Ballplayers think that little shiny bracelets improve their performance

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We live in a world in which PED hysterics say things like “ballplayers wouldn’t take HGH if it didn’t improve their performance.”  We also live in a world where ballplayers wear shiny little mylar bracelets that are “digitally encoded with a frequency that your body can tune into” and which are claimed to give you the same sort of alleged benefits that can be found in new age b.s. like crystal power:

At least a dozen Phillies were wearing them yesterday, among them
Placido Polanco, Ben Francisco, Ross Gload, John Mayberry, and Charlie
Manuel. There was even one proponent from the medical community: “Doc”
Halladay wore a band on his left wrist.

“I’m wearing it because it’s red,” reliever J.C. Romero, who always
wears something on his wrist as he warms up, said. “I’m not sure about
the rest of it. If you think it helps you, it probably helps you.”

Manuel said he took the strength and balance tests Monday. He’d been
wearing a white wristband ever since.

“It’s just some rubber and that little disc,” Manuel said. “I don’t feel
anything, no. But you never know. When I was a hitting coach, if a guy
thought he was having success because of something, I didn’t say
anything. Let him think it.”

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Yadier Molina scratched from Cardinals’ lineup

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Yadier Molina was in the Cardinals’ initial, posted lineup for Game 4 of the NLDS this afternoon, but the injured catcher has been scratched and replaced by backup Tony Cruz.

Molina has been playing through a significant thumb injury and exited Game 3 early in obvious discomfort. He no doubt talked his way into the lineup, but manager Mike Matheny told reporters that Molina was removed due to “considerable weakness in his hand.”

Not only will the Cardinals try to stave off elimination without Molina behind the plate, if they are able to advance past the Cubs in the NLDS they could be without the seven-time All-Star catcher in the NLCS.

Robinson Cano underwent sports hernia surgery

Robinson Cano

The Mariners announced today that second baseman Robinson Cano underwent surgery on his “core muscles” today, to repair that which we more commonly refer to as a sports hernia.

Cano played through the injury during the second half of what was a below par season. Hit hit .387/.334/.486 on the year though, surprisingly, did much better in the second half, posting a line of .331/.387/.540. The hernia may have been bothersome, but it didn’t really hamper him, it would seem.

He’ll need six weeks of recovery time, but should be good to go by spring training, looking for a bounce back year.

NLDS, Game 4: Cardinals vs. Cubs lineups

John Lackey

Here are the Cardinals and Cubs lineups for Game 4 of the NLDS in Chicago:

3B Matt Carpenter
1B Stephen Piscotty
LF Matt Holliday
RF Jason Heyward
SS Jhonny Peralta
CF Randal Grichuk
2B Kolten Wong
C Yadier Molina Tony Cruz
SP John Lackey

Yadier Molina is in the lineup despite leaving Game 3 early with obvious discomfort in his injured thumb. Randal Grichuk starts in center field after Tommy Pham played there in Game 3, which is interesting because in Game 1 the Cardinals used Grichuk in right field and Jason Heyward in center field. John Lackey is starting on short rest after winning Game 1, as manager Mike Matheny bypassed Lance Lynn with the season on the line.

UPDATE: Molina has been scratched from the lineup and replaced by Tony Cruz.

CF Dexter Fowler
RF Jorge Soler
3B Kris Bryant
1B Anthony Rizzo
2B Starlin Castro
LF Kyle Schwarber
C Miguel Montero
SP Jason Hammel
SS Javier Baez

Addison Russell is out of the lineup after injuring his hamstring in Game 3, so Javier Baez is taking his place at shortstop and batting ninth behind the pitcher. Jorge Soler’s hot streak gets him another start in the No. 2 spot, with Kyle Schwarber batting sixth again. Jason Hammel makes his first start in 12 days.