Here’s Buster Olney this morning, suggesting that Carl Crawford might have something against the Red Sox and Yankees:
. . . if everything is equal — if the Red Sox or the Yankees make the same level of offer as the Angels — do not underestimate the impact of the fact that Crawford has built up a competitive callous against Boston and New York in his career. For years, he has been battling against the Red Sox and Yankees, and he will need to be convinced to join them, according to a friend.
I consider this to be in the same vein as “Cliff Lee’s wife hates New York.” Can you dismiss it entirely? No, but you can’t really think this means a whole hell of a lot either. Heck, it probably means less than the Kristen Lee thing on the theory that a guy’s friends — especially anonymous friends — are full of more bullcrap than a guy’s wife is (feel free to argue this point in the comments). In reality, the offers being presented, in terms of both money and role on the team, are about 77 times more important to any given free agent than the emotional/lifestyle stuff we hear so much about in the early stages of the offseason.
A “competitive callous?” Whatever. You can buy a lot of pumice stones and moisturizer with the kind of dough the Red Sox or Yankees may offer up.
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.
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.
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
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.