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Lookout Landing Podcast 134: The LCS Extravaganza

How can the Mariners become one of these teams fighting for a championship?

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League Championship - Los Angeles Dodgers v Atlanta Braves - Game Three Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

0:00-8:00: We have three guests! Four total people! Dogs and cats living together! We’ve decided to examine each of the teams still playing in the League Championship Series and figure out how the Mariners can steal some of their ideas. On the American League side, Kate Preusser kindly chose the Astros while John Trupin covers the Rays. Isabelle Minasian, Lookout Landing emeritus member and current Digital Content Specialist for the Baseball Hall of Fame, talks about the Dodgers while Matthew Roberson breaks down the Braves. After briefly getting sidetracked by pleasantries and a discussion about the Pittsburgh Pirates (?), we get to the meat of the show.

8:05-30:10: How did the Astros get to this point after being laughably bad when they first joined the American League? As Kate explains, everyone stupidly continues to trade with them, they exploit the lesser teams, and they also nailed a bunch of draft picks in the pre-death machine days. Houston also remains fairly inactive in international signing, something their current opponent does the opposite of. Matthew chimes in to whine about how the Astros remain good at everything even though they should be shuttered like a failing Arby’s.

30:15-53:50: John puts on his marine biologist hat to do some research on sting rays. As they are ocean creatures, they do not have a lot of money, but that has not stopped them. Like the Astros, the Rays have had a good draft history, but they haven’t had a top ten pick in quite some time. They’re just a maddeningly consistent franchise that knows how to operate within their constraints. You may also remember them fleecing Pittsburgh in the Chris Archer deal. That, plus having three capable players at each position, is a great strategy.

53:55-1:09:15: Which small nation do the Mariners need to annex in order to equal the Dodgers’ payroll? Isabelle reminds us that no team will ever be able to match the Dodgers in either financial strength or ability to avoid a full rebuild. The term “nurturing to tremendous success” gets introduced. How has this super team built itself without making many blockbuster trades? Outside of Mookie, a lot of the talent comes from the draft or reclamation projects. We call this a recurring theme, children! Make sure you’re sitting down when you hear their 2016 draft haul.

1:09:20-1:32:22: Finishing up with the Braves, the team that the Mariners could feasibly use as an actual blueprint for themselves. Matthew explains where the Braves’ top three starters from this postseason came from and then laughs for hours about Arizona trading a number one overall pick for literally Shelby Miller. There’s definitely something here that smells like Logan Gilbert and Emerson Hancock. On the offensive side, Julio is on the Ronald Acuña plan, and Dansby Swanson, who had a tumultuous minor league career, is sort of Atlanta’s Kyle Lewis. Atlanta and Seattle have both also shown that they’re willing to give their prospects the space to struggle.

Music: “Do Si Do” by Jenny Lewis // “House Work” by Jax Jones ft. Mike Dunn & MNEK

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