All posts by Bert

I'm thinning, not balding... I've got a lifetime of embarrassing moments just waiting to be shared RCNJ Baseball '19

The Only Person Who Can Be Upset with the Yankees After 11 Games Is Clint Frazier

Fans have been upset that the Yankees are not a good baseball team right now. But like my co-host Stanzo says, there’s a lot of reasons to be positive. The big guys will hit, we should get some length out of our starters as time goes on, and the defense should get better when Voit comes back.

We shouldn’t be that upset (yet), I can settle for disappointed right now. But if there’s one person who absolutely SHOULD be upset, it’s a guy who actually plays for the Yankees…at times. Clint Frazier.

We were told this off-season, as was he by Aaron Boone, that he is the starting left fielder. He “earned” it. On top of his electric bat and his hustle on the bases, his defense has gotten better and he’s greatly matured as a person (although I never really saw that as an issue) into what people consider a “Yankee”.

And now, with the Yankees offense stalling he is getting pinch-hit opportunities and getting his spot taken by Brett Gardner. That makes no sense to me, and it should make no sense to him. He can make a difference offensively and when our guys are hitting noticeably bad, he’s on the bench?

We’re getting a platoon in left field between him and Gardner, and that’s not what we or he was promised. And it’s not like he’s even played bad enough to lose his spot. He’s not Jay Bruce or Tyler Wade. He had a tough stretch from April 6-9 where he went 0-13 with 6 Ks, granted. But if we’re giving everybody else the benefit of the doubt, why does he not get the same treatment?

I hope he sees consistent playing time soon because I like really like Frazier and his potential, but the Yankees haven’t shown they want to do that for him. If not, all the trade deadline rumors around Frazier will start swirling again. This time though, it wouldn’t be for the Yankees benefit…it would be for his.

WHY LINDOR IS THE MOST IMPORTANT METS CONTRACT OF THE NEXT DECade

It’s no secret the New York Mets are under new ownership. Billionaire hedge fund guru Steve Cohen bought the team from the Wilpons this past offseason, who frustrated Mets fans for a very long time. Whether it was an unwillingness to spend, an incompetency in the money they did spend, or just a general disconnect between the front office and the product on the field, loyal Mets fans gladly moved on from them and finally got the owner they deserved.

There was a great excitement around Cohen’s first offseason, which all in all went well. One of the biggest moves Cohen, GM Sandy Alderson, and the Mets made was obviously trading a significant package for All Start shortstop Francisco Lindor (which also included a great pitcher in Carlos Carrasco). But, there was one caveat with this move, and that is Lindor is in the final year of his contract and is expecting big money in an extension.

Negotiations started over a week ago, but have stalled as Lindor’s Opening Day, first pitch deadline quickly approaches. The Mets offered 10 years, $325 million as a best and final offer, but Lindor wants 12 years, $385 million. Neither side has budged yet.

For some obvious and some not-so-obvious, this extension is the most important signing the Mets front office will be taking part in over the course of the next decade. Here’s why:

FRANSISCO LINDOR IS A STUD

Simple enough. He’s 26 years old right now, he has a .285 career batting average, .833 OPS, 27.9 WAR, has a ton of playoff experience, and, as intangible as it seems, has the personality of a New York superstar that will fit perfectly on a championship roster.

Lindor can be the face of the franchise for years to come, and locking him up through his prime ensures the Mets can be offensively and defensively sound while they look to compete in the 3-5 year championship window Cohen set.

But…with that window comes expectations. From the fans, and from the players. Which brings me to my next point.

ARE THE METS ACTUALLY BIG SPENDERS?

When Cohen became owner, many fans expected a huge offseason that entailed signing George Springer, J.T. Realmuto, or Trevor Bauer. Instead, they signed catcher James McCann and traded for Lindor/Carrasco as the biggest moves.

I think most fans, while still wanting a larger splash, settled happily for the McCann signing and trade. They didn’t get the big signing they wanted, but the Mets were in on a lot of the guys originally discussed and made no hesitation in actually offering big money. It just didn’t work out for a plethora of reasons (see Blue Jays overpaying Springer or Bauer being a troll).

But because those signings didn’t pan out, there is an expectation a Francisco Lindor extension gets done. They gave up two future shortstops for him in Rosario and Jimenez, and if they don’t get the extension then you have to deal with finding your future shortstop in free agency when Lindor, and a large amount of other top-notch shortstops, hit the market this offseason.

The problem with that is, if you were going to just sign a shortstop in free agency, why did you make the trade? Sure, you can argue the Mets are in a championship window now, but you have to compete for a title THIS season with Lindor in order for it to look like a good deal.

If it doesn’t, the first year of the Cohen ownership feels a lot like empty promises, and it makes you question if/when the Mets front office plans to spend the money they feel like they now have. It felt like the roster was going to be fun toy for Cohen to play with, but the more he sets price ceilings the more it starts to feel like a business.

That makes you question…if the Mets aren’t going to go all-in on the guy they clearly traded for and planned on extending, when will they do it?

THE PRECEDENT

Now is where it gets tricky though. What is the precedent the ownership wants to set with their money? That, while offering significant contracts to many players, they will put their foot down on an amount? Or that they will get players whatever it takes because they can afford it?

Agents, like fans, certainly thought the Mets might be desperate to reward Queens with a high-caliber, high-salaried roster. Instead, the Mets have strategically and smartly built a solid roster without overspending. And they’ve made it clear by walking on Springer and not considering Realmuto they won’t be taken advantage of just because of Cohen’s net worth.

By letting Lindor head into free agency, they are setting the precedent that they will absolutely put their foot down. Sure, they’ll spend, but they WILL NOT overpay.

And that is so important going into Cohen’s future because when all the amazing shortstops hit the market after this season, nobody is going to walk into a meeting with the Mets thinking they’ll be getting Mike Trout or Mookie Betts money. They’ll have realistic expectations, and the Mets won’t be crippled financially by the luxury tax.

So with all that said, the lingering effects of this Lindor extension starts on the field, trickles over to public perception, and finds itself all the way into the front office for at least the next decade. It’ll be very interesting to see which way Steve Cohen and the Mets organization decide to go.

the seahawks are the reason i’m balding

The Seahawks started getting good again around 2013. If you ask some of my friends, they’d aruge I started losing my hair around then too. Call me crazy, but I think there’s a correlation between the two. And you saw exactly why on Sunday night.

Their games in the Pete Carroll/Russell Wilson era are just balls of stress woven into an even bigger ball of stress. I can’t remember the last time they just blew out a team no problem. Hell, there’s points where I would even take a blowout loss. Let me enjoy my Sunday a little without feeling the need to write a blog at 1 AM.

More than ever, Seahawks need to ride on Russell Wilson's healthy shoulders  | The Seattle Times
Image via The Seattle Times

Obviously, this Sunday night’s game was no different. The game was absolute madness with the Seahawks going down 37-34 in an overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals. It hurt, in more ways than one. First, it hurts the NFC West Standings. With the loss, the Seahawks stay in first place but the NFL’s best division is getting a whole lot tighter.

  1. Seahawks 5-1
  2. Cardinals 5-2
  3. Rams 4-2
  4. 49ers 4-3
Continue reading the seahawks are the reason i’m balding

My Advice to Tatis, Jr.? Next Time, Swing Harder

If you’re wondering what every baseball fan on Twitter is talking about today, look no further than right here:

On Monday night, Fernando Tatis, Jr., hit a grand slam off Texas Rangers pitcher Ian Gibaut. The score was 10-3 in the top of the 8th. Doesn’t really seem like a big deal, right?

Continue reading My Advice to Tatis, Jr.? Next Time, Swing Harder

An Outrageously Early Fantasy Football Mock Draft

Has this ever happened to you? You’re sitting at home, bored, watching an episode of your favorite TV show that you’ve already seen fourteen times this quarantine. And then you hear it…the word “snake”. By association, your dry sports mind jumps to “snake draft”, and then of course that takes you to fantasy football, and obviously that lands you at participating in a 12-team mock draft at 11:47 PM on a Sunday night in the middle of July.

Right?

High Five Fail GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Okay, maybe this was particular to me, but the point is that I did a fantasy football mock draft and I think I can impart some wisdom. I was the 9th pick in a 12-team snake draft, and here were the results:

1. Nick Chubb (CLE – RB): I’m a big believer in needing two good running back in fantasy football, and that’s extraordinarily difficult to accomplish if you don’t get one in the first round. The teams ahead of me took wide receivers, so Chubb was the best available at the moment.

2. Chris Godwin (TB – WR): I’m actually surprised he made it this far into the draft. Godwin was one of the breakout stars of last year and that was with a pre-Lasik Jameis. I can only imagine what he’ll do with a quarterback that can see him. If he’s around in the second round, get him. He will be an elite #1 WR this year.

Continue reading An Outrageously Early Fantasy Football Mock Draft

The NBA Continues Winning with 8th Seed Play-In Tournament

Per Sports Illustrated: There is no guarantee of a play-in tournament for the No. 8 seed. If the top seven seeds in each conference will be guaranteed admission to the playoffs, as will the No. 8 seed if the team is more than four games ahead of the No. 9 seed in its conference. If the No. 9 seed is within four games of the No. 8 spot, a play-in tournament will be held between the No. 8 and No. 9 seeds.

The No. 8 seed will have to be defeated twice by the No. 9 seed in order to give up its playoff spot, per Charania. The No. 9 seed will be eliminated with a single loss to the No. 8 seed. 

Grizzlies rout Nets 118-79 in Brooklyn for 3rd straight win

I love this. I doubt it will be permanent, but I love it. It’s, to a degree, what the second Wild Card spot is in baseball and I’ve always been a fan of that. Except the NBA is doing it slightly better than baseball (shocker) by giving the 8th seeded team the advantage of having to lose twice to be eliminated. Plus, you get added revenue if there’s a second game. Adam Silver continuously makes the right moves for the NBA, and you can add this to the list.

The teams that will have a chance to be playing in this mini-tournament are below (and at their current seeding):

Continue reading The NBA Continues Winning with 8th Seed Play-In Tournament

Imagine Winning 6 Titles…And Then Feeling Like It Wasn’t Enough

‘The Last Dance’ finished up on ESPN last night and recency bias is likely making me say this, but it was one of the best pieces of entertainment I’ve ever seen. Movie, show, documentary, game, doesn’t matter. It was amazing.

I really loved getting to see Michael Jordan’s alpha-attitude. It’s not something that really exists in today’s game, and even where it does it’s not to this extent. You’ll see maybe a few shoves here and there, but for the most part the trash talk (that the fans know of) takes place on social media. Hearing MJ say things like “I never asked anybody to do something I didn’t do myself” makes me wanna build a brick wall just to run through. Continue reading Imagine Winning 6 Titles…And Then Feeling Like It Wasn’t Enough

BTB Sports ‘Win Now’ Challenge

In case you’ve missed the past few articles explaining what the BTB Sports ‘Win Now’ Challenge is, it’s when you take a horrible team in any league and try to turn them into a winning franchise in only one year. So far we’ve done the Detroit Tigers and San Francisco Giants. Both…were failures.

This time I decided to do the Baltimore Orioles, and I’ll start off by saying I have no idea what the damn Oriole in their logo is smiling about. This team, top to bottom, stinks. All-around atrocious.  I knew I was going to have issues when I felt like Hanser Alberto was a guy I couldn’t lose. On top of that, this team legit has no money. They’re like Blockbuster. Continue reading BTB Sports ‘Win Now’ Challenge

The BTB Sports ‘Win Now’ Challenge

We have our first BTB Sports ‘Win Now’ challenger in Chuck ‘Mookie’ Betz. He took on the difficult task of trying to make the 2020 San Francisco Giants World Series Champs, who are honestly just one of those teams you can’t count out. They had one of the most low-key dynasties in sports history and I bet the average baseball fan couldn’t name more than like four or five players from those teams. On the contrary, you could tell me that any mid-2000s player was on those teams and I’d believe it. Mark DeRosa? Sure. Edgar Renteria? Give him the MVP. Bengie Molina? What’s up right-center field single.

San Francisco Giants, Madison Bumgarner Win World Series | Time
Image via Time Magazine

SPRING TRAINING/OFFSEASON

Hot start here trading a franchise cornerstone in Buster Posey, but I love it. Sending a statement to the rest of the roster that says “Keep a bag packed”.

Reds got: C Buster Posey, CF Hunter Bishop, and 2B Yolmer Sanchez                            Giants got: SP Luis Castillo, SP Trevor Bauer

One catcher out, the next one in:

Yankees got: C Joey Bart, 2B Rob McMahon, RF Jaylin Davis                                            Giants got: C Gary Sanchez

Apparently the Yankees believe 3rd base is the most important position in baseball because they now have three capable starters after this trade:

Yankees got: SP Jeff Samardzjia, 3B Evan Longoria                                                            Giants got: SP Masahiro Tanaka, RP Enrique Salinas

I honestly can’t believe how low Jordan Hicks is rated in The Show. He’s like 22 years old and has arguably the best pure stuff in baseball, yet he gets tossed a 73 overall? Insane.

Cardinals got: SP Logan Webb                                                                                                  Giants got: CP Jordan Hicks

I also love the doubling-down on the closer here. The 8th inning is the new 9th inning.

Indians got: 3B Pablo Sandoval, SS Brandon Crawford, SP Tyler Beede                          Giants got: CP Brad Hand

Chuck finished out the rest of spring training by rounding out his lineup:

Royals got: 2B Jalen Miller, SP Dereck Rodriguez, SS Mauricio Dubon                            Giants got: SS Adalberto Mondesi

Yankees got: 2B Wilmer Flores, RF Austin Slater, SP Kevin Gausman                            Giants got: CF Aaron Hicks

Royals got: CP Reyes Moronta, 2B Kean Wong, 1B Zach Green                                          Giants got: 3B Hunter Dozier

Brewers got: SP Sean Hjelle, 2B Peter Maris, SS Ryan Howard                                        Giants got: SS Orlando Arcia

Phillies got: C Chadwick Tromp                                                                                              Giants got: 2B Ronald Torreyes

He also signed:

OF Yasiel Puig                                                                                                                                      2B Scooter Gennett                                                                                                                            RP Arodys Vizciano                                                                                                                            RP Pat Neshek                                                                                                                                      SP Ervin Santana                                                                                                                         Some random 18-year old 75 overall Ben Escobedo

OPENING DAY LINEUPS + ROTATION

I know nothing about this man, but to me Scooter Gennett feels like the Kimmy Gibbler of this lineup. Nobody else really wants him there, but it’s like when he is, it’s fine. It’s not great nor preferred, but it’s fine.

Regardless, they’ve got the potential to make a run at the Wild Card. With the Dodgers in that division, it’s pretty unlikely any team takes that title.

SS Adalberto Mondesi, 85 Overall
2B Scooter Gennett, 79
C Gary Sanchez, 87
CF Aaron Hicks, 83
3B Hunter Dozier, 78
LF Mike Yastrzemski, 76
1B Brandon Belt, 77
RF Yasiel Puig, 81
PITCHER

 

SP Trevor Bauer, 88 Overall
Johnny Cueto, 83
Luis Castillo, 83
Masahiro Tanaka, 79
Drew Smyly, 77

TRADE DEADLINE

Okay maybe I spoke too soon. Here the Giants were sitting at 48-51, 9.5 games out of the second WC Spot and 14.5 games back in the division. Chuck decided to make some moves:

Yankees got: SP Ben Escobedo, SP Drew Smyly, CF Steven Duggar                                  Giants got: SP James Paxton

Reds got: RF Hunter Pence, 2B Donovan Solano, RP Trevot Gott                                      Giants got: RP Michael Lorenzen and his biceps

Cincinnati Reds on Twitter: "Four one-hit innings for Mikey Biceps ...

Mets got: CF Heliot Ramos, SP Conner Menez, RP Jackie Lynch                                        Giants got: SP Steven Matz

Yankees got: LF Chris Shaw, SS Brandon Van Horn, RP Jake Jewell                                Giants got: LF Clint Frazier

White Sox got: SS Orlando Arcia (batting .107), SP Tyler Anderson, SP Andrew Suarez      Giants got: SS Danny Mendick

THE END

His deadline moves got him above .500, but unfortunately Chuck couldn’t clinch a Wild Card spot.  His Giants roster finished with a 84-78 record. That was 7 games back in the Wild Card and 24 out of the division. Yes, that does mean the Dodgers won 108 games.

BUT…. the silver lining was that they had the 4th best rotation in the league, so ya know, take that to the bank and such.

 

Check back for the next challenge. We WILL get a winner