As Amanda Rykoff writes at Awful Announcing today, TBS messed up royally last night.
Rather than show the insane excitement of the PNC Park crowd and give us the player introductions, the national anthem — which was sung by Andrew McCutchen’s mom! — and all of the other pomp and circumstance of the long-awaited return of the playoffs to Pittsburgh, we got studio filler and chatter. Go read her indictment of the proceedings and get mad. And you should be mad, because you missed great stuff.
I’ve been around TV studios a bit in the past couple of years and I understand that it’s hard for that kind of operation to be nimble at times. There are so many moving parts and people to answer to that you can’t just cut away without warning. But here they had warning. Ever since it was known that there would be a playoff game in Pittsburgh, people have been talking about how crazy the scene would be. And TBS thought we’d rather watch people in the studio talking about that crazy scene than actually showing it to us.
Here’s part of it, though. It’s McCutchen’s mom singing “The Star Spangled Banner.”
Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the White Sox and Diamondbacks have emerged as two of the strongest contenders for Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. It seems like a foregone conclusion that Baltimore will deal their superstar infielder this winter, but nothing appears imminent just yet. While both the White Sox and D-backs have reportedly made serious offers, Orioles owner Peter Angelos is wary of any non-contending team that might be incentivized to flip Machado to the rival Yankees next season.
The White Sox, for their part, have assured the Orioles that they view Machado more as a solid one-year rental than the new face of their franchise, with no immediate plans to deal him elsewhere. Given their current rebuilding status and the unlikelihood that they would contend in 2018, it makes their offer a bit of a head-scratcher — and, as USA Today Sports’ Bob Nightengale points out, they’ve been reluctant to put any top-5 prospects on the table in preliminary negotiations.
The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, are far better positioned to enter the postseason in 2018, though that doesn’t automatically make them the perfect landing spot for Machado. They already have Jake Lamb stationed at third base, and while it’s not inconceivable that they could jettison the Ketel Marte/Chris Owings/Nick Ahmed shortstop platoon for someone of Machado’s talent, his $17 million salary appears to be more than the D-backs are currently capable of absorbing.
The White Sox and D-backs may have exhibited the most interest in Machado so far, but they’re hardly the only contenders here. MASN Sports’ Roch Kubatko maintains that the Cardinals and Yankees remain in discussions for the 25-year-old, with Cardinals’ RHP Jordan Hicks and catcher Carson Kelly drawing interest, as well as Yankees’ top prospect Gleyber Torres. Any deal involving the Yankees still feels like a long shot, however; as Craig mentioned on Wednesday, it makes sense that the club wouldn’t want to see their star player hanging around their division rivals in 2018, and the Yankees should be well prepared to make a run at him in free agency next winter.