DaddyO’s Choice (Not Sophie’s)
Go East Old Man

2018 saw me move unexpectedly from the Seattle area, where we have lived since 1995, to San Antonio, TX. Mid-August to mid-September it has rained nearly every day, often heavily. Apparently the rainfall in this 30-day period has equalled the normal annual amount. Go figure.

Now I have something else to go figure, something much more impactful.

Beaten. Battered. Bloodied. Bruised. Betrayed. Befuddled. (How the Mariners have made me feel since I was 47. I am now 63.)

The M’s had deflated me too many years in a row with promises of achievement that turned into nightmares, even in those rare years when they contended. So I expected I would take the relocation as an opportunity to leave my abusive “spouse.”

At first I thought I would root for the team that had kindled my love of baseball and held my affections for my first 40 years, the Los Angeles Dodgers. This idea expectation held for a week or so until I came to grips with what it was like when most games started at 9pm in my new time zone. I like to watch games live, not on Memorex.

So I considered rooting for the local World Series Champion Astros, who indeed have become a franchise worth the investing of one’s loyalties. They have done what Seattle could not, rebuild. And their games were broadcast in local time. But alas, despite having an MLBtv subscription, league policy makes it impossible for me to watch either Texas team live unless I also had a subscription to a cable or sattellite provider. And pirating comes with extreme buffering, other headaches, and the sense of being a thief.

The M’s came into the season with the hope that DiPoto had put together a team that could achieve something. When they showed early in the season that this was indeed so, I figured this was not the year to abandon them. The last thing I wanted was to leave them the very year they would reward their fan base with a playoff appearance. So I kicked aside my thoughts of the Dodgers and the Astros and devoted myself to the Mariners once again.

Then July gave lie to the run-differential tightrope Seattle was walking, and August and September have made me feel as described in paragraph three above. I cannot endure it again.

As this year winds down, I am again freeing myself to consider other teams. And to my stunned surprise I’ve decided to limit my consideration to Eastern time zone teams. I can’t watch Houston regularly. But the Eastern teams play weeknight games that start at 6pm CST, and I can watch an entire game before I become comatose.

So all that said, I, DaddyO, have a choice to make. Of the Eastern teams, on which should I choose to set my affections?

I can rule some teams out. Either New York team is out of the question. I do NOT heart New York. And Boston is out. There was a day back in 2004 when I might have chosen them, but I now consider them in the same basket as the Yankees. I do not want to root for Canadian Toronto. Miami has no future, and is as sad a sack as can be found in MLB. Baltimore has sunk quite low. None of these teams would I even consider.

So that leaves me with the following teams: Atlanta, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, and Washington.

After so many years of frustration with the Mariners, I DO want to have a reasonable chance at reward for my fandom. I also want to follow a young, up-and coming team. I want to see a team that has a chance to do what the Astros have done. I want to see a franchise with some tradition of commitment to success, and I prefer that success to be with as many exciting young players as possible.

As of right now I rank my choices this way (with notes after each team):

  1. Atlanta – They check all the boxes, and hold the promise of a quality young core that might contend for years to come.
  2. Philadelphia – Same as Atlanta to a lesser degree, plus expected to be major free agent players this offseason. But I am more interested in the long haul, and I’m more convinced by Atlanta than I am Philadelphia.
  3. Cleveland – Cleveland is good now, they’ve built something with Francona at the helm and some good acquisitions. But I’m not convinced their organization can sustain this over the long haul.
  4. Tampa Bay – Gotta love a franchise that has accomplished over the years what the Rays have done with such limited resources. Eat your heart out, Mariners. But they end up having to sell off their good players at such a young age. They replace them, but I’d like more continuity than that.
  5. Pittsburgh – The Pirates looked like an up and coming franchise a few years back, but they are looking more and more like an organization that only take things so far. I guess I see them as hovering near .500 most years.
  6. Washington – The Nationals had their chance at greatness a few years back and did not take advantage. They seem to be sliding into mediocrity.

 So there you have it. This represents my thinking today. I used the following article as a helpful reference:

 https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2790799-future-power-rankings-where-...

 I’d love to see comments on my ranking of the teams but not my intent to make such a choice.

Comments

1

Earlier in the year, I razzed you pretty hard for considering a switch, but not anymore.

I've devoted (holy bananas!) twenty-six years of my life to the Mariners, and I can't see myself devoting another twenty-six. It just...isn't any fun. It's not that they lose, it's that they do not care one iota that they lose.

I am not averse to west-coast games...I am more of a night-owl than you. :) But, everything from California is tainted by...well...being in California...the only western teams left, then, are the D'Backs and Mariners...so...

Looking further east, I'd rule out the Rockies...they're like the Mariners but with the opposite extreme park.

All other AL West teams are definitely out...to long spent hating them with a burning passion to ever consider not hating them.

All teams at the top of the market food chart are out. That's the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Dodgers (already eliminated, but needed a mention), Giants, Nationals, Cubs, and White Sox at a minimum.

Anything not from the US is out because this is MURICA, dangit, and it's MURICA'S GAME.

The Orioles are out because the Mariners and Orioles had really bad blood in my formative years as a fan and I lived in Orioles country so learned to hate the Os.

The Braves are out, for me, because I don't like the way they treat their own city, think their handling of the international market STINKS, ethically, and didn't like that they had a national TV following for thirty years for no good reason.

I've been a fan of the American League style of play for a long time. I really hate watching pitchers make a mockery of this game with a bat in their hands and older sluggers mock the game by pretending they can still field. The AL game is prettier to watch and much more high octaine. That rules out everyone but...

Tigers, Indians, Twins, Royals. And I don't like the future for any of those guys...maybe Cleveland...they're an underdog like the Marienrs, but a competently run underdog. They're in a really...really...REALLY weak division. They have a young nucleus around which to build...

The natural second choice is the Phillies. I'd have to put up with it being from the inferior league, but the Phillies were my father's boyhood team and the first team I rooted for with any emotional investment in a world series, back in 1993. I have a family history connected to the franchise...and they're being run pretty well right now.

So...for me it's either Cleveland or Philly.

EDIT TO ADD: several of my college friends are Mets fans...so becoming a Philly fan would be complicated for me...LOL

2

...I am growing to hate baseball by watching the Mariners try to play it...and that's not OK.

I want to pick up my baseball research hat, and do something to love baseball again...even if it's only in the past.

4

Re:  Vogelbach: It appears that Servais may have just indicated that Vogs is trade bait.

While Daniel Vogelbach hit a home run filling in for Cruz in Sunday’s 4-3 loss in Anaheim, Servais said Cruz would continue getting most of the DH at-bats over the final two weeks.

As for Vogelbach? Servais noted the 25-year-old has hit well in the Minors and eventually needs to land in a spot where he can try to build on that in the Majors, where he’s hit just .211/.333/.366 with three home runs in 71 at-bats this season and .198/.305/.306 in 111 at-bats in his career.

"Being in a situation where somebody just commits 350 to 400 at-bats to him in a season and see what you’ve got at the end of the day, that’s probably what he needs," Servais said. "Is that what he’s going to get? I don’t know. You have to be in the right place at the right time for that to happen. He’s certainly produced at the Triple-A level. He needs to get the opportunity and then take advantage of it when it’s there."

My goodness that comment depresses me.

Sheeeesh!  Remind me if my memory serves me as correct, didn't a few years ago the front office claim that we were on the lookout for guys that controlled the zone and had decent BB/K numbers?  I swear I remember that.  Vogelbach is the AAA definition of CtZ.

Yet, Healy is terrible in that regard, Gordon All-World bad, Seager getting worse, yada, yada, yada.  All that and 128 Vogs' PA's, spread over three seasons, convinces Servais that the guy can't play here.  Sigh.  I suppose that AAA (.290-.408-.490 over two seasons) means nothing.  I suppose.  Dipoto and Servais do not like Vogelbach.  They just don't.  He'll end up somewhere in the bigs and then hit.

But if he's not getting a chance here, then we're all in on Cruz and that means we can't afford a top-flite arm.

 

5

Moe, I'm not inclined to get too concerned about Servais's post-game blather. He has to say SOMETHING to the microphones! He's not going to tell the world, in the midst of a "pennant race" and in advance of contract negoc's with Boomstick, that they're going " all in" on Vogs. 

Let's see how many more game-winning HRs he can hit in the last 12 games, and trust JeDi will make the right decision. (Or, we ALL become Indians/Phillies/Astros fans, next year!)

6
SeetheZee's picture

I think Servais EXPECTS the Ms to contend next year and considers Vogelbach a borderline talent who deserves a shot but not on a contending team.

With an unlimited budget, if agree. But there has to be something really appealing that can be done with $43 million (expiring this year Boomstick and next year Felix salaries) besides not giving your most ready prospect a shot. Starting pitching? A big time outfielder? Two $20 million talents? One Harper and a bag of chips?

7

Vogs homers two games in a row......and can't get the start vs. the righty?  Really?

Cano at 2B and Gordon to the bench wouldn't be a bad idea, would it?

Holy snot.......

9

He must have dented the Skipper’s car in the parking lot or not laughed at a Dipoto joke.

I don’t know what to say.....

but “Play the hot bat” is never a poor option.

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