It could always take a step back after the pilot, as many shows do, but I thought the first episode ‘Westworld’ was freaking awesome. It set things up, it played with our expectations, it set the mind spinning about the possibilities for that world and the future of the show … I am so in.
As I mentioned in this space a couple weeks ago, I was already predisposed to be into this show because of the folks running it and the incredible cast, but that premier definitely met my already very high expectations.
- Although I spent a little time this morning digging into the Wild Card Game and the better NLDS match-up for the Cubs, and that’ll continue to be a legitimate point of discussion this week, I think Jake Arrieta has the right attitude from the player perspective:
Mets or Giants? Jake Arrieta: "Who gives a s—?"
— Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney) October 2, 2016
- Plaudits for and scouting commentary on Kyle Hendricks here, including how his style plays in the regular season versus the playoffs. Hendricks, you’ll recall, did make two postseason starts last year, allowing five earned runs in 8.2 innings. That doesn’t sound great, obviously, but he struck out 11 and walked just one in that time. It was the four home runs he gave up that was the biggest problem, and is what can kill you in the everything-is-a-small-sample playoffs. Hendricks has never been a home-run-prone guy, what with his elevated groundball rate, but it’s worth pointing out that his HR/9 dropped this year from 0.85 to 0.71, the sixth lowest mark in all of baseball. In theory, Hendricks should not be a home run liability in the playoffs, even if that’s what bit him last year.
- To be sure, there are 162 games in a season, and any of the losses could be pointed to when a team misses the playoffs by a single game (or the wins, as the Cardinals just stole one from the Reds), but it’s fun to think about how the Cubs beat the Cardinals in a crazy game that ended on an extra-inning, walk-off walk by Anthony Rizzo (on a pitch that was all kinds of inside the strike zone). One pitch really can make a huge difference, even in the long, grueling MLB season.
- Commissioner Rob Manfred may have opened a can of worms yesterday by saying that David Ortiz’s 2003 positive PED test – that “anonymous” survey one that reportedly implicated 103 players including Sammy Sosa – may not have been reliable, so he discounts it. Manfred emphasized that a “positive” test at that time did not necessarily mean that the player had actually used a PED, because the individual results were not investigated in the way they would be today (that test was simply to survey the league to see if the full testing program that we know today was needed). Will a guy like Sosa, whose physical changes in the late-90s were so much more dramatic, get the same deference? If we throw out the 2003 test, can we draw conclusions based on our eyes and the era, alone? (I don’t mean that rhetorically, since I think it’s fair to have different opinions here. For me, I think it’s way past time to just include all players from that era in the Hall of Fame if their performance otherwise merits it. But, when it comes to Sosa, I am not sure his performance does merit it.)
- Conor Gillaspie made an absurd catch in yesterday’s Giants game, and if a Cubs player did this, I might pass out from terror (but if he was OK, it would amazing).
- Former Cub D.J. LeMahieu is the NL batting champion by a single point over Daniel Murphy. Neither player played much during the final week of the season, though Murphy has been dealing with a butt injury. LeMaheiu, on the other hand, was healthy, and instead was held out because Murphy was out. Which, in my opinion, is a really lame way to hang onto the batting title. LeMahieu apparently said he didn’t like it, but I’ve got to believe if he insisted on playing, he would have played.
- Michael looks back on the best moments of the 2016 MLB season over at Baseball is Fun.
- It’s official:
OFFICIAL: Rick Renteria has been named the new manager of the Chicago White Sox. pic.twitter.com/cRv7or3Icf
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) October 3, 2016
- This is fun:
Of the players likely to be on the #Cubs playoff roster Willson Contreras has been in the org the longest. Signed as an IFA in 2009.
— Mauricio Rubio Jr. (@MRubio52) October 3, 2016
- Folding handsaws on sale at Amazon today. Yup, I know how random that is, but it just stood out to me for some reason. I imagine myself in a situation where I really need to get that small tree out of our way, and then I reach into my pocket and I’m like, “Don’t worry, folks, I got this.”