Bunting

And now, your postseason schedule

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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 24Game 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.

Joe Panik says he’s “100 percent” recovered from back injury

San Francisco Giants second baseman Joe Panik follows through on a single off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Scott Oberg in the eighth inning of Game 1 of a baseball doubleheader Saturday, May 23, 2015, in Denver. The Giants won 10-8. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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Giants second baseman Joe Panik missed nearly all of August and September last season due to a nagging back injury, but he told Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com on Friday that he’s feeling “100 percent.”

Panik, who earned his first All-Star selection last season, originally landed on the disabled list in early August due to what was described as lower back inflammation. He made his return in September, but appeared in just three games before being shut down. The good news is that he was cleared by doctors in mid-December and considers himself “back to normal.”

“It was right around the time of all the signings,” he said, smiling. “I was able to fly under the radar. I got tested and everything had healed up. I got cleared and was able to have my full offseason workouts. I’m good to go. I’m happy to be feeling good and going back out on the field to show that I’m healthy. My swing feels strong.”

Panik altered his offseason workout routine and plans to spend less time in his spikes in the early part of spring training. The hope is that these changes will prevent future issues.

After a strong showing as a rookie in 2014, the 25-year-old Panik proved to be one of the best second baseman in the majors last season by batting .312/.378/.455 with eight home runs and 37 RBI over 100 games while playing solid defense.

Baseball America names Corey Seager as baseball’s top prospect

Los Angeles Dodgers' Corey Seager follows through a single that scored Austin Barnes, in front of Colorado Rockies' Wilin Rosario during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)
AP Photo/Danny Moloshok
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Baseball America unveiled their top 100 prospect list Friday night during a special on MLB Network. It should come as no surprise that Dodgers infielder Corey Seager came in at No. 1.

This makes Seager the consensus top prospect in the game. He was also ranked first by MLB.com, Baseball Prospectus, and ESPN’s Keith Law. Twins outfielder Byron Buxton was ranked second on all four lists.

Baseball America has the most aggressive ranking of Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada from the Red Sox, who checked in at No. 3. He was followed by pitching prospects Lucas Giolito from the Nationals and Julio Urias from the Dodgers to round out the top five.

You can see Baseball America’s full top 100 list here.

Jenrry Mejia: “It is not like they say. I am sure that I did not use anything.”

New York Mets' Jenrry Mejia reacts after getting the last out against the Milwaukee Brewers during the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 25, 2014, in Milwaukee. The Mets won 3-2. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps
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Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia was permanently suspended on Friday after testing positive for a third time for a performance-enhancing drug. The right-hander is maintaining his innocence, as ESPN’s Adam Rubin notes in quoting Dominican sports journalist Hector Gomez. Mejia said, “It is not like they say. I am sure that I did not use anything.”

Mejia has the opportunity to petition commissioner Rob Manfred in one year for reinstatement to Major League Baseball. However, he must sit out at least two years before becoming eligible to pitch in the majors again, which would mean Mejia would be 28 years old.

Over parts of five seasons, Mejia has a career 3.68 ERA with 162 strikeouts and 76 walks over 183 1/3 innings. He was once a top prospect in the Mets’ minor league system and a top-100 overall prospect heading into the 2010 and ’11 seasons.

Bryce Harper on potential $400 million contract: “Don’t sell me short.”

Bryce Harper
AP Photo/Nick Wass
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Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is at least three years away from free agency, but people are already contemplating just how large a contract the phenom will be able to negotiate, especially after taking home the National League Most Valuable Player Award for his performance this past season.

When the likes of David Price and Zack Greinke are signing for over $200 million at the age of 30 or older, it stands to reason that Harper could draw more as a 26-year-old if he can maintain MVP-esque levels of production over the next several seasons. $400 million might not be enough for Harper, though, as MLB.com’s Jamal Collier reports. He said, “Don’t sell me short,” which is a fantastic response.

During the 2015 season, Harper led the majors with a .460 on-base percentage and a .649 slugging percentage while leading the National League with 42 home runs and 118 runs scored. He also knocked in 99 runs for good measure. Harper and Ted Williams are the only hitters in baseball history to put up an adjusted OPS of 195 or better (100 is average) at the age of 22 or younger.