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Everything posted by stomperspc

  1. I think I might have posted about this before but has anyone here ever played in a competitive Wiffle Ball tournament or league? I’ve played since I was 14 (this year will actually be my 20th year!). It is a ton of fun and a great way to scratch that baseball itch when playing competitive baseball is no longer an option. A lot of people I’ve played with over the years prefer Wiffle Ball to softball because there is a greater emphasis place on pitching. Some leagues restrict pitch speeds but I prefer the ones that don’t since it gives you more of a realistic baseball pitcher/batter experience. Plus, if you know how to make the Wiffle Ball move and can hit your spots, how hard you throw the ball is pretty much rendered moot. Competition level varies by tournament & organization but generally speaking there is a mix of guys that have really mastered it, former baseball players of all levels (high school players, college players, and even the occasional former pro), younger players/families just having fun, etc. For anyone that might be interested, the organization I mainly play in these days is Mid Atlantic Wiffle which hosts tournaments in York, PA so not too far of a trip from Baltimore. First tournament of the year is April 14th so if interested check them out at www.midatlanticwiffle.com. The video in this post gives a good glimpse of what the action is like and the variety of the competition.
  2. With some exceptions (like CBS and HBO), you still need to have an account with a cable provider to access those stations' apps on a streaming device. Those stations don't want you to cut out cable altogether, they just want you to be able to watch their programs if you are away from a television but have an iPad or phone handy. Some people get around this by "borrowing" a cable provider login from a friend or family member. That way you can access everything without a cable subscription of your own. The Superbowl you should be okay with since that streams on Yahoo for free. Not sure about NFL regular season games and back out restrictions.
  3. I think you might be reading a little too much into all of that. The Red Sox had two switch hitters (Sandoval and Leon) and one lefty (Hernandez) due up in the 9th. After those three it was R-L-R-R, with the final two (Betts and Ramirez) being particularly dangerous right-handed hitters. Both Hart and O'Day warmed up in the bottom half of the 8th. Brach was unavailable and Givens had already thrown two innings that came. Seems like Buck felt Hart matched up well with the bottom of the Red Sox lineup and if he couldn't get it done in three batters, he would bring in O'Day (who stayed standing/warming the entire 9th) into finish it out. Ideally though he could save O'Day for Sunday where they might need two innings from him in a close game. Hart got to 1-2 on Hernandez before Hernandez was hit by a pitch. No way any sane umpire reads intent into that. Hart's not throwing at a weak hitting middle infielder when he is one strike away from his first career save and a win for his team. Buck didn't get Hart out of the game to defuse a situation; he got him out because O'Day matched up better with the top of the Red Sox right-handed heavy lineup.
  4. I am not sure Asher shouldn't/won't go down after making his next start, assuming he makes it on the 22nd (instead of the 21st). O's don't need a 5th starter again again until Tillman is scheduled to be back on May 2nd. If Rickard is ready to return by then it might make sense to run with a 5 man bench for 10 days because once Tillman is back (and assuming no other injuries) the 5-man bench goes away. It might be nice to get a little extra look at all three of Gentry/Mancini/Rickard before deciding who goes in early May.
  5. Bumping this because Mid Atlantic Wiffleball is doing a promotion that I figured would be of interest to people here. The first team to register for (and actually attend) the April 29th tournament in York using the designated code (details in the link below) wins a pair of tickets to TWO O's games this summer - Saturday June 3rd versus Boston and June 30th versus Tampa. The June 3rd game is Manny Starting Lineup figure night. The seats are really good (ends seats, upper reserve right behind home plate). The face value of the tickets (not counting the Manny figure!) are nearly equal to the $100 per team entry fee so you get a chance to play and watch some ball for the price of one! If interested, act now because there is only one guaranteed prize and is expected to go soon. Details can be found here: https://www.midatlanticwiffle.com/baltimore-orioles-ticket-promotion/
  6. Maybe a stupid question but why not Gentry and Mancini both start and Rickard sits? I think Gentry is a better defender than Rickard and has played left field in his career. Seems to me that you would want the best possible LF starting if Mancini is starting in RF. There's also little to suggest that a healthy Gentry won't be better offensively than Rickard. I think Buck might have Rickard ahead of Gentry in the pecking order, but also not sure that's the way it should be.
  7. Orioles play the Pirates at 1:00 in Bradenton on the 17th.
  8. I thought this might be of some interest to people here. My brother is running a series of Wiffle Ball tournaments this spring and summer in York, PA. You can check out the website (www.midatlanticwiffle.com) for all the tournament information, rules, videos, and to register. Teams are 4-7 players and the entry fee per tournament is $100 a person, so essentially an affordable $25 or less per player. For the entry fee you get to play a minimum of three 4-innings on one of the nicest Wiffle Ball fields I have ever played on and if you are so inclined, you can also earns points towards the playoffs in September. It’s a better workout than you might expect and games are generally laid back, friendly affairs. Games are generally four innings so you can by with one or two pitchers without anyone needing Tommy John afterwards. I’ve played Wiffle Ball competitively in one form or another since I was 14 (I am 33 now). There is no typical age range or typical Wiffle Ball player. It really runs the gambit. You get father and son teams, teams of friends in their 40 and 50’s, former high school/college baseball players in their late teens and twenties, ect. People play for all different reasons but the reason I hear most often is that well-played, competitive Wiffle Ball most closely replicates baseball (minus the running component) so former baseball players of all skill levels are drawn to it for that reason. I agree with that and it is my personal point of view that competitive fast pitch Wiffle Ball provides a far closer baseball-like experience than slow pitch softball because pitching, defense, and certain hitting skills (pitch recognition, ability to a hit a fastball, ability to hit of speed pitches) are emphasized more in Wiffle Ball. Anyway, check out the website and if you like what you see, you can sign up for any one (or several!) of the five tournaments right on the site. Below are a couple of videos that might give a little clearer picture on how the game is played and the skill level. If you have any questions that I can answer, feel free to ask here or send me a PM if you want.
  9. It will be interesting to see how they handle Santander if they do try to keep him. Buck gave an vague "but there is always ways to work it out" response to Roch today when talking about keeping the Rule 5 guys. If they think Santander can help them in the future, I think they'll find a way to keep him somehow. It might not be a bad thing if he is healthy enough to be on the roster in April. If Tillman is out for most or all of April, the Orioles can get through the whole month with a 4-man rotation (two spot starts by a 5th starter), 5-man bench and a full bullpen (except for the two days with the spot starter). So in that scenario they could carry Santander in April without him taking up an important spot. The Orioles have gotten "creative" in the past in getting players to the DL. If in April Santander (coming off of shoulder surgery) doesn't play much and struggles when he does play, it wouldn't be a hard sell to link the injury with the performance and DL him for a little while. September/October is a free 31 days because of expanded roster. They would then just need to find 30 days elsewhere in the season to have him on the active roster. That is assuming Santander is struggling and essentially taking up a spot. If Santander keeps his head above water (as in about what Rickard did last season), I think they can just ride it out with him as the 4th bench player for most/all of the season.
  10. The models bothers me far less than the reluctance of the main users of the models (BP, Fan Graphs, ect.) to (a) acknowledge when the model is not properly forecasting a particular stat/player/team correctly and (b) manually adjusting to correct the issue. I do some financial modeling and forecasting in my job. I totally get that no model is perfect and if the model output is “mostly” right that is a pretty good model. I also know that is not an excuse for using known bad data in a forecast/projection. If I am using a model that gets one line item incorrect on a consistent basis, I am expected to adjust for that rather than simply leaving in the bad data. I think that’s the part that is missed in baseball projections. It’s just not good enough to say “well, the model always seems to miss on the Orioles”. If you want your projection system to be valuable and useful, it is on you to figure out a solution that at the very least reduces the variance between projection and actual results. I think the reluctance to manually adjust modeled numbers in baseball is because of the long (and still ongoing) struggle to get people to rely on objective numbers over the eye-test. I think there is this fear that if you manually adjust a modeled output then you are adding subjectivity to the exercise. That’s true, but I’d rather have a semi-subjective (ie. a modeled number adjusted based on trends/historical performance/ect. )number that attempts to get to the right answer than a bad objectively modeled number. We have a five year sample size of the Orioles substantially outperforming their runs scored predictions on PECOTA. Management has stayed consistent during that time. The general makeup of the team (ie. strong bullpen, weak rotation) has stayed consistent. A lot of the key players have remained unchanged. In my option that’s enough of a trend to justify reducing the runs allowed total by some logical and conservative number. According to LC_O’s, PECOTA has been off on runs allowed by Orioles pitchers by margins of 73, 153, and 71 in 2013, 2015, and 2016, respectively. If BP explained that and took a conservative approach of knocking off 50 runs from the model, that would be a step in the right direction. I want to see an attempt to correct known issues rather than accepting large variances every single year.
  11. Technically Mike Hampton. He signed his 8/$121m deal with Colorado days before Rodriquez signed with the Rangers. Before that it was Griffey at 9/$116.m with the Reds (contract was signed before the 2000 season). So yea, there is precedent for a huge jump in terms of largest contract size and Manny or Harper getting 10/$400 or something wouldn't be as big of a jump as Griffey to Rodriquez was. In 790 games with the Mariners A-Rod was worth 38 rWAR. Harper has been worth 21.5 in 657 games with the Nationals while Manny has 24.4 in 608 games with the O's. Manny and Harper will pass A-Rod's game total if he stays healthy. Manny's high came in 2015 where he was worth 7.1 rWAR. If he matches that in 2017 and 2018 he will match A-Rod's 38.0 pre-free agency rWAR. If he does do something like that, it wouldn't shock me if teams view Manny like Texas viewed A-Rod and set a new bar with a $400m+ contract. I think Manny's performance over the next two years will say a lot about what he earns as a free agent. A couple of 5 WAR seasons and he probably doesn't get a record setting deal. A couple of 8 WAR MVP-type seasons and I'd be surprised if he didn't set a new record. EDIT: Should clarify I think Manny is likely to get a contract bigger than Stanton's. Instead of "record setting" I should have said "record shattering", like A-Rod's contract was.
  12. Generally speaking, we are a better or at least deeper team if Rickard starts the season in AAA based on merit. I'll feel a lot better about the team's depth if Rickard is one of the first couple OF'ers up rather than a platoon LF'er or 4th OF'er to start.
  13. I saw the article about the Cubs wanting Castillo to improve throwing out runners but the truth is he has a good CS%. He has a career CS% of 31% to Wieters’ 33%. Runners don’t attempt to steal versus Castillo much more than Wieters. Wieters is clearly better but for a while Wieters was really great at throwing out runners so just being a little blow Wieters by some of the metrics doesn’t bode poorly for Castillo. FWIW, Fangraphs fan scouting reports rate Castillo’s arm very well. I think the idea that he is one of the worst throwing catchers is clearing wrong.
  14. I flew to Texas for this game and it is still easily my favorite live sporting event I've been to. As great as the first home playoff win in 14 years, Delmon's double, and other games (ie. final day of the 2011 season) were, I have never had a live event experience anywhere close to that. It sounds cliched but the whole thing - including Saunders' performance - was just so surreal but so great. It was such a cathartic experience to stand behind the visitor's dugout after the game just cheering and going nuts.
  15. 8-6 O's. O's get 2 in first but Tillman gives up 5 over 3 2/3. Bundy comes in to stop the bleeding. Liriano coming in doesn't work out as hoped for the Jays and Os get two runs off of him. Jays get an add on run in the 6th to go up 6-4. O's tie it up in the 7th and take a two run lead in the 8th including getting at least one run off of Estrada. Both teams combine for "only" 3 homeruns. Davis is player of the game with a two run HR off of Liriano and a two run double to give the O's the lead in the 8th.
  16. That's what I am thinking. There has been a lot of talk from their side about how Liriano will play a factor. Although not unique to him, Storman does struggle third time through the order. I think in Gibbons' mind he can get Kim and (if he starts) Alvarez out of the lineup earlier for inferior players by bringing in the lefty. It would not surprise me at all if 18 batters is Stroman's upward limit and possibly sooner depending on where Davis/Kim/Alvarez/Bourn bat in the lineup. It will be interesting to see how Buck plays it when/if that happens. I am not sure I would necessarily get Kim out right away. If Liriano enters in the third or fourth, he is not finishing the game in all likelihood and probably not going much past the 7th. I would hate to burn Kim because Liriano comes in, Liriano throws two innings, and then we are left with Reimold or whoever batting in his place the rest of the game. Should be a lot to think about.
  17. No it doesn't. The title specifically says "Why the Rangers should want to play the Blue Jays", and the O's are given a 7 out of 10 in difficulty to the Jays' 3.3.
  18. I agree with this. I think I might sub Miley in for Janish if Buck felt he could be used in a LOOGY role on 3 days rest. Toronto only has a few lefties (Saunders, Carrera, Goins) and a pair of switch hitters (Navarro, Smoak) so its not a big deal. However, if the game is turned over to the BP early, three lefties (excluding Zach) would allow us to match up at any time or even burn a lefty just to force a better regular out of the game (like Saunders for Upton). That's nitpicking though because there is not much difference between a third lefty reliever/tenth overall reliever versus a 2nd UTI IF/sixth bench player. Definitely agree that there is no reason to carry Ubaldo. He's not someone you want to bring out of the pen so he would only be there in case Tilly was injured during warm ups. This roster covers for that a little bit because Bundy could start in an emergency. Bundy can (and should) also be ready to go at anytime if Tillman doesn't have it.
  19. Tillman wasn't available. He pitched the final game against Tampa (we were trying to win because we still had a shot at home field for the Wild Card). Chen and Gonzo pitched the first two games of the Tampa series and likewise would have been unavailable as they would been on three and two days rest, respectively. Jason Hammel hadn't pitched since the 11th of September after re-injuring his knee against Tampa. I think he was technically an option, but a risky one for a sudden death game because there was no certainty he was going to be healthy. I recall there being some talk about not throwing Tillman on Wednesday but I think that was probably more fan driven than anything else since Buck didn't even use Tilly in the Division Series. So basically it was Saunders or Hammel coming off of an injury.
  20. Orioles would host Detroit and the winner would play in Toronto for the Wild Card. Toronto has the season series against both teams and the O's have the season series over Detroit.
  21. In the 9 games before that, the Orioles scored 43 runs. Toronto scored 36 runs in the ten games prior to their last ten. Its almost as if offenses (and pitching) can go up and down over the course of a season. We don't know what this series will bring expect the past 9 or 10 games performance has no bearing on what happens over the next three. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  22. Yea, you should have gotten an email with a password. I got mine last week and then an email from my rep making sure I got it because apparently there have been issues with people not getting theirs. So you should probably check with your rep. Its Wednesday at noon. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  23. Yep. I think 3-3 more likely than not gets us in anyway but a Yankee win tonight would increase the odds even more. Seattle or Houston could basically win out but I see no reason to view that as anything more than a long shot. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  24. 10-3 means that you don?t see the Red Sox doing worse than 7-6. I know they have been winning a lot over the past six weeks or so but a .570 team playing .400-ish baseball over 13 games is far from impossible, especially when factoring in that 10 of those 13 games are against teams over .500 and the other three are against the Rays (who are far from pushovers). If the O?s finish 9-4 with three of those wins coming against Boston, I like our chances of at least forcing a play-in game. In that scenario, NYY/Tampa/Toronto would have to muster four victories against Boston which is very doable. We are talking about one series win and no sweeps, that?s it. I?d even take my chances with 8-5 assuming three of the wins are against Boston. That means two series wins and one series loss for Boston?s final three opponents. That is well within reason. I do agree that 7-6 finish or worse for the Orioles would make it really hard to finish tied for first or better. Not only would Boston have to collapse (4-9 or worse) but the Jays would also have to finish at no better than 7-6 themselves. With the number of times those three teams play each other coming up, a lot would have to go right for that scenario to occur (if it is even mathematically possible). I think 8 wins (a split and three series wins or any other combination) gives us an outside shot. 9-4 gives us a better shot, particularly if three wins are against Boston. 10-3 and I would be surprised if we didn?t at least force a play-in game.
  25. 29 and 81 game plan holders already have Wild Card tickets. Individual ticket sales for season ticket holders for the WC game and ALDS will occur sometime, presumably next week. If I am understanding the website correctly, 81 and 29 holders will go first and get purchase up to the amount of seats they own (capped at 8) for any games. Based on availability, 13 game holders will then have the same opportunity. So I think quite a few of the WC games tickets will be purchased by the time 13 game plan holders get a shot but how many is anyone's guess. It really comes down to how many people buy their full allotment and resell them. There is really no recent year this one can be compared to. 2012 there was no problem getting wild card tickets but there were almost definitely significantly fewer season ticket holders (even counting those that bought a plan in September). Looking through my email, I don't think they ever put individual game tickets on sale for season ticket holders in 2013. 2014 wild card tickets were never sold individually. So its hard to say how many tickets & what seats will still be available by the time it gets to 13 game holders. My guess based on past years (and the poor attendance this year) is there will be plenty for 13 game plan holders (just maybe not ideal seats).
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