of Boras handing out a 75 page document on why you should sign Harper. The one team aside from the Nationals to be in position to sign Harper, the Dodgers. They opened up right field with the trade that sent Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig to the Reds.
For me personally, his performance in the postseason was a real turnoff. What i saw was a guy swinging for his next contract and not looking at winning a World Series. Of course, I don’t know him, so I could be wrong. He obviously not going back to Baltimore and with the Dodgers already having their short stop, he’s not going there either. With all the buzz surrounding him and what information we have, I think it is narrowed down to the White Sox and the Phillies. I am not a fan of a Mystery Team because every team should be looking at themselves and trying to figure how he works in their system. I would be surprised if a Florida team signed him, but that’s a whole other topic. The Phillies have come out and said they are willing to spend “stupid money.” Which would make it really interesting if in the next two weeks they signed Harper then Machado. They have a relatively young staff and after last year, they look like they are ready for a post season run over the next few seasons. The White Sox are almost their mirror image on the AL side with the hitting being a little subpar. For either team, I think 7 years would be ideal, but then again I don’t think a 10 year contract makes much sense. Options could be added to the end of the 7 years that are incentive based and of course you’ll have to have at minimum one opt out. With the financial position both teams are in, i can see them front loading as much of his contract as possible, especially in this upcoming season, to the tune of minimum $35 million because entering the 2021 season is when both teams will have to re-evaluate team and their contracts going forward. This would also make it slightly easier toward the end of the contract to be able to move him if necessary.
What do I know though, maybe the Tampa Bay Rays will sign Machado and the Miami Marlins will sign Harper.

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The Chicago Cubs offense got going last night and they cruised to a 9-3 victory in Game 6 of the World Series. The Cubs victory sets up a one game playoff for it all. It’s game 7 tonight in Cleveland.

Kris Bryant got the Cubs offense going in the top of the 1st as he hit a solo home run with 2 outs. Back to back singles by Anthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist brought up Addison Russell with two on and two out. Russell hit a fly ball to right centerfield that looked like it would be the third out of the inning. Indians rightfielder Lonnie Chisenhall and centerfield Tyler Naquin had a miscommunication and the ball fell in for a double. Rizzo scored easily and it took a tough slide by Zobrist into Indians catcher Roberto Perez insured he’d score. Going to the mound with w 3-run lead helped Jake Arrieta relax and he struck out 4 Indians in the first two innings. With one swing of the bat in the top of the 3rd inning the Cubs blew the game open. Kyle Schwarber drew a walk and then after the first out was made Rizzo and Zobrist out together back to back singles again. That brought up Russell with the bases loaded. Russell hit a grand slam to centerfield to give the Cubs a 7-0 lead. The Indians had their best scoring chance in the bottom of the 4th inning. Jason Kipnis doubled and then after a strikeout of Francisco Lindor,  Mike Napoli singled to center to bring Kipnis home. A hit batsmen and a walk loaded the bases for Cleveland, but another strikeout by Arrieta ended the threat with just 1 run being scored. Kipnis struck again as he hit a solo home run in the botton of the 5th to make it a 7-2 game. A walk to Chisenhall started the panic by Cubs manager Joe Maddon as Arrieta was removed for Mike Montgomery who got out of the inning. Montgomery hit a rough spot in the bottom of the 7th inning and with runners on 1st and 2nd with two outs he was removed for Aroldis Chapman. While Chapman got out of the inning it was another panic move by Maddon to use your closer with a 5-run lead. After building a lead the Cubs bats had kind of went silent against the Indians bullpen until the top of the 9th. After two outs Bryant singled. Rizzo came up next and hit a 2-run home run to rightfield to out the game away for the Cubs. For some unknown reason Chapman actually cane out to start the 9th inning. After walking the lead off man Chapman was finally taken out of the game. Pedro Strop came in and got the first guy he faced to fly out. The Strop threw a wild pitch and then gave up a single and a run scored. Jason Heyward made an almost perfect throw to 2nd base to nail Perez who was trying to stretch his hit into a double. After a walk Strop was pulled and Travis Wood came into the game to get the hot hitting Kipnis to foul out to short to end the game.

The Cubs out up 13 hits in the game with the 3 though 6 spots in the order getting 11 of them. Bryant was 4 for 5, Rizzo was 3 for 5, Zobrist was 2 for 4 and Russell was 2 for 5 with 6 RBI’s. Schwarber and Javier Baez had the Cubs other two hits. Rizzo drove in 2 with his home run and it was Bryant who had the Cubs other RBI.

The Indians had 6 hits in the game and Kipnis had 3 of them. Mike Napoli, Jose Ramirez and Perez each had one hit for Cleveland. Kipnis along with Napoli and Perez each had an RBI for Cleveland.

Arrieta went 5 2/3rd innings to get the win. He gave up 2 runs in 3 hits while walking 3 and striking out 9. Montgomery worked an inning giving up a hit and a walk. Chapman pitched 1 1/3rd innings giving up a run, a hit, a walk while getting one strikeout. Strop worked 2/3rd of an inning giving up a hit and a walk. Then Wood pitched the final 1/3rd of an inning.

Josh Tomlin lasted just 2 1/3rd innings giving up 6 runs on 6 hits while walking 1 batter. Dan Otero was the fist of five relievers used by the Indians. He pitched 2/3rd of an inning giving up a run on a hit. Danny Salazar pitched 2 innings giving up a hit and striking out 4. Jeff Manship went 2/3rd of an inning and allowed 1 hit and recorded a strikeout. Zach McAllister pitched 1 1/3rd innings giving up 2 hits. Mike Clevenger worked the final 2 innings for Cleveland and gave up 2 runs on 2 hits while walking 2 and striking out 1.

So we’re headed to a Game 7 with Kyle Hendricks making the start for the Cubs and Corey Kluber coming back a 3 days rest again for Cleveland. Hendricks went 4 1/3rd innings in his only World Series start. He gave up 6 hits walked 2 and struck out 6 while not giving up a run. Kluber is 2-0 in his 2 World Series starts covering 12 innings. Kluber has giving up 9 hits, 1 unearned run, 1 walk and has struck out 15 batters. It’s a good pitching match up for a Game 7.

There will be a lot of questions for Game 7. How much does Kluber have left? How quickly will Maddon panic (again) and pull Hendricks? Will the Cubs offense show up against Kluber? Will someone else besides Kipnis for Cleveland? We didn’t see Bryan Shaw, Cody Allen or Andrew Miller in Game 6; so they’ve had some extra rest and I’m sure they’ll all make a Game 7 appearance. Who in the Cubs bullpen does Maddon trust? Terry Francona has completely out managed Maddon in this World Series and will see if this will cost the Cubs. The Cubs are the better team, but Francona has made the moves to keep his team in the series with a chance to win. Maddon is running scared and making panic moves right and left. This is an advantage for Cleveland, but the Cubs have better talent and should win out.

So who do you have getting the win tonight? The Cleveland Indians or the Chicago Cubs?

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Managers, Managing

Posted: October 1, 2015 by Sports Time Radio in baseball
Tags: , , , ,

How many wins does a good manager get his baseball team through a 162 game season? Now if you have a bad or sub-par manager you can see moves he makes that cost your favorite team games during a season. I bet we could find a few Washington Nationals fans who could point out where a Matt Williams move lost a game for the team. So what quantifies a manager getting a win for his team. Sending up the right pinch hitter? Using the right relief pitcher? Or is it just something as simple as running the correct everyday line up out there for games? Now if any of these moves was messed up by a manager it could easily cost his team a game, but does doing them right count as that manager getting a win for his team. I’ve heard different debates about this and it seems to be that a good manager gets his team 5-7 wins a game and then in reverse a poor manager will lose his team 5-7 games a season. Now I’m fine with that number and I’m sure somewhere down the line there will be a saber-metric way to figure this out. While I haven’t had an issue with trying to decide how a manager wins a game for his team; what I am having an issue with is new managers getting quite a bit of praise for a teams improvement from one season to the next.

The Houston Astros and the Chicago Cubs are two of the most improved teams from last season to this season and they both changed managers before the 2015 season. In 2014 the Astros finished 70-92 and went 59-79 before firing manager Bo Porter. Tom Lawless finished the season as manager and went 11-13. A.J. Hinch was hired as manager in the off season and the Astros are 84-75 right now and have a chance at the AL West title or possibly  getting a wild card spot. The Cubs where managed by Rick Renteria in 2014 and went 73-89. Renteria was let go by the Cubs when Joe Maddon became available and the Cubs are 93-65 right now and have clinched a National League wild card spot. My take is since neither Hinch or Maddon had anything to do with the 2014 versions of their teams they don’t get any credit for the teams improvement from year to year unless they where managing the season before. Neither Hinch or Maddon where with the team when free agents where signed or when trades where made. Now they should get all the credit in the world for how the team is playing right now, but the improvement from 2014 doesn’t go on their resume. Since I get all the Cubs news I can handle living in the Chicago suburbs let’s work with them and see how this works out.

In 2014 Wellington Castillo appeared in 110 games for the Cubs and was there #1 catcher. Castillo hit .237 with 13 home runs and 46 RBI’s. For the 2015 season the Cubs sent  Jeferson Mejia and Zack Godley to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Miguel Montero. Montero is hitting .248 with 15 home runs and 53 RBI’s in 111 games. there stats look pretty even, but Montero was brought in for his defense and pitch framing.  Castillo threw out 33% of runners trying to steal in 2014 while Monteo has thrown out 21% of runners trying to steal this season. This position looks pretty even from 2014 to 2015. In both 2014 and 2015 Anthony Rizzo was the Cubs 1st baseman. In 140 games Rizzo hit .289 with 32 home runs and 78 RBI’s. This season Rizzo is hitting .278 with 30 home runs and 95 RBI’s in 156 games. Rizzo has doubled his Hit By Pitch numbers this season; 15 in 2014 to 30 this season. Now Rizzo’s numbers are very similar from this season to last, but he wasn’t considered an MVP candidate in 2014. Now in 2014 Darwin Barney held down the 2nd base position until Javier Baez was brought up. Barney is a gold glove player, but hit .230 with 2 home runs and 16 RBI’s over 72 games. Baez played 52 games in 2014 and hit .169 with 9 home runs, 20 RBI’s and struck out 95 times. Starling Castro has been moved to 2nd base this season and seems to have established himself as the starter there. He played a total of 147 games hitting .269 with 11 home runs and 68 RBI’s. Now in 2014 Castro was the starting shortstop. Castro hit .292 with 14 home runs and 65 RBI’s, but also committed 15 errors in 133 games. Addison Russell has taken over at shortstop in 2015 after being the starting 2nd baseman in the beginning of the season. Russell is hitting .241 with 13 home runs and 53 RBI’s spending most of the season as the 9th place hitter. Russell has made 12 errors on the season. Baez has played in 24 games as September call up hitting .286 with 1 home run and 4 RBI’s and has struck out 20 times. In 2014 Luis Valbuena was the Cubs everyday 3rd baseman. Valbuena hit .249 with 16 home runs in 51 RBI’s in 149 games. Kris Bryant is the 3rd baseman for the 2015 season and has hit .279 with 26 home runs and 99 RBI’s in 148 total games this season. In 2014 the outfield was a combination of Chris Coghlan who played in 125 games; hit .283 with 9 home runs and 41 RBI’s.  Arismendy Alcantara hit .205 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI’s in 70 games. Nate Schierholtz appeared in 99 games hitting .192 with 6 home runs and 33 RBI’s while Junior Lake played in 108 games hitting .211 with 9 home runs and 25 RBI’s. The 2015 outfield is a little different. Coghlan is still in it hitting .246 with 16 home runs and 46 RBI’s in 144 total games. Dexter Fowler has played in 153 games and is hitting .248 with 17 home runs and 45 RBI’s. Jorge Soler is hitting .262 with 10 home runs and 47 RBI’s in 100 games and Kyle Schwarber has added a .247 average with 16 home runs and 43 RBI’s over 66 games mot of them as an outfielder. Offensively the team is close in some categories, but the outfield is much better in 2015 than 2014.

Here’s the 2014 starting rotation. Travis Wood 31 starts 8-13 with an ERAof 5.03. Edwin Jackson 27 starts 6-15 with an ERA of 6.33. Jake Arrieta 25 starts 10-5 with an ERA  of 2.53. Kyle Hendricks 13 starts 7-2 with an ERA of 2.46 and Tsuyoshi Wada 13 starts 4-4 with an ERA of 3.25. Remember Jason Hammel and  Jeff Samardzija were traded during the 2014 season. The 2015 starting rotation looks like this. Jon Lester 32 starts 11-12 with an ERA of 3.34. Arrieta has made 32 starts and is 21-6 wit an ERA of 1.82. Hendricks has made 31 starts is 7-7 with an ERA of 4.09. Hammel was resigned in the off season and has made 30 starts and is 9-7 with an ERA of 3.86. Dam Haren was traded for to fill the 5th starter spot for the team and in his 10 starts is 3-2 with an ERA of 4.30. Which rotation would you like to have?

The 3 main bullpen arms in 2014 where Pedro Strop who pitched in 65 games and had an ERA of 2.21 with 2 saves. Justin Grimm made 73 appearances and had an ERA of 3.78 and was 5-2. Hector Rondon took over as closer and pitched in 64 games saving 29 and posting an ERA of 2.42. In 2015 Strop has pitched in 74 games and has an ERA of 3.00 and 3 saves. Grimm has pitched in 60 games and has an ERA of 2.08 and has 3 saves. Jason Motte took over the closer role for a while and saved 6. He has an ERA of 3.91; he also has a 8-1 record in 57 games, but is currently on the disabled list. Rondon is still the main closer on the team and has pitched in 70 games picking up 28 saves and has an ERA of 1.72.

I’m going to say this one more time. I have no issues with a new manager getting credit for how his team is doing on the field that season, but it’s when they start to give him credit for the great improvement the team is having from the season before. As you can tell by what I wrote there are different players brought in both rookies and free agents. Players improve or decline from season to season and it’s really the front office that should be getting credit if a team makes a marked improvement from one season to the next when a new manager is hired. As always though it could just be me!

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11-12-14

Schaumburg Stu and Dan the Man tied for the best record in Week 10 of our picks at 10-3. Mr. Fantasy was a game behind at 9-4 while I finished last for the week at 8-5. For the season I have the lead at 94-51-1, Schaumburg Stu is two games back at 92-53-1, Dan the Man and Mr. Fantasy are four games off the lead at 90-55-1. We’ll see what Week 11 brings.

For Week 10 Mr. Fantasy and Greg both went with the same quarterback; Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers and it worked out for them as Rodgers was the highest scoring quarterback of the week. At running back Mr. Fantasy went with Matt Forte of the Chicago Bears while Greg chose Andre Ellington of the Arizona Cardinals. Forte finished 17th among running backs with 15.85 points while Ellington scored 18.45 points and finished 13th among running backs for the week. At wide receiver Mr. Fantasy picked Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Brown scored 10.79 points and was 33rd among wide receivers for the week. Greg;s wide receiver pick was Demaryius Thomas of the Denver Broncos. Thomas scored 19.30 points and finished 14th among receivers for the week. At tight end Mr. Fantasy took Julius Thomas pf the Denver Broncos while Greg went with Jimmy Graham of the New Orleans Saints. Thomas finished 2nd at 24.05 points while Graham finished 1st with 27.10 points for the week; so they nailed the top two tight ends for Week 10. For kickers this week Mr. Fantasy picked Cody Parkey of the Philadelphia eagles while Greg went with Justin Tucker of the Baltimore Ravens. Parkey scored 9.75 points and finished 9th among kickers while Tucker scored 3 points and finished tied for 21st for the week. I what I thought was a bit f a surprise both Mr. Fantasy and Greg picked tight ends for their sleeper picks. Mr. Fantasy went with Chicago Bears tight end Dante Rosario who had 1 catch for 3 yards and scored 1.05 points in Week 10. Greg picked Seattle Seahawks tight end Luke Wilson. Wilson injured his ankle in the 2nd quarter of the Seahawks game Sunday. Wilson didn’t have any catches before he was hurt and scored 0 points for the week. It looks like it was another close week between these two, but I think Week 10 goes to Greg. I use the scoring system from our Yahoo league titled Next Year is Here 13.

On the Sports Time Radio podcast you might have heard us talk about our different fantasy football teams and leagues. We have the league above that I mentioned and then we have a Sports Time Radio named league that was done with an auction draft format. Mr. Fantasy and I have what we describe as a money league team with some of his friends. In this league the player who owns Adrian Peterson was looking to trade him. The deal that was kicked around was T.Y. Hilton the wide receiver from the Indianapolis Colts for Peterson straight up. The Peterson owner actually told us he could get a lot better player than Hilton for Peterson. As I look at the league scoring totals for the season Hilton sits 6th among wide receivers. Here are the players in front of him 1 through 5. Demaryius Thomas, Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, Calvin Johnson and Jordy Nelson. So he’s going to get a better wide receiver than Hilton; interesting. Would you give up any of these wide receivers for Peterson?

Sunday in Homestead Florida after the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway NASCAR will crown a 1st time champion. Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman will have a 400 mile shoot out for the Sprint Cup championship. Which ever driver has the best finish wins the title. I don’t know if there’s a favorite among these drivers. Newman hasn’t won a race all season, but with solid finishes and let’s call it moving Kyle Larson out of his way last weekend he finds himself with a chance to win it all. Harvick maybe the driver on the best roll going into this race, but Logano has been strong all season. Hamlin may be a bit of a wild card in the race. It will be interesting to see how aggressive these drivers will be early in the race and it would be great if they where all in the Top 10 with about 5 laps to go. Did you like the new format for The Chase this season?

It looks like Major League Baseball is going to investigate the Chicago Cubs hiring of Joe Maddon. There had been rumors and reports that the Tampa Bay Rays thought that the Cubs had spoken with Maddon and that’s why he opted out of his contract with the Rays. The Cubs insist everything was by the book — that they even checked with the Commissioner’s Office before contacting Maddon — but the Rays weren’t so sure, and MLB at the very least is giving the complaint due diligence. It’s hard to blame the Cubs for jumping at the chance to land Maddon — he’s the type of manager who could not only bring a new personality to a team, but energize a fan base too. The question is whether the Cubs were a little too eager to secure Maddon. We know, for example, they had no problem doing Rick Renteria dirty. If it is proven that the Cubs tampered with Maddon Tampa Bay could receive compensation. That compensation could come in the form of players, draft picks or money. Also if Cubs officials lied to MLB investigators there could be some type of suspensions involved. This will be a very difficult charge to prove; so don’t be surprised at all if nothing comes from this, but MLB has to look into it.

Did you have the New York Mets signing the first free agent? They agreed to a two-year contract with outfielder Michael Cuddyer. The 35-year-old is a two-time All-Star and was the NL batting champion in 2013 with the Colorado Rockies. Cuddyer hit .332 with 10 home runs and 31 RBIs (Runs Batted In) this year in a season interrupted by injuries. He was limited to 49 games and was on the disabled list three times because of a strained left shoulder and a strained left hamstring. Cuddyer signs a two-year, $21 million deal and with this signing the Mets lose their 1st round draft pick this June which was #15 overall.

You can find Sports Time Radio on BlogTalk Radio and you can find me on Twitter @Burketime.