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WeekEnd HaloLinks: NL Divisional Series' Open

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The AL Divisional Series' continue. The NL teams start their playoffs for reals. The Dodgers join the party.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Yeah. I like the one-and-done games a lot more than these series games. Even a short series, at 5 games, as the Division Series all are is not as fun because there IS a tomorrow. So it doesn't really mean that much when a team loses a Game 1, even when the losing teams are Rangers and Red Sox.

But let's be honest. It was a good day for Halo fans yesterday. The Blue Jays bitch-slapped home field advantage right out of the Rangers' pasty little fingers. Right in front of their pasty little fans.  And the Indians defeated the Red Sox, closing with a strikeout of Dustin Pedroia. Sweet. And Pedroia, Betts and Ortiz went a combined 2 for 12, no RBI's, and 5 K's. Sweeter.

On the Indians side, Mike Napoli really didn't do all that much last night. Not sure why some folks thought it was a good time to pick on Matt Welch..........

Have more Playoff Links:

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2016 PLAYOFFS ON DECK

Today's games: American League & National League Divisional Series Games

Toronto Blue Jays at Texas Rangers - Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, TX.
Date Time Probable Pitchers TV

Friday, 10/7/2016

10:00 AM PDT J.A. Happ (20-4, 3.18 ERA) vs. Yu Darrvish (7-5, 3.41 ERA) TBS
Boston Red Sox at Cleveland Indians - Progressive Field, Cleveland OH.
Date Time Probable Pitchers TV

Friday, 10/7/2016

1:30 PM PDT David Price (17 - 9, 3.99 ERA) vs. Corey Kluber (18 - 9, 3.14 ERA) TBS

Los Angeles Dodgers at Washington Nationals - Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
Date Time Probable Pitchers TV

Friday, 10/7/2016

2:30 PM PDT Clayton Kershaw (12 - 4, 1.69 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (20-7, 2.96 ERA) FS-1
San Francisco Giants at Chicago Cubs - Wrigley Field, Chicago IL.
Date Time Probable Pitchers TV

Friday, 10/7/2016

6:00 PM PDT Johnny Cueto (18-5, 2.79 ERA) vs. Jon Lester (19-5, 2.44 ERA) FS-1


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Everywhere In Baseball

Trout: Vote Mike Trout for the 2016 Hank Aaron Award as Best Offensive Player in the American League............

Shoe: In the interview presented yesterday, Matt Shoemaker tells us how close he came to death. That was what was I was figuring when I was reading the reports coming out of the hospital, and why I was amazed at how fast he was released. I was thinking things just had to be more serious than all that. They were. Fortunately for Matt and his growing family, he is recovering just fine and looks forward to getting back out onto the mound. He carries now a metal plate in his head (insert jokes here) and is open to the idea of wearing protective headgear. This I am all for..........

Minor Observations: There will be plenty more where this came from over the offseason, but here is a nice summary of the LAA farm system as it stands at the moment, with some intriguing ideas as to how to accelerate the recovery. In short: things remain bad, there are a couple of jewels, Baldoquin is our Hamboner of the farm, Rule 5 Draft baby!............

Juriprudence: This Ken Fagan dude in Toronto is in a real mess. He has lawyered up and only facing charges of mischief, but wouldn't be allowed to go to baseball games in Toronto ever again. For me, that would be cruel and unusual punishment. But then, what do I know? I have never junked a beer can at anybody. Fagan has already dodged assault charges, since a loaded can of beer can cause great injury. His story is that it wasn't him, and that it couldn't have been him since he is seen seconds later drinking out of a cup. Thus, he posits, he still had his beverage, and his beverage that night was not canned. Watch this video, though, (0:02 to 0:09) and try and convince me that it wasn't Fagan tossing the beer can with his right hand, surreptitiously throwing it across his body so that he didn't throw overhand and give himself away. That would leave the cup of beer in his right hand intact...........

Yo or Nes: Now that New York is completely out of the playoffs, and now that they have shown the world that they are not so much about love and harmony after all, the most important thing on planet earth is whether or not Cespedes will opt out. Of course he will. Why wouldn't he? What's the risk getting the Mets to bargain for him while he is an extremely weak FA market?...........

True Story: This story is the kind of thing that writes its own jokes. It's just all too perfect to be believed, but believe it we must. Joe Buck, an eastern sports bigot of the lowest order and a grating annoyance we are forced to endure despite all calls for salvation, lost his vocal chords a while back. For a brief period of time, we rejoiced. Then he came back. Now we find out what REALLY happened with his voice. It was not some virus, as he suggested at the time. The official story now is that poor Joe Buck was a victim of unfortunate side effects from his disease of hair plug addiction..............

Over Extrapolation: This is weird. We all know that Buck Showalter was using some pretty lame reasoning to keep the very best player on his team out of the most important game of the season, when the pressing need for 5 innings was the very skill that said player delivers. But...blaming the G.M. for that? And blaming because that's the way things work in corporate America? In my experience, superiors delegate, and they give their subordinates as much rope as that subordinate needs to hang themselves. I think that if the GM needs to get into his manager's business tot hat degree, he just needs to fire his manager. Provided, of course, that the GM's boss happens to be the kind of guy who backs a GM and not a manager.............

Sports Biz: This is not directly related to baseball, but it is something for us to follow for a couple of reasons. First, there is real trouble brewing over in football country concerning the dropping viewership. Remember, the NFL numbers are what are used as evidence that "baseball is dying". (Never mind that baseball blows all other sports away in total eyeballs because of the sheer number of events AND the fact that until the playoffs come around the games are regional draws and not national ones.) Baseball remains vibrant, and we can throw this NFL viewership decline in the face of the pro-NFL media knuckleheads....Second, the link serves as a cautionary tale. As the NFL primary content delivery stream declines, the NFL is reacting badly. They are ignoring the trajectory of technological history. The NFL is telling teams to restrict their social media clips and content in order to protect their legacy broadcast base. This, folks, is suicide. Unless the NFL cleans out the cob-webbed thinkers in New York and gets clued in on where the world is going, they are doomed to repeat what happened to their counterparts in the old guard music industry............

Baseball Biz: And, speaking of viewership, baseball is doing just fine, thankyouverymuch. The Giants and Mets just set a new ESPN record for Wild Card games...........

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The Duffle Bag

Best news out of Arizona in quite some time. Kim Ng might be considered for the D'Backs GM opening. But then, interviewing Ng checks off a lot of boxes when you are the good ol' boy network facing public scrutiny...........Heat Heat Stats is trying to make a joke here about how the Rangers have won so many 1-run games. That pitch is off the plate, just a bit inside..........A pox on both their houses. The Rangers are the luckiest team in the playoffs, and the Red Sox the unluckiest...........One Cleveland fan trying waaay too hard to put smack on anything..............The Nationals are leaving no stone unturned. Lucky charms for the win...........Dear St. Louis fan: what went wrong in causing the Cardinals to miss out on the playoffs is easy. The Cardinals lost too many games. Like most of us. It's not like you are missing out on anything you are entitled to, or anything..........

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