Well, the worst has happened (second-worst, actually, I guess) – both the Cardinals and Brewers advanced to the NLCS yesterday, so one of them will be in the World Series. Grumble.
- So, Theo Epstein is not yet the Chicago Cubs’ GM, nor do we know for certain he’s staying in Boston. What’s the deal? Hard to say, because no one is talking. Multiple reports earlier this week suggested the Red Sox would want to have things publicly decided by yesterday, but the public statements they made only muddied the waters further. With Yom Kippur underway now, I doubt we’ll hear much, at least with respect to Epstein, for the rest of the weekend. Something to keep in mind in all of this – it remains just as likely that “the hold up” is the Cubs, not the Sawx. Epstein may or may not be the team’s top choice in the GM search, but, either way, the Cubs would be wise to continue reaching out to other candidates. Maybe Epstein is ready to come, but the Cubs want to talk to Andrew Friedman first. Or Brian Cashman. Or Billy Beane. We can’t know. The secrecy and lack of leaks at this point in the search is truly remarkable.
- Aramis Ramirez says he was surprised by Cubs’ color man Bob Brenly’s strong criticism of him the other day. “This is the first negative thing that I’ve heard from anybody about my ability to produce on the baseball field,” Ramirez said. “This is the first time in 8½ years in Chicago I’ve heard that. Everyone during my time with the Cubs has been great to me. And the fans are the best there, they supported me and the other players when we were good and when we were bad. But I’m surprised that Bob would say those things now.”
- Trey McNutt had a successful AFL debut yesterday, throwing three scoreless innings (which, in the AFL, is like throwing back-to-back shutouts). About his disappointing regular season, McNutt confirmed what most people thought – his May injury took things off course, and he wasn’t quite able to recover. “I started the season strong. I had the injury at the end of May that carried into the first week of June and it was hard me for to get going, to get sharp again,” McNutt said. “The second half, it just wasn’t a good half. I [was] trying to take something positive from it. The adversity was probably the best thing for me.”
- The Cubs finished second in attendance per win this year, with more than 42,000 folks showing up per win. We’re nothing if not loyal. Don’t break our hearts, Tom.
- Here’s Nyjer Morgan being all kinds of classy after hitting a walk-off single last night. Warning, there’s a whole lot of profanity, which is kind of the point: