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ALCS 2018 - Houston Astros

Discussion in 'Red Sox Forum' started by DeadlySplitter, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. JohntheBaptist

    JohntheBaptist Member SoSH Member

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    Fair enough. I felt like watching from a Red Sox fan perspective, they did rack up some unlucky moments, which in no way cuts into Boston's victory or achievement.

    Guys, they won. It was an article looking at how baseball rewards success, but also how certain uncontrollable elements play a part, too, particularly in a short series. He wasn't "complaining" that the Astros just lost because of bad luck.
     
  2. Bergs

    Bergs Member SoSH Member

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    He literally grew up as an Astros fan:

    https://www.houstonchronicle.com/sp...ian-Anderson-Astros-vs-Red-Sox-a-13299595.php
    He was absolutely rooting for the Astros, and it was clear on multiple occasions. Arguing otherwise is an exercise in forced equivalence.
     
  3. JohntheBaptist

    JohntheBaptist Member SoSH Member

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    He was not rooting for the Astros.
     
  4. AB in DC

    AB in DC OG Football Writing Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    It appears that the article was corrected after I read it. It clearly said "stands" this morning, and it apparently was updated at 12:10 pm.

    Of course none of his narrative changed at all as a result -- he still talks about a camera angle that should have "saved Altuve's home run", which is borderline dishonest.
     
  5. AB in DC

    AB in DC OG Football Writing Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    I'd think they'd enjoy more people in the Eastern time zone watching the last pitch, too.
     
  6. drbretto

    drbretto guidence counselor SoSH Member

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    Yeah. I understand the phenomenon where it sounds like a national broadcast is rooting against your team. It doesn't mean it's not possible that there's also a little something to it. I think it's perfectly natural to have a favorite going in, especially if you're from there. I think there was a little bit of rooting for the Astros. I think it's no biggie, though. I don't think anyone behaved unprofessionally. Darling was annoying me more, and mostly because everything he said was wrong.
     
  7. JimD

    JimD Member SoSH Member

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  8. ricopetro6

    ricopetro6 lurker

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    he wasn't obvious about it, but his bias did shine through
     
  9. joe dokes

    joe dokes Member SoSH Member

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    I thought it was pretty comical that he mentioned the 0-2 pitch almost as often as the Mookieference play was mentioned the night before.
     
  10. dhappy42

    dhappy42 Member

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    Saying “baseball is awash in luck” is trite. Especially for a sportswriter. It’s like saying “baseball is a game.” Ferchrissakes, it’s a sport where a batter who succeeds three times in ten is considered good. And teams that win 55% of their games can win a division. And a sport where one of the best teams can lose four straight games to one of the worst teams and it’s not that extraordinary.
     
  11. HriniakPosterChild

    HriniakPosterChild Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    Their business is maximizing the total number of eyeballs for their ads. They know how to do that better than most folks posting on a message board.
     
  12. Bergs

    Bergs Member SoSH Member

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    Oh. Nevermind then.
     
  13. Tyrone Biggums

    Tyrone Biggums nfl meets tri-annually at a secret country mansion SoSH Member

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    This team needs to buy 25 CPAP machines for the World Series
     
  14. Devizier

    Devizier Member SoSH Member

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    SOSH might need nitrous tanks.
     
  15. CoffeeNerdness

    CoffeeNerdness Member SoSH Member

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    I don't think anyone was saying he's flagrantly rooting for the Astros, but he certainly let his bias peak out in annoying ways such as harping on calls going against the Astros or slobbering over Maldanado's defense when he was playing the position very poorly or calling a soft line out to center "bad luck" for Altuve. If he wasn't so bad at his job it probably would have passed by with little notice.
     
  16. uilnslcoap

    uilnslcoap Member SoSH Member

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    A minor footnote and I know teams change every year, but it's nice that the Sox ousted the Astros in 5 when the 2017 Yankees lost to them in 7. Anything you can do, we did better.
     
  17. normstalls

    normstalls Member SoSH Member

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    To be fair to the Yankees, the Astros were cheating though.
     
  18. Lowrielicious

    Lowrielicious Member SoSH Member

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    This is particularly obvious in the Bregman lineout example.
    Bottom of the ninth, two out, bases loaded and his line drive was caught by a diving outfielder. You could call that unlucky. Except the top of that same inning Mookies linedrive was caught by Redddick in exactly the same situation.

    This luck thing evens out over a 7 game series. Or sometimes even over a single inning.
     
  19. LynnRice75

    LynnRice75 Member SoSH Member

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    Any writer equating the Sox series win to being lucky, frankly, does not understand the game. Baseball is a game of inches. Always has been. There are hard hit balls that find gloves and sawed off swings that become RBI doubles. For every "lucky" or "unlucky" play you can point out for one side, there are similar plays that go the other way for the opponent.

    I am equally stunned by the reports saying the Astros were hindered by injuries, completely leaving out the fact that we were without our second baseman, knuckle ball reliever, with injuries/illnesses to Sale, Nunez, Moreland, etc.

    Sox simply outhit, outsmarted, and outpitched the Astros.
     
  20. JohntheBaptist

    JohntheBaptist Member SoSH Member

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    He had FOUR favorite teams growing up! It was a national broadcast, come on.

    You hear what you hear I guess. I did not get that impression in the slightest.
     
  21. JohntheBaptist

    JohntheBaptist Member SoSH Member

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    This stuff is miniscule, and just speaks to him being the bland, boring, not-that-perceptive guy we always get. They almost always start pumping the team that's down, I don't know, it just strikes me as silly to suggest he had some "bias" because the Astros were one of four teams he liked as a kid.
     
  22. geoduck no quahog

    geoduck no quahog Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    His bigger problem was a lack of accurate information, consistent mistakes and an inability to ever shut up.

    Other than that?

    He was OK.
     
  23. E5 Yaz

    E5 Yaz Transcends message boarding Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    We want you banging your head into that wall. We need you banging your head into that wall.
     
  24. JohntheBaptist

    JohntheBaptist Member SoSH Member

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    One of these days it'll bear fruit! I know it.
     
  25. E5 Yaz

    E5 Yaz Transcends message boarding Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    upload_2018-10-19_15-27-17.jpeg
     
  26. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

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    First, apologies for sloppy language on my part. I wasn’t trying to lump him into the lack of integrity/deflate gate crap. I thought I made a distinction there, but clearly not very well.

    As to ‘stands’ and nitpicking, I’m not disinclined to think he may have gone back and edited it - it was quoted by more than one person and espn doesn’t have the best track record on noting edits (*cough* Chad Ford *cough*) so while I won’t hang him on that (I thought I saw it, but I could be conflating), but hey, you lie with dogs...etc etc.

    Enough holes have been poked in his article and again as noted, I haven’t read a ton of him, but I think the quote I responded to is where absurdity comes into the conversation. I’d ask for a link or two (that’s not wise ass, if he’s good I’d want to start reading him and I’m not all that familiar with him); but ‘not even close’ is a tad hyperbolic when you essentially write an article saying ‘water is wet’. Of course luck comes into play in sports, this isn’t ground breaking and specific things he cites he ignores the antithesis - AB was positioned properly and made a great play; plenty of strikes went called or uncalled for both sides, it happens; etc etc.

    I went back and finished reading and the entire time reading it I had the thought of it being slanted. And I’m sorry, I’m not giving in on ‘game winning’.
     
  27. Jnai

    Jnai is not worried about sex with goats SoSH Member

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    Wait, you think Sam is biased towards the Astros?
     
  28. CoffeeNerdness

    CoffeeNerdness Member SoSH Member

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    Wait, if he was only an Astros fan as a kid the perceived bias would be more legitimate?
     
  29. JohntheBaptist

    JohntheBaptist Member SoSH Member

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    When most of sports media focuses on the character and hard work of its winning participants, an article looking at the ways luck played a factor is not really trite. Sportswriters are loathe to even suggest these things lest they trivialize the accomplishments of these warriors and on and on.

    The things you're describing here aren't luck in the way he was approaching it, either.

    I have no idea, someone posted an article that stated he liked the Astros, Rangers, Cubs, and Braves growing up like it was proof of something.
     
  30. singaporesoxfan

    singaporesoxfan Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Well you know they booked themselves on a cruise and it turned out to be the Titanic, that’s pretty unlucky
     
  31. Pitt the Elder

    Pitt the Elder Member SoSH Member

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    This deserves more love
     
  32. 54thMA

    54thMA Member SoSH Member

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    True, but we all know the Yankees master plan is to win it all in 2019 anyway, so 2017 was just a nice bonus for their fans.
     
  33. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

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    I think he started with a premise and worked backwards to support it, to fit his narrative - if he is as analytically astute as you claim, he should know that a five game sample size size isn't worth citing stats on (see: ten points in obp and one point in slugging); but that's just mho. I'm not saying he's a Houston homer, but the article is clearly grasping at straws. Are you supporting the idea that the Astros will go down as one of the unluckiest teams in history? Because that's what he is proposing and using evidence that could be found in about 98% of baseball series. Again, water = wet. It's the game and nothing particularly "unlucky" happened. They had a slugfest and the Sox won. (And the comments on West are confusing - should he have wavered?)
     
  34. jaytftwofive

    jaytftwofive lurker

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    A great majority of fans in every city are paranoid homers and think the national announcers are against their team. I live in the Philly area and the great majority think Joe Buck and Troy Aikman hate the Eagles. Aikman I think is one of the most objective commentators in sports. Not pro Dallas at all. And I remember in 03 and 04 many of our posters and fans form SOSH and BDD thought Tim McCarver was anti-Red Sox, I never thought that at all.
     
  35. Hendu for Kutch

    Hendu for Kutch Member SoSH Member

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    I'm usually not bothered much by announcers, but I thought it was pretty stark. Little things, like mentioning multiple times that Devers' HR would have only been a double in Fenway. Not just after it was hit, but several innings later. It's just such a weird comment that didn't really have any reason to exist. Made even more out of place in that it wasn't mentioned once when the Astros hit one to the same area. The harping on the Astros not getting any calls was out of place too. A neutral party would complain about bad umpiring, but wouldn't harp on one team not getting any calls (especially given that it wasn't true).

    The clincher for me though was my wife sitting down in the middle of a game she couldn't give less of a shit about and saying "why does that guy sound so depressed?" about Anderson. The Sox had just taken the lead.
     
  36. c_yesterday

    c_yesterday Member SoSH Member

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    Since this has thread has turned to the media a bit, did the Astros put something in their press notes for game 5 about the Crawford Boxes? Maybe I was just oblivious, but I don't remember hearing anything about them in games 3 or 4, but all of a sudden in the last game it felt like we couldn't go an inning without hearing about Crawford Boxes. Not just the TBS broadcast either, Joe and Tim, various baseball writers on twitter... felt like a random, slightly dumb thing that kinda came out of left (and right) field.
     
  37. Don Buddin's GS

    Don Buddin's GS Member SoSH Member

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    1,489
    Maybe it’s just me, but I took Anderson’s comments about Devers’ HR only being a double at the Fens as a compliment to Fenway and a knock on the bandbox that is Minute Maid.
     
  38. MakeMineMoxie

    MakeMineMoxie Member SoSH Member

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    592
    Part of the problem is that the national broadcasts are geared to a lowest common denominator fan and the announcers feel that they have to blather on constantly to entertain these viewers. I also strongly feel that the networks create their own narrative at the beginning of a series to build "drama" and "controversy" and what's actually happening on the field be dammed. The ALCS narrative was the coronation of the Astros as they won back-to-back WS.

    I don't know who Brian Anderson is or where he's from but they can give him a one-way ticket back there. He contributed absolutely nothing to the broadcast and his boring, monotone voice had me desperately looking for a pirate feed from WEEI.

    During the season I'll sometimes watch the SNY Mets feed just to hear their booth and Darling is pretty good there. I think he has an awful voice but his commentary usually makes up for it. Not this time
     
  39. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    I watched the entire series but pretty much tuned out the announcers for the most part. Kinda surprised so many people pay attention to them enough to be bothered. From what I didn't tune out, I thought they slightly favored Houston but they also had plenty of praise for Boston and they also gave them props at the end of the series.

    I'm also pretty sure one of them said Christian Vazquez had great power. They definitely sucked but I didn't think the bias was too bad.
     
  40. Al Zarilla

    Al Zarilla Member SoSH Member

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    Get ready for Joe Buck and his “to the track, to the worl...” No, I think Buck has improved a lot, and Smoltz is very good, but there are still some PBP announcers I like better and of course, mandatory Eck mention for color guy.
     
  41. staz

    staz Intangible Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    This is probably not really main board-appropriate, but I just love this man:

     
  42. Al Zarilla

    Al Zarilla Member SoSH Member

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  43. The Gray Eagle

    The Gray Eagle Member SoSH Member

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    Great article by Speier looking at the Red Sox strategy in attacking the Astros starters.

    And they've been using advance scouting and video work all year long to game-plan their attack:

    "All season, the Red Sox have been a team whose talented hitters featured a detail-oriented commitment to game planning to to identify both what their opponents would try to do and where they are most vulnerable.​

    The Red Sox, with information from the team’s advance scouting team and analytics staff, have had a year-long conversation about what pitches opponents use in specific counts, locations where they work, locations where they miss and are vulnerable, and the visual appearance and action of pitches that might represent the margin between a strikeout and a two-strike foul-ball."​

    "The Red Sox had a feel for how the Astros would attack – helped not just by ample video and heatmap data but also by input from Cora (last year’s Astros bench coach) and bullpen coach Craig Bjornson, who had worked in the same role with Houston in 2017 and thus had a feel for what Houston’s pitchers would try to do in their own advance planning... “It was a vertical attack – fastballs up, breaking balls down, stay on the edges,” he added. “We did an outstanding job [against that pattern]. We sustained it. We stayed very humble. We didn’t try to hit home runs. We stayed with the program, and in the end, it paid off.”​

    The plan included staying patient and not chasing pitches on the edges or outside the zone:
    "The Sox swung at 23 percent of pitchers that were on the edges of the strike zone or outside of it – easily the lowest rate of the four LCS teams. The Astros swung at 28.4 percent, the highest rate of the LCS teams. The Sox were even more disciplined in two-strike counts, swinging at just 9.7 percent of pitches on the edges or outside the zone.
    The team was particularly aware of the Astros’ aggressive usage of off-speed and breaking pitches. Someone like Lance McCullers, for instance, is willing to throw literally nothing but curveballs in an at-bat."​

    On Devers hitting the key HR against Verlander in Game 5:
    "he remained mindful of the report on Verlander: He won’t shy from his fastball in key moments, typically at the top of the zone, where his high spin rate creates ridiculous ride on the pitch that often takes it over bats for either a pop-up or swing-and-miss.​

    Devers got a first-pitch, 98-m.p.h. fastball at the top of the strike zone and ambushed it. He set his sight at the top of the ball and, rather than trying to pull it, drove it out to the opposite field for the decisive three-run homer in Game 5."
    Such a difference from 15 years ago when the dunce manager ignored all the scouting work that the team provided.
     
  44. Van Everyman

    Van Everyman Member SoSH Member

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  45. The Gray Eagle

    The Gray Eagle Member SoSH Member

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    Got me on ignore, eh? There's probably plenty of others.
     
  46. reggiecleveland

    reggiecleveland sublime Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    You don't understand it then.

    These guys are competing everyday, not just when they play, but since they were 16 to just get there. The mental grind of such a life is enormous. The Bull Durham mound meeting is popular with athletes because they all relate to losing focus, and going through the motions. The closer you get to the top the more the mental aspect matters. Jesus read anything about Tom Brady, Jordan, Russell, Bird, Jerry Rice, Kobe, and the burning desire to win is what separates them. These mlb guys spend all year, most of their life digging deep to be motivated. The well often runs dry. Providing the other team with a focus by your actions provides a focus, a unifying focus. These guys are human, and maybe they are doubting themselves maybe they are pissed about playing time, then a guy on the other team gives them a boost drawing them together.
     
  47. johnmd20

    johnmd20 literally like ebola Lifetime Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    Yeah, I was wondering what happened there.
     
  48. JimD

    JimD Member SoSH Member

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