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Thor'sLinks: Indians boot Jays. Cubs make LADs blue.

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A very young Ryan Merritt sizzled and powered the Indians into the World Series. An even younger Julio Urias fizzled and the Cubs even up the NLCS.

Maybe Naps will send Sosh a postcard or two from the World Series?
Maybe Naps will send Sosh a postcard or two from the World Series?
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

That boom you heard yesterday afternoon was the thunderclap from so many windows slamming closed to the oncoming winter of northern baseball. Team Canada, playing out of Toronto, got bounced by the Cleveland Indians in 5 simple games. Some of those windows were from Toronto baseball fans now shuttering themselves up for a long season of hockey, some of those were windows of opportunity being closed on the Blue Jays proper, and a couple were windows being closed on MVP votes for a soon-to-be playoff-less Josh Donaldson. Any and all may be re-signed, but Jose Bautista, Edward Encarnacion, R.A. Dickey, Michael Saunders and Joaquin Benoit will be Free Agents in a matter of days now. (And Marco Estrada, Francisco Liriano and Melvin Upton, Jr. will be FA's in 12 months.) Meanwhile Alex Anthopolous, the GM who put all that together, is now plying his credible skills for the same Dodgers who are still alive in these playoffs. (But Manager John Gibbons will be back.) We may miss the days when the Blue Jays spent summers making life miserable for the Yankees and Red Sox, but that day won't be today.

Jose Bautista went waltzing into Game 5 of the ALCS in Toronto, all huffing and puffing how young Ryan Merritt would be shaking in his boots at the thought of facing the prodigious Blue Jay lineup. Yeah, that was some dumb shit to say. How'd that work out for him? Well, Merritt went through just the second start of his MLB career by going 4 1/3 innings and giving up only 2 hits - neither to Bautista, who was a paltry .138 for the 2016 post-season, .071 for the ALCS, and .000 against "Boots" Merritt. Well played, Cleveland, well played.

Bautista will now have lots of time to kick up his heels and wait for all those winter free agent mega offers to come flooding after such a stellar showcase.

Over in LA, Old John Lackey roared while young Julio Urias was fed to the Chicago juggernaut. A final score of 10-2 ties up the NLCS 2 games apiece, and the game was not actually as close as the score might indicate. We trust the Parkway of Arroyo Seco was duly clogged, as is customary, by the very many "die hard" fans early within the 7th inning? But at least they were there for the 4th, and saw the John-Lackey-hates-to-be-pulled that we fans of Anaheim all know and love.

And, remember, the point of MLB Instant Replay is NOT to correctly determine the outcome of the events within the contest between two determined and highly competitive sides, but to make sure that umpires such as Angel Hernandez are not undermined. As Bryce Harper would like to remind everyone.

And, Arian Gonzalez, if you argue the point, Commissioner Manfred will find some way to get his revenge. And Adrian is, indeed, arguing the point.

Keep on having some Playoff Links:

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2016 PLAYOFFS ON DECK

Today's game: National League Championship Series Game 5, series tied 2-2.

Chicago Cubs @ Los Angeles Dodgers - Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA.
Date Time Probable Pitchers TV

Thursday, 10/20/2016

8:00PM PDT Jon Lester (19-5, 2.44 ERA) vs. Kenta Maeda (16-11, 3.48 ERA) FS1
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Everywhere In Baseball

Yeah, yeah. old news now. Yesterday it was announced that the LT Platinum Center development project was going ahead next door to Angel Stadium. telinuauthor gave us the first chance to chat about it. Josh went into it hard. No need me hashing it yet again. I already did a thing or two on it around here someplace. The TL;DR version of my take is that Anaheim is letting LT Global jump the claim on that which Arte would need to remain economically relevant in the current location. Every major anchor LT draws is a risk to the potential merchants that Arte might try to woo to his complex just a short walk away..........

The formidable MLB Trade Rumors climbs into our rowboat and summarizes our predicament quite neatly. Not all too informative for us HH regulars, as we all know all of this. But it is a convenient link to refresh the issues and bring your drinking pal up to speed so that they are competent recipients of your fresh conjecture............

At this point, the odds will spin rapidly. But before the NLCS Game 4 yesterday, for the first time all season theChicago Cubs were not the fvorites to win the World Series...........

Wow. This is harsh. Some dude gets 4 years in prison for vandalizing Matt Garza's car. The list of worse offenders getting lighter punishment than that would take the rest of the year to read aloud. And it would be embarrassing, starting with "affluenza"...........

Whichever team survives to face the Indians, know that they are going to have to contend with Terry Francona's dramatically progressive advancement into collaborative pitching assignments............

Grading Tal's Hill could be a decent strategic advantage the Astros might exploit if they play their cards right............

If you want to know just how uncool the (now up to 2 hits) Tim Tebow Flying Circus truly is, listen not to them pundits, or we bloggers. Listen to one who knows, one who was vested, one who fought the good fight of rare chances and even more rare financial support. Listen to the perspective of ex-prospect Blake Burdenhop...........

Somewhere there is an MLB or MLBPA lawyer trying to figure out whether or not happy Cleveland fans posting to Ryan Merritt's wedding registry constitutes compensation against a salary cap.............

Cool GIF, but I have seen ti done better (h/t UniWatch)..........

Dugouts are full of players and coaches studying the pitcher on the mound, looking for some tiny little foible that would tip a batter ass to what kind of pitch to expect next. But did you know that batters can have a "tell", as well? One that tips the pitcher as to what kind of pitch they are expecting? I did not.............

I'm conflicted. On principal I am extremely pissed at the idea of a few egomaniacal souls leveraging their love of power to extract money from the pockets of the citizens they conned in order to get that power, that they can then hand that money over to one uniquely privileged rich guy so that rich guy can get richer, and the egomaniac souls can be indulged in luxurious privilege themselves. But if some of that stolen money goes to create a craft brewery, well, perhaps we are now talking about an intervention of the gods?................

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