With the season behind us and a semi-normal sleep schedule permissible, I’m cutting my coffee intake in half (two down to one). Trying anyway. We’ll see how this goes. But I’ll be cold in hell before I give up my two Coke Zeros per day …
- Every LDS was in action yesterday, with the Astros crushing the Rays behind Justin Verlander’s ageless wonder (1-0 HOU), the Twins and Yankees playing a tight one until the Yankees went off late (1-0 NYY), Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer combining for a gem against the Dodgers (1-1), and the Braves shutting out the Cardinals (1-1).
- The big blow in the Cardinals-Braves game was this Adam Duvall shot off of Jack Flaherty:
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) October 4, 2019
- The series has already been heavy on the Braves’ notorious and gross “tomahawk chop,” and one Cardinals rookie is speaking out:
"Using our heritage as a mascot – it isn’t the best thing. There have been schools who in the past 20, 30 years have changed their mascots. I don’t see why professional teams are so far behind on that.” — #Cardinals rookie Ryan Helsley. #Braves #NLDS https://t.co/vQ1a2oCal4
— Derrick S. Goold (@dgoold) October 4, 2019
- “I think it’s a misrepresentation of the Cherokee people or Native Americans in general,” Ryan Helsley told the Post-Dispatch. “Just depicts them in this kind of caveman-type people way who aren’t intellectual. They are a lot more than that. It’s not me being offended by the whole mascot thing. It’s not. It’s about the misconception of us, the Native Americans, and it devalues us and how we’re perceived in that way, or used as mascots. The Redskins and stuff like that. That’s the disappointing part. That stuff like this still goes on. It’s just disrespectful, I think.”
- Good on Helsley for having the stones to say something. It shouldn’t be required that Helsley is a member of Cherokee Nation to have an opinion on the matter, but I know that a lot folks’ lame go-to is “but Native Americans aren’t even bothered!”, so there you go. An actual Native American player is telling you it’s bad and disrespectful. And he’s having to play in front of crowds of tens of thousands of people being asked by the Braves to mimic some history-adjacent idea of Native Americans for sports fun. The Braves have made it their damn tag line (“Chop on”). Does that seem right to you? Really and truly ask yourself how you would feel, knowing what the history is in this country for indigenous peoples. Me? I think it sucks. I think it’s awful, and completely unnecessary.
- Although I’m sure some (all?) Cubs pitchers do use substances to get a little extra grip on their pitches, it’s become crystal clear that some organizations – read: the Astros – are pushing some kind of specific method for getting extra tackiness on their grip, which largely explains the consistent and massive spike pitchers see in spin rate upon joining Houston. It’s been the working theory for a couple years now, and not only does it seem like it’s pretty obviously correct, it seems MLB knows and doesn’t care:
MLB appears unconcerned about sticky foreign substances so long as sticky stuff is not applied brazenly. MLB declined to comment to 538 last year about the subject. So if you're a pitcher not breaking this largely unenforced rule you're at a performance disadvantage.
— Travis Sawchik (@Travis_Sawchik) October 5, 2019
- cc: Cubs, Theo, Jed, Tom, Tommy, Clark, everyone. Figure out how to get your pitchers working with super sticky substance (they’ll need to practice with it a bit), and get it out into games. At this point, it’s not being treated by MLB as a “foreign substance” under the rules, so I don’t want to hear anyone griping about “cheating.” Clearly, it’s not cheating. It’s falling behind the curve if you’re not doing it aggressive.
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