I stopped doing these for some reason. Sorta forgot about them. But it seemed like a lot happened this weekend, so for those of you with lives that don’t entail them being tied to the Internet all weekend, here’s what you missed:
- Bill James doubles down on the Joe Paterno defense. It’s like watching a car crash at this point.
- The Dbacks have told Justin Upton that they might sell low on a hitter who could quite conceivably be a Hall of Fame talent (i.e. that they might trade him now).
- Bobby Valentine needs to stop talking about Kevin Youkilis. I know, I know: I had you at “stop talking.”
- That’s SIR Bam Bam to you, peasants.
- Strikeouts are fascist and, besides, just because you get a lot of them doesn’t mean you’ll win.
- Lenny Dykstra pleads guilty. I guess even Lenny Dykstra looked at all the stuff Lenny Dykstra did and said “damn.”
- Todd Helton has a hip injury. Broken? Get it? Because Todd Helton is old and old people break their hips. Hahahaha … eh, uh. Sorry.
- You laugh at Juan Pierre over “cybergenics” now, but wait until he has a book out about it, builds it into a big cult-like religion and then only he and his followers are saved from ancient aliens or whateverthehell.
- Bryce Harper made the Marlins look dumb. Then Ozzie Gullien made them look dumber.
- The Indians aren’t expecting Grady Sizemore back. This is not a repeat from 2011, 2010 or 2009.
- Ryan Dempster keeps blankin’ them.
- The Braves traded for a shortstop. If there was any cosmic justice it would have been a package for Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz and Matt Harrison in exchange for some slugger that stinks. But I suppose Paul Janish will do as a stop-gap.
- Another player goes to the DL after punching something. Boy, we’re sure raising them stupid these days.
- Adrian Gonzalez learns an important lesson: children are awful, always.
- Tommy John surgery could have been Sandy Koufax surgery. And I guess Sandy Koufax could have been a Tannana-esque soft tosser into the mid-to-late 1970s. That would have been odd.
- Spike Lee caught Mark Teixeira’s bat. Teixeira did the right thing and autographed it.
- A couple of times a year I say that
fake to first, throw to third I meant fake to third, throw to first play never works. Then, a couple of times a year, it works. This was one of those times.
- My god, that kid is fast.
And now, into the week in which some trades may go down. I mean ones bigger than Paul Janish.
The Cubs had a nice night last night. Javier Baez finally broke his hitless streak with not one but two homers. Willson Contreras hit a nearly 500-foot homer. Jake Arrieta, possibly pitching for the last time as a Cub, dug down for a gutsy performance, pitching into the seventh inning, working around some walks to allow only one run while striking out nine.
After the game, Cubs players sounded hopeful notes about believing in themselves, taking them one game at a time, getting the series back to L.A. for a Game 6 and Game 7. They’re professional athletes who know better than any of us that to achieve a thing you have to believe you can achieve that thing, so it’d be dumb to expect anything else from them in this situation. Ballplayers, quite admirably, don’t sound a note of defeat until they are actually defeated.
But let’s be realistic there: they’re still a dead team walking.
- They’re dead because, as we have been reminded oh so many times, only once in 35 tries has a team come back to win a seven game series in which they’ve found themselves down 0-3. That team did so because Dave Roberts worked some magic. Dave Roberts is working for the other team now.
- They’re dead because their biggest weakness this postseason — their bullpen — is not going to have its best pitcher, Wade Davis, available today in Game 5 after throwing 48 pitches in Game 4.
- They’re dead because while the Dodgers used five relievers last night, none of them were worked particularly hard and neither Brandon Morrow nor Kenley Jansen were used at all, allowing them to come in and work hard and heavy tonight if need be.
- They’re dead because the man on the mound to start tonight’s game is Clayton Edward Kershaw. Yes, he has had some less-than-glory-filled moments in the postseason in recent years, but all of those have come at the tail end of starts, when his managers have left him in perhaps an inning too long. See the above bullet point — and Dave Roberts’ early hook in Game 1 — if you think that’ll be a problem tonight.
The Dodgers lost last night, yes, but it was their first loss in the postseason. All teams have lost at least one postseason game since it went to the three-round format, so it was likely inevitable that L.A. would drop one. Heck, maybe they’ll drop two before the NLCS is over, but they’re not going to drop the next three in a row.
Last night’s Cubs win was nice for them, but it only delayed the inevitable.