Tag Archives: Miguel Cabrera

The Red Sox Fan Guide to the 2012 MLB Postseason – Version AL – UPDATED

So this is what the new format looks like.

EDITORS NOTE: This article has been altered, specifically in my breakdown of the MVP discussion. Text in bold is my retraction.

Yesterday the 2012 Red Sox season was mercilessly put to rest. For the past couple months baseball has been dead to me, and probably most other Red Sox fans. I haven’t watched many games. I haven’t checked scores every day. In fact its gotten so bad that I really just stopped following baseball as closely as I normally would. But yesterday that ended. There is no indication that things will get any better next season for the Sox but for now fans of the Fens can sit down and watch some playoff baseball without being constantly reminded of the circus going on in Boston.

I have never been one to believe in switching teams and I am not abdicating that now. Your team is your team whether its pounding out 100-win seasons or trotting out minr league lineups with three games left to go against your arch rival. However when your team is not in the playoffs I think its is permissible to favor one team if not openly pull for them.

For example back before the Celtics were what they are right now, from 1996-200 and then the 2006 and 2007 seasons there was always a team that I found myself getting to know and getting behind. From 96-98 it was Jordan’s Bulls because, you know, I was just like every other person in America. Then in 1999 it was the eighth-seeded New York Knicks and their improbable run to the NBA finals. Honestly the Larry Johnson four-point play is one of my great basketball memories from childhood. (The Celtics went 19-31 that season in their sixth straight losing season so cut me some slack. There weren’t a whole lot of pantheon moments from a team with Ron Mercer on it). Then I went for the Kings and Garnett’s T-Wolves during the first two years of the Kobe-Shaw three-peat. Took some time off as the Celtics actually made the playoffs and then in 2006-2007 was all in for Steve Nash and the Suns.

So what does that have to do with baseball? Well everyone knows watching sports is more fun when you have a vested interest. It’s why people love confidence pools and fantasy in football. Every game suddenly has something to watch. So who should Red Sox fans be pulling for this October, since they won’t be seeing anyone with a B on their hat play an inning.

Baltimore Orioles

Why you should pull for them:  A team that no one even expected to have competent players on at this point in the season somehow

Show me that ‘O’ face has got to be the catch phrase for the 2012 Orioles.

managed to win 93 games and push itself into the playoffs while also coming within a whisper of the AL East Division Crown. The

squads $81,428,999.00 payroll is less than half of that of the Sox and this team is still in the playoffs. The rotation isn’t anything to feel fantastic about and on offense they have a number of boom or bust batters like Chris Davis and Mark Reynolds but there is also some exciting young players like Manny Machado that no one seems to have figured out yet. Then there’s the bullpen that has been lights out thanks to a guy named Jim Johnson who had 51 saves this season. Baltimore is that feel-good story this season and has somehow caught every single break with something like a record of 178-0 in extra innings games.

Why you shouldn’t: This is the same team that put the final bullet in the 2011 Red Sox collapse and then stormed the field and celebrated like it they had just won game seven of the World Series. Also Kevin Gregg pitched for this team this season and I am none to fond of that goggled-up d-bag.

Detroit Tigers

Why you should: Yet again Detroit won in the junior circuit of the AL where it never seems like one team dominates. Both the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim had better records than the Tigers while playing in divisions that each had two playoff teams. So seeing Detroit win would be a bit of an upset special although less akin to Baltimore’s due to the talent on the Tigers roster. After blowing up last season Justin Verlander has largely been more ignored this season, and unfairly so. The dude went 17-8with a 2.64 ERA this season while leading the league in complete games (six), innings pitched (238 1/3) and strike outs (239).  Don’t know what pitcher I’d rather watch throw in October. Plus the Tigers have the first guy to win the Triple Crown since 1967

Why you shouldn’t: Miguel Cabrera made it so Red Sox fans cannot hang their hat on Carl Yazstremski being the last player to win the Triple Crown. Oh and Trout’s the MVP and it’s not even close. I was on some sort of drugs with what I wrote earlier.

Oakland Athletics

Why you should: Think of these guys as Baltimore Version Two. Or better yet Baltimore Light. The A’s have the second lowest payroll

Of course Oakland won the AL West. Who didn’t see that coming?

in baseball and all season trotted out guys you had either never heard of or thought might be pitching in a Venezuelan slow-pitch softaball league if anywhere at all. Yet somehow this team did the unthinkable and WON its division over the Texas Rangers. Yes, the same Texas Rangers that have won the AL pennant the past two seasons. Also this team is filled with Red Sox castoffs like Jumpin’ Josh Reddick, Coocoo for Coco Crisp, Brandon “Brother of Santana, Cousin of Randy and childhood friend of Sinorice” Moss and George “It’s the Cataracs” Kottaros.

Why you shouldn’t: This could threaten us with a sequel to last year’s Hadrball. It would be called Hardball 2 with the two silhouetted behind hardball like in the new Taken. It would tell the story of how Billy Beane flew to Cuba to rescue his daughter from Communist nationals and mobsters while also scouting and signing rookie of the year runner up Yoenis Cespedes.

Texas Rangers

Why you should: Isn’t it about time for the Rangers. Two straight seasons of devastating losses in the World Series. Can’t help but feel for that squad and it’s Dallas Cowboy-worshipping fan base. Would it really be fair to have Tony Romo, of the five-interception fame, at quarterback and see your team miss out on a World Series all in the same month? Oh, okay Philadelphia fans I guess you’re right. The Rangers also have a couple of Red Sox castoffs including Adrian “Don’t touch my head” Beltre and David “Missed Out on a Golden Marketing Campaign with the Dropkick” Murphy (s). Also seeing a guy like Michael Young win a ring would be good to see. He has been one of the most consistently solid players in the league for so long and still barely gets recognized for it.  And fianlly the Rangers red alternate hat might be one of my favorite in baseball.

Why you shouldn’t: If the Rangers win a World Series with Mike Napoli on its roster it might transform Naps into an even mightier beast and with how much he feasts on the Red Sox that just isn’t a risk you’d want to take. Also Ian Kinsler is a poor mans Dustin Pedroia who acts like a rich man’s version. Don’t want to see that crooked-nosed, high-socked wearing troll win much of anything.

There is another team in the AL playoff hunt but if you would even consider pulling for the Yankees then you clearly started for the Red Sox post-2004 and need to be dragged into the street and shot. Or at least stop pretending to be a Sox fan.

For my money I throwing it in with the A’s. I like what Baltimore did this season but you know the farther they get the more the Red Sox failures will hurt. The Tigers seem to be in the playoffs every season and won’t have to shock the world again next season to get back. The Rangers have been winning in recent seasons and still have a window open. Oakland just has that perfect storm of humble nobodies who don’t make sense being there and would just be the best story. Plus I have never really stopped loving Josh Reddick.

-Phil

P.S. My predictions for the outcomes of the first round. Rangers over Orioles in the one-game playoff. Then Rangers over New York Yankees in Four. Detroit over Oakland in Three.

Which AL team is going to win it all? Want to tell me how stubbornly stupid and behind in the times I am on the MVP discussion? Drop a line on Twitter (@seeuinoctober) or blast off in the comments.

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MLB Postseason Wrap- AL MVP

You could say Justin Verlander has the Cy Young/MVP in a choke hold. (AP)

AL MVP was a very contentious race this season. SeeYouInOctober’s editorial staff voted and here is where the ballots fell.

1- Justin Verlander

This tigers team without him, well they’re a good team, but they are not winning that division as hands down as they did. With him, no doubt they controlled the Central. You are only as good as your next starting pitcher and their staff was really nothing without him. A total of 20 pitchers have won the MVP and the last time someone did it was Dennis Eckersley in 1992 (and he was a relief pitcher) so the argument that pitchers shouldn’t win MVP’s is nonsensical and flat wrong.

Verlander pitched four complete games including a no hitter. He posted 24 wins to only five losses with a league leading 2.40 ERA. He had 250 strikeouts in 251 innings pitched, both league leading. For you sabermetric nuts Verlander’s WAR was an astounding 8.6.

This wasn’t just a stellar season that garners an easy Cy Young award. This was a season in which Verlander pitched on a different level than anybody else.

Plus Mitch Albom thinks he should be MVP and he wrote Tuesdays With Morrie.

2- Jacoby Ellsbury

 It’s a shame the Red Sox missed the postseason. It is impossible to pick a player on a team that collapsed so badly as MVP. He couldn’t have been that valuable because they could have missed the playoffs without him. However, Ellsbury did everything humanly possible to drag the Sox into October. He has entered historic levels with a batting average over .300 (.321), 32 home runs, 105 RBI and 39 stolen bases. Not many players can, or have, put together seasons like that.

What should have been his signature performance, the three home run day in the doubleheader with the Yankees last Sunday, capped by the game winning three run home run that kept the Sox flickering playoff hopes alive, is now just a nice day at the plate for a third place team.

3- Jose Bautista

Joey Bats certainly put up impressive numbers. He turned himself into a more complete hitter this season hitting .302 and getting on base at a .447 clip. He also led the league in home runs (43) and put up over 100 RBIs. Unfortunately the Blue Jays are a few years from competition, so it is just a great season for a not-so-great team.

4- Robinson Cano

Cano’s season doesn’t really stick out. .302 BA, 28 HR, 118 RBI. Only the RBI are a career high. Cano also showed even more importance this season dropping to the four spot and excelling all season in A-Rod’s absence. All in all a pretty ho-hum season don’t-ya-know. Plus, it’d be tough not to have one candidate from the best team in the AL.

5- Miguel Cabrera

 If he didn’t have the off the field issues he would be the AL’s answer to Albert Pujols. Cabrera still continues to rake putting up an AL best .344 batting average and .448 OBP to go along with another 30 home run, 100 RBI season, his fifth in a row.

Honorable Mention

Michael Young

If the Rangers asked Michael Young to become a groundskeeper next season he would probably do it without a fuss and still manage to hit .300 on the season. This season the Rangers pushed him into the DH role and Young took it in stride like that’s exactly where he wanted to be put. Young put up a great season from the dish hitting .338 with 106 RBIs despite only 11 home runs. Skipper Ron Washington obviously had faith in him batting him fourth in the lineup most of the season despite having power guys like Nelson Cruz, Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton on the squad. Young might not be as flashy (i.e. he doesn’t hit home runs) but Young was certainly worthy of being called most valuable.

Dishonorable Mention

Curtis Granderson

Perhaps you are wondering why the Yankees center fielder isn’t on the top 5. Well the fact is he doesn’t belong there. His power numbers are great (41 home runs, 119 RBIs) but the MVP shouldn’t just be the guy on the best team with the most home runs. Granderson also struck out 169 times, had a batting average of .262 and he just never really passed the ‘eye test’ as MVP. Take that as you will, but if you don’t look like an MVP you’re probably not an MVP.

Obviously teams felt the same way. Granderson received zero intentional walks this season, one of only two regulars not to. Not exactly normal for a guy hitting 40 home runs in a season. To put that in perspective Cano led the team with 11.

Granderson had a great power year but when you have holes in your swing like Granderson does and you just aren’t the guy most teams fear you just aren’t MVP.

Think we got it wrong? Let us know who you think deserves the honors via our twitter (@seeuinoctober) or by leaving a comment.

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