Who are your Manager of the Year Picks?

by JohnBowen

This is a less well-known vote, and the winners will be announced in between the Cy Young awards on Wednesday.

But I figured I’d give it a shot anyway.

For the American League, I’m going to go with Joe Maddon of the Tampa Bay Rays - his team cut payroll and he kept them over 90 wins for the third time in four years, and even helped sneak them into the playoffs following a Red Sox collapse. While he can’t take full credit for the Red Sox collapsing, to keep this team competitive when they were predicted to slip back towards the cellar is a truly remarkable accomplishment.

For the National League, it’s gotta be Kirk Gibson of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Although Brewers manager Ron Roenicke deserves some credit for his work in Milwaukee, Gibson took a team from last place to first place in one year, a truly incredible feat.

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160 Responses to “Who are your Manager of the Year Picks?”

  1. Hossrex Says:

    i would venture to say the guy who does the postgame rub downs has marginally more to do with a teams success.

    even if i werent being sarcastic, every decision that a manager makes has a well defined ‘correct choice’, which thanks to technology, is instantly available to any manager who cares to make good decisions.

    the manager of the year is literally just the manager who chooses to make poor choices less frequently than others.

    too many managers manage the way my idiot friend plays blackjack.

    cont…

  2. Hossrex Says:

    cont…

    it might be exciting to split tens… but its fucking stupid, and its how you lose 100 games.

    too many (even ‘good’) managers made names for themselves by doing nothing more than by getting outrageously lucky in an astronomically impossible stretch.

    my idiot friend would drop a LOT of sacrifice bunts.

  3. JohnBowen Says:

    I agree Hoss.

    Usually the best managers are the ones with the best players.

    And from a strategic standpoint, they’re the ones who screw up the least, not the ones who “push all the right buttons.”

    Watching the AL teams on a regular basis in the post-season, I just felt like Girardi, Leyland, and Washington were all made by their teams, not the other way around.

    I really like Scoscia and the two managers who came from his system: Ron Roenicke and Maddon. I like the willingness to think outside the box…as long as there’s a justification for what you’re doing. Like all three of these guys will pull an OFer to the IF late in the game if a flyball would end it…I haven’t seen that elsewhere, but I like it.

    If you’re going to hit-and-run, for example, don’t just do it to be aggressive. Do it because you know it will create a hole that your batter can realistically take advantage of, or something like that.

  4. Hossrex Says:

    situationally pulling outfielders in is something big league teams used to do much more frequently, and you still see it at amateur levels.

    its probably one of those things were a famous manager once did it with disasterous results, and from then people were afraid to fail.

    i dont think players should play too often to the numbers, but its the only thing a manager CAN do.

  5. Cameron Says:

    Uh… I think I’ll go with with Gibson for the NL and… Ah fuck it, I can’t decide so I’ll just say Ned Yost for the AL as a homer pick.

  6. JohnBowen Says:

    I’m not saying this is necessarily indicative of anything…but because there’s so little to go off of with regards to managers, it’d be weird to give MOY to a guy who won 7 fewer games than his expected W/L.

    Not that it’s necessarily his fault, I really have no idea…and I’ve always liked Ned.

    I’m just saying because there’s really not a whole lot to go off of without watching a ton of games of EVERYONE, and the only AL managers I really saw a lot of were the ones who made the playoffs, Manny Acta, and maybe Francona.

  7. Hossrex Says:

    JohnBowen: “it’d be weird to give MOY to a guy who won 7 fewer games than his expected W/L.”

    Within the spirit of the caveats you already included… I’d be inclined to think that was a reasonable assertion.

    In the end… a manager is almost like an umpire… if you notice him, he’s probably not doing his job well.

    The strategy of “swing away” doesn’t get you on ESPN… but it certainly wins ballgames.

  8. Cameron Says:

    I didn’t make Ned as a serious pick. I was just tossing that pick because I couldn’t make a real one. Gun to my head, I’ll probably say Ron Washington.

  9. John Says:

    I don’t have really strong feelings about Wash either way, I seemed to second-guess him in the playoffs, but hey…guy was one strike away from a ring, so who knows.

    My thing about W/L compared to pythag W/L certainly isn’t an all-encompassing thing – really more of a small clue than anything else, so I don’t want to make it out to be like that’s a huge thing.

    Hell, Jim Leyland outperformed his expected W/L by 6 games while batting his three worst hitters 1-3.

    I know it’s not supposed to make a huge difference or anything, but why do that?

  10. Hossrex Says:

    John: “I don’t have really strong feelings about Wash either way”

    I just finished up Moneyball for the second time this week (probably why I’ve recently been railing against half the points made in it lately), and Washington is featured prominently a few times (infield/thirdbase coach for Oakland at the time).

    If we’re to trust Michael Lewis’ impression of him, he’s a talented guy who has a knack for getting players to perform above their means (which would be one of the better qualities you’d look for in a Manager of the Year… especially if you agree with me that there isn’t a single judgement call that a manager SHOULD make, since the data available should *ALWAYS* indicate a correct choice, with no judgement necessary).

    On the other hand though, he’s resistant to using the statistical analysis that would help him most efficiently use the talent which he’s already helped get to “11″. He’s resistant to the notion that outs are the most precious commodity in baseball. He’s a speedster (who never had more than 10 stolen bases in a year? huh) who prefers to finish an inning by running into an out at second base than to finish with a runner stranded on first (regardless of your opinion on that subject, it’s inarguable that the mathematics suggests you’re nearly always better leaving the man on first, and guaranteeing another batter a chance to get his roughly 1/4th of a hit per at-bat).

    I think he’d make a hell of a bench coach/thirdbase coach… but… a guy can only do that for so long before he honestly deserves a chance to manage… and considering his success, I guess he at least isn’t fucking anything up TOO bad.

  11. Cameron Says:

    Back-to-back pennants. Not a whole hell of a lot of things can earn an MLB manager job security, but that’s one of ‘em.

  12. Bob Says:

    Gibson all the way. In the Al Maddon, then Leyland. I thought the Tigers were going to be fucked the second their 1st baseman got nailed. Glad as shit that I was wrong.

  13. Chuck Says:

    Gibson’s a no-brainer in the NL, in the AL, Washington SHOULD win it, Maddon WILL win it.

  14. John Says:

    Speaking of managers, Tony LaRussa wants Mike Matheny to father his grandchildren.

  15. Jim Says:

    With the “right choices” available with a few keystrokes, the MOY is the guy who does the best job of managing egos and who is best (luckiest) playing hunches that go against the computers wisdom.

  16. John Says:

    Gibson and Maddon won, no shockers there.

  17. Raul Says:

    Literally the most meaningless award in sports.

  18. John Says:

    Probably. Well, that or gold gloves. Maybe the 6th man of the year for the NBA?

    Dombrowski and Melvin were named co-executives of the year.

  19. Raul Says:

    The 6th Man Award used to be my favorite Award in sports.
    DETLEF SHCREMPF!

  20. Raul Says:

    2010 Arizona Diamondbacks Batting:

    .250/.325/.416
    180 HR
    301 Doubles
    24 Triples
    1,529 Strikeouts
    589 Walks
    713 Runs

    2011 Arizona Diamondbacks Batting:

    .250/.322/.413
    172 HR
    293 Doubles
    37 Triples
    1,249 Strikeouts
    442 Walks
    731 Runs

    2010 Arizona Diamondbacks Pitching:

    65-97
    4.81 ERA
    1,432 Innings Pitched
    1,503 Hits Allowed
    210 HR Allowed
    765 Earned Runs
    1.432 WHIP

    2011 Arizona Diamondbacks Pitching

    94-68
    3.80 ERA
    1,443 Innings Pitched
    1,414 Hits Allowed
    609 Earned Runs
    1.286 WHIP

    Interesting. The 2011 Diamondbacks struck out less, walked less, yet scored more runs than the 2010 team.

  21. John Says:

    So, identical OBP’s and SLG, except that

    1) The OBP was mostly hit-based
    2) They struck out way less

    Which are two things I’m always hearing are absolutely, positively critical.

    And it resulted in…18 more runs scored?

    I’m going to go ahead and say that pitching was the primary difference between the 2010 team and the 2011 team, not # of balls in play.

  22. Raul Says:

    Nobody was making any insinuations, jagaloon.
    Just said it was interesting.

  23. John Says:

    Actually, that is curious.

    Same batting average, 150 fewer walks, and basically the same OBP?

  24. John Says:

    Oh, it was actually just 50 fewer walks.

  25. Raul Says:

    Word is the Yankees likely won’t go after CJ Wilson and they view Edwin Jackson in the same way as AJ Burnett (big arm, modest reward).

    According to the NY Post article by Joel Sherman, NY is more interested in trade candidates Wandy Rodriguez, John Danks and Gio Gonzalez.

  26. John Says:

    “and they view Edwin Jackson in the same way as AJ Burnett ”

    The big exception being that Edwin Jackson’s price-tag isn’t completely nuts.

    If the Yankees want to acquire someone like Wandy or Gio, wouldn’t they have to trade one of their hotshot AAA starters?

  27. Raul Says:

    “The big exception being that Edwin Jackson’s price-tag isn’t completely nuts.”

    People feel that Jackson isn’t even worth 40-50 million but he’ll get it anyway. Even if Jackson didn’t get AJ-money, he’ll still be overpaid…by a lot.

    As far as trading for Wandy or Gio…yes. Teams will definitely inquire about Banuelos and Betances and to some degree, Montero. I think the Yankees will wait to see how the market plays out before they engage in any serious trade discussions. Plus, I kinda think they want to see how Banuelos and Betances progress over the winter/spring before they make any moves.

    If the Yankees haven’t made up their minds on whether Banuelos or Betances can be front-line starters, I think they’ll wait it out a bit. But if they feel those guys are back-end rotation guys (or bullpen pitchers), look for them to get unloaded quickly before their value tumbles.

    Personally, I’m higher on Gio than I am on Wandy.

  28. John Says:

    Edwin Jackson get 40-50M?

    I was thinking maybe 3/24 with an option or something.

  29. Raul Says:

    Agreed. But Boras is his agent.

  30. John Says:

    Good point. Brian Sabean is totally gonna give him 126 million dollars, isn’t he?

  31. Chuck Says:

    “As far as trading for Wandy or Gio…yes. Teams will definitely inquire about Banuelos and Betances and to some degree, Montero.”

    I wouldn’t trade any of them for Wandy. For Gio?

    I’d drive them to the airport.

  32. Raul Says:

    I think Gio is a fantastic pitcher. But he’s gotta get those walks down.
    90+ each of the last two years.

    I don’t watch a lot of Oakland games, so if I can be a bit of a devil’s advocate here, can I chalk a bunch of those walks to Gio being careful because the offense is horrible?

    Yes. I think I’ll go with that.
    :)

  33. Cameron Says:

    Nah, Gio’s always been a bit wild Raul, but he’s got the stuff and gas (especially for a lefty) to still be dominant with them. The main thing you gotta realize with Gio is that he’s still arb-eligible for a few years. VERY team-friendly contract. His asking price is gonna be a little steep.

  34. Raul Says:

    Mike Silva used to share his writing on Dugout Central a while back.

    On his “NY Baseball Digest” website on November 14th, he wrote an interesting blog about how people are overrating Jose Reyes.

    Check it out.

  35. Chuck Says:

    “His asking price is gonna be a little steep”

    You forgetting who Oakland’s GM is?

  36. Chuck Says:

    http://nybaseballdigest.com/?p=41422

  37. Cameron Says:

    I dunno, Beane is a double-edged sword when it comes to trade. If he gets a pitcher, they usually turn into a stud, but he can’t find hitters for shit.

  38. bob Says:

    I seriously had no idea he was still in baseball, but Cameron, your Royals signed former Yankee farmhand Eric Duncan. He played for the Cardinals Double-A team this past year. Played 1b, 2b, and left field for them.

  39. Cameron Says:

    Eric Duncan? Really?

  40. Raul Says:

    As most of you are likely aware, it has been reported that part of the deal to purchase the Houston Astros has the condition that the franchise be moved to the American League West division by 2013.

  41. Cameron Says:

    That part of the deal also shaves fifty million dollars off the sale price.

  42. Hossrex Says:

    As most of you are likely aware, it has been reported that part of the deal to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers has the condition that the franchise be converted to a Dairy Queen by 2013.

  43. Raul Says:

    I get a cut of the 12 cents you earned by ripping my status.

  44. Hossrex Says:

    Wait… American League West by 2013? That either means a even MORE fucked up interleague schedule, or extra expansion (and if it meant expansion, there would be no reason to move the Astros).

    So… great.

    Baseball is moving towards an EVEN WORST schedule then they use now… when they’re now the CATEGORICALLY WORST SCHEDULE IN SPORTS.

  45. Hossrex Says:

    Raul: “I get a cut of the 12 cents you earned by ripping my status.”

    So long as I get a couple hundred bucks for you ripping off my style.

    (I have nothing to back that up, just seemed like something that would upset me if someone had said it to ME)

  46. John Says:

    I would say the worst schedule in sports is the NBA, which features zero games.

    Or worse, the Premier League, which features soccer.

    All this means is that, instead of a month of constant interleague play, we’ll have 2 teams doing it all the time.

    I dunno, seems pretty harmless to me.

    In my opinion, there should either be 28 or 32 teams. But whatever.

    “As most of you are likely aware, it has been reported that part of the deal to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers has the condition that the franchise be converted to a Dairy Queen by 2013.”

    Is Matt Kemp gonna fuck up your order when you really need it (I guess when it’s really hot out)? :D

  47. Raul Says:

    Easy on the soccer, you submarine bologna washer.
    Soccer is awesome.

  48. John Says:

    “submarine bologna washer.”

    LOL

    That’s a new one.

  49. Raul Says:

    I really don’t care any more about the interleague play.
    It is not going away until, or if, fans stop attending the games.

  50. Chuck Says:

    Whew…

    I was worried there for a minute Hoss may have offed himself after news broke of the Kemp deal.

    Hang in there, bud, it could be worse.

    You didn’t give $127 million to Jayson Werth.

  51. Chuck Says:

    “submarine bologna washer.”

    “That’s a new one”

    You’re in the Navy.

    I’m calling bullshit.

  52. Chuck Says:

    CJ Wilson wants 6/120

    If I’m a GM, he’s pissing in a cup before I answer the phone.

  53. Raul Says:

    I’m thinking more along the lines of…. 3/33.

  54. Cameron Says:

    “Wait… American League West by 2013? That either means a even MORE fucked up interleague schedule, or extra expansion (and if it meant expansion, there would be no reason to move the Astros).

    So… great.

    Baseball is moving towards an EVEN WORST schedule then they use now… when they’re now the CATEGORICALLY WORST SCHEDULE IN SPORTS.”

    The schedule’s going to be re-worked to include more interleague play and I think they’re doing something to the effect of something with the games played within their own divisions.

  55. Cameron Says:

    And I’m not sure if that’s necessarily a bad thing. Like John said, it could possibly stagger it. They could just throw in a series every few weeks or so and spread it out over the season instead of taking up a month at a time.

  56. Raul Says:

    Hoss doesn’t like change.

  57. Cameron Says:

    Gonna try something with food. I do cook occasionally, but I can’t really afford ingredients to cook regularly on my budget. However, I have everything I need at home.

    3 packages ramen noodles
    1/2 cup melted butter
    3 pinches of salt
    1/4 cup rice vinegar
    1 tbsp. soy sauce

    …Do I need to give directions? I think you can figure out what to do with that.

  58. Cameron Says:

    Okay, so I’m actually using white wine vinegar and stir fry sauce.After quick taste tests, I’m calling that good enough.

  59. Raul Says:

    right away i read “ramen noodles” and realized this was going to be crap.

  60. Cameron Says:

    I dunno, just got done with the experiment and it’s… Interesting. I forgot how thin melted butter is, the sauce did not bind well, so it’s sitting more like a soup.

    However, the mixture of soy sauce and vinegar? Surprisingly awesome. The three packages of ramen made too much though. Gonna try again tomorrow. Cut the noodles down to two packs, amp up the stir fry sauce and vinegar because the stir fry sauce is thick and makes a good sauce base because it binds well, and we’ll see.

    It’s basically looking to be a poor man’s stir fry.

  61. Cameron Says:

    The uspide of this to real stir fry? This is fucking cheap to make. I could make a few batches of this off five bucks.

  62. Raul Says:

    I think a piece of fruit once in a while is in order, my friend.

    So Florida offered contracts to Pujols and Reyes, though not for the dollars that were being reported.

    Considering Florida has no state income tax (I’m sure that’s true, right?) Florida might not need to go as high. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  63. Cameron Says:

    I might have room in the food budget to buy fruit now. This shit makes crazy amounts of leftovers.

    I think Florida’s offer to Reyes was 6/100, the contract to Pujols hasn’t beaten St. Louis’ 9/210 offer.

  64. Mike Felber Says:

    Freegan (get thrown out food) if you can, & more fruits, veggies & whole grains. Regular lean protein, or plant based protein. I love some sweets myself, but ya gotta have the basics for feeling good, stable, & long term health.

  65. Chuck Says:

    Keep eating like that Cameron and you won’t live long enough to see the Royals in the World Series.

    “..thrown out food..”

    Great advice.

  66. Cameron Says:

    Yeah… In hindsight I’m just gonna throw out the butter altogether and just go straight stir-fry sauce, maybe add some vegetables. Still keeping the ramen noodles as a base though. The noodles are fucking cheap.

  67. Chuck Says:

    Has nothing to do with the butter, dude.

    You’re adding high sodium stir-fry sauce and high sodium soy sauce to a high sodium and processed product.

    I wouldn’t add the seasoning packet for starters, and use sesame oil instead of the vinegar.

  68. Cameron Says:

    I only used the seasoning packet because I needed something to (in vain) try to bind that sauce together. The original recipe I adapted also called for seasame oil as well as vinegar. However, the original recipe also called for ginger and garlic clove and I didn’t have either. Adding the vinegar straight kinda made it really strong. I like a good vinegar taste, but when I’m tasting it eight hours later, I added too much.

    I’m not sure how much sodium the noodles themselves have, because a lot of that salt content is in the seasoning packet.

  69. Cameron Says:

    Come to think of it… I may actually have some sesame oil lying around here somewhere. Might try it again for breakfast.

    …I’m normally not awake for breakfast, so I don’t have breakfast food on hand here.

  70. Cameron Says:

    Okay, batch number two is done and this thing is turning out to be an exercise in taste vs. nutrition. For every package of ramen, the magic mix is half a teaspoon of sesame oil (great call Chuck, adds a good aftertaste) …and a tablespoon of stir fry sauce. Anything less and you just can’t taste it at all and you might as well add straight salt, because that’s all it accomplishes.

    Sadly, a tablespoon of stir fry sauce is about 75%. Tastes great though. I think I’ll just add this under “make sparingly”.

  71. Cameron Says:

    *about 75% of your daily sodium intake.

  72. Bob Says:

    Teams have until tomorrow at 5:00 PM to solidify their 40-man rosters. Those not protected will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft.

  73. Cameron Says:

    Thinking about that dish again, I can’t really live with it being the way it is, that’s way too much sodium. The thing with the stir fry sauce is that it’s thick, but doesn’t mix well with the noodles and doesn’t have a strong taste in low quantities.

    So Chuck, you being the one with the food experience, help me out. I’ve got three options here. Which do you think sounds best?

    1) Keep some of the water from boiling the noodles in the mix to make the sauce mix easier so I don’t need to add so much?

    2) Add a little bit of soy sauce (I went straight) or something else to accent the salty taste of the sauce better?

    3) Try and find something sweet to add to the sauce. It has a sort of sweet taste, but with the right accent I think I can really hit onto something.

  74. Bob Says:

    You went straight????????????????
    Did you enjoy the experience????????

  75. Chuck Says:

    If you make two packages of Ramen according to the package directions you end up with 75% of your daily sodium intake, and that’s on a 2000 calorie diet.

    Anything else you add (soy/stir fry/Teriaki) just compounds the sodium levels and makes it worse.

    If you just make the noodles without the seasoning packet, then you can season to taste.

    Keep a little water in the skillet and toss in some veggies and maybe a piece of chicken or fish with a pinch of salt and pepper or red pepper flakes, or maybe some garlic powder and that’s all you need.

    You eat it in a dish like spaghetti, not in a bowl like soup.

  76. Brautigan Says:

    There was this young girl that only ate Top Ramen. She was developmentally disabled and her caregiver tried to convince her to eat something else, but the girl wanted only Top Ramen and so the caregiver gave in and fed her Top Ramen morning noon and night.

    Yup, she died.

    Caregiver was convicted of manslaughter.

  77. Brautigan Says:

    Cameron: Try this.

    Buy a large bag of Japone chilis. Get a large skillet and blacken them. (Try to air out your kitchen as much as you can because the smoke will make you cough). Once blackened, take some garlic (and if you have a magic bullet or blender) and mince it as much as possible. Mince the blackened chilis and add the garlic and mix well. Then add as much or as little salt as you like.

    This stuff is killer. It will make chicken taste so much better. It will make veggies come to life in a way you won’t believe. Make sure you heat this stuff up in oil in the frying pan before you drop chicken or steak or veggies into it, it will help cut some of the “spice” out of it, otherwise, if you use to much of it, you’ll be blowing flames out of your mouth. It is good with eggs too!

  78. Chuck Says:

    Go to the veggie section at the store and you can usually find some cut salad veggies on clearance..broccoli, peas, carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, etc.

    Get a good quality chicken stock (broth is good, but also high sodium) so you might have to cut it with water or lemon juice.

    Cook the noodles in the stock, blanch off the veggies, toss into a bowl and mix.

    There’s your stir-fry.

    Throw in some julienned steak or chicken, and you have dinner for a couple of days for two, three bucks.

  79. Cameron Says:

    I can get chicken pretty cheap sometimes, I’ll make a note of these.

    In the meantime, I found a way to avoid cooking for a few days. There was a sale at my grocery store. 4 pounds of ham, 8 bucks.

    4 pounds of ham is a lot of fucking ham.

  80. Cameron Says:

    Also bought a little treat for myself for actually taking the initiative to try and cook. Rasperry sorbet.

    Don’t know how widely it’s distributed, but Whole Fruit sorbet is good shit.

  81. Cameron Says:

    And the Astros got sold for $610 million dollars. That’s pretty cheap for a team.

  82. Bob Says:

    The Tigers signed Gerald Laird.

  83. Cameron Says:

    And Victor Martinez is officially never getting behind the plate again.

  84. Raul Says:

    Birthdays:

    Ryan Braun is 28. Braun hit 33 homers this year, and stole 33 bases.

    Mitch Williams is 46. I wonder if he and Joe Carter are friends. Pretty sure Mitch and Schilling still hate each other.

    Paul Sorrento is 46. I bet people think Sorrento owns that cheese company. No. That’s Sargento.

    Jeff Nelson is 45. Nelson is widely regarded as one of the better bullpen guys during the Yankees dynasty. It might surprise some to know that in 1998 and 1999, Nelson only pitched a combined 71 innings for the team.

    Tom Seaver is 67. Some argue that Tom Seaver was the best pitcher of the last 50-60 years.

  85. Cameron Says:

    Tom Seaver. That guy dragged some pretty awful Mets teams to victories they didn’t deserve. Some guys get to 300 wins by pitching to the score for twenty years, Seaver got to it by flipping it the bird and putting up zeros to spite it.

  86. John Says:

    “Birthdays:

    Ryan Braun is 28.”

    I’m fairly sure Ryan Braun was born on December 25 in the year 0.

  87. John Says:

    Second wildcard team is definitely happening too, along with the Astros move.

    I guess it adds some a more substantial advantage to being a division winner..

  88. Raul Says:

    So how would this year’s playoff system have looked had there been additional wild cards?

  89. Raul Says:

    Kershaw wins.

  90. Bob Says:

    Probably Boston and Atlanta.

  91. Mike Felber Says:

    Yup, getting things that are thrown out can broadly widen your options. Tons of times stuff that is unopened, dry stuff, canned or frozen sells one moment at a premium, sometimes gourmet stuff, then is disposed of. Head of freegan NYC never got sick fro it-you can check the expiration dates, & if you do not get it soon, it does not sit long before it is thrown out. Some go in groups, then prepare food communally. I have done it for years alone-only times I got sick was leaving stuff too long, not from stuff I just grabbed.

    Just be careful about most of your grains being refines instead of whole, don’t only do ramen, & don’t only have processed & high fat meats like ham. Chuck is right about the sodium, also those flavor packs have tons of MSG. You might want to find a mixed spice you like & can add as an all purpose seasoning. Some have dried veggies. I like “Spike”, which you can find with or without salt in health food stores. It has 39 herbs & spices, organic & in health food stores, worth it to get the largest, lasts for months easily.

  92. Mike Felber Says:

    You can use inexpensive substitutes for some of these ingredients.

    http://www.kitchendaily.com/2011/11/14/15-stew-recipes-worth-cozying-up-to/?ncid=webmail23

  93. Bob Says:

    And Dale Sveum heads to the Cubs.

  94. Brautigan Says:

    Dammit. THis is why I hate Bud Selig. You know, you keep messing with tradition and you’re going to end up with an NBA product.

    Yes, keep adding playoff teams, to the point it becomes meaningless. Pretty soon, we’ll have Mr. December if he can keep his hands from freezing.

    And why not move Milwaukee back to the AL? Why Houston? Jesus, get rid of Bud. Please.

  95. John Says:

    Bud Selig might be the best commissioner of any sport, ever.

    Everything he’s done has expanded baseball’s audience and made the game more popular than ever.

    The newest CBA is going to pass with literally zero resistance while all three other sports have undergone strikes/lockouts in recent years. 16 years of labor peace is absolutely unprecedented in this day and age.

    Also, this will actually make winning the division worth something, along with having the best overall record. If anything, it will be a call back to the days when there was a league-wide pennant chase because there’s motivation to be the best team in the league (i.e., first round bye against a tired opponent). Who were the first round teams this year? Philly and New York? Lots of good that did them.

    “And why not move Milwaukee back to the AL? Why Houston?”

    Who cares? Milwaukee wasn’t for sale, so there was no leverage. And this way, there will be a Houston-Texas rivalry, which is cool.

    Also, interleague (a Bud Selig innovation which has greatly increased baseball’s popularity) will now just be one series in the game at a time, instead of a jumbled month of everyone doing it. There won’t actually be more interleague games.

  96. Cameron Says:

    Braut, should we move the mound back to being fifty feet, make pitchers throw underhand, ban every pitch except the fastball, and bring back the dead ball too?

  97. Cameron Says:

    Really John? I heard they were really pushing for more interleague with this CBA.

  98. John Says:

    Where’d you hear that?

    My understanding is that there’ll be just one series going on at a time.

    So that’s what…54 3-game series? 15 teams per league means 3.6 series per team. So some teams would have 3, others would have 4…4 is what most teams have now.

  99. Cameron Says:

    I’ve heard it in quite a few reports. Still, if it’s staggered, I wouldn’t mind it too much. Only have one or two teams at a time on it. I think they were trying to increase interleague and… Something about games against division opponents, but I don’t think it was increasing them…

  100. Raul Says:

    John: “Bud Selig might be the best commissioner of any sport, ever.”

    Dumbest thing I’ve ever read on this site. I literally might stop coming here.

  101. John Says:

    Oh, I forgot.

    The All-Star Game.

    Let’s keep freaking the fuck out about that.

    Seriously, do you want the MLB to be like the NBA now? No? Wow. Good thing MLB has Bud.

  102. Raul Says:

    Clearly John feels the commissioner’s job is to cater to owners greed and getting others to play along.

    Things that actually are right for the game…eff that noise, yo.

  103. John Says:

    Things that are right for the game?

    Like no one ever fucking watching it because it’s not happening? Is that somehow right for the game?

  104. Brautigan Says:

    1) Selig threatened to kick the Dodgers out of baseball if McCourt didn’t sell the team.
    2) Selig required Houston to move to the AL as a condition of sale.
    3) Selig turned a blind eye to the steroid problems.
    4) The CBA signed in 2002 states: “any player violating the steroid policy risks permanent expulsion.” How many players have been permantly banned?
    5) If you need interleague play to keep you interested in baseball, then you’re not a fan.

  105. Brautigan Says:

    What about the All Star game? Really, what about it?

    You mean when it really meant something to players and fans? When it was an honor to be selected and starters got 4 at bats in? Now players try to figure ways to avoid going to the game……

  106. John Says:

    1) It worked
    2) Good move
    3) Who implemented all the anti-steroid measures? Fay Vincent? No?
    4) 3 strikes and you’re out is the rule.
    5) The existence of lesser fans than me keeps enhances my enjoyment of the game through increased coverage, making possible things like MLB Network and MLB.tv

    The interleague play really gets me.

    I can’t possibly believe that getting to see more teams play baseball is somehow wrecking a fan’s enjoyment of the game. It makes it awesomer. He gets to see more teams and more players play the game. So what? I have 3 fewer Brewers-Padres matchups to look forward to, and I instead get to see my team play at Fenway fucking Park this year?

  107. John Says:

    “Now players try to figure ways to avoid going to the game……”

    That would still happen if not for the WS home field thing.

    If anything, it might happen a little more.

  108. John Says:

    I want someone to tell me, with a straight face, that a matchup between Bob Feller and Warren Spahn would have been something other than awesome.

  109. Bob Says:

    Is “awesomer” a word?

  110. John Says:

    It is now.

  111. Brautigan Says:

    Who needed Bob Feller vs. Warren Spahn?

    Feller pitched against Thornton Lee, Ted Lyons, Bobo Newsom, Dizzy Trout, Red Ruffing, Denny Galehouse, Eldon Auker, Schoolboy Rowe, Dutch Leonard, Hal Newhauser, Sid Hudson, Allie Reynolds, Eddie Lopat and others.

    Spahn pitched against ………..well, you get the idea.

    And imagine those Red Sox fans that say “we got those crappy Brewers……again”.

  112. Bob Says:

    So, the 2012 dictionary will have at least 2 more words added to it.

    1. Awesomer
    2. Ineptocracy

  113. John Says:

    “And imagine those Red Sox fans that say “we got those crappy Brewers……again”.”

    They only see the Brewers once every 5 years or so.

    Red Sox fans should love the idea that once in a while, they get to see Ryan Braun play baseball. It’s a treat to witness greatness. Why should they have to play 3 more games against the effing Orioles every year instead? They already see them!

    Also, I have to eat my words here, because Bob Feller DID face Warren Spahn…in game 5 of the 1948 World Series.

    But the idea still holds. Why should the leagues be completely and permanently divided? Everyone’s playing the same game (mostly), so I don’t see why the game would’ve been worse off if, say, Ted Williams had gotten to bat against the NL’s best too.

    Great idea by Bud, huge popularity boost for the game.

  114. John Says:

    This is off-topic, but related to the idea of pitching matchups. The other night, on Chuck’s favorite show “Clubhouse Confidential” (FORMULAS EVERYWHERE), Bill James suggested a universal pitching ranking system similar to tennis.

    It wouldn’t affect anything, really, it would just rank every active pitcher (or at least like, the top-100 or something) and when you see the pitching matchups for the game, you can see 1-Halladay v. 3-Lincecum or something like that.

    Not a big thing, but I think it’d be neat for the fans, and add perspective for those who only loosely pay attention.

  115. Cameron Says:

    The last time I saw a sports network try to invent a stat, it was ESPN’s Total Quarterback Rating. …You see why this is a bad idea.

  116. Brautigan Says:

    John, there is a reason it is called the NATIONAL league and the AMERICAN league. They are two seperate entities.

    Why would the National League complain about not seeing Ted Williams? They had Mel Ott, Ducky Medick, Stan Musial, Willie Mays, Richie Ashburn.

    Look at the old timers. They rarely crossed leagues. If you were a National League player, you spent your entire career in the National League. It was infrequent players went from one league to the other. The AL hated the NL and I believe the NL hated the AL even more.

    You used to have two seperate baseballs, The blue American League ball and the black National League ball. Now you get the Major League ball, and basically, the design sucks.

    And Cameron, learn some baseball history before you spout off crap like “throwing underhanded” and “fifty feet”. That mock went nowhere quick.

  117. Raul Says:

    Sure.
    The Red Sox fans would love to see Ryan Braun. It’s so hard to come across him with those limited ESPN/FoxSports/CBS/MLB.tv/TBS/WGN broadcasts. And that internet is no help.

    In fact, let’s just get rid of the leagues altogether.
    Just one big, old, everybody-plays-everybody NBA-style system.

    That’s the ticket.

  118. Cameron Says:

    The mound used to be fifty feet off, actually. In 1892.

  119. Raul Says:

    Way to be relevant, Cam.

    120 years…
    Let’s talk about the upcoming Chicago World’s Fair while we’re at it.

  120. Cameron Says:

    If you’re gonna slam someone for being reactionary, go big or go home man.

  121. Brautigan Says:

    Yes, I know that. I also know that they used balls made of black mush until Ray Chapman got plunked in the skull in 1920 because the owners were so cheap they didn’t want to use new balls. And yes, I know guys like Jim Creighton pitched underhand with a corkscrew motion. And yes, I know that at point walks were considered “hits”.

    And yes, I know that baseball games in 1938 were often played in under 2 hours. (Half of Pittsburgh’s games in 1938 were done under 2 hours. Attendance sucked until Sunday, then it would “explode”. That was due to day baseball and people obviously had to work.)

    But baseball largely is the same game now as it was in 1927. The only difference is the stadiums, the field themselves, the gloves, and the salaries. It is still the same game, unless you want to talk about how much tv has slowed the game down.

  122. Cameron Says:

    Yeah. I remember one thing Bill James talked about was shaving the two minute break between half innings and pitching changes to ninety seconds. That’d shave, what, fifteen minutes off?

  123. Brautigan Says:

    Well, baseball used to be a “hurry up” game early in the season and late in the season. For some of you younger guys, have you even heard of Gabby Hartnett’s “homer in the Gloaming”? I asked Mace Brown about it and he said it was so dark, he was surprised Hartnett even saw the pitch. That game, which was really a back breaker for the Pirates, came within one pitch of being called a tie due to darkness. And the rest is history.

    The interesting thing about that game was that a washed up Dizzy Dean, who in 1938 threw two speeds, slow and slower, pitched a shutout the day before. He had a big, slow curveball and a slower change. That’s all he had, but it sure added to his myth.

  124. Cameron Says:

    Ah Dizzy Dean. Wasn’t it a broken foot that did him in?

    And I found the list of changes that Bill James mentioned to make the game go faster and smoother.

    1) Limit the number of times pitchers can attempt a pickoff. (Limits useless throws)
    2) Once the batter gets in the box, time shall not be called. (Save time)
    3) Cut time between half-innings and pitching seconds from two minutes to ninety seconds. (Save time)
    4) Implement minimum weights and circumferences for bats. (I think this was to reduce splintered bats)
    5) Move the batter’s box four inches off home plate. (Prevents crowding the plate)
    6) Limit the amount of mid-inning pitching changes. (Do I need to explain this one?)

  125. brautigan Says:

    Yeah, he (Dizzy Dean) took a line drive off of Earl Averill’s bat in the all star game and tried to pitch through it. The result was he injured his arm and couldn’t get his fastball back.

  126. Cameron Says:

    So John, your hitting coach is now managing a division rival. How’s it feel?

  127. John Says:

    “Why would the National League complain about not seeing Ted Williams? They had Mel Ott, Ducky Medick, Stan Musial, Willie Mays, Richie Ashburn.”

    Braut – that’s great…and if they had had interleague play, they could have seen all those guys…AND Joe Dimaggio, Ted Williams, etc.

    Why is it worse that 7% of a team’s games are now against the other league, allowing greater fan exposure to different players?

    “Just one big, old, everybody-plays-everybody NBA-style system.”

    Bud’s ability to be not like the NBA is why he’ll be in Cooperstown one day, and David Stern is the world’s biggest laughing stock.

  128. John Says:

    @126, and Mike Matheny (toughest man alive) is coaching the hated Cards. 2012 is gonna be weird!

  129. Mike Felber Says:

    I’ll just sit back & watch for now.

  130. Cameron Says:

    The NL Central is all nice and cozy and weird. Just think, season after next you guys will be even comfier.

    And probably staring at Pittsburgh’s taillights as they go to October.

  131. Chuck Says:

    “So John, your hitting coach is now managing a division rival. How’s it feel?”

    Whatever it is, it won’t compare to the feeling he’ll have when he finds out who Sveum asked to be his bench coach.

  132. John Says:

    Yount?

  133. Chuck Says:

    Yes

  134. Chuck Says:

    I met Danny Hultzen yesterday.

    He was sitting the next section over charting pitches, as we left the game I walked behind him through the tunnel and he stopped to sign an autograph and I caught up to him and we talked for a minute leaving the park.

    Nice kid.

  135. Lefty33 Says:

    “Bud’s ability to be not like the NBA is why he’ll be in Cooperstown one day”

    Bud’s ability to keep labor peace for 18 years, by the time he leaves, while having exploding salaries for players and exploding revenues and profits for owners are why he’ll make the HOF.

    No Commissioner ever did that.

    Fuck the fans, he gave the people that matter everything they wanted and more.

  136. Chuck Says:

    Lefty..did you know Tyson Gillies is deaf?

  137. John Says:

    “Fuck the fans, he gave the people that matter everything they wanted and more.”

    I would say the people who matter include the fans – who haven’t had to suffer through a work stoppage.

    And have rewarded the consistency of constant baseball by showing up in record numbers, even during a slumping economy.

  138. Lefty33 Says:

    @ 136 – I did not.

    @ 137 – Don’t be naive John.

    Selig has not given a crap about the fans since day one.

    When you look at his body of work as Commissioner you have to be able to separate the business end of things from the baseball end of things.

    In terms of the business end of things he is the best.
    (But your comment before about him being the best commissioner ever is just plain nuts. He couldn’t carry Pete Rozelle’s briefcase for starters.)

    He has increased revenues amazingly well and has made the players, owners, and himself very rich while keeping their product on the field.

    But at what cost?

    Games are longer than ever.

    Ticket prices when coupled with parking, food, and the entire periphery are bordering on or have already passed unaffordable for the average fan in a lot of markets.

    While revenue sharing has worked to a point he’s not getting anymore out of the higher revenue teams and the same teams, while they may not win the WS, are still making the playoffs every year.

    So while he has been great for the business of baseball, in terms of the actual game itself he’s done little that has been good and what he has done has always been to simply leverage more and more revenue for the owners and players and that has not equated to much for the fans other than longer games, later TV start times, more expansion that watered down the talent pool, and ticket prices that have increased at a rate that exceeds inflation by hundreds of percent.

    As a businessman he’s been fantastic.

    As a baseballman he’s been an idiot at best.

  139. Chuck Says:

    “But at what cost”

    Bonds, McGwire…

    1994

  140. John Says:

    “He couldn’t carry Pete Rozelle’s briefcase for starters”

    That’s fair.

    “Selig has not given a crap about the fans since day one.”

    And, as with the CEO’s not giving a crap about the other 99%, it doesn’t matter.

    Selig has consistently made baseball accessible to fans.

    “Ticket prices when coupled with parking, food, and the entire periphery are bordering on or have already passed unaffordable for the average fan in a lot of markets.”

    Weirdly, there are WAY more fans at games now than before Selig took over.

    “While revenue sharing has worked to a point he’s not getting anymore out of the higher revenue teams and the same teams, while they may not win the WS, are still making the playoffs every year.”

    So, Bud Selig’s a moron – keep in mind that in the last 10 years, there have been 8 different world series winners – but geniuses were running the game when the Yankees won 16 pennants in 18 seasons?

    “But at what cost?”

    More fans than ever?

  141. Lefty33 Says:

    “Bonds, McGwire…”

    True but if you’re going to blame him then make sure you blame Ueberroth and Giamatti who also buried their heads in the sand about the same issue and about other things like Cocaine and Amphetamines and they never got grilled by Congress like Bud did.

    Bud deserved what he got from them but Ueberroth and Giamatti should have been right there with him as they kicked the can down the road on the same issue.

    Bud just got caught without a chair when the music stopped.

    “1994″

    That was horrible but if the sport, on both sides, learned from that mistake and they don’t do it again then so be it as a learning tool of long term labor peace.

  142. Chuck Says:

    Ueberroth was a bigger buffoon than Selig.

    He accomplished nothing

  143. Lefty33 Says:

    “Selig has consistently made baseball accessible to fans.”

    By having playoff games after Midnight to accomodate FOX?

    By having teams charge more for parking in 2011 than what a box seat cost in ‘92?

    By having more teams come into the league so that we can watch even more AA and AAA talent. Guys that in ‘92 would have been selling insurance in Cleveland instead are now getting paid big money to be a LOOGY?

    “Weirdly, there are WAY more fans at games now than before Selig took over.”

    Weirdly, that’s called population growth and expansion. Every major sport has had the same thing happen to it over the last twenty years.

    Try again.

    “So, Bud Selig’s a moron – keep in mind that in the last 10 years, there have been 8 different world series winners – but geniuses were running the game when the Yankees won 16 pennants in 18 seasons?”

    And ratings go to hell every year the Yankees and Red Sox have not been there during that time.

    NFL parody works well for the NFL.

    Based on eyeballs, come playoff time it has been proven not to work for MLB.

    Different fan, different market, different demographic.

  144. Lefty33 Says:

    Come on Chuck, Ueberroth was great.

    He only broke federal law and the CBA by openly colluding with the owners.

    He decsion to allow that and get involved in that only lost him three court cases that cost three hundred million dollars for the owners in fines.

  145. Raul Says:

    Bud Selig was commissioner during the biggest economic boon in friggin history.
    He’s a benefactor of a perfect storm. He didn’t generate anything.

    For all the talk you dumb asses have about correlation not equaling causation…jesus christ…

  146. Brautigan Says:

    John: Selig has done his best to segregate players from the fans.

    When I started going to spring training, you could stop ANY player and chat with them. Now, the only Los Angeles Angel you can talk with is the guy barely hanging onto his 40 man status and doesn’t have access to the “player” parking lot. The Giants in Scottsdale, you could roam the stadium at any time (as long as there wasn’t a spring training game scheduled). I had long chats with Bobby Bonds, Trevor Wilson, etc., but now, they crowd the fans into one area and it’s asses and elbows.

    And last, a quote from Fay Vincent re: Bud Selig: “The Union basically doesn’t trust the Ownership because collusion was a $280 million theft by Bud Selig and Jerry Reinsdorf of that money from the players. I mean, they rigged the signing of free agents. They got caught. They paid $280 million to the players. And I think that’s polluted labor relations in baseball ever since it happened. I think it’s the reason Fehr has no trust in Selig”.

    Let me repeat, Selig is the worst thing for baseball. It is by mere fortune that baseball has done well under Selig, and that is due to the level and quality of play on the diamond than any decision making process by Selig.

    There were good tv ratings for the Cardials-Rangers. That was due to the fact the games were interesting and compelling, not by Selig’s promotion. In fact, where was Selig’s promotion?

  147. John Says:

    “Bud Selig was commissioner during the biggest economic boon in friggin history.
    He’s a benefactor of a perfect storm. He didn’t generate anything.”

    He has also been commissioner during the biggest economic depression since the GREAT FUCKING DEPRESSION.

    “By having playoff games after Midnight to accomodate FOX?”

    Or, you know.

    People’s schedules.

    “Every major sport has had the same thing happen to it over the last twenty years.”

    Except basketball, which nobody watches, because it’s not happening right now, because unlike baseball (which will have seen 21 consecutive years of labor peace thanks in large part to Bud), the NBA is on strike.

  148. John Says:

    “In fact, where was Selig’s promotion?”

    Um, I think FOX took care of that.

    “Let me repeat, Selig is the worst thing for baseball. ”

    The worst thing for baseball would be for it to be like the NBA, and not happening.

    Thanks to Bud, this isn’t a problem.

  149. Bob Says:

    Why would anybody blame Giamatti for the steroid use of the players? He only served 6 months ( if that) and his Pete Rose decision was his legacy, for good or for bad.

  150. Raul Says:

    Gary Sheffield is 43. Sheffield came up as a Shortstop with the Brewers. He played most of his career for the Florida Marlins.

    Tom Flash Gordon is 44. I didn’t know that Tom Gordon came up with the Kansas City Royals. Gordon spend the first 10 years of his career as a starter and the next ten as a reliever. His son, Dee Gordon is a Shortstop for the Dodgers. According to Wikipedia, Dee Gordon’s mother was murdered by an ex-boyfriend when he was 6 years old. Tom gained custody and raised him with his mother (the child’s grandmother).

    Dante Bichette is 48. As you know, his son Dante Jr. is in the Yankees organization. Bichette hit the first ever home run for the Rockies franchise.

    Jaime Moyer is 49. How old is Moyer really? In his first Major League game, he allowed a leadoff double to Ron Roenicke.

    David Ortiz is 36 today. Or 42. Or 46. Or 49…

    Ron Coomer is 45.

  151. Raul Says:

    Braut, you have to forgive John.

    He’s basically 15 years old and doesn’t even know what baseball was like pre-1998.

  152. Lefty33 Says:

    “Except basketball, which nobody watches, because it’s not happening right now, because unlike baseball (which will have seen 21 consecutive years of labor peace thanks in large part to Bud), the NBA is on strike.”

    Sorry dude but NBA attendance was no different.

    Way up last season over what it was in ‘92 same as MLB.

    Like I said, try again, the example is poor.

  153. Lefty33 Says:

    “The worst thing for baseball would be for it to be like the NBA, and not happening.”

    Agreed

  154. Lefty33 Says:

    “Or, you know.

    People’s schedules.”

    Based on the ratings, ummm no.

  155. Lefty33 Says:

    “He’s a benefactor of a perfect storm. He didn’t generate anything.”

    While that makes for great hyperbole, that’s not even close to true.

  156. Brautigan Says:

    John writes: “Except basketball, which nobody watches, because it’s not happening right now, because unlike baseball (which will have seen 21 consecutive years of labor peace thanks in large part to Bud), the NBA is on strike.”

    Let’s see: 2011 minus 21 years is 1990. Tell me John, who won the 1994 World Series.

    Second, can you justify his $14 million dollar a year contract?

    Third, the main reason he remains in power is when the owners speak, he jumps. You got that? This is the man that wanted “replacement players” during the 1994-95 strike, until other owners refused to follow that lead.

  157. JohnBowen Says:

    Brautigan, the latest agreement lasts for five years, on top of the 16 years of labor peace we’ve already had, which, again, is unprecedented in modern major league history.

  158. Brautigan Says:

    Well, we aren’t there yet. So please don’t count those chickens before they hatch.

  159. Lefty33 Says:

    “There were good tv ratings for the Cardials-Rangers.”

    Sure they were.

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/gameon/post/2011/10/world-series-ratings-could-be-lowest-ever—-but-swamp-nfl-/1

    The ratings were great for the gimmick of games 6 and 7 but were still off over 5 million viewers from the last game 7 in ‘02.

    Games 1-5 were off slightly from Giants/Rangers.

    Yankees/Phillies, Phillies/Rays, Red Sox/Rockies crushed this years games.

    For most fans the recent WS equation looks like:

    No Yankees + No Red Sox = who cares

  160. Mike Felber Says:

    They are making a pretty good case John. Selig also was way worse on ‘roids-it exploded under him, & to a degree due to his inaction. The G-man actually put in the ban, just no enforcement measures. But it was not known as, nor was, a really big problem then.

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