dasg234: p.KEY GAMES: A tough stretch to end

p.KEY GAMES: A tough stretch to end

Dec 6 2017 at 06:40

The most significant postseason of modern times didnt just crown a champion, bust a curse and leave millions of Americans wondering what they could do to get that Go Cubs Go song out of their heads. Air Max 1 Sale Cheap .More than that, it opened a window -- a window into where the sport of baseball has evolved and where it is going. So if you looked through that window, what did you see?You saw a sneak preview of the stars of the future on parade, for one thing. If you dont believe that players such as?Francisco Lindor, Corey Seager, Noah Syndergaard, Aaron Sanchez, Julio Urias, Roberto Osuna and those young Cubs studs are going to leave a major impression on this game, you were clearly paying way too much attention to your fantasy football lineup.But beyond those bright young faces, there was much more to see through that window. So lets hone in now on two of those sights. One could have a gigantic impact on this sport off the field. The other could signal a profound change on the field. Heres what we mean:Could the Cubs be the Warriors of baseball?More than 40 million people watched the baseball game that decided the World Series -- the most in a quarter-century. An estimated 5 million people showed up at the Cubs World Series parade -- the largest gathering of human beings for any reason in the recorded history of the Western Hemisphere.So ... get the impression that theres a little interest in this team?Oh, maybe it will turn out that the Cubs are just trending because they did something that hadnt exactly been the specialty of their house for the previous century. But inside Major League Baseball, it feels like more than that.This sport has been waiting for years for a team like this to come along. A team that moves the needle in a way that other champs dont. A team that transcends its city, its market or any sort of traditional geographic blip on the radar screen.Well, if baseball cant turn this team into That Team, then it might be time to conclude it cant be done. Not in this sport, at least.But all the evidence suggests it can. And its happening. Right before your eyes.The data verifies it: ratings, social media traffic, merchandise sales. And every force baseball could ask for to make this sustainable is all lined up to keep this meteor shooting through the American sky.? Staying power: Is there any reason to think this club isnt built to last? It had seven position players, age 26 or younger, who got more than 250 plate appearances. Thats the most by any World Series champion since the 1942 Cardinals, a team that went on to play in three straight World Series and four of five -- and win three of them. Every one of those Cubs players is under control through at least 2020.? Star power: Maybe theres no one Cub who is the baseball equivalent of Stephen Curry. But for sheer quantity of transcendent personalities, what team in baseball compares with this one? It employs two of the top four finishers in the MVP voting (Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo). And two of the top three in the Cy Young balloting (Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester), plus last years Cy Young winner (Jake Arrieta). Not to mention the runner-up for NL Manager of the Year (Joe Maddon). And the World Series MVP (Ben Zobrist). And a whole array of rising stars beyond that group, in Javier Baez, Addison Russell, Kyle Schwarber and Willson Contreras. But in a moment, youll see that this isnt just about their star power as baseball players.? The power to connect with fans: Face it. One of the biggest problems baseball has had in attracting people outside its core fan base is that way too many franchises and way too many players say no when they should be saying yes -- to stuff that Curry, LeBron James, Peyton Manning and stars in other sports have done for years. But this is a group that gets it. Has there been a single day, since they won the World Series, where you havent seen a delegation of Cubs showing up in front of somebodys camera with everyone from Jimmy Fallon to Ellen DeGeneres? It doesnt feel like it. And that means more in popular American 21st-century culture than youd think.When you see them dancing on Saturday Night Live and you see them laughing on Ellen and Jimmy Kimmel and The Tonight Show, these are all the things that go with being a crossover team and crossover personalities, one baseball official said. Theyve really embraced the moment.Study after study has shown that what the casual fan wants most from its stars, in this culture, is access. Well, have you checked out your social media streams lately? This team is out there, letting its personality show -- and letting the world in to share their fun. And what has been the upshot of all that Twitter merriment? The Cubs have exploded on social media. Thats what. According to statista.com, it took them four years (2011 to 2015) to reach 500,000 Twitter followers. This year, theyve gained more than 500,000 just since Opening Day. So theyre now up to more than 1.36 million, the third-most followers in baseball (behind the Yankees and Red Sox). Thats more than the Royals and Indians combined.Whats the magic formula for any team to reach breakout orbit, the point where it begins turning nonsports fans into sports fans, nonbaseball fans into baseball fans and non-Chicagoans into Cubs fans? I think were looking at it.So it turns out the Cubs didnt just leave their mark on this postseason. They appear to have left their mark on future seasons. And if thats how it turns out, their sport will be eternally grateful.Are the days of push-button managing over?If there was any doubt that there is more deep, outside-the-box thinking going on in baseball these days than at any time in history, this postseason sure cleared that up.For four riveting weeks, we watched games that were being played and managed in a style that often bore zero resemblance to the way this sport has operated for the past two decades. And thats a tribute to how many people in baseball now look at the way things have been done for a century and ask: Why?There were 10 games in this postseason in which at least one team used at least 18 of the 25 players on its roster. We also saw games in which the Dodgers and Indians almost seemed to be changing lines on the fly, fueled by data and the constant search for platoon advantages. If rosters expand to 26 or 27 players, as seems likely to happen in the next labor agreement, that trend toward maximizing platoon advantages could be a bigger focus than ever.But the most significant development of this postseason was clearly the emergence of the Multi-inning Super Reliever. And by the middle of next season, we should know definitively that when we utter that phrase, we wont be talking about only?Andrew Miller. Just ask Miller himself.I think its maybe a little harder to do that for 162 games, the Indians left-handed game-changer said during the World Series. But I think were heading in the direction.Wait. Are we really steaming toward an age in which teams ask their best relievers to face six to eight hitters, at any point from the fifth inning on, every couple of days, over a six-month season? To be honest, I dont think anyone sees that coming -- unless they want the whole bullpen to wind up in traction by the Fourth of July. But here is what baseball front offices do see coming:? More freedom to use impact relievers at different points in the game, in moments of maximum leverage. That could be the closer. Or it could be the best setup man, who wouldnt necessarily be considered just the eighth-inning guy anymore.? A different approach to what was already an emerging trend, at a time when many starters are no longer allowed to go through the lineup three times: Rather than use the seventh or eighth man in the bullpen as the multi-inning reliever (previously known as the long man), teams could target a whole different type of pitcher to work multiple innings in more high-leverage spots. Think about guys with big arms who keep flaming out as starters because they dont have the ability to get through lineups more than once.? A newfound interest in paying relievers closer money even if theyre going to be used in situations where they wont be getting a save on the old stat sheet.? And, in a related development, a newfound willingness by some big-name relievers to pitch in those situations, whether they get a save to show for it or not. In fact, one club executive reports that there are [prominent free-agent] relievers out there who have sent the message this winter that, If you pay me, I dont really care where you pitch me.Whoa. Could all of that really be coming to a ballpark near you by 2017? Well, to be honest, its too soon to say. Frankly, when weve surveyed veteran relievers about this trend, many have expressed great skepticism that anyone could make it through a season healthy while assuming a workload remotely similar to Millers postseason role.But they should know that, in their very own front offices, the folks who are gazing into baseballs future arent so sure of that. Not anymore.Go open a baseball encyclopedia, or baseball-reference.com, said one AL executive. Look up Goose Gossage and Sparky Lyle. And youll see that the concept of a relief ace who throws 70 games and 120 innings is not new. Its something thats been done before to great effect.When I hear you cant have a guy throw 40 pitches every couple of days, my reaction is, Why not? the exec went on. We have amazing pitchers in this game who are only throwing 60 innings in a year. I dont know how 60 innings would be considered overworking anybody. ... I dont see why you cant ask a guy to go two innings Tuesday and two innings Thursday.Indians manager Terry Francona said during the American League Championship Series that hed love to see young relievers get valued for their work, not their save totals, in their arbitration-eligible years, because I think then youd see bullpens used differently. But one veteran reliever says that unless there were strict controls on multi-inning usage, that would still be a tough sell.Otherwise, he said, youre going to take a guy and use him in a way where he could potentially break down before he ever gets to six years of service time. So hed never get to free agency. The agents would be furious.But if teams already have decided that this is the way relievers are going to be used in the future, that veteran reliever went on, managers need to alert those men now.If its going to happen, it cant start in midseason, or even on the first day of spring training, he said. It probably has to be communicated in an offseason phone conversation. Id need to know that far in advance, so I can approach my conditioning for the season in a different way.If the game is really going down this road, it actually increases the pressure on managers in many ways. You recognize that, right? They need to understand who on their staff is capable of going multiple innings and who isnt. They need to be extra conscious of getting their multi-inning guys plenty of rest.And most important of all, they need to know exactly what a high-leverage situation really looks like, because -- and heres the biggest headline of the day -- it looks as if the days of push-button managing might be about to go the way of the Brontosaurus. And wont that be a boon for second-guessers everywhere?But thanks to what we just saw this October, all of that deep thinking is going on as we speak, in front offices across the country -- because the benefits are greater than youve probably contemplated.If you can start using your best guys more aggressively, youre making your whole team better, said the exec quoted earlier. If you can take 60 innings away from the 12th pitcher on your staff and give it to your best relievers, thats a huge difference. And then theres an even deeper concept. Do you need to carry 13 pitchers -- or can the better guys absorb those last 50 to 80 innings? If you can assign those innings to your better pitchers, maybe it actually creates another roster spot and you can give your manager a better bench because of that.So the ripple effects of Millers October run thick and wide. And virtually every team in the game is already trying to figure out how just how thick, just how wide and just how practical this could be over the course of a season.Now, maybe this change was coming anyway. Eventually. But all of a sudden, its full speed ahead -- thanks to the most significant postseason of modern times. Air Max 1 Sale . -- An ugly goal by Nick Bonino helped the Anaheim Ducks overcome the defensive-minded Phoenix Coyotes on a night when their ragged power play continued to struggle. Air Max 1 Cheap .com) - The Montreal Canadiens embark on their first road trip of the season as they head out west to battle the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night. www.discountairmax1sale.com/ . Scott won the Australian PGA last week in his first event in Australia since winning the U.S. Masters in April. American Matt Kuchar, ahead by two strokes with four to play and even with Scott with one to go, double-bogeyed the 18th after taking two shots to get out of a bunker. STANFORD, Calif. -- Stanford heads into the season with questions about which player will touch the ball first after the snap.Where it ends up from there is less in question.While Keller Chryst and Ryan Burns battle it out to replace four-year starter Kevin Hogan at quarterback, the Cardinal offense will once again revolve around Heisman Trophy runner-up Christian McCaffrey.After shattering Barry Sanders record for all-purpose yards with 3,864 yards last season, McCaffrey is back for his junior season as a faster, stronger and more knowledgeable player, coach David Shaw said.He also has plenty of other playmakers to help. Dynamic back Bryce Love is expected to get significantly more time alongside McCaffrey than he did as a freshman when he was used mostly as a spot replacement.Michael Rector and Frances Owusu give the Cardinal two talented senior receivers and Dalton Schultz is the latest in a line of dangerous tight ends for the Cardinal.The quarterbacks job is to deal the cards, Shaw said. Dont make it any more complicated than that. How fast can I get the ball out of my hands into somebody elses hands. The guy, or guys, who do that the best will play.Shaw said hes in no hurry to pick a starting quarterback and said hes open to playing both. The two have just 10 career combined passes as Hogan led the team to three Rose Bowls in four seasons as he became the winningest quarterback in school history.Their job is not to compete with the other guy, Shaw said. Their job is to play the best they can play and let us make the decision beyond that. If we play two guys, great. If we play one guy, greatt. Nike Air Max 1 Trainers Sale. If we play one guy a lot and have a role for the other guy, thats fine too.Here are some other things to look for from Stanford this season:STAY IN SCHOOL: Rectors decision to return for his fifth year and wait for the NFL draft gives the Cardinal offense a big boost with a deep threat on the outside. Rector has averaged 18.3 yards per catch for his career and has become more than just a vertical receiver.Looking at the team we were going to have I saw it could be a special team, Rector said. I wanted to be a part of that.IN THE TRENCHES: The Cardinal lost plenty on both lines this past offseason and return just two starters in Casey Tucker and Johnny Caspers on the offensive side. The defensive line lost stalwarts Aziz Shittu and Brennan Scarlett but gets talented Harrison Phillips back from a serious knee injury to team with returner Solomon Thomas to anchor that group.KEY GAMES: A tough stretch to end September featuring a home game against USC and trips to UCLA and Washington will determine whether the Cardinal will be able to stay in the hunt for the playoff. The schedule also includes tricky road games against Notre Dame and Oregon, as well as a visit to rival California in the Big Game.PREDICTION: 10-2.SEASON OPENER: The two-quarterback system should get a fairly tough test to start the season when Stanford hosts Kansas State. The Wildcats were a bowl team last year and have four defensive players who were selected to the preseason all-Big 12 team. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' ' 

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