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Two Years After Losing 102 Games, Texas Wins 1st World Series

Two years ago before Dave Roberts was extended, I advocated for Bruce Bochy to be the manager.  Of course, a certain blogger lambasted the idea as moronic.   Come on, I have had multiple even more moronic ideas than Bochy being the LAD manager.  There are certain managers and players that do not succumb to the pressure of playoff baseball, and Chris Young knew who to go after.

After one year at the helm of the Texas Rangers, Bochy became the first manager in MLB history to take a 3rd different team to the World Series.  He won three of the four World Series he took his team to.  Now with a 4th WS title, he has become just the 6th MLB manager to win four or more WS.  He joins Joe McCarthy (seven), Casey Stengel (seven), Connie Mack (five), Walter Alston (four) and Joe Torre (four).

Now CY needed the players who would not melt under the pressure.

CY first signed Corey Seager (2020 NLCS and WS MVP) and Marcus Semien to cement their infield.  They knew Josh Jung would eventually be the 3B once he was healthy.  They needed pitching and an OF.

The same year, they signed longtime Colorado Ace, Jon Gray.  Okay, Ace is a stretch when talking about a Rockies starter.

The Rangers first year with the big ticket free agents did not do well.  They improved 8 games, but still lost 94 games.

This year, CY went out and signed Jacob deGrom, Nathan Eovaldi, and Andrew Heaney, to join Jon Gray, Martín Pérez and Dane Dunning.  Immediately Jacob deGrom suffered his 2nd UCL tear and had his 2nd TJ surgery.  Knowing pitching was a weakness, their top of the rotation was Eovaldi and Gray.  Neither ticketed to the HOF.

Once they reached the trade deadline, CY was not shy about adding to the roster with quality.  They needed pitching and went out and traded for both Jordan Montgomery and Max Scherzer.

Montgomery was stellar throughout the season and the playoffs, and just like with LAD, Scherzer disappeared in the playoffs.

The team lost Corey Seager, Josh Jung, Nathan Eovaldi, and Mitch Garver for lengthy periods during the season.  They had Ezequial Duran to back up both Seager and Jung.  Adolis Garcia became an All Star.  Jonah Heim continued his development and became an All Star catcher.  They needed an upgrade over Robbie Grossman in LF and called up 21 year old Evan Carter.

Nathan Eovaldi and Jordan Montgomery were the Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling with this team.  Eovaldi was 5-0 and the Rangers won all 6 games he started.  Montgomery was 3-1 and the Rangers were 4-2 in his 6 starts.

Texas had 5 former LAD and 4 were outstanding in the playoffs: Corey Seager, Nathan Eovaldi, Andrew Heaney, and Josh Sborz.  Max Scherzer was the 5th.

Texas won 11 away games a MLB WS record.  They refused to lose.  Eovaldi was pitching heavy stress innings in Game 5.  He allowed 4 hits and 5 walks in 6.0 IP, and somehow did not give up a run.  His D-back counter, Zac Gallen, pitched brilliantly.  He had a no-hitter through 6 innings.  Corey Seager reached out and slapped a base hit to LF in the 7th to start the inning.  The flood gates opened and Evan Carter doubled and Mitch Garver singled Seager home and a 1-0 lead.

After Gallen struck out Jung, Kevin Ginkel relieved hard luck Gallen and retired the side with no further runs.

Paul Sewald entered in the 9th down only 1-0, and for the 2nd straight outing he was hit hard.  He gave up 4 runs on 5 hits.

Josh Sborz finished the final 2.1 innings, allowing 1 hit and got 4 Ks.  Texas won their first WS EVER.

 

 

Corey Seager won his 2nd WS MVP.  Oh, how the Dodgers miss him.

 

 

 

Both teams were non-quit.  Texas was just better.  They had the better players, and they did not melt under pressure. Neither did Arizona.  In fact, Texas relished the pressure.  The Dodgers MVP in the 2017 WS was Joc Pederson.  In 2020 it was Corey Seager.  The Dodgers do not have a player who can play under such pressure since Seager has left.  Nathan Eovaldi will not get any HOF votes when he retires.  But in the playoffs, he was a better pitcher than Clayton Kershaw. Let’s not forget what he did for Boston in the 2018 WS even though he lost in extras on a Max Muncy HR.  Eovaldi has handled the pressure in two WS.

The last LAD pitcher who thrived under pressure was Orel Hershiser.  The Dodgers do not have an Orel Hershiser or Nathan Eovaldi.

We have heard the problem with Mookie was that he ran out of gas.  And yet an older Marcus Semien played in every game, and now has more PA than any other MLB hitter in MLB history with 835.  He not only did well in the WS, he was the hitting star of Game 5 and homered on PA 835.

Travis Jankowski comes off the bench to replace playoff star (ALCS MVP) Adolis Garcia.  He plays great defense and delivers a couple of key hits in Game 4.

CY went out and got players who succeeded in the playoffs starting with Bruce Bochy.  Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Adolis Garcia, Nathan Eovaldi, Evan Carter, Josh Jung all played stellar post season baseball.  As they answered after the series when asked what was the difference, they said they were winners.  The owners, CY, and Bruce Bochy all said the team was resilient.

The Rangers lost the final game 1-0 to Seattle and knocked them out of the Division Championship.  They lost 4 of their last 6 games so they did not go into the playoffs on a hot streak.

Texas was a slug first team that somehow found a way to score runs when they needed to.  The pitching was outstanding, and even the poor bullpen pulled through.  The Rangers just handled the pressure the Dodgers have not been able to.

I guarantee that Chris Young is not making $7MM/year, and yet he found a manager and players who succeeded in the playoffs, and did it in 3 years, something AF did not do, and seems to be going backwards.

For those who believe the playoffs are a crapshoot, the Rangers win means nothing.  But for those of us who believe that certain players and managers perform better under pressure than other players and managers, Texas was a great playoff team.

AF builds teams for the 162 game schedule, CY built a WS champion 2 years after they lost 102 games.

 

 

 

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Dionysus

The one thing the Dave Roberts defenders can’t do is tell me how many rings we’d have with a different manager.

Bumsrap

Two maybe three.

Bluto

You mean trying to build out counter-factuals?

Or is this a joke, because nobody can speak to that?

Dionysus

You’re a little bit deaf, aren’t you?

Bluto

Deaf?

metaphorically?

no.

Dave

Jeff I tend to agree with this. Though AF has put together a roster with good talent and depth the team lacks the attitude needed for the post season. Lots of nice guys, no arguments or outbursts, just wiggling their butts when they get a hit. I hate to say it but doesn’t a team usually take on the demeanor of the manager? I’ve said this the last 2 yrs, we need a Kurt Gibson, Reggie Jackson type guy. Adding Ohtani just doubles down on “gentleman friendly”.
The other thing I’m noticing about the roster strategy is it is full of multi position utility players but maybe too many. Taylor, Kike et al don’t hit enough to carry their part of the batting order.

Bumsrap

How would you describe Seager’s demeanor? Who on the TX and AZ team reminds you of Gibson?

Bumsrap

Pham has an edge alright and it rubs negatively on his teammates all year long. Seager is clutch but that is not what many people are thinking when they mention Gibson.

Bluto

Betts and Muncy were pretty clutch when the Dodgers won the World Series. Much “clutchier” than Marcus Semien from those playoffs, IIRC.

Badger

I see it just a bit differently.

Arizona was 0 for 9 WRISP. In an elimination game. Big time meltdown. They were also forced into a bullpen game in this series. Unfortunate outcome on that one.

It’s the players. Always. Texas wins and good for them. They went up against a small ball team that didn’t have enough pitching, or hitting for that matter, and they slugged their way to a championship.

Corey Seager was well rested for this one. He only played 119 games. Eovaldi started 25 and had a 3 WAR year. Good, but not great. Marcus Semian was their stud. 162 games played and was strong at the finish. I advocated for him a while back. And Lindor. And Bogaerts.

The way I see it this morning? The stars aligned for the Rangers.

It doesn’t really surprise me to hear Roberts name brought up. Maybe if Friedman had handed him players that didn’t disappear in October the conversation might be different around the blogosphere.

Last edited 6 months ago by Badger
Fred Vogel

I’m in agreement with you Mr. Badger. Arizona had their chances early and couldn’t produce.
Needing to use a bullpen game in the World Series is just wrong. Where have all the starting pitchers gone?
Nate Eovaldi…Josh Sborz…really? Journeymen pitchers at best.
Looking forward to all of the off-season maneuvering.
Mookie in Right? Mookie at 2nd? How about Mookie at Short and Lux at 2nd?

Bluto

I kinda agree. Arizona was clutch until they weren’t. Same for the Phillies (Casty and Schwarber.)

My mind doesn’t really jibe with this edgy stuff. Isn’t Bryce Harper super-edgy? Acuna?

I mean the Rangers were god-awful dreadful for patches of the regular season. They were “hotter” than Arizona for a five game series. Is that the work of the manager? Maybe, but only on the margins.

Bluto

Hey, I also believe Bochy was a difference maker! As I said, on the margins he helped.

Look, in the playoffs there’s very marginal differences between the team that wins the World Series and the team that loses in the Wild Card game. It was winning 56% of the time vs. winning 62% of the time. That’s not a great gulf.

Margin differences matter when all teams are good. Luck, weather, injuries, manager. Over the regular season? All marginal. In the playoffs? Any of those may be all you need.

Badger

Maybe the Rangers felt sorry for the old guy at the end of the bench and said “let’s win it for grandpa!”

Bochy’s winning % over the years is around .500. He’s 48-33 in post season. Roberts winning % is .630 and his post season record is 45-38. Roberts is not the problem.

Bluto

Look, I’ve been clear here (rhyme) that I don’t like Roberts, but yeah he’s probably not the problem.

Badger

On to winter dealings.

The Athletic is talking about Heyward. 2 years, $18-21 million. Do you do it? I say yes.

Hondo

No. We need to get younger. We are already the old folks home of MLB.I am not a drinker of the AF Kool-Aid. We need major changes in the FO.

Bumsrap

Not as an early signing. Heyward apparently helped a lot of players with his advise, demeanor, attitude, etc and yet he is not a “Gibson”. I don’t want a Gibson.

I am not a fan of platoons being the end-all answer to an offense.

Atlanta now the 2024 favorite trailed by the Dodgers. Maybe AZ should be the favorite for the NL west division winner.

I don’t know the answer but for the time being pointing a finger at Friedman seems like a good short-term strategy.

Is Miller a trade candidate because he might not be an October guy? Is he the guy that gets me Witt Jr.?

Last edited 6 months ago by Bumsrap
Singing the Blue

If you’re going to trade Miller, you’d better wait to see what your pitching staff looks like for next year before doing so.

Bumsrap

Buehler, Pepiot, Sheehan, Grove, Stone, Yamamoto, Giolito.

Betts, Lee,, Freeman, Witt, Smith, Outman, LaDuca, Pederson, Lux

Last edited 6 months ago by Bumsrap
Singing the Blue

Buehler – don’t know what we’ll have after his 2nd TJ
Pepiot – looked promising but not a big sample size
Sheehan – don’t know if he’ll be a starter or reliever
Grove – definitely a reliever going forward
Stone – has a lot left to prove in AAA
Giolito – was awful after the deadline
Yamamoto – don’t know how his skills will translate over here.

Too many question marks for me to trade Miller, although I’d love to have Witt.

Love your lineup except for that Pederson guy. Too slow to play outfield anymore. Hell, he’s almost too slow to play DH. Tell you what, though, if you can get Witt without giving up Miller, I might just let you sign Joc.

Singing the Blue

I tend to agree with Hondo on this one. At least I’d wait to see what else we can do and then come back to JHey later in the winter. If he doesn’t want to wait, so be it. As Hondo says, we need to get younger and I don’t think I’m willing to risk 2 years of Heyward. One year would be my max, and definitely not before the winter meetings.

Bluto

I am very perplexed by the coming 40 man crunch. I can’t figure out how the team will deal with so many players that need to be added.

Almost to the point that after adding Ohtani, could see the Dodgers just going with Barnes and a bunch of youngsters on the bench with AAAA players in the minors if needed.

Badger

Well, that would be a step the “getting younger” crowd would approve.

We don’t need younger, we need better.

tedraymond

I enjoyed watching the Rangers crush a team that had no business being in a World Series. Arizona barely plays over .500 during a long regular season, gets lucky for three games with an ice cold Dodgers team, then has the Phillies hitters go cold for several games, and end up in the World Series. I do like their style of baseball though. I hope, but doubt, that the Dodgers can incorporate more of Arizona’s style of baseball in the regular season. It can, obviously, come in handy when your slug isn’t happening against playoff pitching!

Congratulations to Corey Seager for winning his second World Series MVP! Corey is either outstanding or awful in the postseason. The two times he was outstanding his team was victorious.

Maybe, with the poor ratings for this series, Manfred and MLB will do something about the postseason format. I think going back to one wild card team per league with them playing the team with the best record should be considered. The other division winners play each other. All rounds are seven games. The team who plays the wild card team gets the first three games and games six and seven (if necessary) at home. The playoffs should start the day after the season ends. A team that excels for a long regular season deserves a major advantage. Having time off is turning out not to be an advantage, but a penalty. Playing an extra game at home could be helpful too. Regardless, something has to be done. This will allow the World Series to be completed earlier. This might help eliminate maneuvering around the NFL schedule and for Halloween! Who thought that would be a good idea?

I know when it comes down to the owners maximizing their revenue in lieu of making the game better for fans we all know who wins. However, if they keep having small market wild card teams in the World Series in the long run that is not good for the game or for a shrinking fan base.

Carry on.

Bluto

I appreciate this post Ted, thank you!

Bumsrap

Just another thought about the post season:

Get rid of the wild card teams. Go back to a 154 game season and divide the season into halves. The playoff teams could be as high as 12 and as low as 6 and all numbers in between depending on who won the half seasons.

If a team doesn’t win their Division in the first half they will be more aggressive to make trades to try to win their Division in the second half.

Teams that don’t win a Division would have a playoff that would determine the order of the draft with the Division winners drafting in the bottom 6 to 12 spots.

Last edited 6 months ago by Bumsrap
Singing the Blue

Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, Fred, but your off-season is getting off to a bad start. Dodgers are in the process of signing Muncy to a 2 year extension. I assume that means 2024/2025 and not 2 years after next year’s option.

Dionysus

Dont think it impacts Ohtani pursuit

MM can still play 3b/2b

Singing the Blue

2 years/24 mil and a team option for 2026 at 10 mil.

Badger

That’s the first step in trading him I referred to. Now he’s an affordable DH for any team that needs one. Ohtani is happening soon.

I love it when a plan comes together.

Last edited 6 months ago by Badger
Singing the Blue

Not every team wants a guy they can only control for a year, but now he’s controllable for 3 years. You’re right, makes him much more tradeable.

OhioDodger

Is there a no trade clause?
Hope he goes on a diet this winter.

Last edited 6 months ago by OhioDodger
Singing the Blue

That extra weight is where he gets all his power from.
Kind of a modern day Babe Ruth with about 25 homers less per year.

Bluto

The World Series just averaged 9 million viewers.
Roger Goodell reading names (the NFL Draft) draws 12 million viewers.

Bluto

a

Last edited 6 months ago by Bluto

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