Speed Round

Some quick takes on recent baseball news...

- I like Jonah Keri's take on the Marlins/Blue Jays trade in his appropriately titled piece, "There's Shrewd, There's Genius, Then There's Marlins Owner Jeffrey Loria". After all the hand ringing and righteous indignation, the Marlins made some good baseball trades and unloaded a bunch of bad contracts. And baseball needs its villains and I'm sure Loria is fine with being one.

Thing is, the Marlins weren't going to win with the players they had, at least not for the foreseeable future. Last offseason, they signed Reyes, Buehrle, and Heath Bell while narrowly whiffing on Albert Pujols, breaking the bank in an attempt to build an exciting, winning team as they moved into a new ballpark. After all that, they won 69 games, finishing second to last in the National League in runs scored while allowing more runs than all but four other NL clubs. Free agents tend to produce their best results early in long-term deals, while they're still at or near their prime, then fall off in later years. The Marlins got productive Year 1 performances from Reyes and Buehrle, bundled them with a talented but hugely injury-prone pitcher in Johnson plus a couple of fungible veterans, and cashed them in for some intriguing prospects, plus the GDP of a Pacific island nation in salary relief.

Better to realize your mistakes and move on quickly then compound them. Stadium financing and local politics are their own issue. The Blue Jays did alright, they certainly acquired some talent and will pay dearly in Canadian dollars for it. If Josh Johnson is healthy and pitching like Josh Johnson and if Jose Reyes doesn't blow out his legs on the turf, they'll certainly be right in the mix with the rest of the talented A.L. East.

- The Tigers signed Torii Hunter for 2/$26M today. He'll probably have his pick of left or right field with the departure of Delmon Young. The Tigers are in the position of win it now, so a short deal for a 37-year old isn't all that foolish and Hunter's value seems to extend to the clubhouse. Of course, last year was the first time he topped .300 in his career and safe money would be on a steep decline soon to come. To pile on, Pete Abraham had an interesting tweet.

Hunter last season: .817 OPS, 16 homers, 92 RBIs. Cody Ross last season: .807 OPS, 22 homers, 81 RBIs. 5 years younger, too

- This year's "Managers of the Teams We Completely Undersold in the Pre-Season" were awarded to Davey Johnson and Bob Melvin. I have no comment other than it's still the dumbest award out there. There is absolutely no criteria beyond there teams were expected to suck and they did not suck, so it must be the manager.

- Back to the Marlins, saw some folks chirping about Cubs making a call for Ricky Nolasco while the Marlins are in payroll dump mode (he's owed $11.5M for 2013). Here's a reminder of his ERA+ starting from 2006: 90, 81, 124, 85, 92, 84, 88. Let's never speak of it again.

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  • been like that everytime I've been there too including Jack Murphy/Qualcomm Stadium. Cubs travel well. It was pretty loud for Angels/Cubs this year and decent for Dodgers/Cubs but Dodger fans definitely turn out better than the Padre fans.

    Rob G. 1 hour 28 min ago view
  • When I went in the 2007-2008 range, it was at least 75% Cubs fans.

    blockhead25 1 hour 41 min ago view
  • Jeff Sullivan on Kris Bryant's lack of clutch hitting in 2016. Very good stuff, unsatisfying conclusion (it's probably random).

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-one-problem-wit...

    John Beasley 1 hour 42 min ago view
  • I was at Tuesday's game in San Diego. It looked like half of Chicago was at Petco. We were much louder than Padres fans.

    BobbyD 1 hour 43 min ago view
  • We may have a chance to catch one in October. Although hell, I couldn't deal with my co-workers if we lose to them.

    blockhead25 2 hours 2 min ago view
  • think I have to miss this series too (also was at the Arrieta game last year). But in my case, just had a busy weekend with work and kids have a bunch of activities and we made it to Opening Day in Anaheim and a couple of games in Wrigley this year which we normally don't get too...so not feeling like I'm missing out this year.

    Rob G. 2 hours 15 min ago view
  • they're awful

    Rob G. 2 hours 17 min ago view
  • I hope the Cubs play three good teams.

    Jackstraw 2 hours 19 min ago view
  • First year I'm not going to a Cubs/Dodgers game in a long time. 4 month old baby kinda changes plans around. But the no-hitter I was at last year can last in the memory banks for awhile.

    I think Dodger Dogs are awful. I love hot dogs, but those are crap.

    blockhead25 2 hours 55 min ago view
  • ayyyy...get a doyer dog, then.

    crunch 3 hours 14 min ago view
  • I'm going to be at this one! Am told a Dodger Dog is just a long hot dog. Disappointing.

    Charlie 3 hours 16 min ago view
  • If my math is correct, if the Cubs play .500 baseball for the rest of the season, they will finish with 99 wins. I only just confirmed through Baseball Reference that 97 wins last year (and 2008) were the most Cubs wins in my lifetime. I think that last year while Arrieta was pitching better than Cy F. Young I didn't really get or appreciate what he was doing. I'm trying to try to grasp in the moment just how fucking remarkable this season is.

    Jackstraw 4 hours 9 min ago view
  • This is awesome.

    https://twitter.com/JeffNuich/status/769227069788131329

    (CSN Chicago will air Vin Scully's call of the Sunday Cubs vs. Dodgers game...well for an inning at least)

     

    Rob G. 5 hours 8 min ago view
  • I figured this was going to be the most meaningless regular season in Cubs history...and it is pretty much on point, although I certainly didn't think we'd have close to a 14 game lead.

    But, one bad hop in game 1 in October could change absolutely everything we will remember about this year.

    blockhead25 5 hours 45 min ago view
  • oh he's great, there's like 10 great pitchers in the NL right now that can flat out dominate though. Picking #2 (behind Kershaw) doesn't matter much to me right now. Much like whom the Cubs will play in the playoffs won't matter much, they're gonna be good teams.

    Rob G. 5 hours 58 min ago view
  • The Cubs great pitching has a lot more to do with their great defense this year and plenty of good luck  (#1 in ERA, #4 in FIP behind Nats, Mets and Dodgers with a rather ridiculous .258 BABIP against Cubs' pitchers).

    Cubs pitchers do strike out more hitters than Giants pitchers and do walk more hitters than Giants pitchers so that's a few more balls in play. Cubs' pitchers actually have a higher groundball rate though. Crawford is just really good and baseball happens.

    Rob G. 6 hours 54 sec ago view