Giants owner has his priorities in order

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New York Giants uniforms.gifI generally stay out of the Dodgers-Giants rivalry because I really don’t have a dog in the hunt. There are years that I like to see the Giants get the best of the Dodgers and vice-versa. It usually depends on the makeup of the rosters, how it impacts postseason matchups, and whether or not one or the other of them beat up on the Braves that given year.  At present I’m favoring the Giants because of my crush on admiration for Tim Lincecum and the fact that the Dodgers media people are acting like jerks. That could easily change, however depending on how awesome Matt Kemp or Clayton Kershaw decide to be this year or whatever.

But after scanning the newspapers this morning, I may have to go all-in with the Giants. Why? Owner Bill Neukom has made retro-style, orange-striped socks available to his players and strongly encourages their use:

In addition to the standard sanitaries and the all-black socks, the
Giants also made a deluxe version available to their major leaguers
this spring. They’re black with three horizontal orange stripes that
are only visible when their pant legs are worn high.
They’ll be required at Single-A San Jose and other minor league stops that share the Giants’ color schemes.

“I think it’s a great look,” Neukom said. “I think it looks like baseball. I also think it’ll make them faster runners.”

Frank McCourt can have his Chinese soccer team and football stadium in the parking lot. I’d prefer the owner of my team to care about baseball stuff. Especially trivial and wonderful baseball stuff like striped socks.

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.