You may now alert your relatives that you’ll only be seeing them on a couple of days in October, because the postseason schedule was just released by Major League Baseball. It breaks down thusly:
- Tuesday, October 2: My mom’s 64th birthday. Just thought you should know.
- Wednesday, October 3: Last day of regular season. It will not be as good as the last day of last year’s regular season, though I’m still not ruling out a Braves collapse;
- Thursday, October 4: Any necessary regular season tiebreaker games, broadcast exclusively by TBS. No idea what happens if they have to go all round-robin with this thing. Maybe they’ll invent a day. Blursday or something;
- Friday, October 5: The new one-and-done wild card games. Excitement out the yang! Broadcast by TBS.
- Saturday, October 6: Two of the Division Series will begin. The one with the two division champions (i.e. not the winner of the play-in games) participating.
- Sunday, October 7: The other two Division Series begin, and the already started Division Series continue. The Division Series will run though — potentially — Friday, October 12, with Games Fives being played on the 11th and 12th. TBS will air 18 of the 20 Division Series games. MLB Network will do one telecast on Sunday, October 7 and another on Wednesday, October 10.
Note: For this year only, the Division Series begin with two home games for the lower seeds in a 2-3 format. Two road games for the better team to kick off a best of five series! Fun! Fair! It will return to a 2-2-1 format next year with the higher seeded teams starting at home because they have time to futz with the regular season schedule more next year.
- Saturady, October 13: The ALCS begins. Broadcast on TBS.
- Sunday, October 14: the NLCS begins. Broadcast on FOX.
- Monday, October 15: All of the idiot football writers will scrawl out their annual “baseball is dead because the LCS ratings were topped by the Podunk Tech vs. Exploit U. game on Saturday and some boring NFL matchup we’re all going to pretend was interesting on Sunday” columns. Then I’ll copy and paste my usual post about why they’re wrong.
- The potential Game Sevens of the ALCS and NLCS will be on Sunday, October 21 and Monday, October 22, respectively.
- Wednesday, October 24: Game One of the 2012 World Series! It’s in the NL representative’s park (because this time it counts, yo!) and I’ll be there this year because I clearly have something to add to the proceedings. There will be a day off on Friday the 26th, and Game Three in the AL park will be on Saturday, October 27.
- A Game Seven, if necessary, would be played on Thursday, November 1. That’s my dad’s 69th birthday, by the way.
Note II: Even though this could end in November, there is still ONLY ONE OCTOBER!
Note III: The whole World Series is on FOX because God doesn’t love us and hates to see us happy.
Note IV: Her father is the district attorney!!!
Anyway, mark your calendars and stuff.
MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that starter Clay Buchholz is at Citizens Bank Park for Wednesday night’s game against the Marlins. The right-hander recently underwent surgery to repair a partial tear of his flexor pronator mass. The timetable for his recovery is three to five months, but most are expecting him to miss the rest of the season since the Phillies aren’t legitimate contenders.
According to Zolecki, Buchholz apologized to GM Matt Klentak “and others” — presumably other front office staff and/or his teammates — for getting injured. Buchholz hopes to return to pitch in September.
It’s saddening to me, and indicative of the general anti-labor culture in sports, that a player feels obligated to apologize for getting injured on the job. Injuries are nothing new for Buchholz, which might have factored into his decision to apologize. Red Sox fans got on his case quite a bit over the years for his propensity to land on the disabled list. But it wasn’t like Buchholz was taking unnecessary risks; he simply did his job, which entails doing a lot of unhealthy movement with his arm. Buchholz owes no one an apology.
Buchholz isn’t the only player to have apologized for getting injured. Outfielder Hideki Matsui apologized to the Yankees in 2006. Starter Masahiro Tanaka apologized in 2014. Twins reliever Glen Perkins apologized last year. Even Madison Bumgarner sort of apologized for suffering injuries riding a dirt bike on an off-day, saying “It’s definitely not the most responsible decision I’ve made.” Because god forbid an athlete has interests and hobbies outside of his vocation.
Players are brought up in a sports culture that allows exorbitantly wealthy owners to bilk the players — laborers — at every possible turn. They’re mostly underpaid and poorly taken care of in the minors. If and when they reach the major leagues, their salaries are intentionally depressed for six years and their service time is toyed with (just ask Kris Bryant). Buchholz endured that and then endured the criticism that comes with having been a hyped prospect who mostly failed to live up to expectations. He’s gone above and beyond what he needed to do to have a successful career as a professional baseball player, even if it wasn’t as much as fans or front office personnel would have liked.
Update (5:22 PM ET): Thames is dealing with left hamstring tightness. Manager Craig Counsell says it’s “not a big deal,” Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
Brewers first baseman Eric Thames left Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Reds in the top of the eighth inning with an apparent injury. Thames took his position to start the inning, but was replaced by Jesus Aguilar. Thames had flied out weakly to center field to end the previous inning, so perhaps something happened while he ran that out.
The Brewers should provide an update shortly on the exact nature of Thames’ early exit. Needless to say, losing Thames to the disabled list would be a huge blow to the 11-11 Brewers, as he entered Wednesday leading all of baseball in runs (25), home runs (11), slugging percentage (.929), and OPS (1.411). Thames was 1-for-3 with a single, a pair of walks, and two runs scored before leaving.