Here’s Associated Press columnist Tim Dahlberg on September 28th, talking about the “Moneyball” movie:
Bottom line is small market teams can’t win consistently, no matter how many numbers they crunch. The deck is stacked against them by the most important numbers in baseball — the size of a team’s payroll.
Here’s Associated Press columnist Tim Dahlberg this morning, talking about the playoffs:
No Yankees. No Red Sox. No Phillies, either, with what was supposed to be the best postseason rotation ever.
Too bad, because they were teams you could cheer for. They were also teams most of us love to cheer against.
Instead, baseball’s flirtation with parity gives us Milwaukee and St. Louis in a rematch of the 1982 World Series remembered by no one outside those two cities. And, instead of the Yankees and Red Sox in the American League, we get Detroit against Texas in what, at least on a rainy opening night Saturday, was a very tough matchup to sit through … The problem is, baseball isn’t winning. Outside of its core cities the game struggles to find a national audience. And, with the biggest cities out, that struggle gets even harder.
The common thread if you read the entirety of both of those columns, plus most other stuff Dahlberg writes: he just really doesn’t like baseball very much and, increasingly, doesn’t seem to understand it at all.
Cubs’ outfielder Kyle Schwarber will return to the playing field on Saturday, per a report by the Chicago Tribune’s Mark Gonzales. The club’s prized left fielder suffered a season-ending injury when he collided with Dexter Fowler back in April, tearing both his ACL and LCL and undergoing intensive knee surgery later that month.
While no nerve damage was discovered during the surgery, the Cubs have kept a close eye on Schwarber during his recovery and put a kibosh on any part-time or full-time role with the team until the spring of 2017. Getting a few reps in during the Arizona Fall League appears to be the last step in the 23-year-old’s rehab process. He will be part of the Mesa Solar Sox’ ‘taxi squad,’ making him eligible for games on Wednesdays and Saturdays only.
Schwarber batted .246/.355/.487 with 16 in 69 games with the Cubs during his debut season in 2015. He will be added to the Mesa Solar Sox roster in advance of their set against the Salt River Rafters on Saturday evening.
The Game: Los Angeles Dodgers @ Chicago Cubs NLCS Game 6
The Time: 8:00 PM EDT
The Place: Wrigley Field, Chicago
The Channel: FS1
The Starters: Kyle Hendricks (Cubs) vs. Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers)
We’re pulling out the big guns for this one. The Cubs took Los Angeles by storm again in Game 5, closing out their road trip with an eight-run spread over the Dodgers, and tonight they’ll try to clinch the NLCS on home turf in Game 6.
Pitching-wise, it’s a rematch of Game 2 with Kyle Hendricks (16-8, 2.13 ERA) and Clayton Kershaw (12-4, 1.69 ERA) on the mound. Kershaw took the first set against the Cubs, going seven scoreless innings with six strikeouts in Game 2 while Hendricks held the Dodgers to a single run over 5 1/3 innings. Adrian Gonzalez was the only Dodger to capitalize on Hendricks’ cutter, going yard in his first at-bat to generate a 1-0 lead.
The Cubs’ biggest strength so far this series has been an electric offense, something the Dodgers have struggled to replicate against left-hander Jon Lester and Joe Maddon’s airtight bullpen. While they’ve already beaten Hendricks at Wrigley Field once this October, they’ll need Kershaw to go the distance in another playoff gem if they intend to keep the Cubs’ championship hopes at bay with a 3.4-run average. Should Kershaw and his crew knot the series again, the tiebreaker will fall to Rich Hill and Jake Arrieta in Game 7.