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TuesdoLinks: From Broken Ties to Sudden Death

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Two tie-breakers in one day made for some pretty exciting free baseball.

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago Cubs Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the 2018 MLB Playoffs! It’s now Bullpen Season.

Today it’s the National League Wild Card Game, where the Cubs and Rockies battle to play their way into the full playoff picture. Let’s see, which team should I root for? Chicago has one of the great tiki bars in America, Three Dots and a Dash. Denver has what is supposed to be a pretty great one, too, Adrift, but those knuckleheads keep pretty crappy hours for what should be a cocktail lounge. They were closed completely on the two days that I was last there. So I am going for Chicago. Because they represent.

Let’s do some playoffs before we get too heavy into things like awards and free agency and managerial interviews. And, let’s face it, naming the person who has command and control of Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani has a decent chance of being one of the Top 3 stories of this offseason (Harper and Machado being up there, too).

Have some Halo-Hangover-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Shohei Ohtani News

In only hours after the season came to an end with Shohei scoring an important 9th-inning close-the-gap run, Ohtani underwent his TJ surgery and he is all better now............

While undergoing the procedure, Ohtani was named AL Rookie Of The Month for September..........

A Little Bit Of Mike Trout News

Trout was named AL Player of the Month for September............

And that September was the closing month in a season which saw him blow past 39 Hall of Famers in WAR. You should see the list of guys he will surpass in 2019!.........

Joe Sheehan refusing to let Ignorant Fan rise from his grave of 2012..........

A Little Bit Of Angels News

Billy Eppler is going to change things up and keep the players healthy next year. But how this is going to happen is a secret. Maybe it will be take advantage of everybody already having had their TJ in years past. You know, odds in his favor stuff. Maybe it’s starting signing guys who have proven to be reliable. Maybe it’s jumping jacks. Or Wheaties instead of Pop Tarts in the Tempe cafeteria...........

No, Ms. Whitney Mcintosh, ‘Scioscia Face’ is was not merely Mike Scioscia having a face. Funny little commentary or not. Nope ‘Scioscia Face’ is only one thing: a semi-whiny, semi disbelieving, little boy look of impotently silent protest aimed at an umpire who is not even looking, in the hope that someday soon such a face will force the ump to make a call or two go the Angels’ way. THIS...THIS is Scioscia Face.............

This past season, Scioscia was about half right in his use of challenges. Once again the Yankees have a much better investment in back-room video reviewers working diligently to figure out when to make challenges..........

It’s only been a day, but the list-making of LAA managerial interview candidates is growing..........

Eric Chavez seems like an interesting choice..........

Do we need a contest for 2 Opening Day tickets? Why, yes. Yes we do. I’m thinking the reader who hits the following 3 picks wins. And I am totally fine with nobody winning. Hold on to your official picks until I put up a dedicated article where we can gather them all. (A) Name the guy who will be the LAA manager when Pitchers and Catchers report in 2019.....(B) Name the date of the formal press release announcing the decision (not Ken Rosenthal).....(C) Name the destination for Mike Scioscia in 2019. I don’t care what position with that team, just what team. If no team, say that. There are no tie breakers. If more than one person gets them all right I award the tickets to the person who posted earliest. That means, even if the same minute of the same day, the person whose comment is listed first. If you do not live close enough to attend, no problem. Sell them on Stub Hub and keep the money. I’ll figure out how to do the cutoff for entries when I get to the article..........


Everywhere In Baseball

Free Baseball yesterday. The Brewers defeated the Cubs 3 - 1 to take the NL Central and the Dodgers beat the Rockies 5-2 to maintain their now 6-year grip on the NL West. The Rockies now go to Chicago to play the Cubs in the WC Game. Loser goes home. If the Rockies lose, it will be a tragedy for Colorado. They were up a game on the Dodgers when they woke up in bed Saturday morning, and with only 2 games left in the season. They go to bed Monday night in Chicago, about to fight for their 2018 life. Losing today will mean that they then went L - W - L - L - see you next year. Combine that with the Broncos barfing up a win last night, and this could be a Rocky Mountain Low week...........

And, yes, this is the time of year when your jaw can appropriate drop as you watch a Jhoulys Chacin be the Milwaukee hero, going 5 23 innings of 1 hit, 2 walk baseball to shut down the Cubs. That’s the same Chacin who was 86 ERA+ pitcher in Anaheim back in 2016, but a 115 ERA + pitcher this year. Yesterday was his 35th start and he has thrown almost 193 innings......And, yep, that was the Jesse Chavez that you also know (from last year) who came in as relief for Cubs starter Jose Quintana. Chavez went 2 inning of 0 hit, 0 walk baseball. Add that up. That’s almost 8 innings of 1 hit, 2 walk pitching out of two pitchers who did little more than thrown Molotov cocktails into stadium dumpsters when they played for us. Expect to see a lot of that in these playoffs...........

Cubs fans. Already spoiled. And they got that way well before they even learned how to high-five well.........And Dodger fans, where are they? Scroll down the the 5:10PM (EDT) update and note how the author sees huge swaths of empty seats..........

Kevin Youklis, who played for both the Red Sox AND the Yankees, has this idea for a new way to approach figuring out the playoff teams. You will be shocked to learn that his scheme would increase the chances of the AL East getting 3 teams into the post-season every year, much to the benefit of the red Sox and Yankees...........

Bad break for Braves announcer Ernie Johnson. Right when the Braves get back into the playoffs, a blood clot will sideline Johnson for the balance of the year..........

The Mets are going to start their Front Office executive poaching search next week, as they try to replace Sandy Alderson as their GM. One would have to be a cunning fool to take that job of working for the (pick one) cheap/broke/incompetent/shady Wilpons, who just proved themselves to be worse humans than I figured just a day earlier by calling out Alderson as a root of their current problems. Alderson is, as you know, left baseball to battle cancer. The Wilpons are taking full advantage of his absence by blaming Alderson for how cheap are infamously known to be.........

Coaches around MLB are falling like mosquitoes against a bug zapper on a hot August night in the bayou. The Pirates fired hitting coaches.....The DBacks fired hitting coaches............And the party boat of managerial & coaching candidates is already quite full. (Where will Dusty Baker interview??).........

Baseball in Cincinnati was bad, so people did not go out of their way to watch bad baseball in Cincinnati.....Baseball in Miami was bad, so people did not go out of their way to watch bad baseball in Miami. My take away is that we shouldn’t be playing baseball in cities whose names end with an “i”..........

This is why we have baseball arguments. MLB cannot even choose to include a season tie-breaker game as a regular season thing without causing a brouhaha. The first argument is that it’s not fair to all the other teams who only get to play 162 games and not as much chance to pad stats. Like, WTF? On some nights some team play more than 9 innings. What do we do with home runs hit after the 9th, when the other teams didn’t get that many chances??? If MLB did NOT include it as a regular season thing, and called it a playoff, there would be people complaining on that side, too.............


Baseball Americana

One of the great glues that bind baseball fans together over distance and over time, are stats. Stats are actually the fertilizer that grew the game from its very roots, making it America’s Pastime. There are a finite number of great statistical pioneers, who labored - mostly by hand in those pre-computer, pre-Internet ages - to track down and document the raw data itself, and then compile that data into meaningful research tools. One of those heros in our pantheon is John Tattersall. And right there in The Library Of Congress exhibit his “...4.3 pound, 1,300-page compilation of 120 years of documented major league home runs.


The Duffle Bag

When you are an umpire, and calling the plate in a dramatic game, never let the actual ball/strike count get in the way of thinking that everyone is there to watch you............Grumpy old ass Tim McCarver getting called out for being a grumpy old ass. Seriously, Rob Manfred, you want to connect with the next generation, get guys like this off of TV now!.........Brewers Social Media maven burning the Cubs post-victory...........799 different guys were used as pitcher in 2018, 4.3% of them were used by only 3.3% of the total MLB franchises. That’s a funky way of saying that the Angels burned 35 of them..........Really cool reddit guy does really cool playoff odds GIF. LAA is the far left. Sad. But sadder still is 4th from the left. Ultimate Buttercup column goes to Seattle..........Dodger fan gut-punches Dodger TV broadcaster over not getting Dodger TV broadcasts..........