World Series - Boston Red Sox v St Louis Cardinals - Game Three

Cardinals waste no time, take 2-0 lead over the Red Sox in the first inning of Game 3

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Jake Peavy went into his start in Game 3 of the World Series hoping to improve on his last start in which he allowed seven runs in three innings of work against the Tigers in Game 4 of the ALCS. The Cardinals aren’t playing nice, as they quickly got to Peavy in the bottom of the first inning in Game 3 of the World Series.

Matt Carpenter led off with a single. Carlos Beltran worked the count to 3-1, then curiously laid a bunt down to the left side of the pitcher’s mound. Ostensibly it was an attempt to reach base, but Peavy retrieved the ball and threw Beltran out by a few inches as Carpenter moved to second base. (Ken Rosenthal reported during the broadcast that Beltran didn’t feel as comfortable batting left-handed as he does right-handed due to the rib injury sustained in Game 1.) Holliday followed up by slashing a line drive to right field, scoring Carpenter to put the Cardinals up 1-0.

The Cardinals kept the rally going as Matt Adams hit a grounder through the hole to right field, then Yadier Molina ripped a single just over third baseman Xander Bogaerts into left field, scoring Holliday to move the score to 2-0. David Freese lined out to right and Jon Jay grounded out to second to end the frame.

Peavy needed 21 pitches to get through the first inning. Cardinals starter Joe Kelly pitched a perfect top half of the first inning on 11 pitches.

James McCann is in The Best Shape of His Life

Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann blows a bubble while warming up during a spring training baseball workout, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Lakeland, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
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As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.

We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.

James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:

Spring training is less than a month away, folks!

Bo Jackson is not gonna change kids’ minds

1989:  Bo Jackson #16 of the Kansas City Royals practices his swing as he prepares to bat during a game in the 1989 season.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Last week Bo Jackson said that, if he had it to do all over again, he would have never played professional football and that he would never let his kids play. The sport is too violent, he said. “I’d tell them, ‘Play baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, just anything but football.’”

Fair enough. Thom Loverro of the Washington Times, however, thinks that Bo could do more than simply give his opinion on the matter. He thinks Bo should become an official ambassador for Major League Baseball:

Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, pick up the phone right now and call Bo Jackson. Tell him you have a job for him — vice president of something, whatever you would call the man in charge of converting a generation of young athletes to baseball. And pay him what he wants.

You won’t find a better symbol of the differences between the two sports than Bo Jackson. After all, he was an All-Star in both. Bo knows football. Bo knows baseball.

Bo, tell the children — baseball over football.

The Children: “Who is Bo Jackson?”

Yeah, I’m being a bit flip here, but dude: Jackson is 54 years-old. He last played baseball 23 years ago. I’d personally run through a wall for Bo Jackson, but I’m 43. I was 12 when he won the Heisman trophy. While he may loom large to middle aged sports writers, a teenager contemplating what sport to play is not going to listen to someone a decade or more older than his parents.

This isn’t terribly important in the grand scheme of things, but it’s indicative of how most columnists process the world through their own experiences and assume they apply universally. It’s probably the biggest trap most sports opinion folks fall into.