Ain’t this a daisy: Joe Torre just announced that Game 1 has been suspended. You can’t predict baseball. But you can predict weather. Makes you wonder why they didn’t do that here.
Because of the new postseason rules that were put into place after the soggy 2008 postseason, all playoff games are played to their completion, not started from scratch, even if it hadn’t reached the fifth inning. That means — per Torre — that Game 1 of the Tigers-Yankees will be resumed at the time Game 2 was to be played tomorrow, 8:37PM. It will be picked up where this one left off, with the teams tied at 1 in the middle of the second inning. Game 2 will now be played on Sunday at 3:07 PM, which would have been an offday, Game 3 goes as planned on Monday from Detroit.
The result: a giant mess, with the two aces, CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander being unavailable until at least Game 3, it would seem. It certainly throws a wrench into both managers’ plans. The presumption: Doug Fister and Ivan Nova will likely pick it up beginning in the bottom of the second, tomorrow. Or does Justin Verlander try to talk his way into pitching again? We’ll let you know as soon as we hear. UPDATE: The Tigers have announced that they’re going with Doug Fister tomorrow, Max Scherzer on Sunday and Justin Verlander coming back on Monday. This is HUGE because it means that Justin Verlander will now only pitch one game in this series (not counting his one inning tonight).
Oh well. This could have been avoided, it seems, if the people in charge had simply looked at the radar, which was apparently grim from the get-go. But I suppose they had more important stuff to do.
Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.
It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.
Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.
If you’re looking to rep the red and royal blue this October, you best get your gear inside the ballpark. According to Lauren Zumbach of the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs have sought a court order that would allow them to seize unauthorized merchandise being hawked outside of Wrigley Field. That includes shirts with taglines like “Just One Before I Die” and apparel depicting a blue flag with a white “W.”
[The Cubs] received a trademark for “W” flags, but a trademark for use on apparel is pending. Deeming a letter of the alphabet worthy of a trademark might seem like a stretch, but around Wrigley, everyone knows what that particular W in that particular color combination means, [intellectual property attorney Douglas Masters] said.
While seven vendors have been named in the suit, the Cubs have a list of 30 more whom they suspect of trademark infringement, including retailers who primarily operate online.
Back in 2013, the Cubs ran into a similar issue when a fan dressed as alternative mascot Billy the Cub and made multiple appearances on game days outside the park. After six years in the role, Billy the Cub was ordered to cease and desist his ballpark activities by the team.
This time, however, Billy’s tip jar pales in comparison to the revenue unauthorized sellers stand to reap over the next two months. With the playoffs just around the corner and playoff merchandise sales in full swing, quashing the competition (both on the field and off) will be top priority in weeks to come.
The club’s full complaint can be found here.