Rosenthal On Playoff Format, Hunter, White Sox, Rays

How long will the Wild Card playoff format be a one-game elimination? The running gag among baseball executives, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, is until the Yankees are eliminated in a such fashion. That possibility is looming larger as the Yankees and Orioles are tied for the AL East lead with four games to play. The Yankees currently have a one-game lead over the A's in the Wild Card race. However, if the two teams finished with identical records, the Yankees would have to travel to Oakland because they tied in the season series and the A’s currently own the next tiebreaker – a superior record within their own division. It will make for an interesting finish to the season. Also from Rosenthal's column:

  • In response to the likelihood the two AL Wild Card teams will have a better record than the AL Central Division champion, Rosenthal suggests the playoff qualifiers with the two worst records meet in the Wild Card game. Rosenthal admits winning a weak division would be less meaningful, but such a team hardly would be in position to argue since it would be lucky to reach the playoffs in the first place.
  • Angels owner Arte Moreno recently acknowledged the fans' desire for the team to re-sign Torii Hunter, but Rosenthal says he may have competition from a division rival. The Rangers have long had interest in Hunter, who lives in a Dallas suburb. With Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli free agents this winter and Nelson Cruz a free agent next offseason, the team almost certainly will look for offensive help. Rosenthal believes a trade for a younger slugger such as Arizona's Justin Upton is more likely than a short-term signing of Hunter. But at the very least, the Rangers could pursue Hunter to drive up the price for the Angels.
  • Despite the recent slump that may cost the White Sox a playoff berth, Rosenthal claims this has been a successful season for the South Siders. Rosenthal points to highlights like Robin Ventura establishing himself as a manager, Chris Sale developing into an ace, a number of rookie pitchers emerging as valuable parts, and bounce back seasons from Adam Dunn, Alex Rios, and Jake Peavy
  • Rosenthal credits the Rays' recent resurgence to manager Joe Maddon's decision to make batting practice optional and allow players to arrive at the park later, which resulted in the players becoming more relaxed.


38 Responses to Rosenthal On Playoff Format, Hunter, White Sox, Rays Leave a Reply

  1. mrsjohnmiltonrocks 3 years ago

    It seems obvious to me that the high octane Ozzie Guillen leaving was just what some of these players on the White Sox needed.

    • John Kappel 3 years ago

      I think that is a grave overstatement. You had huge bounce back seasons from three above players, and you put Chris Sale into the rotation. Those things weren’t really Ozzie’s fault. You could make an argument that Dunn was because of Ozzie but the other two not really. You didn’t have De Aza in CF, you didn’t have Quitana in the rotation, and you had a blackhole of suck at 3B.

      • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

        he didn’t say guillen leaving was a complete explanation for chicago’s success

      • Kevin Chambers 3 years ago

        We had the oppurtunity to have De Aza in CF but Guillen refused to do it, he wanted to keep Pierre in the lineup.

  2. LukeNalooshe 3 years ago

    Joe Maddon’s managing style should be emulated. He’s great at what he does.

    • $17867741 3 years ago

      Different managers have different styles. Maddon is great at putting together scraps and pieces, while making the best of the situation.

      I can’t say that Maddon would have the same success if he manages a team like the Yankees or Red Sox, where there a lot of prima donnas.

      • LukeNalooshe 3 years ago

        I can’t say he would either, mostly because that would be unsubstantiated and pure conjecture. but I do believe Joe Maddon’s is flexible enough in his coaching philosophy, and manages personalities well enough where I think he could handle any leadership situation in baseball, honestly.

  3. dc21892 3 years ago

    Wonder if the Rangers would pursue a deal for Justin Upton that included some prospects and Nelson Cruz, which would make up for some of losing Upton of the prospects in return aren’t ready to contribute right away. Then, they would go out and make a run at Hunter. It’s a long shot, obviously but it’s certainly possible. Not a Rangers fan, so I could be way out of line, but in my head it seemed like a good idea.

    • Dlak 3 years ago

      Cruz doesn’t hold much value to Arizona as he is a free agent next offseason. To get Upton Texas will have to give up something along the lines of Olt, Perez + a couple B/B+ prospects. I would think that would be a fair deal for both sides. I, personally, don’t know if I would try to acquire BJ Upton as he reminds me too much of his brother. Talent wise they are both top 10 players in the league but they are either too inconsistent or can’t put their talent together…

      • dc21892 3 years ago

        Did you read a word of what I said? I never mentioned Cruz as a center piece, simply an add on with prospects who doesn’t have anything more than a one year deal. Also, I never mentioned BJ Upton. Please read it again, along with this comment and let me know what you think.

        • LazerTown 3 years ago

          Really don’t see why cruz would be thrown in the deal. He really isn’t that good of a player. Looking at a .310 obp hitter who over his career hits 40% fewer hr outside of Arlington. Handy as a DH/4th OFer next year, but really doesn’t have that great of a trade value. I think he meant to say Justin instead of BJ, it makes more sense. Really doesn’t solve their problem that Hamilton is the CF and J Upton plays right.

  4. Karkat 3 years ago

    This has always been my issue with “penalizing the wild card team.” It seems like the Wild Card club is better than one of the division winners about half the time. Can’t we do something like the NBA where the 3-seed can go to a non-division winner? Then the play in game would be the second wildcard @ either the first wildcard or the weak division winner.

    • $17867741 3 years ago

      The MLB schedule is designed to maximize division rivalries, and hence the playoffs should be about division winners. WC are just extras.

      You can argue that one division is weaker than another, but that is life.

      Otherwise, then why have divisions at all?

      • Karkat 3 years ago

        The only reason divisions are useful is to minimize strenuous travel on teams. It makes some measure of sense to group the teams that play well together in the standings, but that’s not much comfort to the Angels, who will very likely finish with a better record than Detroit and miss the postseason entirely, while Detroit not only makes it but enjoys a division title (as the superior A’s and Orioles/Yankees are forced into a one-game playoff). Hardly seems right, no matter how you slice it.

        • Tko11 3 years ago

          Cant over analyze these things too much because then you can also make the argument that strength of schedule should matter…

          • Karkat 3 years ago

            The strength of schedule argument only supports what I’m saying, The Tigers had a much easier schedule (all those games against the Twins, Indians, Royals) than the Orioles (Yankees, Rays) and the Angels (Rangers, A’s). Despite their easier schedule, Detroit will still finish with a worse record (almost certainly) than those two teams and have almost clinched a much more advantageous postseason position.

  5. No thanks to Torii coming to Texas. We went after him before and he let it be known that his son would be embarrassed for him to be a Ranger so let him stay with the Angels.

  6. If the Rangers don’t re-sign Hamilton they might as well forget about going back to the postseason for awhile. They will only go as far as Beltre and Hamilton will take them together.

    • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

      nonsense

      • This team is barely making the playoffs with these two guys putting up MVP like numbers. There is no way they could make it without either one of them.

        • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

          if nothing else changed, that would obviously be true. there is more than one way to build a winning team

          • Yes, if they found another Josh Hamilton then yes, they could make the playoffs, but that guy isn’t available. Torii Hunter is not half of Josh Hamilton so he definitely wouldn’t qualify. Hamilton is irreplacable. The only way they could make up for losing him is if somehow they could replace Michael Young, Josh Hamilton and David Murphy with All Star calibur players. That isn’t going ot happen. In fact, Young will probably have even worse numbers next year as that is usually how players that age trend.

          • LazerTown 3 years ago

            Hamilton is very valuable to the Rangers. They are going to have to make some choices this offseason. Napoli and Hamilton would be a big loss for that lineup. Beltre is really not enough of a middle of the order, and olt hasn’t started to hit yet. I’m betting that if they don’t resign hamilton that profar or andrus will be shipped out for another bat.

  7. progmatinee 3 years ago

    A division is a division is a division. Why do these geniuses always try to reinvent the playoff format every year to argue that a team doesn’t belong there. Some divisions are tighter than others. Deal with it.

    If divisions no longer matter, then get rid of them. Until then…respect the format.

    • $17867741 3 years ago

      Agreed.

    • Exactly. If you’re going to make the change mentioned, you might as well eliminate divisions and just have the top five records in each league get in.

      • progmatinee 3 years ago

        yeah until some reporter has the grand idea to give the AL an extra team or 2 in the playoffs because the NL was down.

    • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

      get rid of them!!

  8. I would be surprised if Torii Hunter does not consider signing with the Rangers this offseason, especially given that Texas has no income tax…even if he would be a platoon or fourth outfielder. As for the White Sox, they have already overachieved this year, albeit not to the level that the O’s and A’s have.

    On the circumstance Rosenthal has, what I would do instead is change the seeding so that playoff seedings end up based on W-L and not winning or failing to win a division…in some years, it could mean that two of the 3 division winners end up on the road.

    • NickinIthaca 3 years ago

      Hunter is having a pretty good season – I can’t see him signing with a team only to be a 4th outfielder or platoon player, regardless of the proximity to home or tax status of the state…

    • LazerTown 3 years ago

      I have a hard time seeing Texas go after Hunter. He isn’t a CF anymore, and they already have Cruz and Murphy, and I don’t think that Hunter is enough of an upgrade to be worthy of spending that extra money. I dont think income tax will be that big of a deal, most states are between 3-6%. That is pretty minimal compared to all the money that he has made over his career. Also you can bet that some team will be able to give more than 5% more money because they view him as a starter rather than a backup. NY is the highest income tax (with a team) and you are only looking at a little more than $500,000 over an $8M salary. Another fact, most players have to pay “income taxes” in many cities they play in, so that kinda mitigates it even more.

  9. Crawford doesn’t belong in the discussion. I will give you Pujols as an example of an irreplacable player whose team survived at least the first year without him. I do feel his case is the exception and not the rule though. I have seen this team play this year without Josh and they give evidence that he is indeed irreplacable for this particular team.

  10. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    let josh walk, trade for upton. then get a good starting pitcher or something like that

    you can’t replace a player like hamilton, especially given his position, but you take a step back in cf and you improve elsewhere.

  11. Which starting pitcher or other payer and who do we have to give up to get them? That sounds easy enough, but I think in reality it would not be easy to do at all. It is really easy to say let him go and use the money somewhere else, but actually coming up with where you put the money is a whole different story. Sometimes getting another player with the money can work out and sometimes those pitchers wind up being Chan Ho Park. With Josh you know that you are getting a perennial All Star and MVP candidate. The other way is a gamble and not a very good one.

  12. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    I like hamilton, and I hope he stays in texas. but there are obviously health risks involved and a 8 year contract isn’t the best move for the rangers. If he’s willing to sign a 5/120 I’m sure he’ll stay, but it takes 2 to tango..

    As for trades, the rangers have some high end prospects that wouldn’t take away from their on field product. or they can move guys like holland and andrus which would bring you back anything you’d like pretty much.

  13. Sure, it would be senseless to give him 8 years. If that is what it takes then this team won’t sign him, but they will take a step back and it will take them 2-3 years to get back if they do it right. If they trade veterans like Holland and Andrus instead of prospects sure they will get something back, but it would take a lot to fill the holes Holland and Andrus left themselves and a lot of what they get back will be prospects who will take a couple of years to develop. He is worth 5/120 and I would hope they would offer him at least that. They need to get creative and include incentives and buy outs. Otherwise, if he walks they are done going to theeafor awhile. I say sign him, trade Cruz and/or Kinsler and build up a prospect pool to trade for an outfielder at trade deadline time next July. Then you tell MY that he is going to be a part time player so he will ask to be traded again and trade him somewhere that will pay at least $4 million of his salary. If we could save $4 million by trading a washed up player that would benefit the budget and the lineup.

  14. Sure, it would be senseless to give him 8 years. If that is what it takes then this team won’t sign him, but they will take a step back and it will take them 2-3 years to get back if they do it right. If they trade veterans like Holland and Andrus instead of prospects sure they will get something back, but it would take a lot to fill the holes Holland and Andrus left themselves and a lot of what they get back will be prospects who will take a couple of years to develop. He is worth 5/120 and I would hope they would offer him at least that. They need to get creative and include incentives and buy outs. Otherwise, if he walks they are done going to theeafor awhile. I say sign him, trade Cruz and/or Kinsler and build up a prospect pool to trade for an outfielder at trade deadline time next July. Then you tell MY that he is going to be a part time player so he will ask to be traded again and trade him somewhere that will pay at least $4 million of his salary. If we could save $4 million by trading a washed up player that would benefit the budget and the lineup.

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