Unfortunately, at a national level, we’re seeing case positivity rate for COVID-19 starting to climb again. Raw case counts had been going up for a while, but that was in tandem with big increases in total tests, so it was expected. But this past week, the positivity rate started to climb, together with hospitalization rates and ICU stays. That’s not good. Those are indicators that things are, in fact, getting worse again. And the lies being offered at a national level sure aren’t helping. I know that people are tired of masks and distancing – I am! – but what is the alternative at the moment? Just let more people get sick and hospitalized and die? That doesn’t seem like a great option.
• The Tampa Bay Rays are headed to the ALCS for the first time since 2008, having dispatched the New York Yankees last night 2-1. The final out was pretty wild, with a nearly 110 mph Gio Urshela rocket getting gloved at third base … and nearly tearing through the glove:
For the first time since 2008, your Rays are heading to the ALCS! pic.twitter.com/qeCVR6Mkul
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) October 10, 2020
• I think a lot of Cubs fans have a complicated relationship with Aroldis Chapman. On the one hand, he was mostly nails for the Cubs in 2016 in a role they desperately needed, and they almost certainly do not win the World Series without him. On the many other hands, you have the domestic violence incident and suspension before he was acquired, you have the largely unrepentant attitude about that situation when he was acquired, you have the loss of Gleyber Torres in the trade, and you have the Rajai Davis home run. There isn’t a universal opinion of Chapman and his Cubs legacy among fans. It’s just kind of a complicated mish-mash of thoughts and feelings.
• That said, there’s one thing about which most of us have a set opinion, and that is that when Chapman intentionally threw a 101 mph fastball directly at Rays infielder Mike Brosseau’s head earlier this year, it was a real POS move. So, in turn, when Brosseau hit the game-winning homer last night off of Chapman, sending the Rays to the ALCS and sending the Yankees home, that felt like some perfect baseball karma. Thus, I think it’s pretty fair to lulz about things like this:
Aroldis Chapman is the first reliever in MLB history to record a loss in an elimination game in back-to-back seasons
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) October 10, 2020
Aroldis Chapman gave up a Yankees eliminating home runs in back-to-back postseasons.
2019 vs Altuve
2020 vs Brosseau pic.twitter.com/jxdIlTZ21n
— Michael Schwab (@michaelschwab13) October 10, 2020
You mess with the bull, you get the horns pic.twitter.com/IaKGNLlrcx
— ☘️☘️ (@IrishDomer08) October 10, 2020
• So, the ALCS is set, the Rays and Astros will kick off tomorrow (go Rays!), and the NLCS begins on Monday with the Braves facing the Dodgers.
• This is nuts:
• Something wild is happening with the Red Sox ownership, the particulars of which might take some time to sort out:
.@WSJ scoop overnight: Liverpool FC owner John W. Henry is looking to bring new investors in on his sports portfolio, which also includes the Boston Red Sox. From @miriamgottfried and @CaraRLombardo. https://t.co/7UkNTNjVKn
— Joshua Robinson (@JoshRobinson23) October 10, 2020
• The short version, for now, is that an entity is being created (with Oakland A’s EVP of Baseball Operations Billy Beane involved) to merge with the parent company of the Red Sox, and ultimately take a 25% stake (effectively) in the Red Sox. How on earth you have one team’s exec owning part of another MLB organization (even through multiple layers) is a huge wut to me. Again, we’ll have to see when more details shake out, but this could conceivably force Beane to leave the A’s and join the Red Sox, where he famously rejected overtures many, many years ago.
• Are we there yet? Can we just say this and enjoy it:
NL Central Champs. https://t.co/BzANm1zJAK
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) October 10, 2020
• … or not yet? I’m close. Not quite there, though. Probably in the World Series I’ll be fully there, because I’ll have the visual reminder that only one team from each league gets there, leaving (this year) seven teams behind in each league that feel like their season ended in disappointment. At least you can’t take away the Cubs Central Division crown from the pandemic season!
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