Redneck Thanksgiving

Giving Thanks: The National League West

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Our final installment. When this is done I’m gonna steal the pie that’s cooling in the kitchen, take it and my laptop to a locked room upstairs someplace and try to ride the rest of this holiday out with sloth and funny You Tube videos. It’s the only way to make it through, really.

What the NL West is thankful for:

San Francisco Giants: That bottles are not good conductors of electricity, thereby preventing them from being harmed by the lighting they managed to capture inside.

San Diego Padres: Low expectations. If it wasn’t for those in 2010, a lot more people would have been piling on them for that ten game losing streak that knocked them out of the playoffs. Instead, people ignored that and gave Bud Black a Manager of the Year Award. How awesome would it be if we were all graded on such a curve.

Colorado Rockies: Gonzalez, Tulowitzki and Jimenez, who showed that they can carry this team when healthy. And not tuckered out. And it should only be easier for them to do so without dead weight like Clint Barmes and Brad Hawpe hanging around.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Finding something to be thankful about here requires some long-range thinking, but really: look at what happened to a poorly-run, overly-indebted Texas Rangers team. It eventually got better. Maybe the same thing can happen here too. This McCourt drama could be like a purifying fire.  OK, that’s a bit much. How about Clayton Kershaw? He’s a nice young man.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Kevin Towers. His specialty is in fixing the kinds of problems the Diamondbacks have. Bad bullpens, poor fundamentals. It’s hard to imagine a better match between poor team and new executive than Towers and the Dbacks, and he could very well right this ship sooner rather than later.

That’s all I got, people. Maybe I won’t just steal the pie and hide upstairs. Maybe I’ll take some stuffing too.

ALDS, Game 1: Rangers vs. Blue Jays lineups

Toronto Blue Jays' starting pitcher David Price works against the Baltimore Orioles during first inning of a baseball game in Toronto, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

Here are the Rangers and Blue Jays lineups for Game 1 of the ALDS in Toronto:

CF Delino DeShields
RF Shin-Soo Choo
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Prince Fielder
1B Mike Napoli
LF Josh Hamilton
SS Elvis Andrus
2B Rougned Odor
C Robinson Chirinos

SP Yovani Gallardo

With left-hander David Price on the mound for Toronto the Rangers are going with Mike Napoli at first base over Mitch Moreland. Beyond that it’s a pretty standard lineup for Texas, or at least standard for what manager Jeff Banister used down the stretch once Josh Hamilton was healthy enough to play left field.

LF Ben Revere
3B Josh Donaldson
RF Jose Bautista
DH Edwin Encarnacion
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Justin Smoak
C Russell Martin
2B Ryan Goins
CF Kevin Pillar

SP David Price

After returning from the disabled list for the final weekend of the regular season Troy Tulowitzki is in the lineup and batting fifth. That allows Ryan Goins to play second base in place of the injured Devon Travis. Justin Smoak gets the nod over Chris Colabello at first base against a right-hander.

Astros leave Chad Qualls off playoff roster, add Preston Tucker

Chad Qualls Getty
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Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.

Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.

Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.