clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

WeekEnd HaloLinks: NL Cues Brew & Blue

New, 26 comments

Brewers and Dodgers open NLDS with home wins

Divisional Round - Colorado Rockies v Milwaukee Brewers - Game One Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

A busy day yesterday! Pretty much zero LAA news, but 2 MLB playoff games, 1 NFL game, and 6 NHL games. All in, we get 8 MLB playoff games this weekend.

In the opener, the Brewers took a walk off extra inning affair from the Rockies 3-2. For Colorado, that’s the second consecutive extra-inning match, in 2 different cities, in 2 different states, in less than 48 hours. It might have been a regulation Rockies victory, but the laser accuracy of Instant Replay moved a chalk ruling by the necessary 12 inch and pulled a Charlie Blackmon RBI double off the board in the 9th inning. And the world is safe for Democracy once more.

The later game was a 6-0 Dodgers win, home-run fueled and pretty much over by the 2nd inning. Snore. The lone Atlanta highlight was the Dodgers NOT scoring even more.

As I listen to a Dodger game, I cannot help but react to the name of “Max Muncy”. He is a goddamned time traveler who comes to us directly from the 1922 Cleveland Indians......By the way, Christian Yelich has had the most amazing last 30 days. Why does anybody still choose to pitch to him?

Tonight, it’s MLB orgy time! Four games, all playoff mania. It starts at 11:05 AM PDT and won’t end until about 9:30 PM PDT. The main, prime-time, game is (of course) Yankees at Red Sox....Actually, every damned baseball game ever to be broadcast in prime time from here to eternity will be a frickin’ Yankees/Red Sox game.....If I get lucky, all the jackanape Boston/New York transplants will be lashed to TV’s someplace and stay out of my way as I take the missus out for a lovely Friday evening.

But with the ALDS starting up, which Tiki establishment am I pulling for? Cleveland is about 100 miles from Columbus. And Columbus, Ohio is where once stood the world-famous Kahiki restaurant. Practically Ground Zero. Hallowed ground that is now, tragically, a Walgreens. Sorry, Houston, but Texas is late to the Tiki scene. I’’l grant you a Lei Low from 2014 as your best bet, but you get steamrolled by history here. My heart belongs to Kahiki...........On the other series, we already know that New York is a vast wasteland with not even enough poseurs to qualify. Boston, however, is in Massachusetts. And 10 miles north of Boston is Saugus, Mass which is home to The Kowloon. This is an amazing melange that perfectly blends the mid-century Polynesian and Asian influences into that distinctly North American riff of Tiki. This makes sense, because its roots go back 60 years, starting out Asian and picking up the Tiki influence in the mid-century hey day, without ever letting it go. Most West Coasters are not even aware of Kowloon, which is a shame. For all the talk about the Mai Kai in Florida, and the tears shed for The Kahiki, Kowloon is an ongoing peer that still rocks it. Kowloon over The Pinstriped Void.

But here we go, with The Series That Everybody At SportsIllustrated Wanted All Along..........

On we go with MLB-LDS-Playoff-A-Palooza-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Shohei Ohtani News

Ohtani was named Rookie Of The Year by BaseballAmerica. That is not some silly thing. BA is important, and influential...........

A Little Bit Of Mike Trout News

Yahoo! Sports’ All MLB team includes Mike Trout as First Team. Yahoo! is OK, but they are no BaseballAmerica when it comes to baseball intelligence. Francisco Lindor took First Team SS, and Manny Machado took 2nd Team SS. That’s Machado getting it because of 37 home runs, and Simmons losing it despite being 10+ times the quality defender with a better Batting Average............

Jon Heyman has even less baseball intelligence, ranking Mike Trout 3rd in his MVP opinion behind J.D. Martinez. Because Martinez is valuable to the Red Sox..........Heyman did jump on the Ohtani bandwagon for RoY...........


Everywhere In Baseball

The second biggest buzz in MLB yesterday was the aftershocks of Typical Yankee Fan Asshat dumping beer all over Visiting Oakland Fan, and that event hitting social media. The Yankee fan backlash was pretty swift and pretty self-unaware. It was a lot of “Oh don’t be Bad Yankee Fan” and “Oh that happens everywhere.” For their part, the Oakland A’s chased down the victim and will celebrate his heroic support in the MFY Pit of Despair. I find no official news that the Yankees are chasing down the culprit to punish him in some way for embarrassing their franchise. Because, after all, New York. And then there is the stuff that TV and SM did not make viral. Remember Zack Hampo, the infamous ballhawk? He was at the game, of course, and he reports even worse out of the outfield MFY fans.............

It’s playoff baseball. So just a friendly reminder that bullpenning, which we have already seen and may see again, is actually nothing new. It’s over 100 years old...........And, no, it does not guarantee anything. It didn’t cause the loss for Oakland, but it didn’t result in victory, either. the rest of the team still has to do their jobs..........

In my time, I have heard people whine about how unfair it is to play just a Best Of 5. That’s why the LCS went to Best Of 7 in 1986. Best of 7 ain’t entirely fair, either, because of what it does to eradicate full pitching rotations. 3 Starters, 3 relievers, and a Closer and all the other guys can just watch from the bullpen. So folks crying over the One-And-Done is, to me, just more of the same. I don’t take the “win more games and avoid it” dodge. Instead, I embrace it. It’s there from the start of the season and doesn’t sneak up on anybody, There is no surprise there. You know it’s coming so make the most of it. It’s dramatic as hell, and it’s great!. And, for the record, crapshoot smapshoot. In reality, the Oakland Franchise sucking at winner-take-all-games does not appear to be any roll of the dice...........

Lost in the bullpenning noise of the AL WC, was the fact that the Yankees employed some seriously modern data-driven baseball, too. Most notably, “The Yankees it seemed were using the opposite strategy, going with their supposed ace, but it was just as new-age as it could be. I don’t have the game pitch data on me but, just anecdotally, he was virtually pitching backwards, leaning on his change and always-deadly slider while pumping the triple-digits heat when it was needed, like to get out of his bases-loaded jam in the fourth inning.”..........Meanwhile, I wonder if we are having today’s old-timer sneering at bullpenning if we did not have Fernando Rodney in the mix..........

Curtis Granderson needs a ring, because he won’t be available too much longer (or, to put it another way, he will be available for ever more.)..........

If the Twins don’t want Paul Molitor to manage anymore, Paul Molitor is fine not sticking around to make the Twins happy elsewhere..........

Brian Snitker is a lucky dude. He almost quit and manager of the Atlanta Braves, because he didn’t get along with his GM, John Coppolella. But Copolella is the nitwit who got caught with his fingers in the illegal international signing cookie jar, and was forced to resign in humiliation and end up banned for life from MLNB. This left Snitker free to remain, and enjoy his run to the playoffs. It also landed uber prospects Kevin Maitan and Livan Soto...........

Just because you let one kid play right away, and it works out, doesn’t mean that every kid should play right away. Some folks are already measuring Ronald Acuna for his HoF jacket..........

UPDATE: The Dodgers are one of the franchises named as bad guys in the FBI probe of International prospects. My guess is that since LAA had been so absent from the International scene for so long, we need not worry about being named as one of the bad actors in all this...................

About that Cubs dynasty we were supposedly on the verge of just a couple of years ago. After seeing how Cub fans eagerly became MFY/MFRS prototypes I, for one, am glad it didn’t happen..........Inside the team itself, there is some grumbling over Joe Maddon’s constant lineup shuffling. This is a very real thing. I looked it on BBR, where you can check these things. In all of MLB, only the Dodgers were worse. The Dodgers used 155 lineups, the Blue Jays 154, and the Cubs 152. But when you adjust for pitchers, the Dodgers are at 162 and the Cubs 160 (the Blue Jays were 12th, at 154). So Cubs players saw all the Maddon shuffling and were unhappy. The Dodgers see all that shuffling and call Dave Roberts a great communicator. Maybe it ain’t the shuffling that they are complaining about in Chicago..........

Gotta love Rob Manfred. As tone deaf as a smart person can possibly be. He worries about things like attendance, TV ratings, connecting with future fans and all. But when it comes to publicly discussing the impact of tanking on the game, he is all foot-in-mouth. To paraphrase, he doesn’t care that teams don’t want to win all the time, because it’s a viable stratergy as a process to maybe win some other, undefined, time. And if you call out MLB and MLB teams for this behavior, and use the term ‘tanking’, well then you are just an agenda-driven Union scum. he does, however, reveal that the owners have made past attempts to repeal the seniority-based compensation system.That’s fresh, but since we will never get details we cannot render opinions. Out here in the real world, business owners have used much the same language to create systems that screw employees even worse...........

Playing under a media microscope must really be horseshit. But I would think that a smart guy could easily get the better of the daily MSM scribe. Take the Ryan Dempster example: “You could pitch a shutout and give up just one hit, and the first question from Jonny [Miller, WBZ Radio’s veteran reporter] would be, ‘What happened on the one hit you gave up?’ “ I would respond to Mizer with a “Oh, man, yeah, that was the key to my entire night right there. I totally trashed my start on that pitch. You should focus on that pitch, and write all about that. Tell the fans how I promise to do better next time.”..........

Chris Correa, the guy who was working inside the Cardinals organzation and hacked into the Houston computer network? What happened to him afterwards is an interesting tale. And when I read between the lines, I sniff the acrid smoke of (A) Jeff Luhnow having actually taken shit with him from the Cards because no way was he smart enough to create those analytics on his own, or that fast, and (B) that others in the St. Louis organization knew what Correa was doing but Correa isn’t going to rat him out. Decades from now, maybe Correa writes a tell-all. until then, we get all those back stories smudged from the historical record by lawyerly-driven corporate speak and overly-eager justice workers..........


The Duffle Bag

Fernando Rodney, if nothing else, know a looming loss when he sees one............Need a job? Atlanta can be a nice place to live..........Never welsh on your sports bets..........