What Teams are Likely to Enter the MLB 2021 Postseason?

The baseball season starts after the All-Star break. In other words, contenders use the first half of the season to iron out the kinks and smooth over the chemistry and put players on a roster that are most likely to enter the post-season. Management finalizes trade discussions with players interested in making a run for the pennant and even a series championship after the All-Star break. This entry includes a snapshot discussion of the conferences and the teams that I think are most likely to entertain playoff runs. I did not think the Dodgers had it in them to acquire Max Scherzer, but they picked him and Trea Turner up from the Nats. I think that this could become one of the most important trades of the season.

Of interest in the standings. I have been fascinated with the statistics of the American League East and the National League West all season. I watched Tony LaRussa’s ethic since my childhood, but Dave Duncan is no longer available as a coach. That doesn’t mean that ChiSox can’t or won’s win. It probably means that the fine tuning in playoff competition is untested to date. Houston will probably lock up the American League West. A Philadelphia team that gets hot at the right time and puts a series of wins together could give Atlanta a run for division championship. I do not expect much from the National League East this season. Milwaukee will probably win the National League Central. I would like to see Milwaukee in the playoffs as a contender for the sake of players like Christian Yelich. Milwaukee is untested in the post season.

The trade I mentioned above put the Dodgers on the heels of the Giants. I was thinking about the Giants having the best record in baseball at present. The Giants have built a new team around Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford and Buster Posey. I think that the Giants still have Johnny Cueto, but I am not certain. I am hard pressed to name any other pitcher on the staff. I am hard pressed to know the names of any players on any team at this point. I usually leave the chemistry of the team to the managers, head coach, operations and the internals. This leave me to review the statistics.

I lost respect for the Dodger franchise after the Brandon Stow incident a few years back. To the Dodgers’ credit, the organization has made major strides in returning the on the field and off the field organization to the formidable days of yesteryear. I am not proud that I have grown a little critical of the Dodgers in my humor by saying that “half a season only warrants half a world trophy!” I do appreciate the strides the have made with Albert Pujols, Max Scherzer and Trea Turner. This organization is really demonstrating a resolve I have not seen since Orel Hershiser, Kirk Gibson and Mike Piazza. This National League West race for the Pennant will be interesting to watch, at least statistically.

American League East is another race. I am not a huge Yankee fan. I like to watch the Yankees from time to time though. There are a number of notable class act players that stand out in my mind in the recent past and present. Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Joe Torre and Don Mattingly were exciting to watch. These players and coaches brought a renewed interest to the game in New York that was not observed in decades.

Who do the Tampa Bay Rays have that can outlast the New York Yankee onslaught of late? There is almost nothing more satisfying in my book than when a baseball team fields a roster in the post season, wins in the playoffs and moves on to the series with a bunch of no named ragtag bunch of scrappers with excellent chemistry on the field. Surprise me!

I would like to see Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit and Oakland more competitive in the future.

Congratulations to Michigan on the LLBWS Championship over Ohio!

Possibly, A Starting Point

I can not say that I have a plan or a goal at this time. I have been writing a thirteen chapter book for four and one half years. The book is an outgrowth of doctoral coursework that lasted for approximately three and one half years. The coursework resulted from field experience and informal research that lasted several years. The book is scheduled for publication in a few weeks, August 2021.

I learned of a website called Substack, which happens to be some kind of an online forum for writers. WordPress is noted on the Substack website. I do not have an audience. I have become a writer by default. I learned of Substack from the Dana Loesch Show. I only learned of this website, literally, a few minutes ago. I thought I might write this blog to see what creativity might be motivated for this entry.

I think that Substack is about the creation of newsletters from mostly unknown writers. I am an unknown writer with a publication set to occur in a few weeks. I have no idea what the future holds. Producing the book has consumed everything I own. I have somehow managed to make it this far. I do not find much interest in proselytizing. But I cannot help but say, especially during a relatively intense thunder and lightening storm, that the grace of God is a powerful concept.

I have not completely and thoroughly researched Substack. My initial thought is it sounds like a great idea. I cannot say with any degree of certainty that I will actually start a newsletter. I can say that this is interesting enough to post some of my thoughts from classes I have taken and that are not published and add to the notes over the course of the next few weeks. Maybe I’ll start something like this newsletter business after I complete this semester. I am currently enrolled in several courses that include topics in jurisprudence and that align with my background in economics, international relations and public policy and administration. I am about to start studying for finals.

I will try to put together a vision, values and culture for the entries and responses for this blog in the next entry. I have to say that sitting and writing for a very long period of time is motivation for getting out of the house and back into the field.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tony

Six Week Training Schedule

Week 1

Monday December 30, 2019 – 75 pushups, 3.5 mile

Tuesday December 31, 2019 – 75 pushups, 4 mile

Wednesday January 1, 2020 – 75 pushups, Yoga

Thursday January 2, 2020 – 75 pushups, 4 mile

Friday January 3, 2020 – 75 pushups, 4 mile

Saturday January 4, 2020 – 75 pushups

Sunday January 5, 2020 – 75 pushups, 8 miles

Week 2

Monday January 6, 2020 – 75 pushups

Tuesday January 7, 2020 – 75 pushups, 4 mile

Wednesday January 8, 2020 – 75 pushups, Yoga

Thursday January 9, 2020 – 75 pushups, 4 mile

Friday January 10, 2020 – 75 pushups, 4 mile

Saturday January 11, 2020 – 75 pushups

Sunday January 12, 2020 – 75 pushups, 10 mile

Week 3

Monday January 13, 2020 – 75 pushups, 3.5 mile

Tuesday January 14, 2020 – 75 pushups, 4 mile

Wednesday January 15, 2020 – 75 pushups, Yoga

Thursday January 16, 2020 – 75 pushups, 4 mile

Friday January 17, 2020 – 75 pushups, 4 mile

Saturday January 18, 2020 – 75 pushups

Sunday January 19, 2020 – 75 pushups, 10 mile

Week 4

Monday January 20, 2020 – 100 pushups

Tuesday January 21, 2020 – 100 pushups, 5 mile

Wednesday January 22, 2020 – 100 pushups, Yoga

Thursday January 23, 2020 – 100 pushups, 5 mile

Friday January 24, 2020 – 100 pushups, 5 mile

Saturday January 25, 2020 – 100 pushups

Sunday January 26, 2020 – 100 pushups, 12 miles

Week 5

Monday January 27, 2020 – 100 pushups

Tuesday January 28, 2020 – 100 pushups, 5 mile

Wednesday January 29, 2020 – 100 pushups, Yoga

Thursday January 30, 2020 – 100 pushups, 5 mile

Friday January 31, 2020 – 100 pushups, 5 mile

Saturday February 1, 2020 – 100 pushups

Sunday February 2, 2020 – 100 pushups, 12 miles

Week 6

Monday February 3, 2020 – 100 pushups

Tuesday February 4, 2020 – 100 pushups, 6 mile

Wednesday February 5, 2020 – 100 pushups, Yoga

Thursday February 6, 2020 – 100 pushups, 6 mile

Friday February 7, 2020 – rest

Saturday February 8, 2020 – 13.1 miles – Half Marathon

Hydration Policy

Why write stuff about hydration policies? Why should I hydrate? With what should I hydrate? All relatively decent questions. Answers are likely to arise from the situation of the persons or people. I expect this entry to meander a little. Just be prepared for a smattering of ideas as you read further. Hopefully, the reader of this content can find some use in remaining safe and increasing the likelihood of an enjoyable summer.

People familiar with the heat and humidity of the summer in the southern US will tell you that the weather can sometimes be extreme and even oppressive. Mind over matter? If you don’t mind it don’t matter. Well. The Old Farmers Almanac of 2019 includes a guide to determine the heat index for individuals participating in outdoor activities. The Almanac defines the heat index as “a measure of how hot it feels when humidity is factored in with actual air temperature.” The heat index is often greater than the actual temperature outside and makes individuals even hotter than normal. For the purposes of this entry, a short discussion of the temperature versus the heat index and a comparison becomes more important for scheduling activities outside.

The Almanac depicts a chart in Fahrenheit and Celsius. This entry is discussed in terms of Fahrenheit. A discussion of temperature begins on a y axis at 80 degrees and increases to 100 degrees. The x axis depicts a scale of relative humidity starting at 40 percent and increasing by 5 percent to 100 percent. A temperature outside of 100 degrees F with 40 percent humidity feels like 109 degrees F. A temperature outside of 100 degrees F with 65 percent humidity feels like 136 degrees F. The increase of only 25 percent humidity outside increases the feels like temperature by a 27 degree margin.

Similarly, at the low end of the temperature range of 80 degrees F, increasing the humidity from 40 percent to 100 percent humidity only increases the feels like temperature outside by 7 degrees F. What percent increase in humidity yields the approximately same feels like temperature at 82 degrees F? The answer is 30-35 percent increase in humidity at 82 degrees F. At 84 degrees F? The answer here is a 15-20 percent increase in humidity at 84 degrees F. At 86 degrees F? 5 percent increase in humidity. This is according to the Almanac’s numbers. Two things are said about this change here. Decreasing the humidity outside while increasing the temperature results in a feels like temperature that is mostly bearable. Increasing the humidity and increasing the temperature could generate heat related injuries.

The above example showed that effects of the feels like temperature outside by a decrease to humidity while increasing the temperature. All of these temperatures with the accompanying humidity levels can be dangerous depending on the level of fitness, activity, age, and a number of additional variables. The last temperature on the Almanac’s scale that allows a reading of 100 percent humidity is 90 degrees F. Why is this particular temperature important? For starters, at 90 degrees F and 40 percent humidity, the feels like temperature already increases 1 degree F. The feels like temperatures below 90 degrees F are equivalent to or even less than the actual temperature in degrees F. At 90 degrees, the feels like temperature with the least amount of recorded humidity on the chart (40 percent) already feels hotter. At 90 degrees F with 50 percent humidity, the feels like temperature increases to 95 degrees. At 90 degrees F with 60 percent humidity, the feels like temperature increases to 100 degrees. At 90 degrees F with 70 percent humidity, the feels like temperature increases to 106 degrees. At 90 degrees F with 80 percent humidity, the feels like temperature increases to 113 degrees. At 90 degrees F with 90 percent humidity, the feels like temperature increases to 122 degrees. At 90 degrees F with 100 percent humidity, the feels like temperature increases to 132 degrees F.

The feels like temperature at 90 degrees F with 40 percent humidity and 100 percent humidity is a change of 31 degrees. Further increases in temperature above 90 degrees that coincide with increases in humidity condense the feels like temperature at a faster rate of increase.

The Almanac explains ways to self-regulate one’s internal body temperature. Drinking cool fluids, such as water, decrease the likelihood of heat related injuries. Caffeine, salts, alcohol, and strenuous exercise increase the likelihood of heat related injuries.

A fit person that exercises on a regular basis and hydrates with water and maintains a reasonable diet can ordinarily work through the heat related issues for a short period of time. The person would need to rest in a cool place and hydrate, but under reasonable circumstances, the person is likely to avoid heat related injuries.

I contend from this point forward that drinking one alcoholic beverage at least 18 hours prior to strenuous exercise in the extreme heat and humidity is likely to have adverse effects on the person. The extreme heat and humidity in this example is 90-92 degrees F with at least 90 percent humidity. The feels like temperature at 92 degrees and 90 percent humidity is 131 degrees F. The feels like temperature 92 degrees and 100 percent humidity is not recorded on the Almanac’s chart and is approximately 141 degrees F, based on estimates from the chart.

What is the point of this exercise? One beer 18 hours before strenuous exercise in the extreme heat and humidity is likely to produce a heat related injury of some type depending on the person’s age, fitness level, diet and general conditions. Strenuous exercise is cycling for one half hour or eight miles without replenishing the fluids lost from sweat.

This entry is not meant to dissuade people from having a good time during the summer. This is meant to help people plan activities around extreme weather accordingly.

Hydrate with cool water in the shade whenever possible. Do not become a casualty of the heat!

 

 

 

The Baseball Shift

Some people in the baseball community are starting to believe that strategy for winning games in the 162 game season includes shifting fielders on one side of the field to cluster on the other side of the field. Looking at the dynamics of a baseball diamond, the observer is likely to see that the field in its entirety as a quarter of a circle. The ray from home plate to second base marks a 45 degree angle. Lately, many strategic decisions made by managers effectively move third baseman, short-stop and the left-fielder over to the second baseman’s and first-baseman’s side of the field. The decision kicks out the second baseman to shallow right field. This decision is designed to guard against the left-handed hitter that pulls everything pitched into right field.

Decisions such as this are complete co-pouts and remove the responsibility of scouts and operations managers that fail to find quality players. Quality players are those that make adjustments in hitting to all fields rather than one field. This appears to be a symptom of a larger problem in professional sports. The larger problem is that in order sustain a fan base, franchise owners ask for buy in from the public. The majority of the public does not understand the undercurrents of strategy or know that post-season ball requires substantial pitching and defense excellence.

Baseball is a game of finesse. As such, this can be quite boring at times because finesse requires mental acuity for strategy and long-term thinking. Hitting home-runs is often sensational. Who doesn’t like to see the ball blasted out of the park? The answer: Everyone likes to see the ball hit out of the park as often possible. This increases revenue and profit and salaries for owners and players. Rarely does a team possess the financial resources to pay for offensive players and or defensive players.

The shift occurs at the Major League Baseball level throughout the minors and into college, high school and little league. The point of this entry is coaches that teach players correct fundamentals are likely to encourage hitters to hit the ball where the ball is pitched rather than pull the ball to the fence every fourth or fifth at bat. Players that hit the ball for average are sometimes just as exciting to watch because suspense is generated over the course of a series. Teams that know how to do this consistently are remarkably exciting to observe. The most recent San Francisco Giants, Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals to some extent had such qualities.

 

 

 

Test

I reconnected the wix site and the blog after more than one year. This was somewhat difficult trying to remember how these website sites connect. I am not sure whether the blog will accept comments. Additionally, the random advertisements may prove to annoy me more than I value actually having the site up. Time will tell. I will do my best to at least comment a little every now and again.

And the video, I disconnected the video from youtube a while back also. Probably shouldn’t have done that.

 

Cheers —–Tony