The Twins' new uniforms are full of win

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The Twins have a new house, so they have to have new clothes.  The duds Mr. Span is wearing to the right are actually the new throwback alternates, which everyone (Span included) thinks look better than the actual new homies.  They’ll only be worn at home on Opening Day and on Saturdays, but if the Twins truly want to look sharp, they’ll make those the new regular home uniforms and make the other ones — these guys — the alternates.  Sure, they’re throwbacks, but they’re classic looking as opposed to gimmicky. The Twins never looked better than when they wore those things, and they should wear them all the time now.

They also have new road uniforms which, while looking a little Nationals-esque to me, mercifully eliminate the pinstripes, which look truly wretched on gray.  In fact, I’d consider an argument that pinstripes looks wretched on everyone except the Yankees, but that’s best saved for another day.

Also gone — well, mostly gone — are the “M” hats.  They’ll still be worn (read: marketed) as an alternate, but the “TC” logo will reign supreme both at home and on the road as God and nature intended.  The “TC” is choice and never should have been abandoned in the first place.

Sadly, however, Minnesota still insists on having a solid blue alternate jersey, which looks simply terrible.  In fact, if I were made commissioner for a day, the first thing I’d do would be to ban the wearing of solid jerseys that don’t match the pants. It looks like softball.

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 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.