We have a roof leak. Water coming down from the ceiling and then down the walls. That seems not good! It isn’t too dramatic just yet, but I don’t like the implication. Hopefully we can get a patch or some duct tape or something …
• The Boston Red Sox are the first LDS winner, beating the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 4 last night to take the series 3-1. No crazy rules stuff this time, just a blown 5-0 lead, and then a walk-off winner:
ANOTHER NIGHT, ANOTHER #WALKOFF!
THE RED SOX ARE ALCS BOUND! pic.twitter.com/81fxAr4cU0
— MLB (@MLB) October 12, 2021
• Every time the Rays lose in the postseason after a dominant regular season, The Discourse takes the same shape. And while I think there are conversations to be had about optimizing rosters for postseason purposes, the reality is that no five-game series is going to “prove” anything about the big picture stuff. There’s just too much natural variance in baseball, and when it comes to the playoffs, you just have to accept it. An incredibly-well-constructed team might be able to tip the scales to, what, 60/40 in a five-game series? Well, that means 40% of the time, the well-constructed team will still lose! And it won’t “prove” anything … and you won’t even know if it was actually 60/40!
• That is all to say, if your takeaway from the Rays-Red Sox series is that the Rays clearly can’t win in the postseason with the model that helps them win in the regular season, I just think you’re taking a single series too far. Yes, the Rays could spend more money to improve their team, and yes, it would probably help incrementally in the postseason. But heavy emphasis on “probably” and “incrementally.” You can make that point without going over the top. There are still reasons to copy a lot of what the Rays do well on the scouting and player development side, as well as the unique in-game usage for emerging and developing players.
• To me, the better point overall here is the reminder that, if you can just get to the postseason, sometimes you’re the Red Sox! Win a Wild Card Game, win a tight series where you were the underdog, and boom, you’re in the ALCS. That’s the motivation to spend, where appropriate, to improve your team in the offseason.
• The Red Sox will get the winner of the Astros-White Sox series, which had its own Game 4 postponed yesterday by weather. They’ll try again today at 1pm CT, after doing some verbal jousting about Ryan Tepera’s “sketchy stuff” comments:
Dusty Baker responded to Ryan Tepera’s comments by citing the Astros’ similar home/road splits, and noting that the White Sox are a lot better at home. Then he quoted an Eric Clapton lyric:
“Before you accuse me, you need to take a look at yourself"
— James Fegan (@JRFegan) October 11, 2021
Dusty Baker on Ryan Tepera: "He can say what he wants to say. I had never even heard his name before we played the White Sox. I'm not bothered by it. Most of my life, they've been talking stuff on me anyway. Let them talk."
— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) October 11, 2021
• Never heard of an MVP-vote-getter before. Pfft. (In all seriousness, Dusty doesn’t do a lot of advance scouting or baseball-following these days, eh?)
• The Braves beat the Brewers 3-0 on the strength of Joc Pederson’s Anthony-Rizzo-bat-powered homer, and now lead that series 2-1 going into today’s Game 4 at 4:15pm CT.
• It hasn’t been a great start to the postseason for any of the Brewers’ bats, but thanks to his stature and contract, Christian Yelich gets most of the attention. Most of the really, really bad attention:
2018-2019 Christian Yelich and 2021 Christian Yelich pic.twitter.com/6rzb4NSlpq
— Phill 🥶 (@MeekPhill_) October 11, 2021
• Meanwhile, the Giants are within a game of moving on after a 1-0 win over the Dodgers last night:
• Game 4 of that NLDS series is tonight at 8pm CT, which means there COULD be as many as three clinchers today. Here’s hoping there aren’t, though, because I’d like at least one Game 5.
• 12 years ago today, the CUBS WENT BANKRUPT!!! Well, not really. They were effectively moved into the Tribune’s bankruptcy case for about a day as part of the team’s sale to the Ricketts Family:
Many forget the @Cubs filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection just 12 years ago on 10/12/09
The short-term move allowed then club's owner, the @chicagotribune, to sell the team for $845M to the family of @TDAmeritrade's founder, Joe Ricketts#FlytheW#BaseballandtheLaw 303 pic.twitter.com/K7JUnY2RSA
— #BaseballandtheLaw ⚾️ 🏛 (@BaseballandLaw) October 12, 2021
• I was still a lawyer back in those days (shhh, don’t tell any of them that I was writing BN on the side for fun), and I remember being deeply annoyed at all the OMG THE CUBS ARE BANKRUPT headlines out there. That Tribune piece was one of the few that laid things out very well, which is not a coincidence, since it was all tied to the Tribune’s bankruptcy! I’m very glad that I don’t have to write “it is just a procedural filing” over and over again these days.
• The Epic Daily Deals at Amazon today are pretty loaded, with grills, tools, shavers, computer gear, air purifiers, clothes, and more. #ad
• This is now a day ago, but it’s never a bad time to enjoy this comeback win. I was running around my house:
5 years ago today, the #Cubs fought back after being down 3 runs in the 9th to beat the Giants in the 2016 NLDS & advance to the NLCS. 🙌🏼
— Cubs Zone ™️ (@CubsZone) October 11, 2021
• I did a stupid thing because it was funny to me:
check out my sick ass javy jersey swap so you can imagine what it would be like if he signs with the cubs this offseason pic.twitter.com/NGG0Jt1jFh
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) October 12, 2021
• The big news in football is that Jon Gruden is out as the Raiders Head Coach following more horrible emails surfacing. His game on Sunday against the Bears is likely his last ever.