As Aaron noted earlier today, monobrowed-man-child Jack Clark called the Cardinals “quitters” and said “they have poopy in their pants.” While such a sophisticated and air-tight indictment is difficult to rebut, Tony La Russa has a law degree, so he’s trained in the finer arts of oral advocacy. Specifically, the “I’m rubber and you’re glue” defense:
“I just don’t feel like Jack has had the kind of spotless career
where he can be making judgments like that. Whether it’s our team,
pitchers, players, whatever,” La Russa said. “I think it’s a real
personal (criticism). That’s why I’m saying something about it.
It’s a very offensive quote to make. … I respect Jack a lot
because he did a good job of pulling his career together. But he
had times where there were evaluations from his peers — and I
wasn’t his peer — but his peers and his bosses were less than the
best. I’m disappointed that he doesn’t take some of that past
As a disinterested third party who also has considerable experience with advocacy and debate, I render my judgment thusly:
More seriously speaking, Aaron’s observation from this afternoon wins the day: Jack Clark: if you’re going to say a ballclub “quit,” you had best be prepared to say who on that ballclub quit and show your work. Otherwise you’re nothing more than a friggin’ blowhard.
With Game 1 of the Red Sox-Indians ALDS set to commence on Thursday, there’s no better starter for the job than Corey Kluber. The only question is whether or not the right-hander will be up to the task after sustaining a mild quadriceps strain earlier this week.
Indians’ manager Terry Francona appeared optimistic about Kluber’s chances of recovering in time for the Division Series, but admitted that he doesn’t have his rotation set in stone for the first couple of postseason games. Complicating matters is Monday’s potential make-up game between the Indians and the Tigers, which they’ll be forced to play if the outcome has bearing on playoff seeding.
Per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, Francona doesn’t have a starter for the make-up game, either, though he clarified that rehabbing right-hander Danny Salazar would not be eligible. Salazar is still working his way back from a forearm injury in hopes of joining the Indians for their postseason run, and needs to toss another simulated game before he can be expected to return to the mound. Kluber, meanwhile, will throw off the mound on Sunday.
With Kluber or Salazar limping out of the gate, the Indians will likely have to fall back on right-handers Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin. Bauer is slated for Saturday’s face-off against the Royals and confirmed his willingness to pitch on short rest through the playoffs. The 25-year-old also spoke to the Indians about his ability to pitch out of the bullpen, though it’s an option they appear unlikely to exercise. While Francona’s comments on Friday stressed the club’s patient approach toward their rotation, Bauer appeared revved and ready to go:
If it was up to me, […] I’d pitch and be ready to start or be available out of the ‘pen every game. In the playoffs, there’s really no reason to save anything. So, whenever I can get in there, whenever they want me to get in there, I’ll be ready.
Matt Holliday might not have a landing spot with the Cardinals in 2017, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to hang his cleats up just yet. Prior to the Cardinals’ afternoon set against the Pirates on Saturday, the 36-year-old expressed his desire to further his career elsewhere, even if staying in St. Louis is not a possibility.
It’s been a down year for the outfielder, who batted .242/.318/.450 through 107 games before landing on the disabled list with a fractured right thumb. His 0.6 fWAR is the lowest mark of his career to date. Notwithstanding two injury-riddled seasons (he was sidelined through most of 2015 with a right quadriceps strain), he’s performed admirably for the Cardinals over the past eight years, putting up a .292/.379/.494 batting line, 156 home runs, and 26.8 fWAR with the club. With a return to full health, he might not be on the market for long.