The Vulture Report: 2016 Season

This is my wrap up post for the 2016 regular season. I didn’t write up anything yesterday because it was the Canadian version of Thanksgiving. Very similar to the American one what with all the Turkeys, family gatherings and the cornucopia of food. In some cases it’s quite literal with a big horn filled with fruit. It lacks two things from the U.S Thanksgiving: Black Friday and Football. I consider those improvements.

Lots of fine dining over the weekend. We had one Thanksgiving party on Saturday and another Yesterday. I tried some Chilean wines (outstanding as usual) and then some Canadian ones…. Canadians should stick to maple syrup. The gap in quality between wines is similar to the gap in quality of each respective country’s Men World Cup soccer teams. Notice I say Men, not Women. The Canadian Women’s World Cup soccer team is much better. Basically Canadian Men’s Soccer is wine and Canadian Women’s Soccer is maple syrup.

I managed to watch some post-season games. I saw Toronto gain the last laugh over Texas. “I’d rather be punched in May than knocked out in October” was a sassy cardboard sign I saw held by fans from the comfort of my sofa sipping Chilean wine. Postseason games at Rogers Centre are cost prohibitive at this point. From $125 in nosebleed seats to thousands of dollars to see the action so close up you can see Joe West’s nose hair. I don’t quite see the benefit in that but to each his own.

I also watched the Red Sox wilt like a lily in Game 3. That extra day of rain was a godsend to Tito allowing him to fully use Miller and Allen again in multiple innings like Game 1. Though I have to say of the two performances in the 9th, Kimbrel’s was superior by far. He didn’t pussyfoot around with the Indian’s hitters, he challenged them and kept throwing strike after strike. Allen by contrast kept running up his pitch counts. Almost every hitter got him to 3-2. If I didn’t know any better I’d say Allen was scared to throw strikes. That’s not true obviously but he was overly cautious in trying to avoid a mistake pitch. After 40+ pitches in two innings he saved the game and sent the Red Sox packing but it was done in a “Walking Dead” like fashion struggling to close the door shut against the horde. That’s not going to cut it against Toronto which was the best regular season team numbers in pitches seen per plate appearance and league leaders in walks.

I did not see the end of the Giants-Cubs game. Though I already know all about Aroldis Chapman – who usually kills lefties – allowing three lefty base runners via two hits and a walk basically blowing the save and handing over the lead to boot. Two of those lefties would also hit doubles to win the game much later in the 13th. Panik had been hitting .167 on the Postseason so far.  Man, the Giants and their voodoo. I remember jokingly thinking to myself earlier yesterday morning: “The Giants have the Cubs exactly where they want them: in an elimination game.” Doesn’t seem that funny now.

Moving on the year end Vulture Wrap Up. We already said everything we needed to last week in celebration of Tyler Thornburg for being this year’s Condor Man. Without further ado, this is the list of pitchers and number of vultures for the 2016 season.

Pitcher # Vultures
Tyler Thornburg 5
Alex Wilson 2
Andrew Miller 2
Brad Ziegler 2
David Robertson 2
Dellin Betances 2
Nate Jones 2
Ross Ohlendorf 2
Ryan Madson 2
A.J. Schugel 1
Adam Liberatore 1
Adam Warren 1
Alex Colome 1
Aroldys Vizcaino 1
Brad Brach 1
Bruce Rondon 1
Carlos Torres 1
Chaz Roe 1
Cody Allen 1
Dan Jennings 1
Enrique Burgos 1
Erasmo Ramirez 1
Francisco Rodriguez 1
Gonzalez Germen 1
Heath Humbree 1
Hector Rondon 1
Hunter Strickland 1
Jake Diekman 1
Jason Grilli 1
Jeurys Familia 1
Joe Biagini 1
Kelvin Herrera 1
Kevin Jespsen 1
Kevin Siegrist 1
Koda Glover 1
Luke Hochevar 1
Marc Melancon 1
Michael Blazek 1
Michael Feliz 1
Mychal Givens 1
Neftali Feliz 1
Nick Vincent 1
Pedro Strop 1
Raisel Iglesias 1
Ryan Dull 1
Seung Hwan Oh 1
Steve Cishek 1
Tony Cingrani 1
Tony Watson 1
Trevor Rosenthal 1
Trevor Williams 1

This is a grand total of 61 vultures out of 49 different pitchers. Not too different from last year which saw 55 vultures from 46 different pitchers. Make of it what you will. Let’s keep watching baseball while it last and pray all series go the full 5/7 games because that means more baseball for everyone to watch.

Also, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead. That’s the news. Good day and have a pleasant tomorrow.

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