baseball gods productions

Thoughts about baseball, from the perspective of sports psychology and the role of sports in society. It includes team and player analysis, predictions, and what I think needs to be changed in Major League Baseball. Brought to you from the heart of baseball, Brooklyn, by baseball gods productions.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Raise Your Hand If You Predicted Texas and San Francisco Would Meet In the World Series This Year

If you predicted this matchup before the season, please contact Fred Wilpon immediately and demand to be made the new GM of the New York Mets. If you even predicted this matchup before the playoffs started you're a freaking genius.

All I can say is YAY! The Yankees and Phillies won't win this year, and the team that wins will win for the first time in over 50 years. Good for the Rangers and Giants, and good for baseball, to spread the joy around, at these for one year.

I've been happily wearing my new Texas Rangers hat around New York the past few days and have taken some flack for it, but so what. I've been rooting for them for a few years, ever since Nolan Ryan starting changing the team's pitching philosophy from the minor leagues on up. It's starting to pay off big time. If they resign Cliff Lee, they could become the next dynasty, although teams rarely stay on top for very long anymore.

The Yankees did exactly what I expected this year: they were good, but not as good as in 2009, because last year everything went their way and this year it didn't. Simple as that. It's very hard to have everything break just right year after year. I predicted the Red Sox to win the division because in 2009, most of their risks didn't pan out, and that usually reverses itself when the risks were ones worth taking. This year, they had even more bad breaks, such as losing Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis for much of the season, along with Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Cameron, and Josh Beckett. You know it's bad when J. D. Drew is your healthiest outfielder.

Now it's down to the two survivors, and I am hoping that Texas wins. Texas reminds me of the 2004 Red Sox in the way they love to play baseball and really seem to enjoy each other. The chemistry is great, and I attribute much of it to Ron Washington. The manager is important, contrary to what some people think (yes, Billy Beane, I'm talking to you.)

The manager sets the tone, and the tone of the Texas Rangers is spot on. Bruce Bochy has done a great job, too. He has now had very successful seasons with two teams that were not predicted to do too well. The Xs and Os might not matter as much as they do in football, but attitude and preparation are very important in baseball, and the Giants and Rangers demonstrated what prepared teams with positive attitudes can accomplish.

Good for them, good for baseball, bad for the big bad Yanks and Phils.

© Judy Kamilhor 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Go Texas!

My Texas Rangers' cap is on the way. Nothing would make me happier than to see Cliff Lee and the rest of the Rangers celebrating a World Series Championship, preferably in Citizen's Bank Park or the New New Yankee Stadium.

This is the franchise I want the Mets to emulate when they start the massive rebuilding process they need to become successful again. I love Nolan Ryan's attitude about pitching, and hope that it rubs off on the rest of MLB as soon as possible.

I really hope that Cliff Lee resigns with Texas and that they become as much of a dynasty as you can these days.

© Judy Kamilhor 2010


There is an unfamiliar sense of optimism around the Mets these days, if only because there is nothing to criticize as all the scapegoats have been removed, and no one has taken their place. Some interesting names are being tossed about as potential GMs, and from there, the managerial search will begin in earnest.

I don't know nearly enough about these people to predict how they would do as the GM, but it's nice to think about someone like Rick Hahn or Sandy Alderson taking the reins and setting a new course for the team.

My preference, as I've said several times, is to hire a team president who is an experienced, visionary leader with a proven track-record in building winning organizations. Sandy Alderson, Terry Ryan, John Hart come to mind, and even Bobby Valentine, one of the brightest baseball minds around.

Once the president is in place (and Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz are removed), then I would have that person choose a bright, young GM to put the vision into action. People like Rick Hahn, Jon Daniels, Josh Byrnes, and Jerry DiPoto come to mind for this piece of the puzzle. I want someone young enough to be able to follow through on the necessary rebuilding process, under the guidance, as needed, by the President.

Then, the President and GM will select some possible managers and interview them until a new manager is selected. My personal choice would be Wally Backman. I think he would be the perfect field leader to instill a more fiery work ethic and a refusal to accept losing.

I would also hope that the President and GM start building a front office with a good balance of traditional scouting expertise and advanced statistical acumen. Amateur scouting needs to be the primary focus of the organization. Building a deep, talented, winning farm system is the only way to win these days, and the right leaders need to be in place to make this happen.

The major flaw of the Omar Minaya regime is Minaya's insistence that New York won't tolerate a rebuilding process. That's bull. Fans want a winning organization for years to come, and are willing to do it the right way. I believe that the game has changed enough in the "post-steroid" era that the rebuilding process can be much faster than it used to be. The best players now are mostly younger players who had to rise through a tougher-testing minor league system. The added bonus is that they are also healthier and cheaper.

My guess is that the Mets can become a consistent winner within 2-3 years if they follow my plan, and they probably won't have another year as bad as 2009 in the meantime.

Let's Go Mets!

© Judy Kamilhor 2010

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Lookalikes: Ike Davis and Jay Gibbons

© Judy Kamilhor 2010