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Biggest surprise of 2021


Biggest surprise of 2021

With little more than a week left , there are still some playoff spots to be had. That being said , I think its safe to say the Seattle Mariners exceeded expectations this year . Sure they need a miracle to get in but they still are alive. On the other end of the spectrum, the biggest disappointment has to be the Padres, they were in contention all year but self destructed , started pointing fingers at each other and are now eliminated .If the Mariners dont make it, how great will it be to see a wildcard game between the Sox and Yanks , or maybe the young Jays. In the NL, the Cards are rolling and could upset Giants or Dodgers in a 1 game playof. Plus , don't forget , Tony Larussa is in. No matter who wins it's going to be great for baseball fans, but can anything ever match game 6 of 86 series for excitement ?

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The Mets have to be on the "big disappointment" list too......

- The Sheik

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I have somehow been both surprised and disappointed with the Red Sox.

I certainly would have been surprised and happy to take their W-L record before the season started, but watching the meltdown of their bullpen in the second half of the season has been difficult too. I do not think they could have realistically won the division, but they should have the first wild card spot locked down already.

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I expected the Blue Jays to be very strong offensively this year, with some question mark on the mound.


Robbie Ray finally pitchhed to his potential.

The Jays carried a great PYTH record all season.

That wasn't translating in an equal real W-L record...

They also had to face the challenge of playing in 3 different home fields this year...

They corrected their bullpen a bit too late....

They address their flaws in the bullpen, along with the addition of Berrios on the mound and the surprising Manhoa on the mound.

Blue Jays lineup is great along with a strong pitching staff...

If ever they make the playoff's they can surely contend.....

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they are still alive , thats better than the padres. what i cant belive is the mariners have the worst avg in all mlb they have been outscored but they still have a chance. no matter what , they finish with a winning record but still 20 straight years missing the playoffs. longest drought in all pro sports. I have a bet with a friend that the expansion kraken make the playoffs b4 the Mariners , i hope i lose that bet

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Yanks and Jays have a critical series in play right now, this could make or break the seasons for both teams if one gets a clear advantage. Hoping the Yanks win and take command of the WC race, but I'm not exactly confident. Our lineup (and our rotation too, excluding Cole, of course) has been way too suspect. Plus, as has already been mentioned, the Jays have shown a surprising level of production that I don't think many people would've saw coming at all

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yanks are up 7 to 2

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Skooler I have to disagree about the Yankees rotation, they've actually surprised me a bit. Cole, well Cole is Cole and thats that, but also guys like Jordan Montgomery, Nestor Cortes, and even Kluber, who has been a little suspect to be fair, have really stepped it up this year almost out of the blue. The counting stats might not be the prettiest but if you look at the advanced numbers those guys are well above average starters. Not to mention the addition of Clay Holmes, Wandy Peralta, and Joely Rodriguez which have all payed HUGE dividends. The emergence of fireballer Mike King and the production of Lucas Leutge and Johnny Lasagna honestly add a key component to what is already a very good bullpen. The lineup is way more suspect but I'm hoping they stay hot, especially that Giancarlo guy, hes good.

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Yeah I'll admit, you've got a point there. They've surprised me too... It's been a total flip-flop this season in that regard. We went from an offense-first team with a lackluster pitching staff for the last few seasons to a team with a somewhat respectable pitching staff but also with a lackluster offense this year

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Biggest "surprise" for me is that Aaron Boone is still (mis)managing the Yankees.

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Salvador Perez has 47 homers. Royals record is 48. He also leads the A.L. in RBI.
He had the 3rd highest total in round 1 or the home run derby. He just drew an unlucky matchup to start it. So much for Derby curse.
And he does all this catching over 75% of the Royals games. If he doesn't get some MVP votes its a crime.

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If not MVP votes, Salvador Perez is surely a strong candidate for the Brady Anderson award... he can have my vote for that one!!!!

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He shouldn't get any first place votes, but he should definitely be in the Top 5 of at least 20 ballots, with some Top 3s.

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what is the Brady Anderson award?

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I just created the Brady Anderson award...

my intervention is a bit in a sarcastic tone...

He played in the 90's for the Baltimore Orioles, From being a 15 to 20 hr for many season, he all of a sudden wen't out of character and hit 50hr in 1996
drinking milk and eating a lot of vitamins.

basically what Salvador Perez just mysteriously did this year...

I guess is 2019 season that he spend on the injured list was a great year to rejuvenate is body!!!!

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Sal Perez isn't using the pitcher HR allowed setting.

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If it was not for 2020, I would agree about Perez. However, he hit 11 homers in only 156 plate appearances which would have put him on pace for 45 homers if it was a full season. I think he has really focused on launch angle and is not caring about striking out these past two seasons. His strikeouts per plate appearance has significantly increased the past two seasons. He clearly figured something out while sitting out 2019 due to injury.

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It is also well known, that when you are injured, the best way to come back from it, would be by using vitamins and drinking milk....

I have to hand it.. He did increase is strikeout rate... but that dude was never on any rdar to become a 50 hr a year hitter...

as for fairy tales... they are made for movies...

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Big difference. Anderson went from hitting in the teens to a year with 50 and then back to hitting in the teens. Perez HRs have gone up year after year, then he got hurt. then he had a high HR pace in the short year and now continues to improve.

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So what is it called when guys use vitamins and milk for their entire career?

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The 1990's

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Some Pitching Surprises:

Corbin Burnes - throwing more pitches/innings this season than all of his previous seasons combined and still having his best season of his career

Robbie Ray - having his best season since 2017

Adam Wainwright - having his best season since 2014 while also being 40!

Kevin Gausman - having the best season of his career

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@PLP.
SMH. I know who Brady is and what he did. So Perez has a great year, after trending up each year, he was already a top catcher, so you throw shade on the thread meant to talk about surprises. Achievements or failures. By crapping on his success. SMH.

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I don't have to agree with you just for the sake of it, and you surely don't have to either...

I have doubt and you don't...

You don't agree and it's all good, so did other people...

It's a simple baseball discussion...




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So are we just gonna ignore how epic Ricozee's comment was? šŸ¤£šŸ¤£

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Problem is, it wasn't just the 90's. It has largely just continued to present day...and across all sports. That was a good response though.

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its not about agree or disagree. The thread is about surprises. You call the guy a cheater. So anyone who has been ascending then makes a leap is cheating in your eyes. I just see no reason to throw shade on it.
I guess thats our culture today. If you don't have something nice to say, say it any way.

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jimgriddy, you're almost right, it's actually: "If you don't have something nice to say, say it anyway- preferably on Twitter"

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I agree with you jg , it's a shame that everyone automatically resorts to the steroid cheat angle. Does anyone stop to think that someone who plays a position where you have the best knowledge of what pitchers do to get batters out doesn't maybe use that info for himself ? Plus the fact that he's at the prime age of most players carreers. As for my original statement , it blows me away about the M's because by most measures they shouldn't be anywhere near where they are. They are last in batting avg , they have been outscored and they are middle of the pack in most stats , yet somehow they are following the Al Davis credo ," just win baby " They will need help but having a shot is all you can ask .And with the redsox loss to the orioles it is now a dead heat !!! Tug Mcgraws quote comes to mind "you gotta believe " Speaking of stats, the 69 Mets have got to be one of the most unlikely teams to ever win it all. Not just bad but historically bad.

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Historically,nobody will ever top the Saint Loous Browns( that's the Baltimore Orioles for you young folks)

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I wouldn't count out Miami if I were you...

Sure, they have a pair of WS rings in the bank, but pretty much every other season they've had other than the surprising playoff appearance in 2020 has been underwhelming at best, horrendous at worst

Also.....

*Laughs in 1962 Mets and 1899 Cleveland Spiders* šŸ˜‰

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62 Mets 120 losses has never been beat , but did you know that the spiders 20 wins in a season was beat ? The Pirates last year won only 19 games. Marlins also the answer to another odd trivia ? , only franchise to never lose a playoff series.

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M's ae a surprise to me. I almost hope they make it. LOl.
I have tickets to next Fridays game 2 in Tampa. Would be fun if it was Yankees or BoSox. But I have never seen the mariners in person so that would be cool too.
If Rays advance to LCS, I would have to go to a game between them and the Astros. The ChiSox I don't think stand a chance against the Astros.
@naplajoie-well played

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Whats even more amazing is that there is a possibility of a 3 or 4 way tie, now that would be something, no matter what happens M's had a great season and are a young team on the rise. As far vas the playoffs go , nobody talks about the brewers but they have had a great season with 3 good starters but the injury to williams could hurt. Get your popcorn ready and an adult beverage or two this is going to be good.

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Mrbubbles, it's not exactly a fair comparison, as while the Pirates finished with fewer wins, they still had nowhere NEAR the 134 losses the Spiders had in 1899

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its still an answer to a trivia ? like if I asked what pitcher had the most k's in a season it's matt kilroy with 513 in 1886 but nolan ryan has the modern record. My 8th grade pe teacher was named john pregenzer , he was a relief pitcher in the 60s for tyhe giants , went 2-0 for his carreer so techniclly he has the highest winning pct in mlb history ( along with hundreds of others lol )

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One could argue this has been Waino's best season period...

On the topic of the Cardinals, Tyler O Neill has broken out.

Harper is back to 2015 form for the Phills

Burnes/Woodruff/Peralta is arguably the best 3 headed snake in baseball

The Giants in general...

The Padres second half collapse.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Monster season

Marcus Semien

Carlos Rodon and Lance Lynn both being elite

Thats the list for me off the top of my head

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I think the Dodgers can match top 3 starters with anyone. It pains me to say it.

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their biggest problem is having to play in the wildcard and they will face wainwright , still this post season has the makings of being one of the best ever , but really post season starts tonight thru sunday for the AL

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Hot take, if the Yankees play the blue jays in a WC, I would rather the yankees play on the road than at home

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I hate the Giants.

- Dodger Fan

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cmon shiek surely you can expand on that statement. isnt this whats great about postseason.

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I'm a man of few words šŸ˜Ž

- The Sheik

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How about this for a surprise - the Indians scored 717 runs last season and the Yankees scored 711.

- The Sheik

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Wow! That is a shocking stat. I thought my Guardians offensive was offensive how bad it was. I guess they were not as bad as I thought.
I just wished MLB instituted a salary floor for teams. It is embarrassing how low the Guardians payroll is. I am not saying that they need to be spending over 150 million, but they should at least be spending 80 million. If they did, they would most likely make the playoffs next year.

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No matter what the Rays do, I'm amazed.
- Playing with few fans to the point where they may become the Tampa/Montreal Rays
- Trading players at their peak value knowing they can't afford them later (bottom 5 in payroll)
- Thriving in the only division with 4 legitimate playoff contenders
- Having no hitters with 100 runs or a .300 average and no real MVP contenders
- No pitcher with more than 10 wins and losing their ace to TJ surgery
I also read that no player or coach got ejected this season. Unless your favorite team is still playing, how can you not be cheering for this team to finally win it all? The other Tampa Bay teams can find a way to win!

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Having the guts to start rookies back to back. The guy they started tonight has 13 innings pitched for his carreer !!! Scary to think what they would do if they had an ownership that would spend some money. Randy Arozarena has 613 abs but is already tied for 19th place in post season homers. Unfortunately right now they need a touchdown and a 2 pt conversion

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I respect the Rays for finding all the little edges in coaching, scouting, etc. that help them remain ahead of the curve.

I do not respect the Rays for keeping an artificially low payroll and selling fans and the city that they can't do better.

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The ownership wanted the city of Tampa to build them a stadium on tax payers dollars. They would not allow the city to use the new park for any events without paying. Tax payers said no. Hurray.
Its sad. I think they will be playing split seasons in Montreal until the lease is up in 2027 I believe. Then they will be gone.
Look out Montreal. In the end, you do get what you pay for.

Another thing to rant about. I went to game 2. My tickets were 50 bucks each. They doubled the parking to $40. Now I know in the major cities, this is almost free. But when you get 6000-8000 people a game all year and you finally get 40,000. Do you need to double the parking fee? The parking cost 80% of my ticket. SMH

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We are waiting our arms wide open!!!!

We wan't to erase a mistake made 20-25 years ago...

Ownership group and Gorvenment by a lack of long term vision, refused back then to invest for a new stadium...
20 years later , that Stadium would already be paid for with income taxes, sales tax revenue back to gorvenment, city revitalization, etc...

The franchise value would of jump and probably be valuedtoday at around 1 billion $$$$.

We got hack and so was the owner group back then by Jeffrey Loria, who smelled the good deal and turned 10 million dollars invested back then into more than 1 billion dollar 20 years later...

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This owner will do nothing but take from the city. Do you know where they will be playing? If they don't have a new stadium the novelty will wear off after a while. There's a lot to do in Montreal. People don't have to go sit in a bad stadium.
Thats why the don't sell here in Tampa. The Lightening sell out and they are a hockey team in Fla!
The owner gives back to the city. They are on the edge of downtown Right on the river walk. People pull up to the marina in their boats and Lightening flags at the marina outside to go. LOL. Great atmosphere.

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Yeah, Location is already locked, near the old port of Montreal, both municipal and the province authorities have shown the support....

Hockey sells in Florida because half of the Arena for the Panthers and the Lightning are filled by Canadian snowbirds....

They are only waiting the end of the municipal election to make an announcement in couple of weeks.... and both candidates are all for the project...

There is also a whole development around the area of the new stadium planned.

People involved, the Bronfman family, who used to own the Team in the A days of the team in the 80's... are a very wealthy Family and owns a huge part of Montreal's infrastructure.... they seem pretty much to be locked since a long time to Stuart Stenberg...and it's pretty much time for him to cash in on his baseball Team.. these things are made to be flipped at the end of the road....

Lucrative local TV deals are waiting also, since there is two, 24 hours 7/7 Sports station here in Montreal just looking to get this cash cow for their TV station... most notably Bell, who is a global telecom company all across Canada who are just looking to get their nose in there.. .and compete with the Blue Jays who are owned by the other important telecom company in Canada / Rogers

The shared team between both Tampa and Montreal is just a scheme, since this will be very hard to pass on to the player association anyway...


looks like a lot of stars are aligned here....

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Yes it does. I don't blame them. I will hate to see them move away. I am a Royals fan but wife and I adopted the Rays as our #2 since moving here.
The benefit of no one going is we get inexpensive tickets to about 6 or 7 games a year.
Then first crack at playoff tickets. Friday night was a blast even with Sox hitting 5 homers.
Monday we get a 6 hour pre sale window to buy LCS tickets. So I will get tickets to game 1 on Friday and hope they advance. Then we get a shot at WS tix if they get that far. This was our first ever playoff game is to go to a LCS or WS game would be awesome.

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The team is good and the tickets are inexpensive. The reason no one goes is because Tampa area residents have decided it's too much trouble to drive over to where the stadium is. That's why they have been trying to get a new stadium somewhere else in Tampa or in some other country. Not so sure I'd blame ownership that fans aren't going. I agree the stadium is also not inviting. When I'm there I feel like I should be watching indoor soccer. Outdoor is always better, but I get avoiding the constant rain here.

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I hear ya. But if ownership built the stadium downtown or right next door in Ybor City, it would be a place to go to. Its not just the rain for indoors. In the summer the humidity is 75% and its 88 degrees.
It does drop to 75-78 at night though. Ugh. Not a comfy way to watch a game. But neither will April and September in Montreal.

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Went to a game at the Trop a few years ago for opening day. Had a great time at Fergā€™s - cool bar nearby. Sad stadium situation, unbelievable, consistent overachievement by the Rays.

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I definitely think Montreal could sustain a team, but there's no way they pull a Minnesota and build an outdoor stadium without a roof. I hope they can find a way to make it look more Safeco/Chase than SkyDome/Trop.

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History says they cant. If they get one, a team, I hope they do sustain it.
People will go at first. Once the losing starts if you don't have a destination type venue, they wont come anymore.

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What happened to the Expos goes beyond "losing". The gutted the team after the strike, which was probably the best Expos team ever assembled, and then failed to negotiate an English TV rights deal. The game would literally not be shown in English in Canada. Then Loria destroyed the team even more, and took a giant dump on the city for not paying for a stadium. They got rid of Walker, Alou, Hill, Fassero, and Pedro in two years.

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@Legit_Jam You are so right, Loria's actions were criminal in nature and I believe at one point a RICO lawsuit was being contemplated against him... that is why I will always cheer for anyone playing the Nationals- you don't get to be treated as a legitimate organization when the whole reason for your team's existence is rooted in rampant corruption

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Agree with both of you. If Montreal gets the Rays with the current ownership, It will be Deja Vu all over again.....
The City will have to provide the stadium, with limited if any rights to it.
He will keep the money from TV and the like not putting into product on the field. As you can see here. His people who run baseball operations have been very savvy in player selection. Thats why they have been winning lately. Get ready to say goodbye to Lowe. And in a few years someone will be signing Franco away because he isn't going to pay him.