Scully announces future plans: for now, not retiring


UPDATE:  Scully has decided to return.

8:52 AM:  Legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully is scheduled to announce his plans for the future before Sunday’s game against the Reds.

Scully, who has broadcast Dodgers baseball for an absurd total of 61 years, is almost certainly leaning toward retirement.  He’s already cut down on the amount of road games that he calls each year, rarely traveling past the Rocky Mountains, and he has been working on a series of one-year contracts for the past several seasons.

It’s tough when legends call it quits, and it’s especially tough when it’s a guy like Scully.  He is the best in the business, even at age 82, and there isn’t a broadcaster or Giants fan that would disagree.

Scully spoke to the Los Angeles Times on Saturday night:

“I know what I am going to do and I would imagine the Dodgers will
arrange things so an announcement can be made before [Sunday’s] game,”
said Scully. “I’d like
to do that so everyone hears it at the same time. It’s the proper way to
do it.”

It sure sounds like he’s going to hang up his microphone for good.  If we’re lucky — and it almost feels selfish to hope for it — Scully will give us one final season of flawless storytelling and broadcasting genius.

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.