I’m sure this stuff happens in every close elimination game, but it’s still the kind of thing that causes your brain to bend a bit and to reflect at just how unpredictable a crazy baseball game can be. From the Post-Dispatch:
La Russa at one point phoned the bullpen to remind his relievers they were to participate in a postgame thanks to the fans barring a late turnaround. The Rangers had shepherded friends and family into a lobby during the eighth inning in anticipation of a celebration.
I think the last job I would ever want to have would be logistics planning for a championship celebration. You have to be ready for the stuff to go down as expected, but there is so much freaking pressure to not have one of those hubris moments in which the team that looks like it’s going to win is preparing early in such a way that could become bulletin board material.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.