Link-O-Rama: Turnaround in Seattle

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* Seattle still has 44 games left to play, but the Mariners have already tied last season’s win total. First-year general manager Jack Zduriencik deserves a lot of credit for how quickly he cleaned house and turned things around with a very different approach than the old regime.
* On a related note, when it comes to Yuniesky Betancourt’s horrible glove Joe Posnanski’s eyes agree with all the advanced defensive metrics. Royals general manager Dayton Moore has made it clear that he doesn’t pay any attention to the stats, but surely he has use of his senses, right?
* Maybe now Yankees fans will finally start to admit that Derek Jeter might be better than Luis Aparicio.
* One of my favorite newspaper beat writers, Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star, notes that Joe Mauer is currently leading all three categories for the “sabermetric triple crown.” Mauer has been the best all-around player in the AL this season, yet has almost zero chance to win the MVP.
* Remember a few months ago, when everyone thought that the Rangers had too much catching depth? Not so much.

World Series Games 1 and 2 may be the hottest of all time

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The World Series is often played in near winter-like conditions. The 2008 Series was interrupted by a snowy, wintry mix. The 2012 World Series games in Detroit dipped into the 20s. It’s not uncommon to see players wearing balaclavas and other winter gear during the so-called “Fall Classic.”

Not this year, though. Indeed, this year we’re likely to see record high temperatures for Games 1 and 2 at Dodger Stadium.

As of this moment, WeatherUnderground.com forecasts a high in Los Angeles of 101 degrees for today’s World Series Media Day and highs of 102 and 98 for Games 1 and 2, respectively. First pitch for both games is just after 5PM Pacific time, when the sun will still be blazing. The sun will set about an hour or so in to the game which should cool things off somewhat, but the heat will definitely impact pregame workouts and the early innings. Fans showing up three or more hours before first pitch will do well to prepare themselves for the elements.

The hottest World Series game on record came in Phoenix for Game 1 in 2001 when the mercury stood at 94 degrees at game time. That year Major League Baseball unwisely demanded that the Chase Field roof be left open for the Diamondbacks-Yankees tilt. If there is a Game 6 and/or 7 things will be nicer as the long range forecast shows temperatures in the low 70s by then.

Hydrate well, Dodgers and Astros. Those of us watching from cooler temperatures and/or the comfort of our air conditioned homes will feel really bad for you.