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Friday evening was a tough one for the baseball world
12-15-2018, 09:59 AM,
Post: #1
Friday evening was a tough one for the baseball world
with the game reminding all of us of our mortality Authentic Alex Mack Jersey , as it is wont to do. Although it wasn’t a huge surprise, it’s always jarring when it is made official. That is, Joe Mauer is walking away from the game. One of the most underappreciated players of his time made the announcement last night, and he released this letter to Twins fans. Mauer is a true throwback as a contact-oriented hitter whose game fits less and less with the modern MLB aesthetic, and also as someone who spent his entire career with one team. It’s a rare and special connection between fan and player, and you can see that come through with that statement. Mauer is certainly going to be in the Hall of Fame within the next seven years or so, but it seems as if players like him are too often only properly-appreciated at times like these. Mauer was, quite simply, one of the very best players of his generation and for a time he looked like a future inner-circle, first-ballot Hall of Famer. He’s not at that point anymore, but that was largely out of his control. Over the first ten years of his career, Mauer hit a wildly impressive .323/.405/.468 and was 35 percent better than the league-average hitter. Oh, and most of that came as a catcher. For some context, no catcher has hit that well in a single season since 2014, and only 12 have done so with at least 350 plate appearances since 2010. Unfortunately, concussion issues eventually caught up with Mauer, and he had to leave the catcher position to play first base. His relative lack of power didn’t play as well there, and a weirdly vocal portion of the Minnesota fan base used that and his contract against him whenever they could. On a national level http://www.atlantafalconsteamonline.com/...ant-jersey , the view of Mauer wasn’t much more fair, if it all.The lack of appreciation for Mauer during the second half of his career was always frustrating, in no small part because injuries had been the reason for his downfall. It’s refreshing, though, that we can now properly contextualize just how great of a story Mauer was. A hometown kid spending his entire Hall of Fame career with the team he grew up rooting for. One of the best pure hitters the game has ever seen, and the guy you’re always told is your favorite player’s favorite player. Mauer was one of the best players of his time, plain and simple, and that’s with head injuries essentially taking away his 30’s. We’ll never know what truly could have been, but we know that it was a tremendous career either way. If these teams don’t spend in free agency they have no right to complain when 2019 doesn’t go as well as they’d hoped.The 2018 Red Sox just can’t lose. A Massachusetts man played Red Sox jersey numbers for a lottery ticket....and won.Mauer isn’t the only future Hall of Famer whose career may be over. Adrian Beltre hasn’t announced anything, but he may be leaning towards retirement.Scott Boras spoke to the media last week, which means it’s time to play ”Did Scott Boras say that?”Big news from Cubs land....maybe. According to Buster Olney, Chicago may be willing to trade Kris Bryant. File this under I’ll Believe It When I See It.Sticking with the Cubs, will fans at Wrigley be satisfied with just one World Series win?When a player struggles with the Yankees, it’s easy to say he simply can’t handle playing in New York. Is that a real thing?The Rays traded for Mike Zunino earlier this week. He is: Good.The next Mariners player to go very well may be James Paxton, and the Dodgers could be the best fit for the southpaw.Speaking of the Dodgers, they may also be a fit for the best catcher on the trade market.In more trade talk, could two of the best teams in the American League match up for a deal?The Orioles are coming off a historically bad season and clearly in rebuild mode. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be in on the free agent market. The free agency narrative right now is all about Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, which is no surprise. After last year’s snooze of a winter let’s be thankful we have those two guys to follow and speculate about. While every team should be in on them for sure Womens Logan Paulsen Jersey , there are also a number of other free agent options it would be smart for teams to pay what they deserve in order to take their contending chances to the next level. If last year was about miserly front offices preparing for this year’s free agent class, this year better be about teams capitalizing on the wealth of opportunity in this class and actually spending money to get better. Here are five teams who have no excuse not to throw some cash around and level up in 2019. White Sox Thanks to a leaked photo of Harper’s name and number on the screen at the United Center this week, we know that at the very least they’re going after the top free agent available. And if they’re pitching Harper, then they’re definitely okay with spending money. There’s also rumors they’re in on Machado, but no leaked photos have backed that one up so certainly as their attachment to Harper. So ... spend the money! If they don’t get Harper or Machado and don’t do anything big otherwise, what a shame that will be. They’re in the AL Central for goodness sake, where the Indians are actively punting on trying before we’ve even hit the new year. The door is wide, wide open. Reports have already linked the Sox to J.A. Happ, Patrick Corbin, and Nelson Cruz. All would be fits for the White Sox and all would be reasonable investments that still give them wiggle room to make deadline moves if needed and stay far under the luxury tax. With a 2018 payroll of $71,217,000 if the words “tax threshold” come out of anyone’s mouth in that organization they should be banished. The AL Central is the easiest division in which to make a turnaround if any of those teams actually put an effort in. The White Sox would be one of the most satisfactory teams to do that. Padres The Padres weren’t shy in free agency last year, picking up Eric Hosmer for 8 years and $144 million. They also acquired Freddy Galvis and Chase Headley via trade. As we now know, that did not work out for them. In the least. They finished last in the division, 25 1鈦? games back, and Hosmer had a just okay season offensively (18 HR, 69 RBI) which anyone watching could probably have predicted because it’s Hosmer and it’s the Padres and that’s just their luck. No one on the team hit more than 26 home runs, thank you to Hunter Renfroe. Even with a mix of bad breaks and lack of production the Padres aren’t sitting in too big a ditch to dig out of. Hosmer wasn’t a disastrous move Womens Terrell McClain Jersey , he still produced and we know he can do more than that even if only incrementally. Andy Green is ably steering the ship, and there are options for them to slash that 4.40 team ERA (a 4.72 ERA for their starters). Make the big move for Patrick Corbin, Dallas Keuchel is still only entering his age 31 season and is coming off a 3.74 ERA, 2.64 SO/BB rate year where he won a Gold Glove, or Nathan Eovaldi could be picked up if the Red Sox don’t bring him back. He’s a (deserved) folk hero now and is still only 28 years old. There are a number of paths the Padres could take but not spending money is not one of them. Especially when they’re tantalizingly close to having Fernando Tatis, Jr. in the majors and should have a great foundation ready for whenever he arrives.Reds The Reds thought 2018 was going to be their bounce-back year and in case you missed all of this season that extremely was not the case. They finished last in the NL Central with a .414 win percentage, and not even the excitement of Scooter Gennett and Joey Votto’s usual “charm” could save this season for them. But they’re not that far off! They have those pieces, and their biggest need is pitching — both starting and relieving. The great news for them is that this is a wonderful offseason to need pitching. There are plenty of options, and not all of them can go to the Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs, and so on. If they’re willing to spend they should be able to land at least two starters — maybe a top guy and a mid-tier option — and a solid reliever. If they add a bat and hope their injury luck isn’t nearly as bad as it was this year then maybe 2019 will actually, for real be a comeback season. It’s not like their division is insurmountable.Ranking the 50 best MLB free agents for the 2018-2019 offseasonThe Yankees are pretending they won’t make big free agency moves and it’s hilarious3 possible motivations behind the Nationals’ 10-year, $300 million offer to Bryce HarperYes, bad teams should sign Bryce Harper and Manny MachadoNationals They are obviously not a true rebuild candidate even if Bryce Harper doesn’t come back. Harper probably isn’t coming back, so that puts them in the position of needing to spend money in free agency now to keep this from being a complete burn-down this season. They have three more seasons of Max Scherzer, five more seasons of Stephen Strasburg (which, thanks to the $140 million they still owe him and his injury issues http://www.atlantafalconsteamonline.com/...der-jersey , will either be a surprise blessing or the curse to own all curses), two more of a sometimes-healthy Ryan Zimmerman, four of Trea Turner, and Juan Soto coming into his own. That’s a lot of decent pieces, and money, to just leave by the wayside if they give up without Harper on the roster. And you’re not trading that Strasburg contract. So once they know Harper’s out, if that’s how this goes, they should make sure to pick up a bat or two and at least another starter and reliever if they can. They’ve started this already with the Trevor Rosenthal pickup, probably as a signal to Harper that they’re not standing pat, but they shouldn’t leave things as is either way. There might be a time to come when it makes sense to officially give the division to the Phillies or Braves and torch everything, but not yet.MarinersThey would be in great position to make another run at the division title with some smart free agency pickups, if they wanted to do that. But they clearly don’t want to do that so have fun with the rebuild, y’all!
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12-21-2018, 10:10 AM,
Post: #2
RE: Friday evening was a tough one for the baseball world
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