Major League Baseball: 2018 Season

Discussion in 'Sports' started by JohnBM01, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. JohnBM01

    JohnBM01 Premium

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    On November 1, 2017; it was Game 7 of the 2017 World Series as the Houston Astros battled the Los Angeles Dodgers for the final time in an epic 2017 World Series. That Game 7 was in Rancho Cucamonga, California. The television dialogue was like this when the final out was recorded as said by FOX Sports' Joe Buck:

    "Here's a ground ball, right side, could do it. The Houston Astros are World Champions... for the first time in franchise history!"

    What began as hype in 2014 with a Sports Illustrated cover featuring George Springer on the cover... ultimately came true in surreal fashion three years later. The Houston Astros did lots of failing since the improbable 2005 Houston Astros made it to their first World Series. Everything culminated to the Houston Astros becoming World Series champions of the 2017 season. It was exhilaration in Houston and by Houston; broken hearts and disappointments in the Los Angeles area. Two 100+ win teams battled hard to became champions. Charlie Morton took the Astros home with solid pitching, but not without coming home without the Commissioner's Trophy. George Springer picks up the World Series MVP crown. All the while, Minute Maid Park erupted into a frenzy as downtown Houston and several different watch parties were excited at their hometown Major League Baseball team won the World Series. The 2017 World Series was epic to say the least. What will 2018 bring?

    It is time to welcome the 2018 season on that note. Twenty-nine teams want to be where one team finished- World Series champions. Those 29 want to be World Series champions, and one team is hoping to repeat as champions. I am neutral and unbiased, but you probably know I am a Houston Astros fan. All we know is that one of 30 Major League Baseball teams will win it all and become the kings of Major League Baseball. Will it be the Houston Astros in 2018, or will a new challenger step up and be atop the mountain?

    The regular season starts in late March or early April, but the real moving and shaking starts in the offseason. It continues into Spring Training. And then eventually... a new 162-game season starts along with an All-Star Break. Then comes all the postseason action- Wild Card games, the best-of-5 Divisional Series, the best-of-7 Championship Series, and of course... the best-of-7 World Series.


    Welcome to the 2018 season of Major League Baseball, GTPlanet. This thread goes from the Hot Stove to the final World Series game. So come in on and let's chat! Good luck to all of your favorite teams this season.


    [OMISSION] Here is a look at how last regular season ended, in case you need a reminder:

    --- AMERICAN LEAGUE (end of 2017 Regular Season) ---
    AL EAST: Boston (93-69), NYY (91-71), TB (80-82), TOR (76-86), BAL (75-87)
    AL CENTRAL: Cleveland (102-60), MIN (85-77), KC (80-82), CHW (67-95), DET (64-98)
    AL WEST: Houston (101-61), LAA (80-82), SEA and TEX (78-84 each), OAK (75-87)

    --- NATIONAL LEAGUE (end of 2017 Regular Season) ---
    NL EAST: Washington (92-70), MIA (77-85), ATL (72-90), NYM (70-92), PHI (66-96)
    NL CENTRAL: Chicago Cubs (86-76), MIL (86-76), STL (83-79), PIT (75-87), CIN (68-94)
    NL WEST: Los Angeles Dodgers (104-58), ARI (93-69), COL (87-75), SD (71-91), SF (64-98)

    How will THIS season fare? We shall see!
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
  2. JohnBM01

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    Former New York Yankee Aaron Boone is now the new manager of the Yanks. That move was made today.

    Be sure to try to keep up with all the Hot Stove news and all the shuffling of players. Like, I think I heard Doug Fister joined the Texas Rangers a few days ago. One of my Astros' catchers was picked up by the Rangers also.
     
  3. JohnBM01

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    Giancarlo Stanton has been a beast. He's been a home run machine for the Miami Marlins. Stanton may find himself a new home in the near future. According to what I read on ESPN, he will waive his no-trade clause and probably go from Omnis' Miami Marlins to the New York Yankees. Meaning... the Yanks could be a lock for at least the 2018 ALCS.

    Elsewhere, Shohei Ohtani will go to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. I read he can be slotted as a pitcher or even a hitter. So I'm sure Ohtani could be utilized well for LAA. It will be a tough out taking on the Angels if Ohtani just becomes beast for the Angels.


    Let us all know of any interesting trades or signings for your favorite team(s) or for any other team.


    [UPDATE (Dec. 9, 2017)] It's official- Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees. If "chicks dig the long ball," NYY now has a home run beast not named Aaron Judge.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  4. JohnBM01

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    The Cleveland Indians will do away with the Chief Wahoo logo on their team apparel starting in 2019. So this will be the last season you'll see the Cleveland Indians use the Chief Wahoo logo other than the usual "C" logo for the Indians.

    Nothing much new around Houston Astros land except for the news of Gerritt Cole joining the Astros' pitching rotation. One of my Astros got hit with a 100-game suspension for a failed drug test. And for this season, Gallery Furniture here in Houston is calling for their "2.018" predicition. The same deal from last year- if the Astros win the championship and if you bought enough furniture from them ($3K or more), it's all free. I didn't think my Houston Astros would win it all last season. I'll be even more damned if they win it all again this coming season.


    I admit I don't like baseball too much, but am I the only baseball fan chatting here? Feel free to chime in whenever you like!
     
  5. Dolph Drago

    Dolph Drago

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    This has been the slowest off season possibly ever with big free agents not getting picked up. Could be why it's been so quiet here.

    I don't know what to expect from the Reds. We've got a young team and lost Cozart to the Halos. There's been talk of trading one of the outfielders, whether it be Hamilton or Duvall (or Schebler), to make sure Winker gets consistent playing time. I don't anticipate anything happening though. I'm not too worried about the offense anyway. Pitching (and outfield defense to an extent if Hamilton goes) are the big issues. The starters have get further into games, and most importantly just stay healthy.
     
  6. Joey D

    Joey D Contributing Writer

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    I'm guessing the era of stupid free agent contracts is coming to an end. It seems that teams are wising up to the fact that you just don't get the production out of a guy in his 30's who's seeking several hundred million dollar contracts. Also, they are seeing long term deals as not beneficial.

    As a long time Tigers fan and someone who's seen what a boatload of high priced, long term deals does to a club...I can't say I blame the team owners one bit.
     
  7. JohnBM01

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    Well, most teams are reluctant to put down loads of money to try to add players to the rosters and pitching rotations. That includes those playing in the Minor League and incoming players straight from High School or international players. I find it interesting teams have even boycotted thanks to a lack of free agent wheeling and dealing.

    To avoid arbitration, my Houston Astros signed George Springer to a 2-year deal with $24M USD. Springer was the World Series MVP for his many "Springer Dingers" in helping the Astros win their first ever championship.
     
  8. JohnBM01

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    Yu Darvish joined the Chicago Cubs' rotation. I didn't recall the contract details, but Darvish is going to help out that Cubs pitching rotation. I hope everything works out well for Yu Darvish with the Cubbies.


    [UPDATE] 6 years, $126M USD for Darvish.
     
  9. JohnBM01

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    Did you know that Spring Training started up this past Valentine's Day? That means we're getting our first look at a handful of teams with new and old players. Time to gear up and loosen up for the 2018 season of Major League Baseball!
     
  10. JohnBM01

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    Later today will be the first telecast of the Houston Astros' Spring Training for 2018. All of the other teams will be playing in a host of Spring Training matches. So it's time to get your juices going as the 2018 season will probably be here sooner than you know it.


    Feel free to look ahead to the upcoming season if you wish. Or... just wait until the regular season starts proper.
     
  11. JohnBM01

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    We won our first Spring Training game 3-2 against the Washington Nationals. The Astros and Nationals share the same ballpark in Spring Training. Both teams accounted for four hits. The scoring started with a 2-run jack by the Astros. The Nationals, though, responded quickly to tie the game at 2. A second homer by the Astros put the Astros back in front. The game ended 3-2 in favor of the Astros.


    Remember- this is only Spring Training. So none of this stuff matters towards the regular season. It's still good to start off with a win. We get the Atlanta Braves tomorrow.
     
  12. JohnBM01

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    It is being reported that the Houston Astros signed José Altuve to a five-year, $151M USD extension. Altuve has been quite a solid player for the Astros. Little man with big playing power. I'm pretty sure he'll live up to this contract extension.
     
  13. Dolph Drago

    Dolph Drago

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    Good for Houston and Altuve. He seems like a really good guy.

    Meanwhile the Reds signed Eugenio Suarez to a 7 year, $66 million extension. It's impressive how much and how quickly he's improved in his years in Cincy. Offensively he's better. But his defense is leaps and bounds better than when he came over from Detroit. It was a major struggle. Now he's gold glove caliber.
     
  14. JohnBM01

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    Trust me, Dolph Drago, I am always fascinated by José Altuve. He's very humble while also delivering on the ballpark. I don't know how he does it; he just does it. That's why I am such a fan of Altuve.


    If you want a reminder of how the regular season ended last season, here is a look back (playoff teams in BOLD):

    --- AMERICAN LEAGUE (end of 2017 Regular Season) ---
    AL EAST: Boston (93-69), NYY (91-71), TB (80-82), TOR (76-86), BAL (75-87)
    AL CENTRAL: Cleveland (102-60), MIN (85-77), KC (80-82), CHW (67-95), DET (64-98)
    AL WEST: Houston (101-61), LAA (80-82), SEA and TEX (78-84 each), OAK (75-87)

    --- NATIONAL LEAGUE (end of 2017 Regular Season) ---
    NL EAST: Washington (92-70), MIA (77-85), ATL (72-90), NYM (70-92), PHI (66-96)
    NL CENTRAL: Chicago Cubs (86-76), MIL (86-76), STL (83-79), PIT (75-87), CIN (68-94)
    NL WEST: Los Angeles Dodgers (104-58), ARI (93-69), COL (87-75), SD (71-91), SF (64-98)

    From last season, it kind of shows the strength of the NL West with three teams getting into the Playoffs. Of course, it was the Dodgers who shown to be the best of the National League teams. There was a tie for the worst record last season between the Detroit Tigers and the San Francisco Giants, both finishing with 64-98 records. If one team can stink for some time, they can one day rise up and become champions. That was the case for my Astros, and I'm probably sure teams like the Cincinnati Reds may return to being a solid ball club. I'm not sure what's up with the Reds. Not sure if it's not enough hitting, poor pitching, bullpen issues, or what- or maybe Cincy just has some hard luck. I also was hoping maybe Blitz24's New York Mets would have a better season last season also. Times were pretty tough for the Mets to really do any damage in the National League.

    I was pleased at the Minnesota Twins with their season last season. I still remember that nuts game where my Astros were down 8-2 at Minnesota to end up winning 16-8. I was actually surprised to see Detroit be the AL Central doormat. I was expecting the White Sox to be the AL Central doormat, but not Detroit. I like the Detroit Tigers outside of my Houston Astros, and I wonder if Detroit can have a better season this coming season than last. The AL West is going to get better. I doubt my Houston Astros will be Major League Baseball's next dynasty, but it surely will be tough for the Astros to knock down another title in the AL West or even win back-to-back World Series championships. I don't see it happening any time soon, but can you imagine both Boston and the New York Yankees NOT making the postseason?


    The new season will start on the final week of March. My Houston Astros will open up at the Texas Rangers on March 29. Any other preseason musings any of you want to share?
     
  15. JohnBM01

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    Can you imagine that by this time next Thursday, that the 2018 regular season has started? My Houston Astros will begin their title defense at the Texas Rangers next Thursday afternoon. That will be the story I will follow for this season- how will the Astros take the pressure of trying to defend their World Series championship from last season? And possibly... could they repeat as champions?


    Get psyched, GTPlanet! It's almost time to PLAY BALL again!
     
  16. DesertPenguin

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    Watching the Yankees and Red Sox play right now
     
  17. JohnBM01

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    DesertPenguin, I'll assume you're a Yankees fan. If you are, what are you looking for out of the Yankees in 2018?
     
  18. DesertPenguin

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    Im not a die hard fan and don't follow that closely. Just another world series would be nice :)
     
  19. JohnBM01

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    Look... listen... can you feel it? Baseball is back! Get psyched! The grind of 162 games plus an All-Star Game and all the postseason action will take form between today and into late October and maybe early November. Everything from pitching to hitting, flashing leather like a boss to jacking balls out of the park. You want baseball? You got it. Spring Training is over. Time to gear up, take some practice swings/pitches, and go to work towards hoisting the Commissioner's Trophy after winning the World Series.

    The Houston Astros (my Houston Astros) are the defending champions. Who will be champs in 2018? We have a lot of games to determine that. All 30 teams will play today and tonight. It is the first time this has happened since 1968, and it is the earliest Opening Day in Major League Baseball history.


    No matter who your favorite team(s) and player(s) are, good luck to all of your favorite teams this season. Now, uh...

    PLAY BALL!
     
  20. DesertPenguin

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    Yankees ata Blue Jays starts at 4pm EST
     
  21. AnthonyD1993

    AnthonyD1993

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    I'll just be happy if the Tiger's don't take last in the AL Central.
     
  22. JohnBM01

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    Houston did good today, winning 4-1 at the Texas Rangers. Houston hit the ground running on their rivals up north as George Springer hit a solo jack on the third pitch of the game. The Astros looked like they haven't cooled off or had any kind of hangover since winning it all last season. Texas' only run came in the Bottom of the 9th on a Wild Pitch by HOU. Still, we did good.

    So too did the Yankees. The New York Yankees' 2018 season began in Canada, and they grounded the Toronto Blue Jays with a 6-1 victory. Giancarlo Stanton did what he does best- knock balls out of the park (usually hard). Anyhow, the New York Yankees asserted themselves today in beautiful Toronto.


    Congratulations to all other winners from today and tonight on this Opening Day.
     
  23. Dolph Drago

    Dolph Drago

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    They announced it a couple days ago, but the Reds postponed Opening Day to tomorrow. Good idea, because it rained all day in these parts. Anyway, it was the first time since 1966 that Opening Day was rained out.
     
  24. Dolph Drago

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    The Reds got surprisingly good pitching, but still lost 2-0 because what was supposed to be the strong part of the team, offense, couldn't score. Homer had a great game, pitching 6 innings of 1 run ball. Unfortunately it was for naught.
     
  25. JohnBM01

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    Yeah, we failed too on Friday night. 5-1 was the score as we must have ticked off the Rangers on Opening Day to where they wanted to raise Hell on my Astros. So we went from hit the ground running... to getting run over. Series tied at 1-1 with the next game later today (since it is Saturday as of this post).


    Congratulations to all other winners from Friday.
     
  26. JohnBM01

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    The first series of 2018 is over for the Houston Astros. We went up to Arlington to take on the Texas Rangers to begin the Battle for the Silver Boot series. Here is an overview of this series...

    GM1 - HOU at TEX: 4-1; HOU
    GM2 - HOU at TEX: 5-1; TEX
    GM3 - HOU at TEX: 9-3; HOU
    GM4 - HOU at TEX: 8-2; HOU

    It was a great series, as per usual when the Astros and Rangers hook up. So we're 3-1 in our defense of our World Series crown. Texas is 1-3 to start 2018.

    Up next for the Houston Astros Baseball Club... we're back home. And this isn't any regular homecoming- it is a World Series homecoming for the Houston Astros with banner raising, championship rings, and all that good stuff. And we host two teams in respective three-game series starting with the Baltimore Orioles and then a weekend series of Interleague play when we host the San Diego Padres. Yep- 'Stros and O's starting tomorrow night.


    Congratulations to all other winners of respective series, as well as those who got series splits. How did your boys do?
     
  27. Dolph Drago

    Dolph Drago

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    Reds got swept to start the season. Yay. :grumpy:
     
  28. JohnBM01

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    Sorry, Dolph Drago. Looks like things can go from bad to worse with the Chicago Cubs coming to Cincinnati for the next series. Ouch. Hang in there, Reds Nation!

    It's still just the start of the season. Too early to hit the panic button if you're on the losing end so far.
     
  29. AnthonyD1993

    AnthonyD1993

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    The Tigers manged to win a game. No more goose egg, but I'm still expecting there to be more Ls than Ws at the end of the season. :lol:
     
  30. Joey D

    Joey D Contributing Writer

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    If they don't loose 100 games, I'll be impressed.

    At least some of the young guys look sort of promising.
     
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