UPDATED: Mike Matheny approved Cards’ choice to draft his son

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Last week Mike Matheny said he thought it would be a bad idea for the Cardinals to draft his son, high school center fielder Tate Matheny, because “it would be too tough” and he didn’t want to ruin the good relationship they have.

Matheny specifically cited the example of longtime Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan and his son Chris Duncan, who was St. Louis’ first-round pick in 1999. Chris Duncan played parts of five seasons for the Cardinals and didn’t seem to have any big problems working with his dad, but Matheny explained: “I know that it was awkward. He was a good player. He handled it well, but it made it tougher.”

Today the Cardinals drafted Tate Matheny anyway, using their 23rd-round pick on the manager’s son. It might end up being a moot point, as Matheny is committed to Missouri State and most reports have him playing college ball unless offered a big bonus to sign.

Either way, it’s interesting that Mike Matheny’s public stance changed or the Cardinals’ front office simply chose to ignore his wishes.

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Update: Matheny ended up going along with the idea, tweets FOXSportsMidwest.com’s B.J. Rains:

source:

The Japanese playoffs are super unfair

Hiroshima Carp
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I know a little about Japanese baseball. Not a lot, mind you. Like, I couldn’t hold my own with people who actually watch it or report on it or whatever, but I could explain some of the broad differences and similarities between the NPB and the U.S. majors.  I can say a few things about how the two leagues compare competitively speaking. I can name some stars and (I think) all the clubs. But there’s, quite obviously, a ton I don’t know.

A thing I did not know until today: the NPB playoffs are really messed up.

The NPB is divided into two leagues, the Central and the Pacific, with the winner of each league facing off in the Japan Series. Like the U.S. majors, they have preliminary playoff rounds in each league. Each league has three playoff teams, with the second and third seed teams playing a series first, and the winner of that series playing the top seed — the team with the best record in the league — in what is called the Climax Series.

Here’s the weird part: the higher-seeded team in the Climax Series — the team which won the league in the regular season — gets every single playoff game at home. What’s more, that team begins the Climax Series with an automatic 1-0 advantage. So, yes, it’s a seven-game series on paper, but one of the teams only has to win three games to advance to the Japan Series.

Oh, in Japan, they also have no problems ending a playoff game early if it rains. That’s what happened in the Central League Climax Series last night, where the lower-seeded Yokohama BayStars took on the league champ Hiroshima Carp. Here’s the report from Jason Coskrey of The Japan Times:

The rainy conditions in Hiroshima caused the umpires to stop play for over 30 minutes and ultimately call the game after five innings, minutes after the Carp put three runs on the board. Just like that, it was over. The Carp won 3-0, with Yokohama robbed of the four innings (at least) it would’ve had to try and rally.

Even better: as Coskrey notes, there are five days in between the end of the Climax Series and the beginning of the Japan Series, so there is no reason they could not suspend a game and resume it the next day. They just choose not to. The upshot: the Carp now have a 2-0 series lead despite the fact that they’ve only played five innings of baseball.

Imagine if that happened in the NLCS. Imagine if the Dodgers began the series with a 1-0 lead over the Cubs and played all of their games in Los Angeles. Imagine there was a freak L.A. storm and it ended one of the game in the fifth inning, right after Justin Turner hit a homer. I’m pretty sure people would riot.

Kinda makes our complaints about the replay system seem rather quaint, eh?