Saturday, August 8, 2009


Bert Blyleven's writing is one very small step above the quality of that title.

Final stretch: Breaking down the playoff races
Angels look like MLB’s best, but who will join them in postseason?

Gee golly, Bert. We've been over this before. You seem to be the only person in the world who thinks that the Angels are this good.

This is going to be fun.

With the All-Star Game and trade deadline behind us, it’s time to look ahead to the playoffs.

Whew. Thankfully that there All-Star Game is over, so now I can care about which baseball teams will go on to the postseason.

Back in April, I predicted the winners of each division race and the wild card races, then took a leap and chose a World Series winner.

That was a good time. You chose the Angels to win the World Series.

Let’s take a look back at my picks, see if they’ll hold up for the rest of the season.

Yes, let's! Skipping to the flagrant parts, of course.


Preseason pick: Minnesota Twins

I expected the Twins’ deep young rotation to make a big difference this season, but things haven’t quite worked out that way. Kevin Slowey is done for the season and Francisco Liriano has struggled. They’ve needed some young pitchers to step up, and aside from Scott Baker (6-1 over his last 11 starts), that hasn’t happened.

Well Nick Blackburn has a 3.79 ERA, against the odds, but I guess that isn't considered "stepping up", I guess.

The White Sox and Tigers both made big deadline deals, with the Tigers bringing in Jarrod Washburn and the White Sox acquiring injured right-hander Jake Peavy.

Chicago took a big risk in trading for Peavy because they dealt a fine pitcher for him in Clayton Richard. Peavy threw on the side on Sunday and his ankle was ok, now he must build up some arm strength.

I laugh that you think Clayton Richard was the centerpiece of that trade. Hilarious.

For the Tigers, Washburn was a nice pickup who fits in nicely. He’s not the ace


— that’s Justin Verlander —


but he’s a solid veteran who gives them an edge down the stretch.

"Gives them an edge". You see, when the second place team similarly acquires a pitcher who is a solid veteran, you need to say something to compare these pitchers, Bert. What if I told you that Peavy gives the White Sox "the edge"? Gives them the edge over who?

Miguel Cabrera is having an MVP season,

Fair...ish. He shouldn't win.

Magglio Ordonez is starting the swing the bat better

Not really, like at all. Please look at that game log and tell me that he's doing any better now than he has the rest of the season. Oh yeah, and let's not forget that $18M ticking time bomb attached to all this playing time!

(Well....$15M considering the buyout....)

Their question mark is in the bullpen, and I’m surprised they didn’t address that before the trade deadline.

Hmmmmm...that's interesting. I would have argued that their "question mark" would be "How the hell are we going to score runs when we start Gerald Laird, Adam Everett, a broken Brandon Inge, Clete Thomas (in LF??), and Carlos Guillen (at DH?????????) every day?" But that's me, and I tend to think about things before publishing them to a major news website.

Updated pick: Detroit Tigers, as they have fewer questions than the White Sox and Twins. listed by Bert Blyleven. You listed the Tigers' bullpen as a weakness. Could you....could you even name me one pitcher in the Tigers' bullpen?


Preseason pick: Los Angeles Angels

I liked the Angels at the start of the year,

Everyone who has been in a 1,523 glorpulon radius of knows you liked the Angels at the beginning of the year. And always.

based mostly on their pitching,


though I also expected a big season out of Bobby Abreu, and he is delivering.

Bobby gon' win the MVP then sign a fat contract. Just like the plan.

The more the season progresses, the better that pick looks. I got a good look at the Angels against the Twins over the weekend and was impressed as they scored 35 runs on 52 hits in the three-game series. They’re hitting .290 as a club and that’s almost scary.

About as scary as being only 3.5 games in first place and having the 3rd worst ERA in the AL to fall back on.

And Chone Figgins is the catalyst. He gets on base, he steals bases, and he’s a good hitter from both sides of the plate. If the Angels continue this way, you have to look at him as a possible MVP.

No. Shut up. Shut up. Shut the FUCK up. Chone Figgins is very useful. But he doesn't even have a .300 EqA, and he's not even the most valuable hitter on that team.

See people? This is why blogs like this have to live on. Bert Blyleven shouldn't be
allowed to say things like "Chone Figgins is a possible MVP" and get away with it.
He just....shouldn't!

They have a couple of question marks in their rotation,

That's putting it very mildly.

and could really use some improvement out of Ervin Santana and/or Joe Saunders. Jered Weaver is very consistent and John Lackey is pitching some very good baseball. If you have three good starters in the postseason you’re in good shape.

You just listed two good starters.

Updated pick: The Rangers are a great surprise, but I’m sticking with the Angels.

Excuse everyone while we all don't die of shock.


Preseason pick: Los Angeles Dodgers

Manny Ramirez, as popular as ever, has a little “Fernando Mania” thing going on out there, and less well known is the fact that Casey Blake is a very steady player.

Shhhhhh...don't let the secret out.

But you're right....sooooo steady!

Blake is one of the keys to their offense.

Interesting, un-crazy, go on......

He won’t put up MVP numbers

I agree! It's good that you're noticing him......

but three out of five times he’ll get the big hit.

I quit. Game over.

Three out of five times.

Casey Blake is more than just steady. He's the best player in Major League Baseball.

And THAT, friends, is "less well known".

World Series: The Phillies will get past the Dodgers in the NLCS, only to fall to the Angels in the World Series. Los Angeles will rely on its speed and defense to get past Philly for its second title (2002).

I don't want Bert Blyleven to make the Hall of Fame anymore.


Anonymous said...

Forget the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays. Forget that the AL East has three teams with better run differentials than the Angels, that the division is so awesome this year that a team can sport a run differential three times higher than any AL Central team and be in 4th place. Mind you the Angels play in a division so devoid of talent that a team with a negative 52 run differential is 4 games over 500.

It's okay because the Angels will win the WS by beating last year's WS winners by using speed and defense. Nevermind that outside of Chone Figgins the team has no speed to speak of or that this years Phillies team likely won't beat the Dodgers. Ignore the fact that an almost identical Phillies roster beat a team that did everything the Angels do, but better. Fielding, running, oh and PITCHING. Bert would have made more sense saying that the Angels would beat the Phillies because Mike Sciosca knows how to manage better than Joe Maddon.

I hope Chone Figgins snaps his leg Joe Theismann style and then we'll see where all that speed is. Hint: Bobby Abreu and Figgins combine for half the teams SBs this year.

Thanks Bert, I now know the Phillies won't repeat and that I can stop caring that Cole Hamels sucks this year.

Elliot said...

I'll tell you why the Angels are going to win the pennant:

Somewhere out there, at a foster home in California, a young boy is asking his dead-beat dad when they'll ever be a family again. "When the Angels win the pennant" he says.

What follows will be a ramshackle adventure of misfit players, a team led by Danny Glov--uh, Mike Soscia, and pitcher Tony Danz--uh, Jared Weaver that will get a little, shall we say, heavenly assistance.


dan-bob said...

Casey Blake bats .600 in clutch situations?

Tonus said...

Good thing .600 hitting Casey Blake is in the NL. Now no one stands in the way of Chone Figgins and the MVP award!

The best part of the Angels season is that they're winning in a way that has to tie "old schoolers" like Blyleven in knots. They're mashing the shit out of the ball. Yeah, they'll win with speed and defense, you schmuck.

We'll be alright, though. Joe Saunders has a supple wrist and a good face. He's a gamer, the kind of guy that gets the big hit three out of five chances.

pnoles said...

Well put Mr. Tonus. And again, no Angel-hatred here. They've flat out mashed the ball this year, and they def deserve to win the division. How about someone throws a little love at Mike Napoli? That guy's fucking sweet.

pnoles said...

Well put Mr. Tonus. And again, no Angel-hatred here. They've flat out mashed the ball this year, and they def deserve to win the division. How about someone throws a little love at Mike Napoli? That guy's fucking sweet.

Cornelius Talmidge said...


I think you - as well as many others - overstate the significance of run differential. Yes, the AL East has an impressive aggregate run differential as compared with the AL West, but that is misleading in the light of the fact that the AL West has cleaned up on the AL East in head-to-head competition this season (67-52). Run differential obviously factors in a greater sample size, but 119 games of direct comparison is nothing to sneaze at.

I agree that the AL East is a superior division, but calling the AL West "devoid of talent" based simply upon the run differential of two out of four teams is a bit much.