Yankees Old Timer's Day might need a nap

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Disclaimer: I love baseball. I love history. I love baseball history.
I’m a Mets fan who does not dislike the Yankees (settle down Benigno).

That being said … it might be time to put this Old Timer’s Day thing on the shelf for a couple years until guys like Jeter and Mariano and O’Neill
are old and gray and haven’t been heard from in 10 years. Then you
celebrate them and everyone’s happy and it’s a great time for all. Or
do it every 5 years.

But do the Yanks really need to do this every year? If you continue
to have these ceremonies where the greats (and some non-greats) all
trot out, the oversaturation factor kicks in. Within the last 12
months, the Yanks have now had four similar celebrations – All-Star
Game, final game at Old Yankee Stadium, opening of New Yankee Stadium,
Old Timer’s Day – where the team honors its past. Seriously, we get it.
The Yankees are the greatest franchise ever. You had us at the 183rd
time you told us.

Most of the legends have passed on (Mickey, Joe D). Now, Yogi and Whitey are surrounded by the likes of Dave Eiland, Homer Bush, and Aaron Small. To put things in perspective, imagine the Mets celebrating Old Timer’s Day with Tom Seaver, a couple other dudes from ’69, but also Rico Brogna, Bill Pulsipher, and Keith Miller. Everyone would make fun of it, right? Not to equate Mets history with Yankees history, but hopefully you get the point.

If the Yanks were inviting these guys because they’re truly
acknowledging that the lean years are just as important as the
championship years, then that’s one thing. I applaud that. But me
thinks that some of this crew is just roster filler. Guys like John Sterling, Michael Kay, and the YES propaganda crew rarely reminisce about Mike Easler or Pat Kelly.

And let’s not even get started about the politics with some of these choices. If you think that Joe Torre ever gets invited back with the current regime in place, you’re crazy.

Again, honoring your past is fantastic and the idea of an Old
Timer’s Day is wonderful. But when it gets watered down and played out,
it’s time to re-evaluate things. Let it breathe. Let Old Timer’s Day
take a nap for a couple years. It’s return will feel special again.

NL Wild Card Game: Cubs vs. Pirates lineups

Jake Arrieta

Here are the Cubs and Pirates lineups for tonight’s Wild Card game in Pittsburgh:

CF Dexter Fowler
RF Kyle Schwarber
LF Kris Bryant
1B Anthony Rizzo
3B Tommy La Stella
2B Starlin Castro
C Miguel Montero
SS Addison Russell
SP Jake Arrieta

Cubs manager Joe Maddon wanted Tommy La Stella in the lineup over Jorge Soler or Chris Coghlan, so he starts at third base and Kris Bryant shifts to left field. Bryant started just four games in left field all season, compared to 136 starts at third base. Also of note: After batting Addison Russell ninth–behind the pitcher–116 times this season Maddon has him in the more traditional eighth spot tonight.

RF Gregory Polanco
3B Josh Harrison
CF Andrew McCutchen
LF Starling Marte
C Francisco Cervelli
2B Neil Walker
SS Jordy Mercer
1B Sean Rodriguez
SP Gerrit Cole

Pedro Alvarez started 119 games at first base for the Pirates and with right-hander Jake Arrieta on the mound he was the presumed starter tonight, but instead manager Clint Hurdle has benched the 27-homer slugger in favor of utility man Sean Rodriguez. Alvarez is vastly superior to Rodriguez offensively, especially versus a righty, but he’s also very shaky defensively. During the regular season Rodriguez started a grand total of one game at first base against a right-hander, so this qualifies as a hunch by Hurdle.

The Cardinals are optimistic about Yadier Molina’s status

St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina celebrates as he arrives home after hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina‘s bum thumb responded well after participating in baseball activities Tuesday, including catching, hitting, blocking balls and the like.

This morning Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said that he’s now even more optimistic that Molina will be on the NLDS roster. The Cards’ first game will be Friday against the winner of tonight’s Cubs-Pirates tilt.

Having Molina would obviously be a boon for the Cardinals on the field. For a look at what Molina means to the Cardinals off the field, however, take some time to go read Derrick Goold’s excellent story about what Molina’s teammates think of him. Short version: the world. It’s worth your time, even if you’re not a citizen of Cardinals Nation.