Saturday Notebook: Playoff Allegiances, Qualifying Offer, Nerds, and Confessions

Matt Garza is in line for a big payday this offseason as he will not be burdened with a qualifying offer thanks to being traded to the Rangers midseason. - Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Notebook looks at whom we shall root for now that the Rays, A's, and Pirates have been eliminated from the playoffs, the exact amount of the qualifying offer for free agents has been announced, David Price calling out those that have never played the game, and Francisco Cervelli revealing why he got involved with Biogenesis.

Welcome to the darkest timeline.

Well, for me, at least. You see, I was rooting for the Tampa Bay Rays, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Oakland Athletics this postseason, and yet all have been defeated.

The four teams remaining are the St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, the Detroit Tigers, and the Boston Red Sox. Emma Span's handy flow chart was useful for determining whom to root for when the postseason started, but it can be hard to decide on which team to support for the rest of the playoffs, especially when you will often be required to hear Joe Buck's and Tim McCarver's voices. Thus, here is a half-assed list of pros and cons to help you decide which team receives your allegiance for the rest of the 2013 postseason.

St. Louis Cardinals

Pros: Crazy-good talent, excellent at hitting with runners in scoring position, good ol' Midwestern values.

Cons: Excellent talent on team reaffirms fact of Twins' inadequacy at drafting and developing players over the past 5 years.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Pros: Yasiel Puig

Cons: Dodgers are this year's Yankees (buying the championship), sportswriters that claim Yasiel Puig needs to be "tamed"

Detroit Tigers

Pros: None. Well, maybe Justin Verlander.

Cons: They're a rival of the Twins, that's all you need to know.

Boston Red Sox

Pros: Chief rival of the Yankees

Cons: Are sometimes as hated as the Yankees

Verdict: I think I'm going to have to root for the St. Louis Cardinals, even though I'll be crying about the draft picks of Levi Michael and Alex Wimmers the whole time.

  • Jesse already discussed the qualifying offer for top free agents earlier, but we just learned that the exact amount teams must offer will be $14.1 million, up from $13.3 million last season. This figure is determined by averaging the top 125 salaries in baseball, so yes, Joe Mauer's would be included in determining the qualifying offer amount. Keep in mind that players traded midseason are exempt from earning their team a draft pick if they sign elsewhere, so you can expect Matt Garza to avoid the same problem Kyle Lohse went through last year. Oh, and for those of you still upset that the Twins traded Justin Morneau and argued they should have given him a qualifying offer, no, he was not going to be worth $14.1 million.
  • David Price of the Rays did not have a good start against the Boston Red Sox in Game 2 of the ALDS last Sunday when he allowed 7 runs in 7+ innings. The TBS postgame broadcast that included former major leaguer and excellent author Dirk Hayhurst and sportswriter Tom Verducci said what you would expect out of any postgame broadcast in saying that Price simply did not pitch well against the Red Sox. However, Price was clearly not pleased with their words and took to Twitter afterwards, saying this (tweet has been deleted by now):

Dirk Hayhurst…COULDNT hack it…Tom Verducci wasn’t even a water boy in high school…but yet they can still bash a player…SAVE IT NERDS

— David Price (@DAVIDprice14) October 6, 2013

This is an argument that infuriates me to no end. Players and coaches have constantly argued that because certain people have "never played the game," (or in Hayhurst's case, didn't play well or long enough), they are unqualified for giving opinions about the game. It's a viewpoint that has often been used against bloggers as well. I have always dreamed of working for a baseball organization, but I could see someone telling me one day, "Oh, you only batted once your varsity year of high school and never played college ball, your arguments are invalid." The same is true for becoming a color commentator, you don't actually need talent, you just need to be opinionated and have played at a professional level for any amount of time. I mean, Donovan McNabb was a solid quarterback during his NFL career, and yet he didn't know that NFL overtimes could end in ties. Price's comments sounded more like a pitcher that was upset with how he pitched, rather than truly believing Hayhurst and Verducci were unqualified to analyze his performance, but his opinion is still held by many athletes and is something that needs to change. One does not need to be a chef in order to review food, and one does not need to play a sport in order to analyze the game.

  • Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli was one of the players named in the Biogenesis scandal and he served his suspension while being on the disabled list this season, recovering from a broken hand he suffered early in the season and then later from a stress reaction in his elbow. He did an interview with Newsday about why he got involved with Biogenesis, citing that he was promised a faster recovery from a broken foot he suffered back in 2011. He also noted that he was scared of losing his job as a major league catcher, which is understandable as he backed up Russell Martin one year, and then shockingly was sent to the minors in favor of Chris Stewart to be Martin's backup in 2012. He was finally promised a starting role this year, only to suffer the broken hand in April. Because of his willingness to cooperate and accept his suspension immediately, along with his candidness of why he used PEDs, it looks like Cervelli could avoid the curse of being labeled a cheater for the rest of his career. Which frankly, when you're a career .710 OPS hitter, seems quite fair.
Now, here is our Lightning Round of GIFs, pictures, and whatever else I saw fit to post.
  1. Some Wikipedia edits are offensive, some are just not amusing, but this one of Justin Verlander being an "owner" of the Oakland Athletics was subtle and funny.
  2. I don't care what people say, this is why you should bring your glove to the game, no matter your age.
  3. As the beer commercial says, it's only crazy if it doesn't work.
  4. It's stuff like this that makes me love Yasiel Puig.
  5. And finally, Zach Greinke channels his inner Livan Hernandez in throwing this Bugs Bunny curveball. Though, it actually doesn't seem THAT impressive when you realize that this is the normal speed for the curveballs of Andrew Albers and Caleb Thielbar.
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