The Playoffs Officially Kick Off Today and Other Bullets

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The Playoffs Officially Kick Off Today and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

mlb logoSo, do we still have a government today? (Cue unwanted political garbage fight in the comments because of an off-hand joke in the Bullets preamble … )

  • The Tampa Bay Rays last night beat the Texas Rangers 5-2 to claim the second Wild Card spot. So, they won a play-in to get to a play-in. David Price pitched well in a complete game to get the win, and now the Rays will face the Indians on Wednesday in the AL Wild Card game. The Reds and Pirates kick off the playoffs tonight at 7pm CT in the NL Wild Card Game. In some ways, I find playoff baseball more interesting and exciting in the years in which the Cubs were absolutely not competitive in the least. Had they just missed out on the playoffs, it would be too frustrating for me to watch what could have been. As it stands, I’ll watch Reds/Pirates tonight as a completely carefree baseball fan.
  • To that end, your playoff rooting interest flow chart.
  • If you want to read Dale Sveum’s thoughts on being dismissed, you can see most of them here or here. Sveum sounds a bit defensive, which is understandable, and he also seems to be aware that the between-the-line-reading public believes it was a failure to develop young talent at the big league level that, primarily, got him canned. He takes issue with that point, and believes he and his coaching staff did a good job. This is just one of those things that we may never have enough visibility into to judge. From the outside, you can point to Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo (though I can, and have, explained how it’s tough to pin any failings on Sveum for those two), but we don’t know whether there were other development issues that we simply never saw.
  • Looking at the Mesa Solar Sox’s roster (the Arizona Fall League team to which the Cubs send prospects), it appears that the Cubs have selected their replacement for Arodys Vizcaino, who was removed from the AFL in favor of instructional ball: Lendy Castillo. Last year’s Rule 5 pick, Castillo struggled in the bigs last year and then at Kane County this year. He was promoted to Daytona and worked exclusively out of the bullpen, where he had a fair bit of success. Castillo is eligible for the Rule 5 Draft again this year, so perhaps the Cubs are giving him one final look. I strongly doubt he’s added to the 40-man, though.
  • A season wrap-up piece from
  • As the Cubs search for their next manager having just fired the last, I’d like to give a shout out to an appropriate t-shirt of a friend of mine’s. I can’t remember for sure, but I think I may have come up with the idea.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.