Today was going to be an off-day from the ALCS, so it’s possible that we *would* have seen managerial announcements today. But with weather shifting the series around, now I’m not so sure we will. It’s possible news leaks, of course (Cubs or otherwise).
- The Astros laid into the Yankees last night in New York, getting three-run homers from George Springer and Carlos Correa, and moving themselves to within a game of the World Series.
- Although it looked like it was going to be ugly for Zack Grienke out of the gate, he wound up settling down and pitching well. Get this:
Zack Greinke just walked in a run. It was his third walk of the first inning. The last time he walked three batters in the first inning was April 16, 2007.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 18, 2019
- Game Five is tonight in New York, with Justin Verlander facing James Paxton.
- Oh Sahadev no:
Who's ready to re-litigate some Theo Epstein trades?!? I took a look at some of the moves Epstein gets panned for and discuss what the underlying issues were that have now been clearly exposed. https://t.co/CHH9rRvIu9
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) October 17, 2019
Despite the tease, which probably makes you want to claw your eyes out rather than click, that’s actually a really good article by Sharma. The harshest, but fair, section might be this one:
“The Cubs seemingly ignored internal reports from the previous regime that saw LeMahieu as a future high-average hitter and plus defender at second base. They either didn’t know about or chose to overlook certain red flags with Stewart, including the fact that he just never was that passionate about baseball. In their admitted goal of gathering as much power as possible, the Cubs focused on solely that attribute with Stewart and ignored LeMahieu’s upside, including an insatiable competitive spirit that helped him maximize his potential.
The Cubs were able to overcome that blunder in other ways. But they never corrected certain blind spots along the way. Going all in on power allowed them to rationalize trading Vogelbach and Soler because they were covered in that area. But not creating more depth elsewhere, perhaps not valuing them as highly as they should have, left them deficient in certain skills.
‘It’s really hard to teach contact,’ Epstein said. ‘We had a ton of raw power. Raw power ended up not being as important given the environment that we were playing in this year with the ball and everything else. Contact became extremely important.'”
- The whiff on D.J. LeMahieu despite having info right there for them to use is not great, and specifically targeting Ian Stewart was clearly not great. I’ll give a pass on the second half of that, though, as you’ll recall the Cubs were just setting out on a multi-year rebuild at the time, and Stewart was a nearly ideal target for a team in that situation – if he busts, no big deal, but if he finally lives up to his physical potential, you just got a superstar. The part that I will give them grief about is doubling down on Stewart the next year, when it was already very clear that he was not going to be a guy. (And, in that next year, not only did he struggle, he got himself suspended for ripping the organization on Twitter during a late-night gaming session. True story!)
- Cheap crockpot, LOL Surprise dolls, and a “gentlemen’s box” are among the Deals of the Day at Amazon.
- The clues are everywhere:
Official message from Nisei Lounge. pic.twitter.com/fJpctiucHK
— Nisei Lounge Chicago (@NiseiLounge) October 17, 2019
- I haven’t looked at the other plays yet, but come on, no one is topping this:
— Myrtle Beach Pelicans (@Pelicanbaseball) October 18, 2019
- And if you’re in the mood to vote for Cubs minor leaguers: