San Francisco Giants v Philadelphia Phillies, Game 6

The Giants are “knuckleheads”

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I blame Kevin Millar and all of that “idiots” stuff for this.  Or maybe one of those Super Bowl teams who sang songs gets the ultimate blame. Heck, maybe it goes back to when the Dodgers were “bums.” Regardless, it seems that any time even a slight underdog progresses in the postseason, they get a catch phrase or a nickname or something. The 2010 Giants get “knuckleheads”:

As the regular season drew to a close, this reporter tried to put a finger on why San Francisco was falling in love with these Giants.

Yeah, they played hard, maybe over their heads at times, but many of these guys were newcomers who arrived recently from all points. The team that will represent the National League in the 2010 World Series was not the team the fans thought they were buying into.

Then, it became clear. These Giants are not necessarily guys you want to share a beer with. They’re guys you would ask to help you toilet-paper someone’s house, and that makes them likeable.

. . . Pitcher Jeremy Affeldt is a knucklehead. Sometimes he wears a Waffle House ball cap. Sometimes he wears a cap that says, “Douchefeldt.” On Saturday, he would have been justified wearing a cap that read, “Hero.”

It goes on to explain how several members of the team don’t appear to be knuckleheads but really are. Mostly, though, it’s just a cataloging of quirks, which every team has.

People like this stuff, I guess. Someone will print up some t-shirts, I’m sure. If they win it all, the author of this article probably has dibs on “Knuckleheads: how a collection of misfits and washups won the World Series” as the title of his quickie book, or something close to it. More power to him if he does write it.

I just wish we didn’t have so many damn days off between the end of the LCS and the start of the World Series. I want more baseball and fewer storylines.

Report: Marlins intent on adding a big-three reliever

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 28:  Aroldis Chapman #54 of the Chicago Cubs pitches in the 9th inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on July 28, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the White Sox 3-1.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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The Marlins are intent on adding one of the three best relievers available on the free agent market, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. Those three, of course, are Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen, and Mark Melancon.

As Ashley noted earlier, Melancon is reportedly fielding multiple four-year offers in excess of $60 million. The price tags for Chapman and Jansen are likely to match or exceed that. The Marlins haven’t typically been eager to whip out the checkbook for free agents but with the bullpen being the name of the game in baseball these days, GM Michael Hill may feel the need to match his rivals.

The Nationals, Giants, Yankees, Cubs, and Dodgers are the teams most often linked to the “big-three” group of relievers, so it won’t be easy for the Marlins.

A.J. Ramos handled the closer’s role for the Marlins this past season and did an admirable job, saving 40 games with a 2.81 ERA and a 73/35 K/BB ratio in 64 innings. There’s no doubt, though, that Chapman, Jansen, or Melancon would represent a significant upgrade in the ninth inning.

Bryan Price likely to use Raisel Iglesias, Tony Cingrani, and Michael Lorenzen in closer’s role

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Raisel Iglesias throws in the first inning of their opening day baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Monday, April 4, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
AP Photo/John Minchillo
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C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Reds manager Bryan Price is likely going to use a trio of pitchers in the closer’s role: Raisel Iglesias, Tony Cingrani, and Michael Lorenzen. At RedsFest on Saturday, Price said:

I’d say right now that we have a series of guys that I’m comfortable with in the ninth inning and that would include (Raisel) Iglesias, (Tony) Cingrani and (Michael Lorenzen). Should we stay with this format – which I intend to do – all three of those guys and maybe more could have opportunities in save situations. At this point in time, there’s no defined closer. There are multiple options and I’d like to stick with the philosophy that we’re going to have our multi-inning guys, so we’re going to need multi-closers.

This seems to be part of the new bullpen zeitgeist in which managers are shying away from strictly-defined roles for their relievers. Indians manager Terry Francona’s postseason success using Andrew Miller likely had some degree of influence on Price’s willingness to go with a three-headed giant.

Iglesias started the 2016 season in the Reds’ rotation but missed two months with an injury, then moved to the bullpen in late June. Price put him in the closer’s role down the stretch in September. The right-hander overall finished the season with a 2.53 ERA and an 83/26 K/BB ratio in 78 1/3 innings.

Cingrani battled control issues in his 63 innings of work this past season, finishing with a 4.14 ERA and a 49/37 K/BB ratio. He’s left-handed, though, and gives Price some matchup flexibility in the late innings.

Lorenzen impressed in his first full season as a reliever, ending the year with a 2.88 ERA and a 48/13 K/BB ratio in 50 innings. The right-hander uses a fastball that sits around 96 MPH on average along with a cutter and slider.