A story in the Chicago Sun-Times a couple of days ago — just coming to my attention via a fun thread over at Baseball Think Factory — is seven shades of awesome. I’ll let you read it for yourself, but the critical components are as follows:
- Former Blue Jays manager Tim Johnson quitting before a game and having half of his roster quit with him;
- Pitchers playing as position players;
- Position players pitching;
- One of those position players being 47-year-old Jose Canseco;
- Kevin Costner: cheapskate?
- Everyone being released or traded the next day and, presumably, Bugs Bunny or an elephant or something covering the rest of the season’s games.
Make sure you go over to the BTF thread too, as the sharpshooters over there offer lots of good random information about players in the story and the independent leagues in general.
And Dodgers fans: this probably puts your team’s financial difficulties into a more comfy perspective.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.