Each fall Major League Baseball and its broadcast partners put together a pretty elaborate music video/promo thingy for the postseason. The song and its underlying theme are used for commercial bumpers and intros and become ubiquitous — often annoyingly so — to anyone who sits and watches the playoffs every night.
But if we’re gonna get tired of a playoff promo song, at least this year baseball has made a massive improvement over “Written in the Stars.” It’s The Boss, “Land of Hope and Dreams.”
Like most repurposed-Springsteen, it’s best to not get too hung up on the fact that the song is rooted in the crumbling and elusive American Dream and, instead, just groove on the uplift. You know, like “Born in the USA” at a political rally. Or “State Trooper” at a FOP banquet.
Cardinals playoff roster: Wainwright and Molina in, Adams and Choate out
St. Louis announced its roster for the NLDS and the biggest news is the inclusion of Adam Wainwright as a reliever.
Expected to miss the entire season following a torn Achilles’ tendon in April, he instead returned to make three relief appearances in the final week of the season and now may be counted on to get some key late-inning outs against the Cubs.
First baseman Mark Reynolds made the roster, but first baseman Matt Adams did not despite returning from the disabled list for some late-season action. And of course catcher Yadier Molina is on the roster and will give it a go playing through a sprained left thumb that’s sidelined him since September 20.
With left-hander David Price on the mound for Toronto the Rangers are going with Mike Napoli at first base over Mitch Moreland. Beyond that it’s a pretty standard lineup for Texas, or at least standard for what manager Jeff Banister used down the stretch once Josh Hamilton was healthy enough to play left field.
After returning from the disabled list for the final weekend of the regular season Troy Tulowitzki is in the lineup and batting fifth. That allows Ryan Goins to play second base in place of the injured Devon Travis. Justin Smoak gets the nod over Chris Colabello at first base against a right-hander.
Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.
Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.