Monday, September 28, 2020

Oldest Ringless Players: 2020 Edition

You know how this works: Oldest player on the 40-man roster without a World Series ring. Let's see who this year's lucky candidates to get their first one are.

Atlanta Braves: Darren O'Day (October 22, 1982)
Chicago Cubs: Yu Darvish (August 16, 1986)
Chicago White Sox: Edwin Encarnacion (January 7, 1983)
Cincinnati Reds: Joey Votto (September 10, 1983)
Cleveland Indians: Oliver Perez (August 15, 1981)
Houston Astros: Zack Greinke (October 21, 1983)
Los Angeles Dodgers: Justin Turner (November 23, 1984)
Miami Marlins: Brandon Kintzler (August 1, 1984)
Milwaukee Brewers: Ryan Braun (November 17, 1983)
Minnesota Twins: Rich Hill (March 11, 1980)
New York Yankees: Adam Ottavino (November 22, 1985)
Oakland Athletics: Joakim Soria (May 18, 1984)
San Diego Padres: Craig Stammen (March 9, 1984)
St. Louis Cardinals: Matt Wieters (May 21, 1986)
Tampa Bay Rays: Chaz Roe (October 9, 1986)
Toronto Blue Jays: Matt Shoemaker (September 27, 1986)

Sixteen guys. That's way too many to have to do. In a matter of a few days, this number will be cut in half. So let's go. Let's complete this whirlwind of a postseason.

2020 Playoff Predictions

Hey, everyone! I'm back! For the few of you who read this blog, you might have noticed that it's been a long time since I've posted. That's because it's been hard for me to get too excited about this bizarre anomaly season, and I know that it'll be hard to accurately rank any of these teams among the all-timers, since the sample size is so small. Also, if stuff like a 16-team playoff field and universal DH are the future of MLB, I'm not terribly happy about that. Baseball's history is more exciting to me than the current-day iteration. Maybe this era will be more fun to study once there's a historical context I can view it in.

But anyway, let's try to make some predictions for this wacky playoff bracket that's akin to the crapshoot of March Madness. I guarantee you these predictions won't come true exactly, but we can have some fun anyway. Here's what I'm going to say:

First Round

National League

Dodgers over Brewers: The talent disparity between these two teams is too large for me to pick against the Dodgers.
Cardinals over Padres: They're the Cardinals. They have to do something evil in the postseason. I'd love to see the Padres make some noise,'s the Cardinals.
Marlins over Cubs: The Marlins have never lost a playoff series in their history. They'll probably do so this year, but I have a feeling they're hungry enough to pull off this upset.
Braves over Reds: The Reds have some momentum, but I'll go with the safe pick.

American League

Rays over Blue Jays: Do I have the guts to pick against the top seed? Nah.
Yankees over Indians: I always pick the Yankees in hopes of jinxing them.
Astros over Twins: Even though the numbers favor the Twins, I'll pick the upset here. Just a gut feeling I have.
White Sox over Athletics: These teams are more closely matched than their seeding indicates, and the Sox are arguably the better team. Since Oakland is one of those teams that never seems to get the job done in October, I'm taking Chicago.

Second Round ("Divisional Round" doesn't seem quite right here)

National League

Dodgers over Cardinals: The Cardinals are evil, but are they this evil? Eh. I'll underestimate them, though I may do so at my own peril.
Marlins over Braves: For some reason, I'm getting a hunch that the Marlins will stick around long enough to get people talking about them, and that their postseason invincibility will become a topic of discussion.

American League

Yankees over Rays: I guess I'm once again picking the Yankees just to jinx them, but there's also the fact that...they're the Yankees. Sure, they haven't won a pennant in eleven years, but they'll never not scare me. I still have bad memories of the 2000 postseason.
White Sox over Astros: The Astros aren't the powerhouse they've been the last three years, and I think these White Sox just might be the team to knock them off. Besides, no one wants to see another Astros-Yankees ALCS.

League Championship Series

Phew. And onto the next round we go. This is getting tiring. Just imagine how the players feel.

Dodgers over Marlins: The Marlins have an intriguing little run, but it comes to an end against the Dodgers, who win their third pennant in four years.
White Sox over Yankees: I don't know why, but I've got a feeling about these Sox, I do. They're newcomers to the postseason, and they're looking to prove themselves.

World Series

Dodgers over White Sox: 1959 rematch! And unfortunately for me as White Sox fan, the same result. Clayton Kershaw finally get his ring, and the White Sox get a memorable season that falls just short.

I'd be more or less satisfied with these predictions all coming true. The Dodgers have been good long enough that I'd be happy with them winning it all, even if it's at the expense of the White Sox.