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MondoLinks: All Knotted Up

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Both LCS are now Best-Of-Five, and things get tense.

MLB: ALCS-Houston Astros at Boston Red Sox Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

We had some big time baseball over the weekend. Catch up on the main points (well, prior to last night) here in this 60 second review...........

Last night, though, was the Astros at the Red Sox in the American League Cocky Series. And they had the full MLB stage to itself. Except in Boston. Boston fans were torn, because they had a decent NFL game going on at the same time. (In the end, the Red Sox almost won by the larger differential.) Tonight it’s Milwaukee’s turn. The Brewers are in Los Angeles for Game 3, the lone playoff game. And it goes up against another night NFL game, one that features the Green Bay Packers. Tough luck for MLB in the ratings wars.

Back to last night, as the Red Sox defeated the Astros 7-5 in Fenway. That’s a lot of scoring with David Price and Gerrit Cole on the mound. Rather unsharp, unleashing some offense, with the Red Sox staving off what would have been a catastrophic 0-2 hole on the way to Houston. Instead, it is 1-1, now a Best-Of-Five, with the next 3 games at Minute Maid Park.

Here we go. Game 3 in The Latrine. The NLCS is also now a Best-of-Five. Can you believe it? Milwaukee hero time tonight with Jhoulys Chacin. And here is where we have “...Milwaukee’s deep bullpen [against] the Los Angeles Dodgers and their even deeper offense...”..........

Catch up with the weekend with these Great-Baseballs-Of-Fire-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Alert! Alert! Alert! JeffJoiner will be hosting a live chat with Ty Buttrey this coming Thursday at 12:30 PM PDT. Look for the main article to be posted where you can jump in and act professional...........

Look who is on the latest cover of BaseballAmerica............

Which one of you people has Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde on your contest picks? Nobody? Exactly. Where did this name come from?............

Jahmai Jones had a really good game in the AFL over the weekend..........

MLB Trade Rumors rounds up MLB news via the blogs. They do get to LAA, but not via HH. They go to TheAngelsAvenue.com. That would be Chad’s blog. You know him...........


Everywhere In Baseball

Buster Olney has decided to run with his insider knowledge and make a splash. That comment I linked to last week, about team pitching staffs (-cough- -cough- Astros -cough- -cough-) are dipping into sticky substances to improve their grip and increase their spin rates, has now become a full-blown article calling out all 4 teams left in the playoffs. But his point is that nothing will happen, because every manager knows that the opposing manager can retaliate, and they don’t want their own staff embarrassed..............

But Olney must not realize that there are other ways for a team to get their suspicions conveyed to the umpiring crew. And that is how we ended up seeing Martin Maldonado’s glove go under first-hand inspection looking for foreign substances to be passed along to the pitcher...........Maldy is not going to do something that obvious, and make it easy to create trouble for his new team. He is one player who caught a lucky break this season...........

Teams not trying to win didn’t make the playoffs. Teams enjoying their wealth (Dodgers and Red Sox) and teams enjoying their tanking reward up cycle (Astros), DID make the playoffs. So why is this some kind of remarkable thing?...........

Luck plays a large part within the game of baseball. Not so much when a Justin Turner takes your splitter and sends it to a low earth orbit..........

Manny Machado has had some fairly public issues with the perception of his hustle on the field of play. So when, in Game 2 of the NLCS, when it did not look like Machado was trying his best on an infield grounder, well, things happened. Social media, of course, exploded. But I can’t just put the blame on sports fans doing their brain dump via busy thumbs. Nope, It includes at least 1 ex-player: Jim Palmer. It might be worth noting that Palmer spent the entirety of his 19-year career in Baltimore, he franchise that Machado will have left behind when he hits FA this winter. And it’s also fair to note that Palmer earned about $1.5 million in the entirety of his career, which will be lunch money in Machado’s new contract. But that hustle thing is not a good look to suitors..............

When things go wrong for the Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw carries the burden of everything that goes wrong. That’s a sign of high expectations. It will come with the paycheck..........

Joe Girardi has interviewed with the Rangers...........The Reds are VERY busy, now having gone through 12 interviews, with Rocco Baldelli being the latest. Baldelli is a coach on staff with the Tamp Bay Rays.............And Joe Espada is lining up to be the hot managerial candidate of the season............

Fenway groundskeeper uses a service dog to cope with PTSD and maintain the field............

Now that the Diamondbacks have their lawsuit settled with Maricopa County, they are free to surrender to desert living and give up on natural grass.............

This is great. MLB players did their union thing, looking at the players on each team and nominating one guy from each team for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award. So who got the nomination from the Mets? CYA and NL MVP candidate Jacob deGrom? Emotional favorite retiring should-have-been-great David Wright? Nope. All around human jerk Jose Reyes...........

This is less great. Over the last 3 seasons, Justin Verlander has tossed out a 7.2 bWAR year, a 6.5 bWAR year, and now a 6.2 bWAR year. Over his entire career, no team has faced him more than 5 times and suffered worse results than LAA. He is 35. But he doesn’t see himself retiring any time soon............

Some more in-depth legal coverage of the Dodgers problems. This deep dive is not anything further on the DOJ international signing problem. This one goes full bore into the sexual assault from one of their minor leaguers that they swept under the rug..............And that sweeping under the rug has brought all of MLB into the light to get their collective shit together...........

Come on, ladies. It’s been far, far too long but the door is opening. Your voice in the broadcast booth is welcome............

Take a moment to reflect back on the 2018 MLB regular season and enjoy some bloopers...........


The Duffle Bag

The opposite of pitch framing, would be a catcher who gets crossed up and has a busy glove, crossing up the ump............A small, sweet moment of happiness for we fans, as Joe Wet gets plunked for a change...........Gimme a little Bob Uecker any time. And if it means less Joe Buck, well, bonus!...........Brewers fans get free beer? And free burgers? that’s some pretty cool playoff baseball that I do not recall from 2002...........