Share This Episode
Zach Gelb Show Zach Gelb Logo

Will Middlebrooks, World Series Champion

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
October 6, 2022 7:25 pm

Will Middlebrooks, World Series Champion

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 1432 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

October 6, 2022 7:25 pm

Will Middlebrooks joined Zach to preview the MLB postseason and why he's picking the Braves to repeat as World Series champions. 

The Rich Eisen Show
Rich Eisen
The Rich Eisen Show
Rich Eisen
The Rich Eisen Show
Rich Eisen
JR Sport Brief
JR Sport Brief

Do you ever wonder about dreams or déjà vu? That feeling on a first date? Yes, yes. The spark is real. Maybe about where the aliens are, if they exist.

The universe could be infinite, so where is everybody? My name is Mike Simpson. My podcast is called I've Got Questions. How do some animals change color?

What's the best cure for the hiccups? Do you wash your denim? I usually wait four to six months. Kind of feels like a long time. Search for I've Got Questions on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts and new episodes on Thursdays. Well, how you been? What's up man? Good to be back.

Well good, it's good to have you on and we appreciate you stopping by. So we've seen a lot of strategies here early on for the way that these pitching matchups are set up. Let's talk about them right out of the gate. First one, Max Scherzer going game one for the Mets against the Padres and then if the Mets win, it looks like Chris Bassett will actually go game two. If the Mets lose game one, then they'll most likely run DeGrom out for game number two.

Do you understand what Buck Showalter is doing here? Yeah, my initial reaction was that I hated it, but the more I thought about it, it makes sense because I think they are, I mean they're facing Darvish Snell who fits really good down the stretch for the Padres and they're throwing the ball well right now, but I think it's actually them showing confidence that they can win it in two because let's say they do win it in two games, who do you get game one versus the Dodgers? DeGrom's ready to go game one and then you could possibly see him again for game five. So in a perfect world, you know, they win this in two games and then you get DeGrom twice against the Dodgers.

That would be ideal. Now, it's hard to get behind the fact of if you go up one game, why not take the opportunity to just step on their necks right there and just win it? I'm not saying that Chris Bassett can't do that, but I feel like DeGrom is the guy to give you the best chance to win. And then all bets are off in game three, so it's like anything can happen in a one-game series.

So I'm up in the air with it, but I definitely understand the reasons behind it. If you were in the Padres locker room and I don't think you need any extra motivation, it's the playoffs, you know what's at stake here, would you maybe be saying, wow, these guys think they're gonna be able to be cued up against up and set us up the rotation so they could get to the next round to make it easier for them? Could that provide a little bit of an extra spark to the Padres? No, not at all.

This is the big one. Chris Bassett is a very good pitcher. It's not like they're bringing up a triple-A kid to pitch against them in game two.

Chris Bassett has been very, very good. So I don't think the Padres are looking at it that way whatsoever. Who wins that series between the Padres and the Mets? The Mets. When you started the show, you said you're down because the Mets blew the lead, they blew the division.

No, they didn't. The Braves won the division. The Mets have a hundred games.

Let's not forget about that. They're a very good baseball team. They have to play an extra round. They're gonna have to go through the Dodgers. The Dodgers have a lot of question marks. The Mets can still win the World Series. I still have them beating to the NLCS, but I do have them losing to the Braves. That would be tough. I liked how you first started that off.

They could go to the NLCS and then you say losing to the Braves. Come on. Well, I thought we were better friends than that.

You know, friends are on it. Well, Middlebrook's here with us. So I know that you have an interesting take here on Quintana going for the Cardinals. A lot of people were surprised that he was their Game 1 starter up against the Phillies' Zach Wheeler. That game gonna get underway tomorrow at 2 o 7 p.m. Eastern with these funky start times in the Major League Baseball postseason. What's your theory on Quintana going?

I like it. So the playoffs are about who's obviously you have your set line up and this and that, but for the most part, you go with the hot hands. And if you look at Quintana over, let's go back to September 6, this first start of September. So he has six starts.

He's only allowed to rerun over those starts total. At the most, five hits in those starts. Who are two of the biggest catalyst bats in a Phillies lineup? Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber. Two lefties.

And now you dig deeper in that. You look at his numbers against lefties over that span and through September and one start in October, he has a 0.8-yard array and almost a 30% strikeout percentage and tons of weak contact. Which plays because he loses one of the better defensive teams. 70 defensive runs this year with his fourth in baseball. So I think it matches up well because number one, he's throwing the ball well.

Number two, he shoves against lefties and that's two of their biggest bats. Talking to Will Middlebrooks right now. So do you like the Cardinals in that series? It seems like.

I do. I know they have their weak point as they're starting pitching. I mean, getting Jordan Montgomery was huge. The Yankees at the deadline. That helped their rotation a lot. I don't know how much they're gonna lean on Wainwright or Flaherty because he missed a lot of the year. There's some question marks there but I think in a three-game series, even though they're going up against Zach Wheeler and Aaron Noah. Look, you got Boltzmann and Aaron Otto, two MVP candidates. Probably going to win the MVP and Aaron Otto is going to come in second place. So you're gonna score some runs and I think you have enough pitching and like I said, Canton is hot right now where they can win two games. Will Middlebrooks here with us from CBS Sports HQ.

This is Zach Gelb's show on CBS Sports Radio. I love that Poulos is back on the Cardinals for this final season. I could not have expected him to get this hot.

No one did. The 700 home runs was awesome. Just what's been your thought on this from being the former player and knowing what Poulos means to the game? What he's been able to do really the last month or two?

I love it. I think it's been good for the game. It's given something for people to watch other than just their team. They're going and watching someone else's team. I love when we get to watch someone else's at-bats during another game. You know, we saw that with Judge over the last couple weeks.

It's fun, man. We got to see Miguel Cabrera, 3,000 hits. We get to see 62 homers from a Yankee. We get to see 700 homers. 702 he has? 702 from Pujols. I played against him a ton and just knowing the guy he is, how much work he puts in and he's done it the right way where he's never failed a test, never had any issues with steroids.

I don't know. I love it for the game because of who he is and the person he is. You mentioned steroids. When it gets to the whole Judge conversation, I still look at Bonds as having the most home runs in an individual season. Some people, they tell me that, oh it's Aaron Judge because he's done it the clean way.

How do you kind of approach that conversation? Barry Bonds is still the home run king. He's 11 more than Judge.

Isn't that ridiculous to even think about? Can you imagine Judge hitting 11 more? It's insane, but Barry Bonds, as we know, he never failed a test, but it's the physical appearance. We know he used PDs, but he's also a product of his era. Same with Maguire, same with Sosa, same with all those guys in that era. Let's not forget, pitchers probably took it too. Barry Bonds wasn't the only guy to take steroids, so he's still the home run king.

That's the era. We can't take that away, but that said, Aaron Judge doing this the way testing is now and him doing this clean is very, very impressive. The fact that he almost won a triple crown, which would have been the best triple crown of all time, I wish he had pulled that off, but Arias came away with the... Well, I think he lost it. No, he had RBIs too, didn't he? Yeah, he just needed the average, which he lost by like four points, I think. If he had pulled that off, man, it's gonna make the MVP talk, and no, don't corner me about the MVP right now, because I don't know.

Whoa, whoa, what do you mean, you know, it has to be Judge. I love Otani, but Otani should not win the MVP this year. That's my initial reaction, is it's got to be Judge, but then you look at the numbers, dude, he's elite on both sides. He's not just good. He had the fourth best OPS plus in baseball, and he had the fourth best ERA plus in baseball.

He was in the top four in pitching and hitting, and he qualified as a pitcher with 162 innings pitched. Let's not get desensitized to his greatness, because Aaron Judge has the seventh most home runs of all time, right? I'm with you, I'm with you. If Aaron Judge doesn't win an MVP this year, then you got to give it to Otani every year he's here. Here's the bigger thing with Otani. I really don't care about the MVP.

I do think it should be Judge. I want him on a different team, and I want Trout on a different team, too, because the Angels, they have both. It used to be, oh, you have Trout, you can't make the playoffs, it's ridiculous, we're getting robbed of that. Now we're being robbed of both Trout and Otani in the playoffs.

What do you think of this? Okay, so he signed that one-year arbitration deal for 30 million. He's worth every bit of 45, 50 million, right? So do you think he signed that in hopes that maybe that's easier to move him and trade him? Potentially.

I would request that if I'm him. If he signed like a six-year, $300 million deal, or it's gonna be more than that probably, it's gonna be a lot harder to trade that contract, but if he just signed a one-year, $30 million deal, I feel like anybody would take that. Yeah, Billy Epler in the Mets, I know Steve Cohen could afford it, and Billy Epler knows him.

I'm all in, Otani and Queens next year. But they're not gonna trade him. That's the joke.

It's a joke. He's a cash cow for that. It's a business outside of winning.

They don't care about winning, obviously. And then when he hits free agency, he should leave. He should not stay. I agree.

I agree. What's your gut tell you right now, Will Middlebrooks, about Aaron Judge? Where's Aaron Judge playing baseball next year? Oh, the New York Yankees.

The New York Yankees. They're gonna give him a blank check, and no one healed him. He'll take less than him. I mean, the fact that he bet on himself when he was offered $213 million. Yeah, $30.5 million a year. He's like, no, I'm good. And then went out and did that with that pressure on him?

That was insane, and I think he'll be, I mean, why not sign him a six-year, $300 million deal? You're the New York Yankees. You can do whatever you want. You're already over the tax first, so keep going. Keep going. Make him $50 million a year.

Load it up on the front. You don't have to pay as much on the back end for a DH when he's 36, but I mean, that body's gonna age differently than, we'll say, a normal player. He's 6'7, 280. That is not gonna age well, but up until 35, 36, 37, he is still gonna be an elite hitter and an elite player in this league. If you were him, would you go home and would you go to the Giants or not so much?

No, no, no. You stay in New York. I mean, it's just different, man. I know that's home for him, and there's a lot of, I mean, the Dodgers are arguably one of the best, I think, top four, top fives of like a seven-year span of all time, the amount of games they've been winning. So there's good baseball out there, but we don't get to watch it.

No one gets to see it on the East Coast because it starts at 10-10 at night. That's beyond why he should do it, but I just think, like, he needs to be in this market. He needs to be in New York and be the face of the New York Yankees for the next six years. Like, come on.

You can't, you can't, it doesn't get better than that. I'm sorry. He's gonna be disappointed if he goes to San Francisco, regardless if he gets to sleep in his own bed or not.

He can buy his own bed and put it in Manhattan if he wants. Well, Meadowbrook's here with us. How do you see the two AL series playing out between Tampa and the Guardians and then the Mariners and Blue Jays? Tampa and Cleveland, that's gonna be a very interesting series. I think it's two teams that are a lot alike as far as low payroll and young talent go. I really like Cleveland, and I'm actually gonna, I'm gonna take the underdog.

I'm gonna take Cleveland in three. I just love how, I love Tito Francona. They play old-school baseball, right? Like, don't strike out. They hit behind runners. They hit and run. They bunt guys over. They pick it on defense and they pitch. And that's an anomaly in today's game.

And people don't know how to combat that sometimes because they don't see it every day. I mean, the fact that they won 92 games with the youngest team in baseball with one of the more old-school coaches in the game, that's impressive. And Tito Francona's probably manager of the year. How about the Mariners and Blue Jays? Yeah, I'm going Seattle. Toronto is a better team. I think Seattle has the it factor. I think they have the clutch factor, and it just kind of seems like it's meant to be. I don't have them going to the World Series or anything, but the travel, the travel situation sucks. There's no way around that.

They got to go all the way across the country and then further north in the true north in Canada, right? So, I'm gonna go with Seattle in three. I think Luis Castillo, like, throws a big game, game one.

That's why you traded for him, to be that guy. And then I think ex-Blue Jay, Robbie Ray, gets hit around a little bit in game two by the Blue Jays because those right-handed bats mass lefties. And then Logan Gilbert, I think, can save them in game three. So, like I said, Seattle just kind of has the clutch gene. They just find ways to win. They don't score runs. They're like 20th in run score.

It's not good, but they pitch and play defense and they just score when they need to. So, earlier, Will Middlebrooks, before we let you run, you said you like the Mets and the Braves in the NLCS. You have the Braves going back to the World Series. Why are you down on the Dodgers? That's just more so confidence in the Mets. I think the Dodgers, alright, they won 110 games.

So, I'm not, like, you know, shooing them away or anything, but they have a lot of question marks for 100-plus win teams. What Tony Gonsolin are you gonna get from a forearm strength? Is his stuff the same? What's postseason Kershaw shows up? Tyler Anderson, great year, but he's only started one postseason game in his life.

Like, that's a big deal. Craig Kimbrough, your closer, he's a whip of a coin. Who else? Graterol, Trinen, those guys have been dealing with injuries the whole second half. So, what is their bull? Bullpens are a big deal in the postseason because we're looking at guys coming into high leverage situations in the fifth and then you got to cover four innings.

So, they have a lot of question marks. So, I think the Mets are better built for their starters to go deeper in the game and then I love Edwin Diaz to come in and close it out, but I think Atlanta takes them down. Atlanta is the most well-rounded complete baseball team, in my opinion. Are they winning the World Series again? Yeah, they're gonna play Houston in the World Series and win in seventh. Why not the Yankees taking down Houston?

I feel like that's the question we ask each and every year. They have pitching issues. They had way too many injuries. I think Clay Holmes, he's had a cortisone throughout his shoulder. So, he's supposed to be back. He has the days off because they got a bye, but what's he gonna be like?

Who else? You're gonna have to put Aroldis Chapman on your roster because you have injuries. You need him. He's so inconsistent.

Is he gonna come in and throw 10 straight balls or is he gonna strike everyone out in nine pitches? You just never know. And I can't trust Garret Cole in a big game. Say that again? I can't trust Garret Cole in a big game.

No, you know, yeah, you're right. I think I like Severino. I would start Severino in game one, honestly.

Wow, how about that? I like Severino's stuff. I like Cortez in game two. I'm not taking anything away from Cole. Cole still has good stuff, but he just, he isn't the same guy he was.

And I don't want to get into like the sticky stuff and this and that, but it's not just him. It's a lot of guys that saw a big change in their stuff, and I think that, I mean, he still led the league in strikeouts. Let's not act like he's having a bad year. He's just not as dominant as he was before. If you started Severino in game one over Cole, I think you may ruin Cole mentally.

It would never happen, but you would ruin him mentally. That's a good point. That's a really good point, and I'm just stirring the pie as I stare at my Red Sox on my World Series right now. That's just what I do with the Yankees. I just like the backstroke in their mind, you know, but they look, they have a lot of questions in their bullpen, and like I said, they're gonna score runs. I actually think Judge goes off in the playoffs because that pressure just melted off of him. He's done with the whole 62 thing and all that's over, and now he can get back to his regular approach, big part of the field. He's gonna get pitched to again.

He's not having a chase to try to make something happen, and we're gonna see Aaron Judge just like he was during the regular season. Alrighty, by the way, now we have to get down to some serious business. If your wife, Jenny Dell, needs some security to try to go after Nick Saban when Nick Saban wants her to ask a question that she already asked, I will send you my resume, by the way, to be the security guard. Listen, if anybody can handle it on their own, it's Jenny, man. She's unfazed. She worked in Boston. She's got thick skin. She deals with me every day. That's a good point.

That may be worse. Like I said, she's unfazed by that. She's a pro. Were you watching that interview as it was happening? Yes, mouth on the floor.

So you were not happy with Nick Saban? Look, this isn't a first-time occurrence, alright? He's not surprising anyone when he goes off after games. He's in the moment, too. He's in the game.

I never put anything past players or coaches right after the game because you're still in game mode, right? So I'm not gonna hold that. And Jenny said the same thing. She gets it. Jenny's nice. I don't know if I would have handled that in the same way.

That's why she's a professional and I'm just some jackass talking on the radio. Well, little Brooks, thanks so much. You're the best, my friend. Thanks, man.

I enjoyed it. Do you ever wonder about dreams or deja vu? That feeling on a first date? Yes, yes. The spark is real. Maybe about where the aliens are, if they exist.

The universe could be infinite. So where is everybody? My name is Mike Simpson. My podcast is called I've Got Questions. How do some animals change color?

What's the best cure for the hiccups? Do you wash your denim? I usually wait four to six months. Kind of feels like a long time. Search for I've Got Questions on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. New episodes on Thursdays.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-25 13:43:26 / 2022-12-25 13:52:16 / 9

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime