Daily Archives: June 9, 2016

35 Years Ago: Milwaukee Brewers and the 1981 Baseball Strike

Much has been written and broadcast about the 1982 Milwaukee Brewers team that lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. To date this has been the only World Series in franchise history, so naturally there is a lot of nostalgia associated with that particular team. However, the 1981 team had great potential to make a run to the World Series, but a players strike interrupted that opportunity. This week to coincide with the 35th anniversary of the walkout on June 12, I’m going to take a look at the 1981 Brewers team and a season that doesn’t get talked about as much as the 1982 campaign.

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5 MLB Hitters Who Have Made Their Slow Starts in 2016 a Distant Memory

Slumping to start a baseball season is every hitter’s worst nightmare, but sometimes, it’s unavoidable.

No matter how good a big leaguer is, there will be times when they look like a shell of who they actually are. In hindsight, experiencing a slump earlier rather than later might actually be better because a player is forced to immediately work out of it. Doing so toughens them up for the daily grind that is the MLB regular-season schedule.

The following five position players went through tough times in the first month of 2016. Those struggles are now a distant memory, and nobody would ever realize how badly they slumped just by looking at their overall season stats.

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Betting Big: Three Teams Poised to Make Waves Down the Stretch

Outside of the  Chicago Cubs, it’s not really clear who the best teams in baseball are this season, let alone what the early playoff picture might look like. In fact, except in the NL Central, no second-place team is more than four games out of first place.

A peek at the latest World Series and Pennant Futures Odds certainly highlights this chaos and there’s many a team within striking distance of winning at all, according to the Vegas masterminds.

As in betting, fantasy sports, and grocery shopping, life is so often about finding hidden value, whether it be drafting sleepers or finding 2- for-1 pizza coupons. Now, the odds posted are certainly not to be taken as gospel, however to me they can be useful when researching which teams may be the darkhorses to look out for down the stretch.

I’m not going to lazily talk to you about the great chances of teams like  Cubs (I could go on for pages though) and Giants (it is an even year), or the Rangers, Red Sox and Nationals, who round out the top five lowest odds. This post is all about finding those diamonds in the rough, so even if you’re not a gambling man or woman (Hello ladies) these might be the teams for you to keep an eye on.

  1. Cleveland Indians (32-25,1st Place AL Central)

Pros: Anytime I can sing loudly and off-key, Francisco Lindor vs. Tropicana Field

Cons: Outfielders’ questionable training regiments, God hates Cleveland

VEGAS BABY! 14 to 1 World Series, 6 to 1 Pennant

To continue reading about the interaction, please read on about the three teams that Vegas undervalues.  You can also visit the full baseball blog or just follow Jesse (@Hartmonster3) or the blog (@OTB_Baseball) on the Twitter.

 

#FireJimBowden Takes a Serious Turn

Our blog, Off the Bench, has recently been re-branded. Each of the major players in the blog has branched  out into our own respective Twitter lives.  As I filtered through who I wanted to follow, I found that I could once again follow ESPN’s Jim Bowden.  See, somewhere along the line I had been blocked for repeatedly calling for his firing, and repeatedly blasting his inept analysis. I also made fun of him for prematurely giving out offseason grades. Oh and I tweeted about it a lot.

So obviously there is a history here. I’m not sure I have ever engaged Jim directly before yesterday, opting instead for the more passive subtweets and general mockery of his diction. I’m not sure if it was the fact that I actually saw a Tweet from Bowden for the first time since at least July, 2015, or if it was because this latest piece had Mickey Moniak as the third best player available in the upcoming draft, but I decided to remind Jim of his draft success as a real-life GM.

 

To continue reading about the interaction, please read on about Why Sean thinks Jim Bowden should be fired.  You can also visit the full baseball blog or just follow Sean (@OTBB_Sean) or the blog (@OTB_Baseball) on the Twitter.

Minnesota Twins draft trivia

The 2016 June amateur draft starts today and the Twins will have the number 15 selection. The Twins have picked 15th just once since the draft started in 1965 and that was way back in 1977 when they selected an outfielder from a high school in New Jersey by the name of Paul Croft. Croft spent four years in the Twins system and during that time advanced up to “A” ball before the Twins let him go.

Any player the Twins draft today or over the next few days has a small chance of ever wearing  a Minnesota Twins uniform at any point but even the ones that do get to the top of Twins mountain won’t arrive until 2020 or later so don’t get too excited about these draft picks just yet.

Interest in this years draft seems really down this year here in Minnesota, probably because of the apathy in Twins baseball due to the Twins miserable play in 2016 and Twins management refusal to accept what is going on around them. Pat Reusse did a piece on the Twins in today’s Star Tribune called “Dancing after victories? These Twins have no shame“.

I am here to “second” what Reusse said and push it a step farther. The Twins should start running ads now that a “huge” surprise for Twins fans is coming at the All-Star break and when the break arrives the Minnesota Twins should announce that they understand how bad the team has been and to show appreciation to Twins fans for supporting this historically bad team the rest of this season that they will cut ticket prices in half for all remaining home games. People that have tickets in hand for future games should be credited for half their ticket price for tickets in 2017. Seems to me that is the least they can do for their fans. Twins ownership should appreciate that Twins fans are mad as hell, at least that shows the team that there is still interest in Twins baseball versus the apathy that could and is building around this franchise very quickly. Remember, it costs less to keep fans than it does to get new fans.

But let’s have a little fun here versus crying in our milk about the Twins poor play. How much do you know about the Twins and their adventures in the MLB June amateur draft? Give these questions a try.

To see the questions and the rest of the story please go to Twinstrivia.com.

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