MLB offseason 2020-2021

I honestly thought someone was pranking me on Twitter, but no: White Sox have hired Tony La Russa as manager.

Turning back the clock on your manager doesn’t make Covid go away, sorry.

I’m baffled why a team on their way up is putting La Russia back in the dugout.

Anyway, here’s a thread for all the goings on in MLB until we get to Spring Training. We will have a Spring Training, right?

Maybe they feel that this World series proved that analytics and modern baseball doesn’t work?

There have been Hall of Fame players who managed like Frank Robinson, of course, but has anyone who went in as a manager returned to the dugout?

Weren’t two of the most analytically focussed teams in the World Series?

Exactly

Tony LaRussa managed Minnie Minoso.

And now it’s AJ Hinch to the Tigers.

2021 definitely won’t be a boring season. I guess I’ll have to pay attention to the AL Central

So getting to the World Series doesn’t count as working? What am I missing here?

It was a joke about how the White Sox can observe analytics working and helping to create the two best teams in baseball and then run the opposite way to hire possibly the most old school manager possible rather than embracing success.

I suspect LaRussa will use analytics. He doesn’t want to lose and the math proves that analytics produce wins.

But I’m with old school managers in that analytics can be a tad overused. The paper math said putting Blake Snell through the lineup another time wasn’t a good idea; people watching the game knew it probably was a good idea. Sometimes, gut instincts and eyeballs don’t lie.

As much smack as LaRussa has talked about analytics, it’s ironic to think that he was among the first managers to do what analytics gurus are directing managers to do these days with their pitching staffs: single inning specialists, bringing in pitchers to face one or two batters…LaRussa was doing that as a regular practice before analytics made it ‘smart’ baseball.

I think LaRussa will be okay in terms of strategy. I do wonder how he’ll relate to a newer generation of players and just the grind of a long baseball season. 76 years old is 76 years old. If he was Jack Lalane, I wouldn’t worry, but he’s a wine lover IIRC.

There is a big difference between using analytics and believing in it. Over the last 8 years the talent level of the Dodgers has been amazing but it was only when they shitcanned Mattingly and brought it Roberts they made the leap. From 2012 to 2015 the dodgers averaged 91 wins per season with a high of 94. Since then they have averaged 98.25 (I didn’t include 2020) with a low of 91. Mattingly used analytics but begrudgingly, Roberts loves it.

I’ll say this: without Mookie Betts, the Rays, not the Dodgers, are world champs. Free agency is free agency.

Follow up: theres no way I’m going to predict the WS fortunes this year. I don’t follow American League for one thing (why would I, lol?). Don’t follow the WS for another. I have no idea whether they’re legit. But if they are, if they have talent, there’s not a doubt in my mind that LaRussa will make them competitive.

And if the Astros hadn’t cheated the Dodgers would have won 3 years ago.

The playoff are random, the best way to evaluate a team’s success is the regular season. The Dodgers were clearly better in the regular season after Roberts than before. I don’t necessarily think that you could or should credit Roberts with that 7 wins and even then his ability to convince guys to play multiple positions and be ok with weird usages probably makes his faith in analytics more effective. It is crazy to me though to go out and hire a coach who is doing anything less then fully embracing the change in how baseball is played.

OK. Thanks. I missed the sarcasm. I’ll recalibrate my sarcasm detectors.

They did win 106 last year without Mookie. And 104 a couple of years before that.

The awards “finalists” have been announced. Winners announced next week.

MVP:

AL finalists: José Abreu (CWS), DJ LeMahieu (NYY), José Ramírez (CLE)
NL finalists: Mookie Betts (LAD), Freddie Freeman (ATL), Manny Machado (SD)

Cy Young:

AL finalists: Shane Bieber (CLE), Kenta Maeda (MIN), Hyun Jin Ryu (TOR)
NL finalists : Trevor Bauer (CIN), Yu Darvish (CHC), Jacob deGrom (NYM)

Rookie:

AL finalists: Cristian Javier (HOU), Kyle Lewis (SEA), Luis Robert (CWS)
NL finalists: Alec Bohm (PHI), Jake Cronenworth (SD), Devin Williams (MIL)

Just as the Presidential news was being announced, the Red Sox announce that they’re rehiring Alex Cora.

I’m sure they weren’t trying to bury it under Biden, but it is a pretty good way to have it fly under the radar

That is not the act of a class organization.

Speaking of class organizations, it looks like MLB and the Astros may have negotiated a settlement to the cheating scandle that ensured the Astros would have a shot at the world series in 2020. If the allegations are true the Yankees may not be the most hated team in baseball anymore.

So it looks like Tony La Russa was up to his usual tricks and got nailed for another DUI back in February in Arizona. How many fucking DUIs is this asshole gonna get? Uber works in Arizona and his bank account isn’t down to the single digits.