Here are several go-to links that will make the next few hours a bit more bearable:
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs writes: “I’m starting to feel like the idea of Justin Verlander is becoming larger than the reality of Justin Verlander. He’s a great pitcher who had a great year, but it’s not like he did anything this season that was historically unprecedented.”
- On the subject of MVP voting, Sports Illustrated’s Joe Posnanski points out that Oscars are awarded to less-than-stellar films all the time, so why should Jacoby Ellsbury be punished for the Red Sox collapse?
- Brien Jackson of It’s About the Money, Stupid is steaming over Joe Girardi’s “bullpen mismanagement” in the first two playoff games against the Tigers.
- Why didn’t Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa bring in a southpaw to face Ryan Howard in this situation? And why did Diamondbacks’ ace Ian Kennedy pitch to Prince Fielder in this situation?
- Speaking of Fielder, Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated explains why his final plate appearance of the regular season, a walk, was so remarkable.
- Beyond the Boxscore’s Dave Gershman offers a primer on what scouts look for in a first baseman.
- Terry Francona departs the Sox while the Angels wave good-bye to general manager Tony Reagins.
- Still unconvinced that Phillies fans are sophisticated? Courtesy of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Hardball Talk, here’s absolute proof.
That’s it. Have a walk-off week!