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MondoLinks: 4 Teams On The Brink

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It’s another 4 game MLB Playoff Day! And all 4 games could be deciders.

MLB: NLDS-Atlanta Braves at St. Louis Cardinals Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports

PLAYOFFS

Well, here we are! Another day of All Day Playoff Baseball! Houston opens the day leading Tampa Bay 2 games to none and a chance (more like a probability) to finish them off in Tampa (much to my dismay). That game starts at 10:05 (PDT). Then at noon we have the Braves with a chance to close out the Cardinals, leading 2 games to 1 in St. Louis. At 3:40 this afternoon the Dodgers look to finish off the Nationals in Washington D.C., also leading 2 games to 1. And in Prime Time the Yankees should be expected to crush the dignity of the Twins in Minnesota with a record consecutive number of playoff victories over the Twins, game time starting at 5:40PM. This morning we have 8 teams left in the playoffs, and tomorrow morning it could be only 4............

Poor Minnesota. They just can’t get past the Yankees. I’m thinking that the only way to bring that misery to an end is to build a stronger AL Central and keep the Twins out of the playoffs completely...........

The Dodgers were surprised to see Max Scherzer used as a bullpen ace.....No, not really......

Is Clayton Kershaw tipping his pitches? Pitch-tipping seems to be becoming a thing in the post-season. Do pitchers tip their pitches more in the post-season or are we just paying more attention to it?.............

Alex Bregman has a magic number.............And Bregman is killing it as a playoff player...........

Youth is being served............

Here’s what might be a thought that is so far out of fashion that it might be a novel concept again. Just because some in-game maneuver has a low probability of success, or even has a high probability of creating a negative outcome, that is not the same as that maneuver creating certain fail. Even if the odds are highly stacked against, that still means there is a chance of success. And so it was when Nationals manager Dave Martinez chose to have Max Muncy intentionally walked, putting the tying run on base and bringing the winning run to the plate with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th inning. Analytical minds fret over this kind of thinking because it tends to fail over the long haul. And it didn’t matter whether or not it was going to work out (it did), what matters is the odds and those odds are more important than the situation.... ($$) - It felt as though the world was frustrated that it did not crater the Nationals. So we excuse it way by tagging the Nats as ‘lucky’. But remember the famous words of Billy Beane: “My shit doesn’t work in the playoffs.” Because, you know, the playoffs don’t give you the large numbers needed for odds to eventually work themselves out..............

The LAA alumni contingency is prevalent around this post-season. Sean Newcomb was credited with a “W” yesterday.....Daniel Hudson got a Save on Friday.....Howie Kendrick is struggling, both in the field and at the plate.....Patrick Corbin came in as relief last night, taking over for for a very successful Anibal Sanchez, who had surprisingly started instead of Max Scherzer, and promptly performed as though he was in the rotation down the road in Anaheim......I am trying to ignore that Matt Joyce is even in the playoffs at all, even if he is not doing anything with the opportunity. Matt Joyce and Fernando Rodney. Both of those guys.....As bad as Matt Joyce has played, he is doing better than Ji-Man Choi..........And, as an honorarium, Jack Flaherty is carrying the spirit of Tyler Skaggs............

Max Scherzer does start today, providing the game is not rained out.............


ANGELS

(h/t reddit) Gerrit Cole’s parents sitting in Angel Stadium talking about Gerrit Cole growing up in Angels Stadium wanted to be a New York Yankee when he grows up. (No, his parents didn’t say anything about the Yankees. But dad there was raised in New York and is a lifelong Yankee fan and, yes, Cole was raised a Yankee fan. The Yankees actually drafted Cole out of High School in 2008 but Cole chose to go to UCLA instead.)..........

Golf season is back at Angels Stadium..........

Your weekly Mike Trout At An Eagles Game sighting.............

Rest In Peace, Andy Etchebarren............


MANAGERIAL MUSICAL CHAIRS

Add former Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons to the list of guys who want to interview for MLB ob openings.............

Joe Maddon gets to choose what managerial opening he wants to accept. And the word is that Cool Joe wants to manage Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani over all other options..............

The Padres are assuming nothing............


BASEBALL

It’s not as if its time has come and gone. The time never was for the tomahawk chop in Atlanta. But is this something that the Braves can do concerning the behavior of tens of thousands of fans in attendance? Atlanta has reacted to the latest challenge with the most legally-vetted marketeering non-commitment I have ever seen. It reads so promising you might not even notice that it doesn’t actually say anything is going to be any different any time soon.............

The A’s, the city of Oakland, and the county of Alameda are now locked up in another lawsuit. It’s complicated, and it involves a lot of money, but the A’s need the suit to go away if they hope to finance a new stadium. Since it ain’t, Rob Manfred went to Oakland and met with city officials and dropped the Las Vegas threat on their heads. Because that’s what sports leagues get to do............

The Rangers are opening a new stadium in Arlington because...global warming???..............

($$) - As MLB owners are already lobbying the fans for empathy as they plan to keep rolling the MLB momentum towards lower payrolls across the board, Tony Clark of the MLBPA wakes up and calls bullshit. Politely, but still bullshit. But, as MLB Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem does so well, Clark loses his high ground way too easily as MLB can constantly invoke the outliers as though they are indicative of some larger power. Oakland and Tampa Bay are in the playoffs and they don’t spend money (ignore Miami, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, CWS, Kansas City, San Diego, Toronto, Detroit, etc.).....The Cubs and Red Sox are the highest spenders and missed the playoffs (but have won 2 of the last 3 WS, and the Yankees, Dodgers, Astros [that 3rd WS champ of the past 3 years] and Cardinals are all Top 10 spenders and one of them will probably be this year’s WS champ).....Attendance is driven by many factors unrelated to free-agent spending. The Twins had one of the largest attendance increases this year but did not sign a major free agent last offseason. Well, only because Nelson Cruz at $14MM does not match Patrick Corbin at $140MM. And only because the Twins are in a shit division where they finally are the Division faves where winning always increases attendance, and only because of the power of small numbers where they only drew 1.9MM butts last year..............

SportsIllustrated has laid off half the staff (so far). And everybody is issuing lamentations as if this was the same SportsIllustrated of the 60’s and 70’s. It ain’t. It hasn’t been for a couple of decades now...........

Dish and FOX have made nice.............


STUFF

Taylor Blake Ward with the predictive observation of the past 5 years............Marlins Man being consulted for his constitutional legal acumen...........Sports fans do their best to make fun of a player.....Twitter goes shits as if this is some form of bullying............Angels fan going to the playoffs incognito..........This joke will never get old...............