Welcome to the postseason. Here are several go-to links to make your Monday a bit more bearable:
- Sports Illustrated’s Jay Jaffe wrote a column back in August that was highly critical of the 2–3 Division Series schedule, and it remains a worthwhile read.
- I think it is safe to say that all of us are now experts on the infield fly rule. Rob Neyer of SB Nation explains why Friday night’s call was the proper one, while William Juliano of the Captain’s Blog suggests a rule alteration.
- Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs offers a detailed recap of how the visiting Reds, who lost Johnny Cueto to an injury after only eight pitches, still managed to beat Matt Cain and the Giants in the first game of the NLCS on Saturday night.
- Al Alburquerque, the Tigers relief pitcher WFAN gabber Mike Francesa claims does not exist, is definitely on the A’s players’ collective radar after, as Matt Snyder of CBSSports.com notes, “he did something a bit odd.”
- Accept Alex Rodriguez for who he is today, “just a better than good player,” suggests It’s About the Money Stupid’s William Tasker.
- In the wake of Bobby Valentine’s canning, Ben Buchanan of Over the Monster explains why offering the Red Sox managerial job to Jason Varitek would be a cause for concern:
Basically, Jason Varitek is a risk, and with a payoff probably not terribly high. To me, it’s hard to understand how someone analytical like Ben Cherington would come to the conclusion that he would be a good risk to take compared to any number of safer options with experience.
Unless, of course, you bring in factors outside of just baseball, at which point it becomes easy to figure out not only why they’d be interested in Varitek, but also John Farrell. And it’s a thought which is pretty troubling. Simply put, they’re making a PR decision, not a baseball decision. Kind of like that Bobby V decision seemed to be.
- Mike Matheny’s managerial blunder in the top of the eighth inning yesterday played a major role in the Cardinals’ loss to the Nationals, explains Sweet Spot’s David Schoenfield.
- Rockies skipper Jim Tracy resigned, while Terry Francona was hired to lead the Indians.
- The Hardball Times’ Richard Barbieri unveils his all-October team.
- Coco Crisp remains a decent defensive center fielder but really should leave the dramatic catches to the Say Hey Kid.
That’s it. Have a happy Columbus Day and walk-off week!