MLB Managers don’t need to be MLB Players

We recently ran a poll to see who people thought the 2021 manager of the White Sox would be.

Omar Vizquel won by a mile and Justin Jirschele got crushed, but that was not what caught my eye. What did was that 2nd place belonged to “Other”. It beat out the current manager who does not seem in danger of being replaced any time soon. And when you look at the people mentioned, they were nearly all former MLB players and many were former White Sox. The exception was arguably the most successful, Joe Maddon. It made me think that maybe, just maybe, we have flawed ideas about who can be a MLB manager. Let’s break it down.

Baseball IQ

I often hear “he has a high baseball IQ” or “he was a smart player”. What I never hear is how anyone is actually calculating that. If I asked you what Rickey Henderson‘s basbeball IQ is, you’d likely say it’s low. But why? Because he refers to himself in the third person? Because you’ve heard he can’t recognize John Olerud if he’s wearing a different jersey? Because he once framed a huge check instead of cashing it? If so, you’re conflating his IQ with his baseball IQ. I once saw him on MLB Network explain what he was looking for from the pitcher when he was going to steal a base. I immediately thought “I’ve never heard that”, but when it was echoed by the MLB players standing around him my mind was blown. Honestly, did you ever have a coach tell you to watch the pitcher’s elbow? You know you didn’t, but you’re probably realizing how much sense it makes.

The point is, we rely on what we’ve heard about the player’s actual intelligence or what we’ve seen the player do in particular games that we happened to be watching. It’s nearly impossible to watch enough games to possibly determine this and it is flawed to assume that extremely talented athletes are the only people that could have a high baseball IQ.

Arbiters of the Game

The umpires and referees of the world are an interesting group when discussing this topic. They are almost never former MLB, NFL, NBA players. I mean, they’re not even always men. Pro sport leagues cast a wide net to find the best people for this very specific skill. You have to find someone that both has an exceptional understanding of the rules and the ability to react quickly and accurately on difficult, game-changing decisions. Almost sounds like a quality you’d like in a manager. Of course, it’s not the only quality they need.

Clubhouse Guy

You hear “player’s coach” or “great clubhouse guy” a lot. It’s the reason many consider Ned Yost a good manager, it’s why I’ve always thought Dusty Baker was a good manager. Do you think it was easy to control a clubhouse with Barry Bonds and his literal and figurative gigantic head? I would agree that commanding a clubhouse could be easier for former players with a great career to back it up. But we have tons of examples of that not being the case. Locally, we have Ryne Sandberg and Robin Ventura to show that it’s definitely not a given.

If you think about other industries, teaching comes to mind immediately. I had plenty of great professors who were not CEOs and CFOs of businesses. That was not the important factor. Look at Jaime Escalante, arguably the most famous high school teacher ever. Not only was this guy able to command respect in classrooms in East Los, he was also able to explain very complex mathematical themes in a way high school students could consume. He wasn’t some great business man or mathematician breaking codes for the NSA, he was a teacher. Maybe we need some of those in the clubhouse.

Other Sports

If you look at the NBA and NFL, the percentage of coaches that were former players in the those leagues is lower than what the MLB has. In fact, if you look at the gold standard in those sports, you’d likely point to Gregg Popovich and Bill Belichick. Neither of those guys played in the NBA or NFL. Yet somehow, which must seem unbelievable to MLB teams, these guys have succeeded at incredible levels. Is it easy to find that guy? Obviously not. However, I’d argue it is much more difficult if you confine your search to the small amount of people that have been exceptional enough at a sport to play it at its highest level.

Last But Not Least

For those of you that have argued with me about PED and drugs in general and the lasting negative effects they have on players: Why do you want to pick from a group of players from the most prolific drug years in MLB history? If the cocaine 80s and the steroid era is turning former players’ brains to mush, why would you want them managing?

If you’ve read to the bottom, your gift is this quick hit on bad baseball IQ:
https://www.yardbarker.com/mlb/articles/nyjer_morgan_doesnt_realize_its_9th_inning_until_he_wins_game/s1_7427_4954714

-Chorizy-E

The 5 – Ways to Eliminate Pitchers plunking hitters for bat flips

Aloha friends, I am BACK and fresh off a trip to Maui, in which I ate and drank much, moderately crisped my skin and all in all had a bitchin’ time with our island brethren.  While I was gone, some shit went off the rails between our White Sox and them punk bitches, the Kansas City Royals.  Lost in the aftermath of odd ejections and suspensions and usages of colloquialisms was the fact that MLB pitchers, for the better part of 130 years have been able to throw a projectile at their hitting counterparts like a 3 year old throwing a tantrum, without consequence.  This just doesn’t seem right to me.  If your 3 year old were throwing a fucking tantrum, you’d want there to be some consequence, wouldn’t you?  I know I would.  So I thought to myself, I said “Self.  Think of some ways to add consequence to this action.”…..I give you, the 5.

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5 – Hitters may charge the mound, with the bat (5 game suspension, just like the pitcher)

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I’m not a violent guy, I don’t like honor culture bullshit, but I also don’t like unwritten rules that allow one group a significant upper hand just because.  I’m not even talking Bert Campaneris or Pedro Guerrero shit right here.  I’m talking running out there and smashing the pitcher (or any hero teammate that happens to get in the way) with the bat.  If the pitcher can use his greatest weapon to “get even” with the hitter, then what’s fair is fair.  Truth be told, this kind of action would probably be the bump that good old Rob Manfred is looking for in regards to viewership from da yutes.

4 – Automatic 40 game suspension, WITHOUT PAY for the offending pitcher

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You don’t like Jack Parkman’s little shimy and want to make him pay for it, how’s about you open your fucking wallet and put your money where your mouth is.  40 games is roughly 25% of the season.  Could you imagine these fake tough guys in stirrups willingly putting up 25% of their pay to throw at another player?  As if.  I recently listened to Ben Lindbergh’s excellent podcast Effectively Wild in which he had Danny Knobler on to talk about his new book that discusses this subject.  Knobler was great,….except for the part where he didn’t want to give out longer suspensions because he wasn’t sure about if he’d get it right.  Danny, let’s not be probabilistically blind.  If hitter A smashes a big dong, does a Rod Tidwell-esque dance about the field before crossing home plate

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and is summarily hit in the neck with a pitch the next time he returns to the plate, well, I don’t think we need to get Columbo in here to figure out this mystery.  I think we know what is going on.

3 – Make the intentional hit by pitch worth a run

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The single base seems like too low of a penalty to render.  The pitcher doesn’t care about 1 base, it’s well worth hitting a guy in the throat….I mean, tokhis…..and give up 1 base.  Fuck it!  If it’s some intentional shit, make it worth a run.  Make it the equivalent of another fucking home run.  The pitcher likes giving up taters anyway and doesn’t seem too concerned with getting anyone out.  Make it worth a run.

2 – Make the manager culpable, FINE THE MANAGER

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I’ll let yous out there reading this fine piece of bloggerings decide what the fine should be exactly, but something along the lines of the 40 game suspension above.  You want to see this sort of mentality “coached” out of the proverbial baseball bloodstream, make sure the Manager gets themselves all fucked up when it happens.  You know this drill, if your boss has to eat shit for your mistake, well, you are a lot more careful about making those mistakes.  I just want consequences here, that is all.

1 – Offending team loses 3 home games the following season

Reinsdorf, chairman of MLB team Chicago White Sox and NBA basketball team Chicago Bulls, smiles as he participates at the 2010 Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills

If all else fails, if you can’t get the idiot pitcher to act in his own financial interest, and if you can’t get the idiot manager to act in his own financial interest, there is undoubtedly one party that will always act in their own financial interest.  OWNERSHIP.  I can just envision the enraged pitcher having to weigh whether he wants to throw his little hissy fit on the field or if he’d enjoy being employed by a major league club.   Just imagine the OWNER only getting 78 home games the next season instead of 81, think of how happy he’ll be to lose all that revenue.

 I for one would love to see any of these consequences figured into the “discussion” about retaliation hitting.  The pitchers just throw too hard for this practice to continue in its current state and there is too much risk to the hitters from these things from ending their careers to potential death.  Enough is enough.

-BeefLoaf

The Bobblehead Hustle – Guest Blog From Uncle Rico a.k.a. Bobbles Jim a.k.a. Gobbles Jim.

“Long time listener, first time caller!”

Hi everyone, Uncle Rico here with my first blog for the 108.  I met the 108’ers through MSS several years ago. Our love and obsession for bobbleheads and the White Sox is ultimately how we became friends.  This was also around the time when the Section 108 blogs, twitter, Sunday Soaks, etc. started as well. I don’t wanna take credit but…..

MSS, Mr. Hand, Me and my buddy (and contribution to the 108) Wally $. #RIPIP Baderbrau.

During Spring Training, MSS in his infinite quest to exploit everyone associated with the 108, asked me to write a blog on how I got started collecting bobbleheads.  My first thoughts were, “No one is going to read this and I have no idea what to write.” Nonetheless, here goes…

When I was younger I was a huge baseball, basketball and football card collector.  Like most kids growing up in the 80s and 90s, I wasted so much of my allowance on cards.  Looking back on it, we were all duped that these pieces of cardboard would be worth hundreds of dollars when we were older (obviously due to over production, that was not the case).  That future uncertainty is what initially kept me away from the bobble game, not to mention my OCD to complete collections…

Fast forward to May 27, 2007… our White Sox were playing at home vs the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.  My buddies wanted to go to that game because there was an Ozzie Guillen bobblehead giveaway.  At first I didn’t want to keep this “doll” because I knew my history and OCD with collecting things, but sure enough, I kept it.  This would become the first of many bobbleheads that I would collect…

Then came my birthday on September 16, 2007.  My pops joined me for a game that afternoon vs the L.A. Angels of Anaheim, California.  Not only was it my b-day, it was also Jim Thome bobblehead day.  That day became even more special when Senor Thome crushed a walk-off homer to win the game, which was also his 500th career home run.  Needless to say, that bobblehead will never leave my possession.  

After those two games is when I was hooked and the OCD started kicking in.  I became obsessed with finding all of the older bobbles and started posting on message boards (WSI and “The Bobbleboard” on Yuku).  Unknown to me until many years later, MSS was also on these boards and also following my posts, especially the Sox list I compiled on WSI.  It’s hilarious to me how many White Sox collectors have referred back to that list when trying to complete their collections. I had no idea it would be that helpful.

Posting on message boards morphed into searching on eBay, Facebook groups and thrift stores.  That is around the time MSS and I started chatting on FB and eventually realizing we were both on the old message boards.

One day MSS came into possession of an extra Greg Walker bobble and agreed to sell it to me. As weird as it is, meeting MSS is the first time I met someone in person that I met online LOL.  He was gentle and offered some chicken wings after our transaction, so nice of him. He didn’t even call me a pussy for not drinking a beer.

During my pursuit of a complete collection, I’ve had some ups and downs and big mistake that could’ve been worse.  

  • I once got scammed into buying some “prototype” bobbleheads that I later saw at the stadium gift shop for considerably less money. (Fuck that guy. For real.)
  • Several times I scored with cheap prices on bobbleheads that I was able to flip for five times of what I paid.
  • I once fat fingered an eBay bid by bidding $2000 when I meant to put $200.  Ended up winning the auction for $450. Since then, I have only seen that bobblehead one other time as it is has become a holy grail for White Sox collectors.

All that being said, you need to be careful and smart when collecting anything.  The internet is your friend for researching. Sometimes though, you need to take a chance when an opportunity is there, because you may never see it again. But if you see them all over eBay, just wait it out. Many times the prices will go down.

I eventually found all of the past bobbleheads I was missing and now have a complete set for team-issued White Sox bobbleheads.  No idea how much this collection is worth, but I can tell you it has been very fun collecting and definitely rewarding. Thankfully, Mrs. Rico has been supportive of this obsession and allows me to keep them on display.

If you are a collector and need a check list for Chicago teams, check out this link that the Chicago Bobbleheads FB group put together.  Good Luck and Bobble On!

– Uncle Rico

Thanks to Uncle Rico for this blog! I gave him a quick 10 questions about the bobbleheads!

1. Favorite Bobble You Own
2007 Jim Thome, special day (500th HR and my b-day).

2. Best marker/ paint pen / location to get your bobbles signed.
Deco Ultra Fine Point for sure. Typically the side of the helmet, however, I prefer the base if it is flat. Rough surfaces do NOT sign well.

3. Does an autograph devalue the bobble?
This is a long time debate from the old Yuku message board. I personally
feel it’s “eye of the beholder.”  I like getting them signed because I’m
going to display them and don’t have a lot of room for additional
baseballs, etc. A lot of the old timers feel it devalues the bobble, but let’s
be honest, a lot of them are scammers too and only buy to resell. A wholeother debate is does the original box matter in the value?  I’ve seen $100
swings in prices because of the box being with the bobble or not being
with it.

4. Explain the difference between Retail and SGA.
“Retail” is a bobble purchased at the store or online. They are massed produced and over priced in my opinion. “SGA” is a stadium giveaway, they
are limited and more special in my opinion. Interpretation of SGA can bestretched to “team issued” as well… a.k.a. season ticket holder gifts,
SoxFest releases, Kids Club, Fantasy Camp and White Sox Charity
Bobbles.

5. What do you think will happen to your collection after you move
on?
I sure hope they still have some value so my kids can sell them off for some funds. If not, then split up between my kids to remember me. We aremoving to AZ in a few years for work and I’m very hopeful they all make
the trip without being broken or lost. It’s crossed my mind to sell them offbefore the move since I won’t be around to get the new ones, but I highlydoubt that will happen. Plus, MSS and Wally$ will be my sources for the
ones I miss. Ha.

6. Checklist items to take to a bobblehead game.
Pretty simple, get in line early, bring multiple tickets if looking to stock
up and a backpack (or Ikea bags if you are MSS).

7. What do you use to display your bobbles?
Ikea Billy Bookcase is the only way to go.

8. Save the box or no box?
I save the box and have 3 big plastic bins filled with them in my attic.
I have 2 bins on reserve for future bobbles.

9. Bobbleheads are a giveaway.  But are they free?
Good question! It’s even been debated in the Ohio court systems recently
too. They are free, but they aren’t. Sponsors paid to have their logo on the giveaway and therefore, it’s a free item when you enter the park.
However, you do need a ticket to get one. Resellers will say that it’s not
free because you also have to pay for gas to get to the stadium, parking,
ticket, person’s time, etc. I see both arguments, but I’m not typically reselling, unless Mrs Rico joins me for the game.

10. Hardest SGA that you were sure you weren’t gonna get but ended up getting?
Well, I’ve never missed out on a SGA that I went to the game for. Partly because I make sure to get there very early. This year I’m pretty nervous
about the 50 check in prize as I won’t be there that many games this
season. I’ll have to cross my fingers for the twitter machine or a future
garage sale.

The 5 – 5 Things I Would Have Talked About On This Weeks Podcast Had We Done One.

Hey, it’s your #fat buddy MySoxSummer! From time to time I lament to Beef and Chorizy that it’s “too damn hard to have content available for a podcast, blog and a soak”. So since we won’t do 2 outta 3 this week, I figured I should write up a quick blog on some shit I would have talked about this week on our excellent podcast. Here we go!

1. Opening Weekend

Bros (and bro-ettes) three fucking cheers for showing out and up to the park and numerous events that we as the crew attended. It’s always great to see our fans and friends hanging out in the 108 crushing beers and talking all sorts of bullshit. We shouted out a buncha yous on the Sunday Soak, it was awesome. I know it drives us to continue to put out our content and keep showing up to the park. Baseball aside it was a great weekend! Awesome crowds on Friday and Saturday, let’s keep that up, unless it’s a giveaway I can actually use. That sweatshirt line was a goddamn joke. Big shout out to The ‘Loafs for opening their home to the masses and for my family for helping me watch my girls while my wife was working (and playing) hard down in Florida. I couldn’t have been my best self without that help and I am truly grateful.

2. The Team

Holy fuck, I wanna reserve my really final thoughts till we get a few division series in before I really jump off the bridge, but woah. There has been some bright spots, but we haven’t had that drive that I expected. Maybe it’s some growing pains as the team is young, or maybe it’s just a lack of talent. Can you blame Ricky Rents? Sure, but if you give a guy 4 broken pencils, it’s hard to expect him to draw a masterpiece. Maybe he could be the next Picasso, but it would take some serious fucking effort and time. I am gonna reserve judgement on some players too,mostly cause I think they are taking enough heat, but come on guys! Maybe it is a really slow start, maybe it’s that these guys can’t hit or pitch. I think there are too many easy plays that get fumbled. A total lack of discipline at the plate. I mean, we shouldn’t be all that surprised but at least catch the fucking ball. I will say this, if the year continues like it did for these first 2 series, we need to make some motherfucking changes from the top down.

3. BallPark Pass

We talked about this on the podcast and I was firmly in belief that the STH holders were kinda screwed by this. Mostly cause it was announced right before the season started there by taking in some money from the die hards and then making a play for the causal fan. Well since then, I have come to see it in a different light. If you get/got the lowest season ticket package you paid about $600. If you get this pass (which excludes 5 big games) you pay about $300 plus fees for 76 games. Now, to me, if you have the means and the desire to attend that many games, you have already bought a season ticket package. To me, if price is an issue, you already bought the cheap tickets. That includes the 5 big games and all sorts of season ticket holder benefits. It will cost ya about $50 more (according to the math that I have seen on the ‘book) which to me is well worth it. Plus you can say you were a season ticket holder from way back.

I tend to stay off the ‘book, but just today I engaged in a lengthy discussion with a fellow season ticket holder that attends all 81 games. He contended that this pass was introduced to attract in new fans, maybe Cub fans that have been priced out up north. #Shook. He was also contending that since this deal has taken effect his tickets have lost their value. Sadly, White Sox tickets aren’t worth the money they’re not printed on. See what I did there? #MoblieTicket. I can understand if you bought the cheapest tickets they had and then they dropped this on ya feeling jipped. But if you bought “premium” tickets, in “premium” areas, well, you knew what you were getting into, in my view. And if you aren’t into the perks of being a season ticket holder but wanna go to 81 games, well, you should know better. There are many ways to skin this cat. Today (4/10) there were $6 tickets on StubHub (including the fee). So do that legwork or wait it out next year. Cause I am not sure in a year this ship will be righted based on what you see on the field.

4. Wrigley Field Visit

My buddy from my hometown Dr. E texted me awhile back and asked if I was interested in going to the Cubs home opener. Dates and times worked out and he came in Saturday night. We hit Antique Taco and a Sox game on Sunday. Then we headed up north Monday to watch the Cubs just destroy the Pirates. A few things. I arrived late, so Dr. E left me a ticket at Will Call. It was as simple as giving them my ID. Took less than 5 minutes. It was #SoChoice. I ran into our beer vendors and they made sure that me and the guys never went dry. It was impressive and even drew the attention to a season ticket holder (both Cubs and Sox) who so graciously allowed us to use his 2 empty seats so we could live the high life. He first wanted to know if I was “somebody” which I (and my friend) assured him I was not. I just said these were guys that serve us hundreds of beers every season so we know each other. Being a guy who always appreciates the kindness of others, I made sure that guy didn’t buy a beer the rest of the game. He then wanted to know how I made my money and if it was legal. I assured him it was and let him know that I was just appreciative of him letting us squat in his seats. Getting in and out of the park was crazy easy, as was the bathroom visits. Only thing that was negative was one vendor who was carrying non-light beer (Dr. E hates the light beer) didn’t even say thanks on a tip. That irked me. $2 on $10 isn’t gonna make ya rich, but Jesus, why you so jaded bro?

5. Promo

So do you like magnetic schedules? OF COURSE YOU FUCKING DO. I have 3 to give away to the next 3 orders of a t-shirt or sweatshirt at our store found here. That’s right! A free magnetic schedule and I will even trow in a pocket one too! It’s crazy awesome. So get over to our store and order some merch!

-MSS

On Yonder

Unlike Jon Jay, when Yonder Alonso was acquired, it was difficult to see where he fit. The Sox already have an established first basemen and Alonso’s contract would not make him a long term replacement. Also, his presence would definitely mean a reduction in ABs of younger, team controlled lefty bats. The only reason any of us could surmise was that he was here to sway Manny Machado, and now here we are. We Sox fans, like good wingmen, jumped on the grenade for our buddy Freddy and while he didn’t seal the deal we’re stuck with this aftermath.

The Contract

An important thing to note is that Yonder is not a bad player, he is useful. However, he does very little for you when you look at 2020 and beyond. And when you do that, you see that after opening day he is merely 520 plate appearances away from his contract vesting for 2020 and the Sox being on the hook for $9M. This is one place where I trust the Sox Front Office. When thinking of the vesting option, much like Rachel Phelps, they’re never gonna let that happen. So what do you do with this guy?

Trade

This is what I see the most when this discussion occurs. “Let’s see if he gets out to his usual hot start and trade him before he fades away. ” First off, if we know this, I’m pretty sure most GMs know this. Not to mention, the A’s just had an injury at 1B and I am guessing the Sox were on the horn about it. The A’s ended up grabbing Kendrys Morales instead. The fact of the matter is that what Yonder brings is not terribly special in this era and it will be difficult to move him for anything, even if the Sox eat the money.

Platoon

This is much more likely what you’ll see, and while it’s not sexy, it’ll get the job done. This would likely give us more PAs for a guy like Jose Rondon who they really need to see if he can hit the way they hope. Unfortunately, it may also be guys like Ryan Cordell playing the OF while Eloy moves to DH. That’ll be rough. But won’t you be happy to save Jerry $9M? Seriously though, giving Rondon DH at bats may seem bad, but he’s a guy who may actually be here in a few years. If he hits 20 HR and can play 2B, that’s a guy you can get behind.

Whack Him

This may seem extreme, but why not just cut him at some point this season. If you can’t move him and he’s just taking time away from young players, what value is he providing? It may make your on field product slightly worse, but you’re the organization telling us to look to the future, so maybe you should too.

-Chorizy-E

One-Hitter – AJ Preller does it again

This is the One-Hitter, don’t forget to exhale.

Apologies for writing lots of shorties lately, but with most of my focus on the #108Tourney and the podcast, I am just getting back into writing again, sometimes the ideas only come in little spurts and starts.

Preller

Sooooooooooo…….it looks like AJ Preller is going to promote Fernando Tatis, Jr. to the Padres to start the season.  We’ve all talked a lot about Tatis Jr.  I don’t think we need to revisit that misery.  What I think is interesting is Preller’s reticence to play service time games when every analyst with an internet connection is telling you that this is how you have to do business.  LOLZ!!!!  AJ Preller is once again showing you that when everyone else zigs, it’s time to zag.  Back a few months ago I took a look at the opposite paths that Hahn and Preller took with regards to their International Penalties.  I’m still not sure which path is best, in fact, for each organization, those paths are probably best for them individually, which might be the most important conclusion.  With that being said, what AJ Preller is doing is not some random act of kindness.  Think about it.  If you play in the International markets A LOT and have built your farm system materially in that fashion, a market that is constantly getting more competitive, how do you gain an additional edge?  Well, one way you might do it, is to show the Players, Parents and Buscons (street agents) that you will promote on merit and will not play games with service time and defer the Players’ ability to earn money in the big leagues.  It’s just business, but it benefits everyone, imagine that.

-BeefLoaf 

2019 Season Win Bets

Last year, I gave you 5 Season Win Bets, for recreational purposes of course…..

AND….we went 5-0, so I figured it would be a disservice if I didn’t dig around the interwebs, check the betting lines and toss you some of my favorite season win totals.  We’ll do 5 only because we like the number 5 here in the 108……Giddy UP!!

 

Chicago Cubs over 87.5 Wins

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Much has been made of the improvements made by the other teams in the division and Milwaukee’s majestic run last year, but lets be honest with ourselves, the Cubs stunk and won 95 games last year.  They got half Kris Bryant year, they sent down 36% strike out rate hitting Ian Happ and hey, they might even get a few innings out of Yu Darvish this season.  I expect the Cubs to stomp out the rest of the division despite places like PECOTA projecting 79 wins or whatever the fuck.

Cincinnati Reds under 78.5 Wins

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The Reds made like 9 trades over the winter to get them a reasonably neat-o over the summer.  They even got Puig and I fucking love Puig.  One problem, their pitching still pretty much stinks.  Alex Wood #RIPIP his arm and Sonny Gray are supposed to be the reinforcements….meh.

Baltimore Orioles under 58.5 Wins

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They won 47 games last year and went out of their way to get worse.  I understand it is tough to bet under a really low total like 58.5, but this is a seriously bad team, that will be looking to get worse if possible.  I’d be shocked if Mychal Givens spends the final two months of the season in Baltimore.  Also, I’m apt to bet against the O’s or any other fucking Baltimore team given the way they did Prop Joe.

Kansas City Royals over 69.5 Wins

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You can probably find this at plus odds or at 69 or 68.5 some places, but we’ll use the higher number just to be fair on grading me.  The Royals improved their team speed tremendously in the off-season, they also improved their defense a ton by grabbing up Billy Hamilton and putting him in CF and Martin Maldonado behind the dish.  They also have ridonkulous power in this lineup, with O’Hearn, Soler and Duda…..and I haven’t even mentioned the upstart Adalberto Mondesi.  I think the Royals will be decent for a rebuilding team, and most definitely 70 wins or betta.

 

San Diego Padres under 78.5 Wins

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I know they got Manny Machado, but they are also tossing out a big heaping pile of very young pitching and that generally takes awhile to get it’s proverbial shit together.  I’m also betting on bullpen regression since they traded Hand and Cimber and the Padres can’t always have historically good bullpens.

 

Take a look at the board and hit me up on twitter with your best lock

-BeefLoaf