Jeff Bagwell

Biogenesis allows us to smear Jeff Bagwell some more? Awesome.


Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution apparently couldn’t think up an original line of insight to the whole Biogenesis mess, so he decided to create an “all-steroids team.”

While it’s bad enough that this has been done countless times already, Schultz gets extra points for inanity for putting guys on there whether they have ever had credible allegations of PED use against them or not.

All players listed below have either been suspended for drugs; or admitted using them; or were listed on the Mitchell Report; or were fingered by Jose Canseco, another player or a trainer; or obviously took something stronger than Flintstone Chewables but excelled at not leaving a paper trail; or fall under the “I Think He Took Something But Can’t Be Certain” category (example: Jeff Bagwell).

Such a tack is bad enough at the best of times, but when the major PED news of the week involves a list of players overwhelmingly populated by guys who are skinny and power-free, one wonders how an editor allowed this to even see the light of day.

I suppose the answer is “it’s the sports page, who cares?” In other news, editors are still frantically trying to figure out why newspapers are dying.

NL Wild Card Game: Cubs vs. Pirates lineups

Jake Arrieta

Here are the Cubs and Pirates lineups for tonight’s Wild Card game in Pittsburgh:

CF Dexter Fowler
RF Kyle Schwarber
LF Kris Bryant
1B Anthony Rizzo
3B Tommy La Stella
2B Starlin Castro
C Miguel Montero
SS Addison Russell
SP Jake Arrieta

Cubs manager Joe Maddon wanted Tommy La Stella in the lineup over Jorge Soler or Chris Coghlan, so he starts at third base and Kris Bryant shifts to left field. Bryant started just four games in left field all season, compared to 136 starts at third base. Also of note: After batting Addison Russell ninth–behind the pitcher–116 times this season Maddon has him in the more traditional eighth spot tonight.

RF Gregory Polanco
3B Josh Harrison
CF Andrew McCutchen
LF Starling Marte
C Francisco Cervelli
2B Neil Walker
SS Jordy Mercer
1B Sean Rodriguez
SP Gerrit Cole

Pedro Alvarez started 119 games at first base for the Pirates and with right-hander Jake Arrieta on the mound he was the presumed starter tonight, but instead manager Clint Hurdle has benched the 27-homer slugger in favor of utility man Sean Rodriguez. Alvarez is vastly superior to Rodriguez offensively, especially versus a righty, but he’s also very shaky defensively. During the regular season Rodriguez started a grand total of one game at first base against a right-hander, so this qualifies as a hunch by Hurdle.

The Cardinals are optimistic about Yadier Molina’s status

St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina celebrates as he arrives home after hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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Jenifer Langosch of reports that Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina‘s bum thumb responded well after participating in baseball activities Tuesday, including catching, hitting, blocking balls and the like.

This morning Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said that he’s now even more optimistic that Molina will be on the NLDS roster. The Cards’ first game will be Friday against the winner of tonight’s Cubs-Pirates tilt.

Having Molina would obviously be a boon for the Cardinals on the field. For a look at what Molina means to the Cardinals off the field, however, take some time to go read Derrick Goold’s excellent story about what Molina’s teammates think of him. Short version: the world. It’s worth your time, even if you’re not a citizen of Cardinals Nation.