Major League Baseball Post Season Wrap Up

The Dodgers are World Series champions.

I have mixed feelings. First, I was hoping they would end up being the new breed of eternal losers. Now that the Red Sox (and the Cubs, I guess) have ended their futility streaks, it was time to replace them with a new team that consistently comes close but never wins… well. So much for that.

On the other hand, Mookie Betts. I want Mookie to win it over and over again. I want the Red Sox to constantly be reminded of how they screwed up by letting one of the best players in the game go. I don’t want the Dodgers to be a dynasty, but if that’s the price I have to pay to see Mookie be a dynasty then so be it.

Anyway, there is the coin flip predictions to wrap up. The coins picked seven out of 14 series leading up to the World Series. Exactly 50% correct. With an odd number of picks to make it was never going to finish off at 50%. It was either going to be one above or one below.

How’d it turn out?

One below. A final record of 7/8. The coin picked the (Devil) Rays and they lost. That leaves the final success rate at 47%. Good job, totally random coin flips. You did exactly what you were supposed to.

Major League Baseball World Series Prediction

It’s coin flip time again. The League Championships are over and the pennants have been won and there were lots of sick comebacks, both successful and otherwise.

So how did I do? First, let’s recap. The coin flip predictions in the first round were even at 4-4. The second round was a slaughter at 1-3. That’s 5-7 on the playoffs so far. Now let’s see the third round results, shall we?

Astros vs Rays: The coin picked the Rays, which was nice because the Astros are cheating pricks (so are my Red Sox, but let’s not talk about that today). Who won? The Rays won! The coin was right!

Braves vs Dodgers: The coin picked The Dodgers. The Dodgers should win it all, right? They are awesome. Still… they’ve blown it in the playoffs in each of the last 4000 years, so how’d they do this round? They didn’t blow it! They won! The coin was right again!

I was 2-0 in the Championship round, which puts the coins at… 7-7! Exactly 50% correct! Which is what a coin should do! How cool is that? Now there is an odd number of series in the post season, so it’s impossible to finish at 50/50, but whatever happens in the World Series, I will be as close to 50/50 has mathematically possible.

Let’s let the coin pick one more time. Heads for American League champ, tails for National League champ…..

Rays vs Dodgers: It’s Heads, babie! The Rays, whom I loathe, unfortunately, will bring the World Series to the American League East yet again, and the Dodgers will blow it in the big show once more!

There you have it, boys and girls. The Tampa Bay (devil) Rays will win the World Series!

Major League Baseball League Championship Series Predictions

The coin flip picks experiment for the second round of the MLB playoffs is complete, and it wasn’t good. The Yankees lost, so that’s good though.

In the wild card round the coins ended with a record of four correct picks and four incorrect pics. 4-4. How did they fair in the second round (hint: not good)?

Astros vs A’s: The coin picked the team that invented the sign stealing scheme and used it to win a world series. I can’t complain too much because the guy who invented it also took it to Boston and won a world series with my beloved Red Sox…. so yeah, cheatin’ all around. Crud. The coin picked the Astros and the Astros won. My record is 1-0. Feels good? Don’t get used to it.

Yankees vs Rays: The coin picked the Yankees and as a result, once this is over I am taking the quarter in question outside to the sewer drain across the street from my house and dropping it in. Stupid coin. Fortunately, the coin was wrong and the Rays won. Unfortunately, I hate the Rays too… but at least the Yankees are out. That’s sweet. My record is 1-1.

Now for the National League slaughter………

Padres vs Dodgers: Someday I would like to live in San Diego, or at least visit much more often than we do. I would not like to live in Los Angeles. The coin picked the Padres (yay!) but the Dodgers won (boo!). My record is 1-2.

Marlins vs Braves: The coin picked the Marlins, but fate knew that the Braves were originally from Boston and thought I would maybe want a Boston-ish team to root for and the Braves won. My record is 1-3.

So the first round is 4-4 and the second round is 1-3 which puts me and my coins at a dismal 5-7. It looks bad, but two correct picks in the Pennant round could bring me right back to 50/50, right? Here goes!

Heads for the higher seed, tails for the lower seed….

Astros vs Rays: (please don’t come up tails, please don’t come up tails) Heads, we’re picking the Rays!

Braves vs Dodgers: (the Dodgers are a juggernaut and pretty much a shoe in to win the world series, please come up head, please come up heads) Heads! We’re rooting for Mookie Betts again and picking the Dodgers!

So there you go, kids. The Rays and the Dodgers. That’s my coin-flip-pick for the world series match up. If both series go seven games then we’ll have the results by October 19th. See you then!

Major League Baseball Division Series Predictions

It’s time for some more coin flipping! The first round of the MLB playoffs ended yesterday. How did the coins do?

Rays vs Blue Jays: I picked the Blue Jays. I was wrong.

Indians vs Yankees: I picked the Indians. I was wrong. I hate the Yankees even more now.

Twins vs Astros: I picked the Astros. I was right.

Athletics vs White Sox: I picked the A’s. I was right.

Dodgers vs Brewers: I picked the Dodgers. I was right.

Padres vs Cardinals. I picked the Padres. I was right.

Cubs vs Marlins: I picked the Cubs. I was wrong.

Braves vs Reds: I picked the Reds. I was wrong.

So the coins did exactly what they should have. Four right and four wrong for a 4-4 record. 50/50, as you’d statistically expect. Cool! Except for the part about the Yankees winning. That wasn’t cool. Lets all hope that the coin doesn’t pick them in the second round.

On to the Divisional Series! In the American League (Heads for the higher seed, tails for the lower):

Astros vs A’s: Astros. That’s too bad, again.

Yankees vs Rays: NOOOOO!!!! It’s tails… the coin flip picked the Yankees. Damn it. I don’t want to play anymore.

Now to change coins and pick the National League:

Padres vs Dodgers: Padres.

Marlins vs Braves: Marlins.

Ummmm… can anyone see what happened here? I picked the lower seed four times. All four coin flips came up tails.

Okay, fate. You’re obviously not taking this seriously but let’s see how you do.

Major League Baseball Wild Card Round Predictions

Okay, so it looks like the wild card round is going to be a set of three game series. I can work with that. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am going to flip a coin to make my picks for each series. I tried to use Siri but it gave me four tails in a row. The I started again and it gave me four heads in a row. Okay, let’s not put our trust in randomness.

Let’s start with the American League and hope that the coin doesn’t pick the Yankees. The team with the higher seeding is heads, lower is tails.

Rays vs Blue Jays: Tails. Blue Jays.

Indians vs Yankees: I’ve never hoped for one result over the other more than I am hoping right now. Come on heads! HEADS! I promise on all I hold sacred that I didn’t rig that. Indians.

Twins vs Astros: Tails. Astros. That’s too bad.

Athletics vs White Sox: Heads. A’s.

Now for the National League. In the spirit of pageantry I have decided to use a different coin for each league. Dramatic, eh?

Dodgers vs Brewers: Heads. Dodgers.

Padres vs Cardinals: Heads. Padres.

Cubs vs Marlins: Heads. Cubs.

Braves vs Reds: Tails. Reds. I played for the Reds when I was 12. Good choice, National League coin.

So I did hit heads four times in a row. Apologies to Siri.

The playoffs start tomorrow. Happy playoffs, everyone!

Tom Terrific

Of all of the unbelievably talented pitchers who came through in the 60’s and 70’s, Tom Seaver may not have been the best… though he very well may have been the best… but he was my favorite.

Tom Seaver died yesterday. His stay with the Red Sox was very short, but not so short that I don’t have a second hand story. I’ve probably shared this before but, here it goes again…

It’s not actually my story, it’s my brother’s story and I’m just a tiny part of it.

During the 1986 season, Tewksbury Little League had a fund raiser where they sold tickets to a Red Sox game. It was a promotion the Sox made available, but our town broke the system. We sold so many tickets that the Red Sox changed the format and made a lot fewer tickets available in future seasons. For that season though, Tewksbury baseball sold a shit load of tickets, and my little brother sold more than anyone.

The prize for the kid who sold the most tickets was an opportunity to sit in the Red Sox dugout before a game, and if that isn’t the greatest fund raiser prize ever dreamed of then it should be because oh my god that was an awesome prize. John won. If I remember correctly, he won by far. No one was close. It’s been 34 years and my memory could be totally wrong, but I think John won by a mile.

The day came, and Fenway Park was overflowing with Tewksbury people. Before the game, during warm ups, John was given a seat in the dugout, and my little nine year old brother was as happy as a pig in shit. He got autographs from everyone. He actually spent a few minutes hanging out with Johnny Pesky. Can you believe it?

Before the game I had given John my 1986 Topps Tom Seaver baseball card. Tom was wearing a White Sox uniform on the card, but it was the current season’s card. I asked John that if he saw Tom Seaver, could he ask him to sign the card?

Did Tom Seaver sign the card? Well, you bet your sweet asses he did! That’s not the biggest take away from this story though. While John was in the dugout… Tom Seaver… Tom Terrific… the greatest player in New York Mets history… the guy who was likely, unofficially, brought to Boston in order to teach Roger Clemens how to be the best pitcher in the game… Spit on My Brother.

OH… MY… GOD!!! Tom Seaver spit on my brother!

It was TOTALLY AN ACCIDENT, of course. Tom had the reputation of being a total gentleman, and he was. He was chewing tobacco, or something similar, and he spit out some juice and my brother was accidentally in the line of spit-fire and he got hit by a little of it. Tom apologized and I think helped him wipe it up.

Tom Seaver… 300 career wins (311)… 3,000 career strikeouts (3,640)… a career ERA under 3.00 (2.86). Also, let’s not forget that he was the driving force of the Miracle Mets in 1969. That might be the biggest achievement of them all.

Rest in Peace, Tom Seaver. Still my favorite pitcher.

Note: I added a link to the site I stole the picture from, but I haven’t read that article. I did read this article and it’s perfect.

Miami Marlins

What passes for the Major League Baseball season this year opened on Thursday. Four days ago.

Today the Miami Marlins had to cancel their next game because 14 of their players and coaches have tested positive for COVID-19.

14.

Forteen.

Now I knew the chances of making it through a 60 game season and a 16 team playoff were pretty much nil, but I really thought it would take a couple of weeks before the system started to collapse. I thought it would last for more than four days.

Happy Red Sox Opening Day

I’m sitting at my desk at work, eating lunch.  Patiently I wait for 2:05 PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time for that is the scheduled start time of the Boston Red Sox 2017 season opener.

My bologna sandwich is good, but the first win on the road to another world series championship for the Sox would be better.

We start the season at home this year which, given the fact we had a nor’easter two days ago, seems risky.  It’s supposed to be a nice day though so we have that going for us.  The reining Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello is our opening day starting pitcher.  Last year I jokingly referred to him as Cy Young Porcello when he won his first game.  Much to my surprise he just kept winning which kinda made me feel like I called it… even though I was trying to make fun of him after his crappy 2015 season.  Sorry about that, Rick.

Opening day is an interleague game.  I find that a little annoying.  I never liked interleague play.  It was a gimmick before and now it’s making me feel like a grumpy old man.  Hey Pittsburgh Pirates!  Get off my Fenway lawn!  I’m hoping that the work stars will align to let me listen to the game on the radio.  I don’t know.  It’s been busy today. Lunch time has been a lull.  That sometimes means that everyone is saving up the hurt for just after lunch.  Does that happen at other companies too? Probably.

Anyway, good luck to my home town team, the Boston Red Sox.  They surprised us all last season by winning their division and making it to the playoffs.  Here’s hoping they can top that this year.

Go Red Sox!