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Thread: October in America

  1. #1

    Default October in America

    Any other baseball fans here? I've been pretty excited this season because of the potential for fulfilling Marty Mcfly's timeline:



    Pretty crazy regular season, with the three best teams in baseball coming out of a single division. I've got to feel bad for the Pirates - looks like they will yet again get screwed over by the Wild Card playoff system despite being a far better team than the likes of the Mets or Dodgers. It's pretty crazy that the divisional Cubs-Cards series might be the best we see until the World Series; definitely an argument in favor of ditching the division system in favor of conference-wide rankings. Then again, unevenness in schedules is hard to fix in a conference system, so maybe a divisional system has its merits.

    The AL is a snooze - only worthwhile teams are the Royals and the Blue Jays, and my money is on the Blue Jays given their remarkable turnaround and talent. The NL will likely see some more fireworks, but my money is on the Cards or Cubs. If my fondest wishes are realized and the Cubs win the NLCS, it will be one of the most remarkable stories baseball has ever seen. They have always had the enormous weight of history given such a ridiculously long championship drought and so many near-misses in the playoffs... but the turnaround from just last year is phenomenal. I have to hand it to Epstein for investing in their farm system; the crop of young talent they have on offense is fantastic and likely to only get better with a bit of experience. Having only one Bryant would be good enough, but throw in Russell, Schwarber, and a bunch of other young talent, and you're looking at a serious future. The Lester signing was a waste, but fortunately Arrieta has turned in probably the most dominating second-half performance baseball has every seen. They need to patch some holes in starting pitching and relief, but even so I'm optimistic about the coming years, even if 2015 isn't it.

    I'm currently watching Arrieta blank the Pirates in yet another commanding performance - we all thought this would be a fantastic pitching matchup given Cole's performance, but instead the game is decidedly one-sided under the crazily good offensive power under display. This bodes well for the NLDS against the Cards - if they can stay in this kind of shape, I'm thinking Cubs-Blue Jays, decided in 6. Anyone else?

    (Full disclosure: when it comes to the Cubs I am less than dispassionate.)
    Last edited by wiggin; 10-08-2015 at 04:22 AM.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  2. #2
    queen of the universe littlelolligagged's Avatar
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    There is a lack of Halloween in your post about October.

    We're stuck in a bloody snowglobe.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    American sports competitions are confusing. Leagues, divisions, conferences, series, playoffs, nlcs, nlds, al, nl.. I tried looking it up but it's confusing.
    Keep on keepin' the beat alive!

  4. #4
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Yankees. That is all.

    The Blue Jays have a truly ridiculous lineup. I don't see them losing, except maybe to St. Louis. Not sure how they finally put things together this season, but they certainly did. Did you see the Runs For and Runs Against?
    Hope is the denial of reality

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by littlelolligagged View Post
    There is a lack of Halloween in your post about October.

    Oh, if you insist.

    It'll be spooooky when the Cubs win the World Series. For Halloween, I'm going to dress up as the devil in a snowsuit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Yankees. That is all.

    The Blue Jays have a truly ridiculous lineup. I don't see them losing, except maybe to St. Louis. Not sure how they finally put things together this season, but they certainly did. Did you see the Runs For and Runs Against?
    The Yankees were always at best an outside chance this year anyways. Their performance in the WC playoff was pretty lackluster, and I'm frankly not that surprised.

    Agreed that the Blue Jays look good for winning the pennant, but I think either the Cubs or Cards would be a real challenge for them. They haven't had a particularly tough division to fight in this year, and they have precious little experience going up against either of these teams. And at least Busch is very pitcher friendly, so the Cards would have a real leg up in cutting down that run differential. I don't deny that the Blue Jays have been a pleasant surprise this year, in a season full of pleasant surprises. But they don't have enough practice playing against the big boys to really succeed in the playoffs.

    I was really disappointed with their performance tonight - the Rangers really walked all over them, despite the crazy-good home field advantage Toronto has enjoyed. Given that Cole Hamels is up for Game 2, it's entirely possible they might be going to Texas in an 0-2 hole. At least it doesn't look like any of the injury scares will end up changing the rosters much. Too much rest for Price, maybe?

    Also surprised at the Astros' great performance tonight. Things are not looking good for the top AL seeds; these pitchers are surrendering far too many homers when their offenses should ostensibly be walking all over the competition.

    Looking at the Cubs/Cards, I think Cubs have a bit of an edge due to health and starting pitching, but the Cards have great bullpen depth and still have a lot of offensive power, and they only have to play Arrieta once. I'm still leaning towards a Cubs win in 4 or 5, though - they're peaking at just the right time while the Cards are looking a bit shaky. Should be a great series, though.

    I think Dodgers/Mets is up in the air, we'll get a better feel after Game 1. Kinda rooting for the Mets, though, just to see a Cubs-Mets NLCS. They'll have to face Kershaw twice, though, which is going to be a substantial challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flixy View Post
    American sports competitions are confusing. Leagues, divisions, conferences, series, playoffs, nlcs, nlds, al, nl.. I tried looking it up but it's confusing.
    You asked for it!

    Major League Baseball is split into two leagues, the American League (AL) and National League (NL). They follow roughly the same rules with some minor changes, but during the regular season (162 games) most games are played against opponents within your own league. Each league is currently split into three divisions of about 5 teams each. Again, teams play against other teams in their division more than other teams in their league or in all of baseball.

    At the end of the season, the three teams in each league that had the best record in their division advance to the playoffs. In addition, the teams with the next two best records in the league get into the playoffs by dint of their 'wild card' status. Only one team can advance to the quarterfinal series (need an even number of teams), so the two wild card teams in each league play a one-game 'win or go home' game to determine who actually continues onto the rest of the playoffs. This can cause unusual outcomes, such as this year when the NL Central division had three teams sporting the best win-loss records in all of baseball, but teams 2 and 3 had to play a single elimination game to see who could continue in the playoffs, despite much weaker teams entering the playoffs by dint of winning their division. Hence my argument to moving to a 'conference' system like in hockey (hockey also has two groups of teams like the leagues in baseball, but they call them conferences), where the best records overall advance to the playoffs and are seeded by conference-wide rankings.

    Okay, so now you have four teams per league in the playoffs - three division winners and the wild card playoff winner. These teams are ranked, and the top seed plays the bottom seed and so on for a best-of-five game series called the divisional series (hence, the American League Divisional Series, or ALDS, and the National League Divisional Series, or NLDS). The teams that advance then move to the semi-final series, called the League Championship Series (NLCS and ALCS for the National and American Leagues, respectively). This is a best-of-seven series, and the winners from each league then advance to the final, called the World Series. The WS is a best-of-seven series between the winners of the NL and AL.

    Fairly straightforward, really.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  6. #6
    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flixy View Post
    American sports competitions are confusing. Leagues, divisions, conferences, series, playoffs, nlcs, nlds, al, nl.. I tried looking it up but it's confusing.
    I guess the thing you have to keep in mind is the sheer size of the US.

    Whereas in Dutchland or the UK or any other European country, every saturday of the football season, teams from a single league travel the length and breadth of the country to play each other.

    That would not be possible in the US for their sports. So different leagues and divisions and whatever, who all play in relative geographical isolation, and the best of each of those leagues can then play off against each other in national finals.

    At least that's how I imagine it works, based on next to no knowledge whatsoever.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member earthJoker's Avatar
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    To be fair, we got Champions League, Europa League on top of the national league. To qualify to them you got Champions Eoute, League Route....

    Are there any Hawaiian and Alaskan teams? Otherwise the UEFA has the bigger distances: http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague...d=2271517.html
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    Thanks Wiggin! I still don't get the biggest point though, why there are two different leagues, which is apparently not geography based. And correct me if I'm wrong, that's the same in football. The way Timbuk says sounds logical, about the geography bit.. Except that's not what happens.

    Btw, this is where I gave up on the wiki:

    Each team plays 19 games against each of its four divisional opponents. It plays one home series and one away series, amounting to 6 or 7 games, against the 10 other teams in its league. A team also plays one of the divisions in the other league, rotating each year, with two opponents in a 3-game home series, two in a 3-game away series, and one with four games split between home and away. Furthermore, each team has an interleague "natural rival" (in many cases its counterpart in the same metro area) with which it plays 2 home games and 2 away games each year.

    With an odd number of teams in each league (15), it is necessary to have two teams participate in interleague play for most days in the season, except when two or more teams have a day off. Each team plays 20 interleague games throughout the season, usually with just one interleague game per day, but for one weekend in late May all teams will participate in an interleague series.
    Most of the Champions league / Euro league stuff is pretty straightforward - all European national associations are ranked based on performance in European matches over the past 5 years. Depending on your ranking, a number of teams qualifies for each competition, and at what stage the teams enter, e.g. the dutch league champion is entered straight in the group stages, and the runnerup qualifies for the third qualifying round. A country's league winner always qualifies for champions league, the cup winner always for euro league. Losers in the later qualifying rounds/playoffs of the CL enter the next round in the EL. Then when enough teams are eliminated, everyone is put in groups of 4, play a double round robin, and the best two teams from each group play elimination with away and return matches until there's a winner. The whole champions route simply means a league champion can only play other league champions in the qualifying round to prevent top countries dominating (the English #4 is probably better than, say, the Czech league champion).

    Only the ranking is a bit confusing, you basically get points for winning matches and reaching certain stages, and it's divided by the total number of teams your country had playing European that year. But for example we had an extra EL ticket this year because we won the fair play ranking, but that ticket had to go to the best fair-play-ranked team not already qualified, which had actually been relegated. So we had a second league team in the EL who of course went out in the first round, but since points are divided by the number of teams, winning the fair play ranking actually might cost us for the next 5 years (though we prefer blaming Ajax's abysmal performance this year).

    Distances can definitely be vast, my home team played in Moscow last week on Wednesday, amsterdam on Sunday. But these matches are every other week, and half of them are home, and the other two away matches are much closer (Manchester and Wolfsburg, although they are of course all far away for CSKA Moscow.
    Keep on keepin' the beat alive!

  9. #9
    Senior Member earthJoker's Avatar
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    A country's league winner always qualifies for champions league, the cup winner always for euro league.
    That depends on the ranking of the country. The Swiss Champion not always get's qualified directly. More often it has to go through the qualifying playoffs.
    "Wer Visionen hat, sollte zum Arzt gehen." - Helmut Schmidt

  10. #10
    To answer several of you at once:

    The 'leagues' in Major League Baseball are a misnomer, being more correctly represented by conferences as seen in American football, hockey, and basketball. They're just two halves of the whole that are useful for in-season matchups/rankings as well as feeding the champion of said league into the final championship game. The reason the NL and AL are called leagues is historical - they used to be independent, and I believe, competitors. Like over 100 years ago. They have de facto been tightly bound together since the early 20th century, and legally so since 2000 IIRC. So, it's not a geography thing or much of anything else, it's just historical. It's certainly not tied to a ranking system like football leagues in Europe; the NL and AL are generally fixed in their makeup, and one league is not necessarily better than the other.

    You might argue that the division grouping is a bit more closely tied to geography, but even that is weak at best - I believe the Mariners and Rangers are about 3000 km away from each other but play in the same division. One thing that helps keep down travel-related problems is that teams typically play 3 or 4 games at once against each other in a 'series', and they sometimes get a day off to travel in between cities that are far apart. Furthermore, teams tend to play long stretches of games either 'away' or at their home stadium to minimize the amount of travel necessary. Of course, teams typically perform worse on the road for a number of reasons - home crowd cheering, unfamiliarity with the ballpark idiosyncrasies, etc. - but travel-related fatigue is certainly one contributor.

    Setting up the game schedule is quite challenging, actually. The somewhat complex algorithm Flixy quoted is compounded by the complexities I mention above - creating large stretches of home or away games, allowing for 'off days' for long travel is possible, etc. And there are special interleague plays that complicate the schedule - for example, the Cubs and White Sox always have several series against each other, just as the Yankees and Mets due, irrespective of the rest of the year's schedule. And I haven't even mentioned scheduling restrictions at some ballparks (e.g. limited night games are Wrigley), or TV deal restrictions, etc. There are 2430 games per season to schedule, and it's not straightforward.

    This complexity sometimes is unfair - some teams have much tougher schedules than others - but them's the breaks.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  11. #11
    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by earthJoker View Post
    That depends on the ranking of the country. The Swiss Champion not always get's qualified directly. More often it has to go through the qualifying playoffs.
    My bad for not being clear, by qualify I meant is entered at some point. So all countries have at least their league winners entered at either a qualifying round, or directly in the group stage*. Higher ranked countries may have up to 4 teams enter at some point. Same goes for cup winners, they always qualify for the EL, but not necessarily directly for the group stage.

    Liechtenstein does not have a national league, hence also no CL.
    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    To answer several of you at once:

    The 'leagues' in Major League Baseball are a misnomer, being more correctly represented by conferences as seen in American football, hockey, and basketball. They're just two halves of the whole that are useful for in-season matchups/rankings as well as feeding the champion of said league into the final championship game. The reason the NL and AL are called leagues is historical - they used to be independent, and I believe, competitors. Like over 100 years ago. They have de facto been tightly bound together since the early 20th century, and legally so since 2000 IIRC. So, it's not a geography thing or much of anything else, it's just historical. It's certainly not tied to a ranking system like football leagues in Europe; the NL and AL are generally fixed in their makeup, and one league is not necessarily better than the other.
    I understand, but I think it's a bit weird that two teams near eachother of similar strength are in different leagues/conferences. Historical reasons may be why that is, but that's not necessarily a reason to keep it Then again, sports fans tend not to like too much change. And considering there are also inter-league matches, the whole thing is just confusing for me.
    You might argue that the division grouping is a bit more closely tied to geography, but even that is weak at best - I believe the Mariners and Rangers are about 3000 km away from each other but play in the same division. One thing that helps keep down travel-related problems is that teams typically play 3 or 4 games at once against each other in a 'series', and they sometimes get a day off to travel in between cities that are far apart. Furthermore, teams tend to play long stretches of games either 'away' or at their home stadium to minimize the amount of travel necessary. Of course, teams typically perform worse on the road for a number of reasons - home crowd cheering, unfamiliarity with the ballpark idiosyncrasies, etc. - but travel-related fatigue is certainly one contributor.
    Yeah, same with football - which is why in the event of a tie after both home/away matches, the side with the most away goals wins, because those are assumed to be harder to make.
    Setting up the game schedule is quite challenging, actually. The somewhat complex algorithm Flixy quoted is compounded by the complexities I mention above - creating large stretches of home or away games, allowing for 'off days' for long travel is possible, etc. And there are special interleague plays that complicate the schedule - for example, the Cubs and White Sox always have several series against each other, just as the Yankees and Mets due, irrespective of the rest of the year's schedule. And I haven't even mentioned scheduling restrictions at some ballparks (e.g. limited night games are Wrigley), or TV deal restrictions, etc. There are 2430 games per season to schedule, and it's not straightforward.

    This complexity sometimes is unfair - some teams have much tougher schedules than others - but them's the breaks.
    I understand scheduling is very comples, but the weirdness of having divisions within leagues, but then having everyone also play the other divisions within the same league, AND a few matches against some but not all teams.. it's just very confusing.

    I think any system will always be unfair. With football here you can of course get (un)lucky with the draw (if you're in a group with, say, Barca and PSG, good luck with that), and even the order of matches can help you or not. For example, if you play your last match against a team that's already secured their position, they might run a B-team, giving you an advantage. And since, at least over here, domestic matches are always during weekends and European ones during the week, it's a disadvantage if you happen to play strong domestic teams in the weekends around your European matches, especially if those domestic teams did not have a European match and are rested. It's something that's discussed here, to try and improve the results of Dutch teams which has not been good the past few years.
    Keep on keepin' the beat alive!

  12. #12
    Senior Member earthJoker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flixy View Post
    Liechtenstein does not have a national league, hence also no CL.
    FC Vaduz plays in the Swiss league.
    "Wer Visionen hat, sollte zum Arzt gehen." - Helmut Schmidt

  13. #13
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    They do have a Europa League spot: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liecht...n_Football_Cup
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  14. #14
    queen of the universe littlelolligagged's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    Oh, if you insist.

    It'll be spooooky when the Cubs win the World Series. For Halloween, I'm going to dress up as the devil in a snowsuit.
    Was this thing Colbert was saying about a goat curse true?

    Also yay, warm and cozy costumes I think my first Halloween with a kid I dressed up like someone who had not slept for months. It was highly convincing.
    We're stuck in a bloody snowglobe.

  15. #15
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    OT but not: someone (a company called shipfoliage.com -- article here) is selling New England autumn leaf boxes for $19.99 each. That is, a box, with variously colored leaves. A step up from snow...

    Well, I'll be buying pumpkins, instead.

  16. #16
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    "October in America" doesn't make me think of baseball, or any sport for that matter. But it does make me think about semester breaks, holidays, and vacation time that usually has sports in the background....that leads up to Thanksgiving.

    I've always loved the sounds of baseball or football games in Autumn, as a backdrop to family gatherings, family meals, and group naps.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Spenni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    To answer several of you at once:

    The 'leagues' in Major League Baseball are a misnomer, being more correctly represented by conferences as seen in American football, hockey, and basketball. They're just two halves of the whole that are useful for in-season matchups/rankings as well as feeding the champion of said league into the final championship game. The reason the NL and AL are called leagues is historical - they used to be independent, and I believe, competitors. Like over 100 years ago. They have de facto been tightly bound together since the early 20th century, and legally so since 2000 IIRC. So, it's not a geography thing or much of anything else, it's just historical. It's certainly not tied to a ranking system like football leagues in Europe; the NL and AL are generally fixed in their makeup, and one league is not necessarily better than the other.

    You might argue that the division grouping is a bit more closely tied to geography, but even that is weak at best - I believe the Mariners and Rangers are about 3000 km away from each other but play in the same division. One thing that helps keep down travel-related problems is that teams typically play 3 or 4 games at once against each other in a 'series', and they sometimes get a day off to travel in between cities that are far apart. Furthermore, teams tend to play long stretches of games either 'away' or at their home stadium to minimize the amount of travel necessary. Of course, teams typically perform worse on the road for a number of reasons - home crowd cheering, unfamiliarity with the ballpark idiosyncrasies, etc. - but travel-related fatigue is certainly one contributor.

    Setting up the game schedule is quite challenging, actually. The somewhat complex algorithm Flixy quoted is compounded by the complexities I mention above - creating large stretches of home or away games, allowing for 'off days' for long travel is possible, etc. And there are special interleague plays that complicate the schedule - for example, the Cubs and White Sox always have several series against each other, just as the Yankees and Mets due, irrespective of the rest of the year's schedule. And I haven't even mentioned scheduling restrictions at some ballparks (e.g. limited night games are Wrigley), or TV deal restrictions, etc. There are 2430 games per season to schedule, and it's not straightforward.

    This complexity sometimes is unfair - some teams have much tougher schedules than others - but them's the breaks.

    There are also some minor rule differences...

    And speaking of American Football. Go vikings .

  18. #18
    Wow, talk about a day showcasing offensive power. This was the kind of day I've been expecting, at least from the Blue Jays and Cubs. I'm happy the ALDS series are both going to Game 5 - adds a certain spice to the playoff race, and makes it far more competitive than I expected. KC only squeaked by, but a win's a win. Shame about Arrieta's outing not being up to his normal ridiculously awesome self, but looks like the Cubbies' offense can save the day. Looking forward to a win for Game 4 to close out the series?

    The big controversy with the Dodgers/Mets obviously centers around Utley's slide that broke Tejada's leg. There's no question that it was a dirty slide, and I'm shocked the ump didn't call at least interference. I hope his suspension is upheld, and I hope the Dodgers don't advance to the NLCS (also, just because we obviously want the Mets to play the Cubs in the NLCS). MLB already made a rule to minimize collisions at home plate; they definitely need better rules/enforcement to protect middle fielders. Some takeout slides are fine (cf Coghlan's slide in the Pirates game a few weeks back), but even those are dangerous. The like of Utley's shenanigans need to be eliminated.


    Quote Originally Posted by littlelolligagged View Post
    Was this thing Colbert was saying about a goat curse true?

    Also yay, warm and cozy costumes I think my first Halloween with a kid I dressed up like someone who had not slept for months. It was highly convincing.
    I didn't see Colbert, but yeah, there's a billy goat curse. All sorts of curses have haunted the Cubs over the years, it's pretty crazy. Look up Leon Durham's grounder in the 1984 NLCS, or the Bartman ball in the 2003 NLCS. The Cubs have had some ridiculously awful luck when it comes to the postseason. But this year? These rookies don't believe in superstition. They're just here to win baseball games.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  19. #19
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Still think the Blue Jays have no chance? This series is basically a recap of their season: terrible start despite good underlying stats and then murder against all opposition. Baseball playoffs are tough for predictions though. There's too much variation from game to game, and even the best teams typically win ~60% of their games.

    Regarding the Yankees: I wasn't expecting them to go all the way, but did think some of the teams in the AL are rather weak, and getting to the AL championship series wasn't out of the question.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  20. #20
    queen of the universe littlelolligagged's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    I didn't see Colbert, but yeah, there's a billy goat curse. All sorts of curses have haunted the Cubs over the years, it's pretty crazy. Look up Leon Durham's grounder in the 1984 NLCS, or the Bartman ball in the 2003 NLCS. The Cubs have had some ridiculously awful luck when it comes to the postseason. But this year? These rookies don't believe in superstition. They're just here to win baseball games.
    The Bartman Wikipedia article is sad.

    Quote Originally Posted by wiki
    As of 2013, Bartman still lives in Chicago and works for a financial services consulting company. He still declines interviews and, while he is still a Cubs fan, has never returned to Wrigley.[33]

    On Oct. 2, 2015, Cubs fan Keque Escobedo created a GoFundMe campaign seeking $5,000 in donations to send Bartman to the 2015 National League Wild Card Game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. While the campaign was "more than halfway" finished, Bartman declined the offer. The funds went to the Alzheimer's Association instead.[34]
    I think the Cubs should make a point of inviting him to a game with excellent seats.
    We're stuck in a bloody snowglobe.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Still think the Blue Jays have no chance? This series is basically a recap of their season: terrible start despite good underlying stats and then murder against all opposition. Baseball playoffs are tough for predictions though. There's too much variation from game to game, and even the best teams typically win ~60% of their games.

    Regarding the Yankees: I wasn't expecting them to go all the way, but did think some of the teams in the AL are rather weak, and getting to the AL championship series wasn't out of the question.
    Hey, I was the person who first suggested Toronto would make the World Series (albeit losing to the Cubs/Cards in 6). I just think their pretty awful offensive performance at home against a good-but-not-great opponent is concerning. I really thought that KC and Toronto had the ALDS sewn up ahead of time, but this has been surprisingly competitive. Much less surprised by the NLDS action.

    Happy to see the Mets get some revenge by an emphatic win, but not sure they will be able to win the series - Kershaw is up tonight and they've looked a bit shaky. Cubs/Cards today should be awesome; if the Cubs clinch a trip to the NLCS at home, you can guarantee that the entire North Side will be shaking from the noise.

    Quote Originally Posted by littlelolligagged View Post
    The Bartman Wikipedia article is sad.



    I think the Cubs should make a point of inviting him to a game with excellent seats.
    Yeah, poor guy. He was doing what any other dedicated fan would do, and the Cubs lost that game (and series) with no help from him. I think it's just that his catch is emblematic of the many, many times that Cubs fans have come so close to their dreams, only to have them snatched away at the last moment. Here's hoping for this year!


    If you want a REAL curse, I think the now-broken curses of both the Red Sox - the curse of the Bambino - and the White Sox - the curse of the Black Sox - are far better deserved. The Cubs are just unlucky.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  22. #22
    It's pretty crazy that they had to beat the best and second best team in baseball to get there, but I'm super psyched about the Cubs going to the NLCS. I think they have a good chance of advancing to the World Series, especially if the Mets advance. Clinching in 4 - at Wrigley - was just icing on the cake.

    Should be interesting to see how Kershaw does on minimal rest. So far using pitchers with only two games of rest hasn't panned out well in the postseason, but the Mets have had a tough time hitting against him. We'll have to see!

    I need to go buy a larger Cubs jersey for the daughter... need to get ready for wearing her special outfit for good luck! Worked for hockey this year, so here's hoping it'll work for baseball.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  23. #23
    Now that was a crazy 7th inning in the Blue Jays-Rangers game. I guess I shouldn't have counted out Toronto so early, they have some seriously clutch hitting. I had a slight worry that the Rangers would be facing the Cubs in the WS - my relationship with my wife might have been strained, despite a clearly delineated deal about family sports teams. I think the Blue Jays are definitely the favorites to clinch the ALCS over either Houston or KC, but I'm slightly partial to an Astros-Blue Jays showdown.

    Dodgers-Mets should be interesting - I don't know who to root for. Greinke and Kershaw are potent starting pitchers, but the rest of their lineup is lackluster - the Mets are more well-rounded. Also some commentators argued that warmer weather in LA will help Cubs hitters. I think I'm going to stick with rooting for the Mets because of the dirty Utley slide (and the opportunities for trash talk with my Mets fan friends).

    I'm sticking with my prediction for the WS: Cubs beat the Blue Jays in 6.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  24. #24
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    You're assuming the Cubs don't somehow manage to disqualify themselves before next round.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  25. #25

  26. #26
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Hooray for analogies and metaphors? Is October a month that natives designate a "holiday" of freeedom like the English do?

  27. #27
    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    On Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, at 4:29 p.m., our today will finally catch up to the tomorrow depicted in “Back to the Future, Part II.” In that 1989 film, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) appear with a flash in their DeLorean time machine from 30 years in the past. Suddenly, they find themselves in the same town, Hill Valley, but surrounded by impossible technology and outlandish social mores. It’s a place where cars can fly, hoverboards are the norm and, most incredibly, the Chicago Cubs have won the World Series.
    Keep on keepin' the beat alive!

  28. #28
    Sadly, it looks like today might instead be the day that the Cubs are eliminated from the NLCS. Their performance against the Mets has been head-scratchingly poor. Their pitching was always going to be a concern, but they've been pretty consistently hittable across the board, and their offense has just gotten very little to work with against the Mets - Schwarber being a lone exception. Even if the Cubs eke out a win or two, I find it highly unlikely they'll make it to the WS this year. Fortunately, they have the youth and talent to be contenders for quite a number of years to come, so I can always be comforted with my annual 'there's always next year' being somewhat more true than normal. The Mets deserve this, though - they've played phenomenally. The top of my wish list for next year is another starting pitcher and possibly a bit more help in the bullpen. I think they have little they need to do in the fielding and batting department, though some of their players need more seasoning.

    KC's walloping of the Blue Jays is not as surprising, though I still thought Toronto had a better chance going in - their offense just hasn't had much traction in most of these games. I think they have a decent chance of taking Game 5 at home, but don't see the ALCS going past 6 games.

    In a WS matchup between the Mets and KC I'm not sure who's got the edge. I'll have to look at the matchup in more detail - I don't think they've even met in the regular season?
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  29. #29
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Just goes to show how much of a crap shoot baseball playoffs are. Just like in the season, the best team wins maybe 60% of the time. And that means a lot of mediocre teams make it very far.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Just goes to show how much of a crap shoot baseball playoffs are. Just like in the season, the best team wins maybe 60% of the time. And that means a lot of mediocre teams make it very far.
    Much as I'd like to take refuge in statistics, the Cubs meltdown in the NLCS goes far beyond something so easily explainable. If the sweep is sealed in the next few innings as looks likely, this will be one of the most commanding NLCS sweeps in a while, especially against such a strong opponent. There are a confluence of factors, of course, but I don't really buy the 'any given Sunday' argument for this series. KC/Toronto is much more explainable.

    I'm going to make sure to wear my Cubs hat tomorrow... let people know that I'm still a fan and proud of it, even when they lose. But it still smarts.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

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