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TuesdoLinks: WS 2017 - Welcome to Empire

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Two 100-game winning teams face off, in a 100 degree heat wave. Both battling to see which upstart becomes the next true Evil Empire.

2017 World Series Previews - Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Here we go. The 2017 World Series. Two 100-game winning franchises face off in a 100 degree heat wave. (Good-bye marine layer! Although Clayton Kershaw worries not.) Two young upstarts, both with their own trailblazing approach to crushing Major League Baseball and accelerating to top of the heap. Both on the verge of becoming the new Evil Empire. Which one will prevail?

On the one side we have the deeply-rooted Blue Bastion, an immovable object reconstructed using overwhelming financial resources. It has withstood a feeble challenge from the assault of the Viper barbarians, before laying utter waste to the Clan of Bears.

On the other side is the irresistible force of the Interstellar Orange Federation, descending from altitude with a punishing barrage, having warped past the traditional ascension models via the worm holes of rule book & labor exploitation. The Orange have laid waste to The Red Dominion, and then The Citadel of Pinstripes. Both lay in smoldering ruins.

On the third side, we hopefully get to watch Cameron Maybin living large. You go Cameron!

Over the next few days, we learn who our new Overlords shall be. Let us commence..........

The World Series begins, as of Day Twenty Two of Playoff-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

The Angels jumped on the coaching carousel yesterday, naming Eric Hinske their new coacher of hitters. Hinske, replacing Dave Hansen, most recently spent the past 3 seasons with the Cubs, where he was instrumental in the success of Jason Heyward, Kyle Schwarber, Ben Zobrist and Addison Russell. (Yeah, that’s a pinch of snark.).........If you really want to think about how much impact Hinske might have in Anaheim, there really is too many variables for us outsiders to pluck out his contributions. You can look at the Cubs hitting stats the last three years and volunteer all kinds of commentary, but how much of that were the players? And how much talent does Hinske really have to work with in Anaheim? We can assume he needs to do nothing with Trout, and is best served doing little but shining Pujols’ cleats. If he can get Calhoun back on track and make sense of Cowart and Cron I will be giddy..........

We need to keep the Philadelphia Eagles doing great things, because it keeps Mike Trout in the news...........


October Baseball

If you have not been around but for a couple of years, you might not be aware of the incredible vitriol throughout Baseball not too long ago railing against the trend towards statistical analysis in the game. 6 years ago it was brutal, and there was no way to make the old guard realize they were raging against the coming dawn, and that they would lose. It’s why I keep linking to stories where people are getting hired off of analytical blogs and directly into the Front Offices throughout Baseball. Well, where are they now? Well, some of them are pretending they have been savvy all along. But the rest of them? Most likely hiding on their porch, grumbling and pretending nothing is going on.............

Construction Zone: How the Dodgers were built, versus how the Astros were built......Sure, the Dodgers drafted very well and traded very well. They also have killed it on the international market. What is absent from that story is how they spent like drunken sailors to buy immediate success while they needed time to draft and trade well. Some of those store-bought purchases are still around......The Astros also killed it on the international market, they did draft well. But I wonder if it turns out that they over-spent on their trades. Time will tell...........

But look at that bullpen! That is something that any team can do, with a bit of luck and some decent health..........

Sure, the Astros came from nowhere to the top in 4 years. But getting to the bottom was by design. And don’t forget that he Dodgers only won 82 games back in 2012...........

Vegas likes the Dodgers. Slightly........Some betting shows the Astros/Dodgers getting even action..........

Three silly reasons the Dodgers will win it..........Three slightly less silly reasons the Astros will win it..........

This is why so much of the MSM was drooling for a Dodgers-Yankees World Series. The lawns all looked so much prettier back in the day.........Also on the history side, before you read this know that Etiwanda is not a country in Africa. But it IS twice as far from downtown LA as Angel Stadium.........


Everywhere In Baseball

Realignment with a 32-team inventory makes far too much sense......

More musical chairs in the coaching box. As projected yesterday, the Mets did announce that Mickey Callaway is their new manager. The Red Sox officially announced Alex Cora taking over. The Nationals, having pulled their trigger too late for Cora, are investigating Dave Martinez, Cubs bench coach. And that would make for more shakeups in Chicago, as the Cubs have already canned their pitching coach Chris Bosio. Bosio taking the blame there for Joe Maddon’s failure to call on Wade Davis. If Bosio can’t blame Maddon, maybe he can blame John Lackey.........And the Cards are shuffling dugout bench spots..........

As the world of sports content delivery continues to evolve, the work over at The Atlantic in sucking up fired scribes and avoiding the flight to video is something to which we need to pay attention. This take down reveals a disdain even for you and me (“SBNation is empty calories.”) In the article, though, is a brilliant summary of what drives lots of startup asshats running wild on the fumes of attitude: “The playbook is the same; grow as rapidly as possible with the help of VC funding, focus on adding users rather than on being profitable, eventually prove to a larger competitor that you’re worth being scared of, and cash a big check.“ That’s good shit, there, and well beyond The Atlantic. I need to paste that on my wall for future reference...........

I gotta agree with this. Actually, with both of these. I agree that ESPN would be wise to get out of the Barstool business. I also agree that they were stupid to get into it in the first place...........

We all suspect that there are better, more fun, ways to divvy up Baseball, both the teams and the playoffs. Personally, I always wonder about hosting a League Season and then hosting an Elimination Season. It never really goes anywhere, but my mind remains open to alternate universes where change is mandatory in order to restore interest, resurrect the sport, and allow Baseball to survive. Those would be the way to overcome the objections of tradition. Maybe that’s why I always link to novel examples of mental experiments such as this playoff alternative, a double-elimination system............


The Duffle Bag

ex-MLB’er Ray Knight has had better days. I will reserve judgement, though. After witnessing this, there is no telling who is at fault just because Knight is the famous one................The Sporting News voted to agree with me and name Aaron Judge AL Rookie of the Year..........The Sporting News voted to agree with me and name Cody Bellinger NL Rookie of the Year..........Not so sure this is a good idea. Isn’t focusing on video news content the mistake Fox Sports recently made? I could have swore that recent events pointed to fans liking to stream the event, and read the wrap ups..........