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2021 Postseason Discussion and Game Thread


cHawk
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ALCS/NLCS Results Poll  

4 members have voted

  1. 1. Who’s going to the World Series? Check 2.

    • Red Sox
      1
    • Astros
      3
    • Dodgers
      4
    • Braves
      1


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Who wins tonight’s NL Wild Card Game? Will it be the Cardinals or the Dodgers?

React with “Sad” for Cardinals and “Incorrect” for Dodgers

SPs: Adam Wainwright (Cardinals) vs. Max Scherzer (Dodgers)
O/U: 7.5
Venue: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles

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In the AL, the Rays are the only team I don't actively hate so I guess they're my choice. I'm kind of over that franchise though, as they just abuse the revenue sharing system while crying poor the entire time. It's tiresome.

The NL is more interesting to me. I'm leaning heavily toward Milwaukee but I'm also enjoying the Giants because how the hell did that even happen. Even though they're a large market team, they're the kind of story that makes baseball fun over 162 games. They had no business winning that many games but they did and it was legit. They played their way well over 100 wins and it wasn't a run scoring or sequencing mirage.

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2 hours ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

In the AL, the Rays are the only team I don't actively hate so I guess they're my choice. I'm kind of over that franchise though, as they just abuse the revenue sharing system while crying poor the entire time. It's tiresome.

My younger son was an early adopter of the Rays, 10 or 15 years ago I guess.  So I was surprised when talking with him the other night that he was actively rooting against them now.  I asked why, and he stated it along the lines you did except perhaps more strongly, that they're like a union busting company in the way they discard anyone starting to make some money.  Hadn't quite looked at it that way before.

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27 minutes ago, ashbury said:

My younger son was an early adopter of the Rays, 10 or 15 years ago I guess.  So I was surprised when talking with him the other night that he was actively rooting against them now.  I asked why, and he stated it along the lines you did except perhaps more strongly, that they're like a union busting company in the way they discard anyone starting to make some money.  Hadn't quite looked at it that way before.

I've been a pretty big advocate for the Rays for about a decade, I'd say*. It's been a long time. I only recently came to the same conclusion. Not really sure why it took me this long, frankly. What pushed me over the edge was reading somewhere that their entire payroll was roughly what they received in MLB money in a given season.

*While I was impressed with the Rays long ago, I thought they were sunk after Friedman left for LA, I didn't think they'd be able to do it again with new execs and coaches

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2 hours ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

In the AL, the Rays are the only team I don't actively hate so I guess they're my choice. I'm kind of over that franchise though, as they just abuse the revenue sharing system while crying poor the entire time. It's tiresome.

Does that describe the pre-Target Field Twins pretty well too?

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6 minutes ago, Otto von Ballpark said:

Does that describe the pre-Target Field Twins pretty well too?

The Metrodome Twins were infinitely better at keeping their good players, they did it multiple times. There are plenty of very good players who, when the casual fan pictures them, it's in a Twins uniform: Radke, Hunter, Santana, Cuddyer, Morneau, Nathan, Mauer, et al. All of them were kept at least one season beyond free agency before Target Field opened.

When I think of the Rays, the only two players I really think of as "Rays players" are Longoria and Kiermaier. And the Rays traded Longoria at 31 years old because he made too much money.

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15 minutes ago, ashbury said:

My younger son was an early adopter of the Rays, 10 or 15 years ago I guess.  So I was surprised when talking with him the other night that he was actively rooting against them now.  I asked why, and he stated it along the lines you did except perhaps more strongly, that they're like a union busting company in the way they discard anyone starting to make some money.  Hadn't quite looked at it that way before.

So he'd be a bigger supporter of the Rays now if they had declined to trade guys like Snell, Archer, Garza, and Huff?

I always thought the A's and Marlins were more ruthless about this sort of thing. And of course there are a few franchise that have spent more than the Rays, but it's not clear whether that extra spending is the result of a greater commitment or just inefficient spending and poor baseball decision-making.

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19 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

The Metrodome Twins were infinitely better at keeping their good players, they did it multiple times. There are plenty of very good players who, when the casual fan pictures them, it's in a Twins uniform: Radke, Hunter, Santana, Cuddyer, Morneau, Nathan, Mauer, et al. All of them were kept at least one season beyond free agency before Target Field opened.

When I think of the Rays, the only two players I really think of as "Rays players" are Longoria and Kiermaier. And the Rays traded Longoria at 31 years old because he made too much money.

I think there's some home team bias at play in this analysis: in addition to Longoria and Kiermaier, Carl Crawford was a Ray for 2 years past free agency, and Ben Zobrist for 1 year (was signed for a second year beyond FA, but was traded before his age-34 season). I think of BJ Upton as a "very good Rays player" too, as much as Cuddyer as a "very good Twins player" -- is it the Rays fault that Upton was good enough to call up at age 19 and wanted to hit free agency as soon as he was eligible?

And they traded Longoria because he had just turned 32 and his performance (99 OPS+ in his last year as a Ray) didn't justify his remaining obligations. 

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Also, timeline issues: the Twins didn't extend any of Morneau, Cuddyer, Nathan, or Mauer until after Target Field funding was already approved in 2006. Morneau, Cuddyer, and Nathan all got deals after the Target Field groundbreaking in late 2007, and of course the only "mega-deal" was Mauer's second extension in 2010, just weeks before Target Field opened. (Complicating factor: Mauer was a hometown superstar, something the Rays haven't yet had?)

In fact, from a team payroll and revenue perspective, baseball's economics didn't get *really* out of whack until the early 1990's, with the new ballpark boom and cable TV rights boom. So the handicapped "Metrodome Twins" really only existed for about 15 years, between the 1991 champs and breaking ground on Target Field. And even then, we had the "head start" of two titles and future Hall of Famer Puckett in a long-term deal going into the lean years.

By comparison, the Rays have been in the Trop -- an accident of the 1980s, not unlike the Metrodome -- for 23 years, the first 10 as a hopeless expansion team, all during the modern ballpark/cable boom and still without a new ballpark on the horizon. (To be fair, the modern Rays benefit from the luxury tax threshold and draft/international spending limits, relative to the 2000s Twins, although how much is up for debate -- there are still massive team revenue disparities.)

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