Well, we believe in exit velocity, bat flips, launch angles, stealing home, the hanging curveball, Big League Chew, sausage races, and that unwritten rules of any kind are self-indulgent, overrated crap. We believe Greg Maddux was an actual wizard.
We believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment protecting minor league baseball and that pitch framing is both an art and a science.
We believe in the sweet spot, making WARP not war, letting your closer chase a two-inning save, and we believe love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too.
Welcome to The Moonshot.
The Chicago White Sox are not acknowledged until they unintentionally win the AL Central
After paying their dues in 2020 (Playoff Sea Legs Season) and 2021 (Get Waxed by the Astros Season), the Chicago White Sox entered the regular season as the overwhelming favorite to win their division and more. However, they have been asleep at the wheel for 4.5 months of baseball.
Their manager, in particular, has been slouched over on the dashboard for 95 minutes straight, his hard hair accidently blaring the horn on his Miata while bourbon fumes drift across the highway.
The Chicago Sox are currently three games over.500 and only 2.5 games out of the AL Central lead, but nobody seems to have noticed this. Has even one person discussed this phenomenon?
Tony La Russa is left wondering how far down the standings the Cleveland Indians will go as of Monday, when the Guardians have just about wrested control of the division from the Minnesota Twins. He must not have noticed them at all for them to be in****s.
The White Sox haven’t been in the news much since their first lackluster pitch, despite considerable hype entering the season. Despite making 14 starts without giving up more than one earned run, their ace, Dylan Cease, for whatever reason, was not selected for the All-Star Team, either as a first-run star or a replacement.
When the Sox are one or two games out with a week to go, someone will have to notice them. And when they wind up in a best-of-three Wild Card series with a negative run differential, ESPN will have to rewrite their packages — after all, you’ve got to cover a playoff game! But right now, Chicago has a chance to be the most silent division champion since the 1913 Sarasota Whispers.
— Adam Weinrib
Baseball, but for your ears
The Red Sox won’t go to the MLB playoffs, but the Phillies will
As the summer draws to a close, eager MLB teams are ramping up their preparations. Two forecasts for the last stretch are as follows:
The longest postseason drought in the National League will come to an end for the Philadelphia Phillies. Under any of their few previous managers, losing two of three to the New York Mets would have been demoralizing, but Rob Thomson’s soothing influence will prevent their typical late-season collapse.
After recovering from a broken thumb, Bryce Harper will play again, and Aaron Nola won’t falter in September the way he typically does.
The Boston Red Sox won’t make the playoffs, but they won’t finish dead last, either. They’re currently in fifth place in the AL East, but several key reinforcements are on the way. As their Injured List gets smaller, their win-loss record will flip right-side up again, and they’ll be an above-.500 team by season’s end, albeit a disappointment.
— Gabrielle Starr
Again, Shohei Ohtani will be named the AL MVP
Shohei Ohtani will stand out in the voting for American League MVP, but that isn’t unusual, at least not in my opinion.
This is not meant to diminish what the judge accomplished this season. Judge, 30, has a slugging percentage of.300,.398.678, 100 RBI, 46 home runs, a 1.076 OPS, and seven WAR.
He’s been baseball’s best hitter, and after rejecting a seven-year, $213.5 million contract extension this winter, it looks more and more likely that he’ll earn a contract worth more than $300 million this winter in the open market.
But baseball has never seen anything like what Ohtani has accomplished this year. He is striking. 2.68 ERA, 157/27 strikeout-to-walk ratio, 254/.349/.493 slash line, 26 home runs, and 68 RBI in 111 innings.
He is essentially a player who combines Matt Olson with Max Scherzer. To put Ohtani’s season into perspective, just consider the following statistic from CBS Sports:
Ohtani has more strikeouts than Jacob deGrom, a lower ERA than Gerrit Cole, more home runs than Ted Williams, and more RBI than Ken Griffey Jr. in his first 50 career starts as a pitcher and 500 games as a hitter.
One baseball analyst recently remarked that if Ohtani doesn’t win, “it would be the largest MVP robbery of all time as of now.”
I’d have to concur.