It’s entirely possible that someone else thought of pitting four giant plush mascots against one another in between-inning footraces before the Brewers did it with their sausage guys, but Milwaukee has always done it the best. And, inevitably, it has led to copycats. Giant president heads race in Washington. Hot dogs race in Cleveland. Tools race in Atlanta (really, Home Depot sponsors it and everything; one of the guys who dresses up even reads this blog!). I’m sure there are others.
The latest is in Arizona, where they unleashed a Legends Race over the weekend. The gimmick: the race takes place between giant caricatures of Randy Johnson, Mark Grace, Luis Gonzalez and Matt Williams. The fact that all four of those dudes were as slow as molasses makes it all the more delicious. What, no Tony Womack?
Anyway, Randy Johnson won the first one. I’m assuming the egos of the players involved will not allow the Dbacks to do with these races what other teams do with theirs in constantly gaming it so that one of the mascots never wins (e.g. Teddy Roosevelt for the Nats). If they do it with anyone it should be Mark Grace, though, considering he’s a smoker. Having him hack his way to fourth place every night would probably send a good message out there to the kids, ya know?
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
UPDATE, 5:08 PM EDT: Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon will not rule out a World Series appearance for Kyle Schwarber if the Cubs advance. MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports that Schwarber could play through a simulated game on Sunday, during which the Cubs’ medical and baseball staff would evaluate his chances for a late season return. If he does play, it will likely be in a pinch-hitting or DH role and not on the field.
Cubs’ outfielder Kyle Schwarber will return to the playing field on Saturday, per a report by the Chicago Tribune’s Mark Gonzales. The club’s prized left fielder suffered a season-ending injury when he collided with Dexter Fowler back in April, tearing both his ACL and LCL and undergoing intensive knee surgery later that month.
While no nerve damage was discovered during the surgery, the Cubs have kept a close eye on Schwarber during his recovery and put a kibosh on any part-time or full-time role with the team until the spring of 2017. Getting a few reps in during the Arizona Fall League appears to be the last step in the 23-year-old’s rehab process. He will be part of the Mesa Solar Sox’ ‘taxi squad,’ making him eligible for games on Wednesdays and Saturdays only.
Schwarber batted .246/.355/.487 with 16 in 69 games with the Cubs during his debut season in 2015. He will be added to the Mesa Solar Sox roster in advance of their set against the Salt River Rafters on Saturday evening.