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Who Is Watching This World Series

Before we start Game 4 of the WS:

Here are the seedings of this year’s MLB playoffs.

#1 Seed – Atlanta – 104

#2 Seed – Dodgers – 100

#3 Seed – Milwaukee – 92

#4 Seed – Philadelphia – 90

#5 Seed – Miami – 84

#6 Seed – Arizona – 84

 

#1 Seed – Baltimore – 101

#2 Seed – Houston – 90

#3 Seed – Minnesota – 87

#4 Seed – Tampa Bay – 99

#5 Seed – Texas – 90

#6 Seed – Toronto – 89

 

There were only 8 teams with 90 or more wins to make the playoffs.  That leaves 4 teams with less than 90 wins.  The WS has a #5 seed (Texas) facing a #6 seed Arizona.  As I predicted (and a lot of others) very few are turning to watch the WS.  Game 1 drew an audience of just 9.17 million viewers.  That is the worst year ever.  The previous low?  Game 2 of the 2020 series played in the bubble drew 9.184 million viewers.

Neither participant had the type of year that would excite potential viewers.  While I do like many of the players, there is no Aaron Judge, Shohei Ohtani, Mookie Betts, Bryce Harper, Ronald Acuña Jr., Julio Rodriguez, or Mike Trout.  Of the top 20 jersey sales, only Corey Seager (#14) was in the top 20 from either team in the WS.  So who is going to get viewers to watch?

Neither WS teams draw in their own stadiums.  Texas was #16 in attendance with 2.53 million, while Arizona was #20 with 1.96 million.  When the Dodgers played in Arizona, at least half the stadium was filled with LAD fans.

So is it really that surprising that nobody is watching this series?  Joe Davis is doing his best to generate player interest by trying to make Corbin Carroll a household name.  I think Carroll will eventually get there, but he is not there yet.

So MLB is putting on their show with two of the least known teams in MLB and Rob Manfred thinks it is an overwhelming success.  I am sure the network sponsors do not agree.

I know the MLBPA does not agree.  They never wanted to expand the playoffs in the first place.  Owners see that they can get into the playoffs by playing just over .500 baseball.  Two teams had 84-78 records, and one of them is in the WS.  So what will be the owners’ impetus to have a huge payroll, if it is not needed?  This was the MLBPA’s big concern. My eyes will be on Baltimore.  They need top pitching and they have the ability to acquire it.  Via trade or FA.  Will they spend or are they okay with 101 wins and a playoff appearance?

If the Dodgers believed they could fill the stadium with only a 90 win team and still make the playoffs, what is their incentive to sign big $$$ free agents.  We already have Stan (winning the Division is all I care about) Kasten saying attendance dictates that the LAD fans are fine with winning during the season and crapping out in the playoffs.

After all, the playoffs are only a crapshoot, or so we are told.  1 in 6 odds?  That is like saying in a twelve horse race, the odds should be 1in12 for all 12 horses.  The last two years, the odds have been stacked against the top two teams in each League.  Two out of eight bye teams reached the LCS (Houston both years), and then one in four made the WS (Houston in 2022).

Change the Wild Card games to one game, and have them play on Tuesday after the season.  Make the Wild Card winners face the bye teams on Wednesday.  Best of 5 with no days off in the Divisional Series.  Then the odds of the best teams during the regular season are in a much better position to reach the LCS.  Only two days off before the LDS and the Wild Card team only has one game and no day off after the win.  This would also give teams incentive to bring on stars, making it much less of a crapshoot.

This will never happen as TV will never allow it.  TV could care less whether the regular season should count for something.  More games and more days off to spread those games out.  But MLB competition committee sure should.

So why spend $600MM on a DH and a questionable elbow?  No incentive for LAD, especially when the team has the largest attendance and by a large margin.  LAD 550K over the #2 attendance, SDP.

Most avid LAD fans are split.  Some are fine with the Dodgers always being competitive and making the playoffs every year, while others believe that success is determined by only winning the WS.  Most non-LAD fans believe the 2020 WS did not count, and that they have not won a WS in a full season since 1988, now reaching 45 years.  Many LAD fans also fall into that category.  As the years move on, that belief will only become more prominent.

Andrew Heaney vs Joe Mantiply as the starting pitchers in Game 4.  Two bullpen games in the WS?  How will this drive viewership?  How will this drive interest from the young fans that will be needed for the future viewership.

Game 4 on Halloween night?  Remember when the WS did not have to compete against Halloween as the WS was over before the end of October?  TV and TV revenue is dictating how the playoff schedule should play out. The smaller market team owners have no problem, as their biggest revenue source by far is TV revenue.  Winning is secondary to revenues, and revenues that will not be spent on player personnel.

Again, Rob Manfred considers this a success.  I am a baseball fan, and I will watch the WS regardless as to who is playing.  I love watching future stars on the big stage…Evan Carter, Corbin Carroll, Josh Jung, Gabriel Moreno, Geraldo Perdomo, Brandon Pfaadt.

 

Elsewhere I came across this gem from Jerry Hairston Jr. on Mookie and the playoffs:

“I think maybe he was a little tired,” Hairston Jr. said. “We know he bulked up last offseason, gained about 8-10 pounds of muscle so he could be stronger in the second half and he had an incredible August. He got so hot, not only was he so hot, he was always on base. And when you’re always on base, always scoring runs plus you’re asked to play right field, shortstop, second base, you’re constantly moving, it can be draining and taxing – not just mentally, but also physically. I want to say maybe he was a little gassed. … We may need to look at that going forward, maybe giving him some rest in September to make sure he’s completely fresh because he uses his entire body to generate so much force in that swing.”

This goes into the ever growing column of why can’t players play hard for 162 games with more days off than ever?  Why is there so much platooning?  Why can’t pitchers throw 200 innings anymore?  And the owners want expansion to dilute the talent base even more?  Of course they do because the expansion fee will be extensive for the owners.

 

Finally, there is this encounter between Mookie and Corey.

 

 

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Bluto

Agree with Jeff’s thesis here.

It’s not that there aren’t 30 good players every year. The issue is that there’s rarely five REALLY, REALLY good players every year.

Badger

There are MANY really good players in every draft. You just have to be good at uncovering gems.

Bluto

Yeah, I don’t agree with this.

Obviously there are outliers (like Piazza if the PEDs aren’t real), but for the most of the players chosen later. They need development, the right organization, the right managers, etc.

Badger

As an example, this information is from 2021 All Star Game:

“Of the 30 selected outside of the first round, 13 were taken in Rounds 2-5, and 17 after that.”

Seems like a lot to me. Gems are available outside the first round. We’ve seen the Dodgers pass up on some, and trade others early. They do have a high success rate, I read it once, second to the Astros I think, but a lot of players they drafted that made it play for some other team.

Bluto

Hmmm.

I’m not sure if I am right or bull-headed on this one.

On one side I think this makes my point, how many of those 30 All-Star players would you label as great? How many are like: Zunino, Merifield, Joey Gallo, Matt Barnes, Muncy, Frazier, Mark Melancon…..

on the other side, there’s a lot of players like Altuve and betts!

Bumsrap

It is easier to draft a good player with a top 5 pick and it gets riskier after that.

Bumsrap

Kansas City is close to #30 in payroll, attendance, winning percentage, and doesn’t have a single prospect listed in the MLB top 100.

Badger

I didn’t say great. I said really good. All Stars are, in my opinion, really good.

Bumsrap

Bichette, Henderson, and McClanahan represent a small sample size and Jeff, you might have drafted more poorly than Gasparino did for other selections but those three is evidence you are better draft picker than Gasparino. Granted if you had all the information Gasparino had you might have agreed with his choice.

I would be just fine if you had the final say regarding who the Dodgers drafted.

Badger

As I said, there are many All Stars drafted outside the first round. You just have to be good at uncovering gems.

The good news is the Dodgers haven’t had a high first round pick in years. The bad news is, the Dodgers always pick at the bottom of the first round.

I’ll give you that AF hasn’t done a great job with uncovering gems, but the Dodgers can sign them in free agency. They are also pretty good at developing a supporting cast.

I feel lucky to have a team this good every year. Having been a fan since ‘59 I’ve lived through many years where I couldn’t say that.

Dionysus

Great response here

Dave

It would be nice to be able to draft in the top 3 but my pt is that there are still really good players at #30 and condsidering international players as well I’m just not ready to use our low draft picks as an excuse. The Astericks lost draft picks as punishment for cheating and they still have a decent farm system. Btw they also had the xtra days off and still managed to do well in the post season.
An additional factor is draft strategy. Pick the best athletes? pick the highest ranked player available? pick the best available player at a position of need? Draft a low slot player and count on our development system? Draft pitchers to use as trade chips? Etc Scouting and player development are essential.

Bluto

When did Kasten say that about division titles?

I still like Doubleheaders as games 2&3 (if necessary) of the Wildcard round.

Last edited 6 months ago by Bluto
Bluto

I have no clue. The quotes are too flimsy and without context for me to try and read anything different from what you did/do.

I mean he’s seemingly only talking about pursuing free agents not about how he values World Serieses, but his words are his words.

I wish there were more.

I also hope that Kasten isn’t involved (beyond setting budgets) in the decisions pertaining to Bellinger or Seager, but maybe I’m naive.

Badger

B.I. S. That is Kasten’s job.

Major League Baseball is a business. To look at it any other way is just, well, naive.

OhioDodger

Shut up, enjoy the summer, and keep drinking the over priced beer.

Badger

Rest toward the end of the season? I believe I had that one.

$600 million for Ohtani? I don’t think so.

Picking at the bottom of each round means the Dodgers just have to be better at scouting than everyone else. They also have to do well with international signings.

A bullpen game in the World Series. Not working out so far.

Badger

Whoever gets him gets at least 5 years of 5-6 WAR. His offense is worth that. There’s no guarantee he will ever pitch again, I think he will, but at age 32 with a lot of miles and two TJ surgeries, I doubt he’s ever as good as he was this year.

The Dodgers don’t need his drawing power. They have that in spades already. That said, I think he’s a perfect fit in LA. His NIL value, and business connections probably already made here, will be worth as much, or maybe more, than his contract. He’s closer to home on the West Coast. It’s a better fit here than SF. Sell LA big time!

So where do I draw the line? Not real sure, but I’ll throw something out. Give him a Mookie deal plus 10%. 12 years, $425 million. Stagger it. AAV of $35m. That helps the club surround him with more better players.

If he wants the money without the business connections LA offers, and some idiot wants to pay him $600 million, then he goes there. Probably won’t have a chance at a championship, but heck, he’s used to that. He’s been in Anaheim for several years.

Bumsrap

Seager’s WS performance might be driving up the cost for Ohtani.

Dionysus

Not me. My good friend is in Phoenix and assumes I’m watching. Keeps texting me!

Dionysus

Rooting hard for the offseason

Badger

Jack Harris talking about what has been discussed here since the season ended. Sounds like he may read the blogs to get ideas.

His take today is Ohtani is target 1A and Yamamoto might be the best fit for target 1B. The DH will work itself out, Heyward and Kiké make some sense. Arenado Urshela, Pham, and Verdugo are mentioned as are Nola, Burnes, Snell, Glasnow, Giolito, Flaherty, Gray, Montgomery etc. Nothing new really. No mention of Lee, but Ohtani, Yamamoto and Lee seem like great moves to me. The Dodgers can afford it. The giants, Padres and Mets are reportedly in on all those guys.

Bluto

In the last five instances a team has thrown a bullpen game in the LCS or World Series, they’ve averaged nine hits and seven runs allowed.

The D-backs became the latest team to experience a bullpen game meltdown. Now, the Rangers are one win from a title.

Badger

“Now, the Rangers are one win from a title.”

I’m not at all surprised by this. What would be surprising is if the small ball dbacks win 3 in a row.

I love the way Arizona plays baseball, when it works. But I still strongly believe slugging, OPS+, and of course pitching, is the way to win in today’s MLB.

Bullpen games are a new thing that happens occasionally in a long grueling season. To use them in a 7 game series screams you lack starting pitching.

I hope for a 7 game series here, but I’m prepared for the off season to begin before that happens.

Oldbear48

Ratings are down across the board. I have watched about 10 minutes. I watched Leclerc close down game 3 and that has been it. I have zero rooting interest. I was more intrigued by the Clippers trading for James Harden. Does that guy piss off people everywhere he goes? He hasn’t been happy anywhere. Clippers are his fifth team.

Bluto

I find basketball almost unwatchable. There’s nary innovation on offense (all pick and roll) or defense.

that said, no player embodies the star-determinate era of the NBA than Harden.

Badger

I find myself there too Bluto. My friend in Sedona, a long time Warriors fan, called the NBA ‘Gangsta Ball’. Too many unlikable characters, with Harden being at or near the top of that list.

Jeff

You guys are over the hill. Basketball unwatchable? lol. Try watching Curry.

Singing the Blue

I’m suggesting the following trade:

Logan White for Billy Gasparino.

Most of the position players we love and miss were drafted by White when he worked for the Dodgers.

In fairness to Gasparino, within the next couple of years his scorecard on pitchers might turn out better than White’s. Maybe we just need to have them both here.

Just came across this article from 2019 which gives details about White’s early life that I was never aware of. He came from very humble beginnings. I think we made a big mistake letting him leave to go to the Padres. He was responsible for drafting a large number of our best players in the 2000’s.

And one last thing that surprised me. AJ Preller actually worked in the Dodger front office for 3 years, shortly after graduating from college in the early 2000’s. That’s where he and Logan met.

Here’s the link for those who are interested:
Painful childhood helped shape critical Padres cog Logan White – The San Diego Union-Tribune (sandiegouniontribune.com)

Singing the Blue

A really interesting article for those who subscribe (behind a paywall).
Yamamoto is going to be very expensive…………….but not if you compare him to Ohtani.

Badger

Excellent piece. And those numbers sound ridiculous, especially for unknown and aging pitchers.

I wonder if the Dodgers will go all in on one somebody, sprinkle in a few that Prior can work with, and trust our young pitchers, many of whom have ML experience.

Dodgerrick

MLBTR just reported that the Padres had to take out a $50MM loan to make payroll this year and that they are looking to reduce payroll by $50MM in 2024.

Singing the Blue

The odds that Soto is still a Padre in February are getting smaller by the minute.

Badger

Tatis only makes $11.7m next year, $20.7m the year after. His contract is insane – over 36 million for 5 years after 35. Of course that may be a bargain by that time.

I had no idea their financial situation. Seidler is worth $3 billion. Can’t he bail himself out?

Badger

So that 100 K made you a million in 10 years. Is that better than 7.5%? Will it make another million in 10:more years?

I don’t understand that kind of money. I’ve lived humbly most of my life. I know you’re right because that’s what you did in your career.

Clearly this was the year the Padres were supposed to win to the end. Didn’t happen. I’m not sorry for them.

So, the window is closing?

Singing the Blue

For those of you who spend time on Baseball Trade Values, they’ve completely redone the site with lots of upgrades, including two new subscription tiers (but for us cheapskates we can still access the regular stuff at N/C). And the regular stuff has been made a lot faster.

https://t.co/nvmXgr0t67

Badger

Yep. LA. Name, image, license. Worth a billion. Ohtani Dodgers shirts around the globe. I’d wear one if one of you was to send it to me. Fred? Jefe? Bluto? Jeff? Buehler? If not Ohtani, Buehler? I’d wear it too.

Singing the Blue

I’d send it to you if you gave me the money to pay for it. I’ll spring for the postage.

Badger

That won’t work for me. Tell you what, send the shirt and I promise I’ll owe you the money plus some vigorish for your trouble.

Last edited 6 months ago by Badger
Singing the Blue

I wonder what would be more valuable, an Ohtani Dodger jersey if he signs with us or an Ohtani Dodger jersey if he signs with somebody else?

Kinda like a stamp printed upside down………………sort of.

Singing the Blue

Congratulations Texas Rangers!

Welcome to the off season. If you’re a Dodger fan, the off season is much more exciting and interesting than the post season.

Singing the Blue

We may not get the parade this year but I think we should be allowed a march around the block.

This year’s champs featured Seager (WS MVP), Sborz (got the last out) and Eovaldi (pitched 6 scoreless innings and has a 10-1 record in the post season). All former Dodgers. You’re welcome, Texas.

I wonder if Bochy is going to start another every-other-year streak, but this time in odd numbered years?

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