A few years ago, I learned about this Horror Movie Challenge going on over on Reddit during the month of October – basically, you pick 31 movies you’ve never seen before, one for each day of the month, but they have to match certain categories/genres/decades/etc. to count. The idea being a radical expansion of your exposure to different types and eras of horror.
Sadly, I was never able to participate. Happily, that was because of the Cubs.
Usually, you see, the Cubs are still playing right now. In fact, in each of the last three seasons they had not one, but at least TWO more series still to go at this point in October. This year, however, I can finally participate in the horror movie challenge. And I hate that.
OK, bits from around the league …
- According to Jon Heyman, the Cincinnati Reds have a list of “at least” eight names in their manager search, but five have already emerged as favorites: Jim Riggleman (interim manager), John Farrell (ex-Red Sox manager), David Bell (Giants farm director), Brad Ausmus (ex-Tigers manager), and Joe Girardi (ex-Yankees manager). In fact, in Heyman’s estimation, the final choice will almost certainly come from that group. But others have heard that additional candidates could be on the way:
Can confirm Reds interviewing Girardi, Bell & Ausmus this week. More next week according to reds source https://t.co/8JQ2XMQq8o
— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) October 3, 2018
- I couldn’t possibly know who else is out there interviewing for the job, but I think we do know that both Dusty Baker and Carlos Beltran are interested in managing again/for the first time, so perhaps they’ll get involved. Joe Girardi remains, in my opinion, the most attractive experienced candidate out there, but we’ll see where he winds up. Cincinnati isn’t the only opening this winter, and he might be highly sought after.
- Speaking of managerial vacancies, another has popped up: Buck Showalter won’t be back with the Orioles next year. Steer a team to 47-115 and you don’t get invited back. Understandable. That said, Showalter has a career record of 1,551-1,517 in 20 seasons managing the Yankees, D-Backs, Rangers, and Orioles, so his experience may be attractive elsewhere. I don’t think too many organizations would be blaming this past season on him, necessarily.
- Rewinding back to the 2018 MLB Draft for a moment, the Braves have themselves a bit of a problem. You see, when they failed to sign their first-round pick (eighth overall) Carter Stewart to a deal, they expected to get the 9th overall pick in 2019 as compensation – per MLB rules. However, the players union has filed a grievance on behalf of Stewart, saying the Braves did not make him the financial offer necessary to receive compensation (i.e. 40% of his assigned slot value, or $1,992,280). Stewart is looking to become a true free agent (Scott Boras just picked him up as a client), the Braves are looking to prove they did make such an offer (in fact, the loss of Stewart actually affected their ability to go over-slot on a later pick), and MLB is trying to get to the bottom of it. This’ll be an interesting one to follow. Seems like it should be pretty easy to prove in one direction or another, right?
- (Also, remember that the Braves are the organization that got hammered for violations in Latin America, which may now be part of an FBI investigation.)
- At The Athletic Marc Craig and Eno Sarris have a very deep dive into the Yankees organization, with a heavy focus on Brian Cashman and how he fought for the Yankees to transform who they are and embrace analytics back in the early 2000s and through today. It was apparently a very long, difficult fight with plenty of detractors who simply wanted the Yankees to keep papering over their mistakes with money – because, let’s be clear, they can – but Cashman won. Now, the Yankees have the biggest and deepest analytics department in all of baseball, with 20 analysts leading the charge (the Cubs, by contrast, apparently have only six, which doesn’t sound right to me, but Sarris and Craig admit that teams were guarded with this information, but clear on one fact: the Yankees have the biggest department). One rival executive even called it a “third-party research and development arm,” which, whoa.
‘Cold Hard Cash’: It was a massive, methodical, and often merciless undertaking that took many years. But as the Yankees begin the playoffs, @EnoSarris and I detail how Brian Cashman transformed an empire of warring factions into a thriving technocracy: https://t.co/otViFagJPF pic.twitter.com/885CCUtFO0
— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) October 3, 2018
- Reading that whole piece is well worth your time, but even if you just glance through it, I guarantee you’ll find interesting tidbits of information. Give it a look.
- Good point here from Jeff Passan, and it’s something we often think about at awards time:
Last year, I was asked why MLB doesn't have a post-season honor like the NFL with its All-Pro team and the NBA its All-NBA team. I didn't have a good answer. Baseball's best players should be recognized for what they achieve over an entire season, not just with an All-Star berth.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 4, 2018
- According to FiveThirtyEight’s odds, the Dodgers have the best shot of reaching the NLCS (over the Braves) at 71%. They’re followed by the Astros (over the Indians) at 63%, and the Brewers over the Rockies at 56%. Given how much of a coin flip these series usually are, I am pretty baffled by extremity of the Dodgers’ chances. I’m rooting for the Braves and Rockies.