Thursday, October 2, 2014

MLB Update

The 2014 MLB regular season has ended, and we are left with eight teams.  In the National League, we have four teams with recent playoff experience:  the Cardinals (2011 World Series Champs and 2013 NL Pennant Winners); the Giants (2010 and 2012 World Series Champs); the Dodgers (2013 NLCS); and the Nationals (2012 NLDS).  Given the performance of these teams throughout the year, the NL playoffs should feature an array of tight, low-scoring games.

In the American League, we have the Los Angeles Angels (who feature two likely Hall of Famers -- Pujols and Trout -- in their everyday lineup), the Baltimore Orioles (division winners for the first time since 1997), the Detroit Tigers (have reached the ALCS three years in a row, and won the pennant in 2012); and the . . . who?  Yes, it's the Kansas City Royals, not seen in post-season play since 1985.  Apparently the curse of Don Denkinger lasted for only 29 years.  Welcome back, Royals!

This is the first time since the 1994 strike that the Yankees have missed the playoffs two years in a row.  It is also the first time since the strike that the Yankees and Red Sox have both missed the playoffs.  Speaking for myself, I won't miss them very much.

The Braves had a losing record for only the third time since 1990.  I won't miss them either.

Washington, on the other hand, had a winning record for the third year in a row.  That hasn't happened since 1933.  Washington hasn't won a post-season series since 1924.  Meanwhile, two franchises that left Washington -- the Twins and the Rangers -- were mired at the bottom of the American League.  This makes me very happy.

Here are the final standings in each league:
Los Angeles:  98-64  --
Baltimore:  96-66  2
Detroit:  90-72  8
Kansas City:  89-73  9
Oakland:  88-74  10
Seattle:  87-75  11
Cleveland:  85-77  13
New York:  84-78  14
Toronto:  83-79  15
Tampa Bay:  77-85  21
Chicago:  73-89  25
Boston:  71-91  27
Houston:  70-92  28
Minnesota:  70-92  28
Texas:  67-95  31

Washington:  96-66  --
Los Angeles:  94-68  2
St. Louis:  90-72  6
San Francisco:  88-74  8
Pittsburgh:  88-74  8
Milwaukee:  82-80  14
New York:  79-83  17
Atlanta:  79-83  17
San Diego:  77-85  19
Miami:  77-85  19
Cincinnati:  76-86  20
Philadelphia:  73-89  23
Chicago:  73-89  23
Colorado:  66-96  30
Arizona:  64-98  32


  1. The American League playoffs are some 1983 hell. I imagine, however, that Doug DeCinces is stoked. Who's playing whom in the National League?

    1. The AL playoffs are particularly rough for people on the East Coast -- it's as if we got to New Year's Day and the only SEC team in action was Mississippi State.

  2. He began his major league career with the Baltimore Orioles late in the 1973 season, and he played for the Orioles in the ensuing eight full seasons. On June 22, 1979, in one of the most famous games in Orioles history, he hit a game-winning home run at Memorial Stadium off Detroit Tigers reliever Dave Tobik. The Orioles were trailing the Tigers 5-3 going into the bottom of the ninth inning. With one out, Ken Singleton hit a solo home run off Tobik to bring the Orioles within one. Eddie Murray reached base on a single, and, with two outs, DeCinces hit a two-run home run to give the Orioles a 6-5 victory.[1] The win has been called "the night Oriole Magic was born."[2] DeCinces said years later that the game and his home run "triggered something" and that "the emotion just multiplied from there", adding that the ensuing atmosphere of excitement was in no small part due to the excited call of the home run by announcers Bill O'Donnell and Charley Eckman on the Orioles' radio network.[3][4] The Orioles went on to win the American League pennant in 1979.[5]

    In 1982, the Orioles traded DeCinces to the California Angels for Dan Ford in order to make room for Cal Ripken, Jr.. (Ironically, DeCinces had begun his career in Baltimore as the successor to Orioles third baseman Brooks Robinson.) In total, DeCinces played for fifteen seasons (1973–1987) in the major leagues for three different teams, including nine years with the Orioles and six years with the Angels. Released by the Angels on September 23, 1987, he concluded his major league career by playing in four games for the Saint Louis Cardinals late in the 1987 season.

    In 1988, DeCinces played for the Yakult Swallows in Japan. He missed the final two months of the season because of back problems and, on his doctors' advice, retired from baseball after the end of the season.[6] ...

    On August 4, 2011, Doug DeCinces, along with three others, was charged with insider trading ahead of a company buyout by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In a civil suit, the SEC alleged that DeCinces and his associates made more than $1.7 million in illegal profits when Abbott Park, Ill.-based Abbott Laboratories Inc. announced its plan to purchase Advanced Medical Optics Inc. through a tender offer.[7] Without admitting or denying the allegations, DeCinces agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle the SEC's charges.[8] In November 2012 he received a criminal indictment on insider trading related to the same incident and was charged with securities fraud and money laundering.[9]