Retired Phillies catcher Darren Daulton believes in alchemy, auras, telepathy, energy transfers, astral planes, planetary ascension, and parallel universes. He believes that he had an had out of body experiences while playing at Wrigley Field one day. He believes that the universe is created and sustained by numerical synchronicities — the number 11 is particularly important in his life — and
that all matter is charged with extradimensional vibrational energy. He believes
that his moods have altered the weather before, that the pyramids were created by a lost
civilization — or possibly aliens — and that people with knowledge of the workings of the
universe will ascend to a higher plane of existence on Dec. 21, 2012, at 11:11 a.m.
And in the wake of the McGwire business, he’s talking more sense about steroids than anyone:
I think it gives a real good pulse of the American people . . . I mean, if I was a foreign country and wanted to take over this
country, I’d get a prescription for steroids and stand at the border
and wave them, and then watch the American people fold . . .
. . . Finding out whether or not a guy does steroids or not, I could never
understand this. There are a lot of things that a lot of people do
behind closed doors that they probably don’t want the public to know
about. Whether you’re cheating on your wife, your husband, or you’re
doing drugs, you don’t want your boss to know about something, you’re
hiding something from somebody, or you’re watching porn and you’re
masturbating. Whatever it is, everybody’s got one of these or they
wouldn’t be here, but it seems like everybody gets to cast the first
stone when somebody else is caught doing something, or allegedly
caught. It makes them feel better, and again, this is kind of the pulse
of the American ego, as long as we can point our finger at somebody,
we’re okay, we feel better about ourselves.
The fact that one of the biggest nuts in the hemisphere is saying the
most sensible things about steroids probably means something. Though
what it is I have no idea.
Former first base and infield coach Nick Leyva was promoted to senior advisor of baseball operations on Saturday, per a report by Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Pirates also fired third base coach Rick Sofield, with no named successor as of yet.
Leyva joined the Pirates’ organization in the 2011 offseason as a third base coach under manager Clint Hurdle. He shifted to his role as the first base coach and infield coach in 2014, when first base coach Rick Sofield was reassigned to third base prior to the 2015 season. According to Biertempfel, the swap was made in order to optimize the team’s baserunning strategies, all of which appeared to fall flat during the 2015 and 2016 seasons:
The results this season were awful. The Pirates ranked 13th in the National League with a minus-7.0 BsR — a FanGraphs.com metric that measures how many runs above or below league average a team gets via its baserunning.
In 2013 and 2014, the Pirates had one of the top five BsR ratings in the NL. In 2015, they were seventh with a 2.8 BsR.
This season, the Pirates made the second-most outs at third base in the league and were last in taking extra bases on singles and doubles. Their baserunners went from first to third base on hits a league-low 63 times.
Sofield, in particular, highlighted the Pirates’ poor baserunning choices in games like this one, when he sent Sean Rodriguez home too early during the last vestige of a ninth inning rally against the Phillies.
Following the announcement, Pirates’ GM Neal Huntington issued a statement elaborating on Leyva’s role within the organization:
We have great respect and appreciation for both men. We thank them for their time and effort as part of our Major League team and the Pirates organization. It was a difficult decision, but we felt it was the right time to make this change on our Major League staff. We look forward to Nick’s continued impact in his future role with the Pirates. Nick has held nearly every coaching position at the major league level and at the minor league level, including Major League manager, in his extensive career and will be a quality mentor for our minor league managers, coaches and players.
With Game 6 of the NLCS just hours away, the Dodgers will opt for a lefty-heavy lineup against right-hander Kyle Hendricks. Batting leadoff is rookie outfielder Andrew Toles, who made one appearance at the top of the lineup during the 2016 season. The Cubs, meanwhile, will bench Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.. This will be Almora’s first start of the playoffs, and while he has yet to face Kershaw in October, his right-handed bat could play well against the lefty at the bottom of the lineup.
Game time is scheduled for 8 PM EDT; lineups are below.
1. Andrew Toles (L) LF
6. Wilson Contreras (R) C
8. Albert Almora Jr. (R) RF
9. Kyle Hendricks (R) RHP