Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
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The Yankees offer to pay for Doc Gooden’s rehab

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With the continuing caveat that it is really weird and likely as uncomfortable as hell for all of those involved for this to be playing out so publicly, here is the latest news on the Doc Gooden/Daryl Strawberry/possible cocaine relapse story. From the Daily News:

Dwight (Doc) Gooden is insisting publicly that he doesn’t have a drug problem, yet more and more people want to help him — none more significant than the Yankees, who have reached out to say they’ll pay for any treatment he would consider getting.

That’s admirable of the Yankees, as is their refusal to comment on it further (the Daily News got this info from Strawberry). The Yankees, of course, gave both Strawberry and Gooden second chances in the 1990s when their addiction problems threatened their careers.

Rich Hill to make his Dodgers debut Wednesday

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Rich Hill has yet to start for the Dodgers since being traded to Los Angeles at the deadline due to a blister. That will change Wednesday when he makes his Dodgers debut against the Giants.

Hill has pitched wonderfully when healthy this year, providing a stellar 2.25 ERA over 14 starts. Now he’ll step up and Ross Stripling will step down. That is, if the Dodgers don’t suffer any more rotation injuries. Which they may given that Scott Kazmir is dealing with back and neck issues.

But hey, they’ve somehow managed to come this far despite everyone short of your mom starting for them this season. What’s another pitching injury or three?

Postseason schedule announced; Games 6 and 7 of the World Series will be in November

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Major League Baseball just announced the postseason schedule and, as it has the past couple of years, if it features a World Series Game 6 or 7, they will be played in November, though the schedule has been moved up two days from where it was last year. The schedule breaks down thusly:

Last day of regular season: October 2

AL Wild Card Game: October 4;
NL Wild Card Game: October 5;

Both ALDS: begin on October 6 — Game 5s, if necessary, October 12;
Both NLDS: begin on October 7 — Game 5s, if necessary, October 13;

ALCS: begins October 14 — Game 7, if necessary, October 22;
NLCS: begins October 15 — Game 7, if necessary, October 23;

World Series dates

Game 1: October 25 (AL City)
Game 2: October 26 (AL City)
Game 3: October 28 (NL City)
Game 4: October 29 (NL City)
Game 5 (if necessary): October 30 (NL City)
Game 6 (if necessary): November 1 (AL City)
Game 7 (if necessary): November 2 (AL City)

There have been four previous World Series with November Games. 2001 was the most memorable, of course, as Major League Baseball suspended play for six days following the September 11 attacks, with the World Series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the New York Yankees getting under way Oct. 27 . Games 6 and 7 were played in Arizona on November 3 and 4.

In 2009 the season started late due to the World Baseball Classic. Games 4, 5 and 6 were played in November, with the Yankees winning Game 6 on November 4.

The San Francisco Giants won the World Series over the Texas Rangers in 2010 in five games, with Game 5 being played on November 1. Last season the deciding Game 5 of the World Series took place on November 1. The series could have theoretically gone until November 4.

Any time you get into late October or later the weather can be unpredictable. At the moment, the most dangerous potential playoff cities as far as weather uncertainty go are Boston, Cleveland and Chicago. If the playoffs started right now Detroit and each of the New York teams would be on the outside looking in, but they’re theoretically in the running. You don’t get quite as nasty weather in Baltimore and Washington, but they’re not that far from Philly and everyone remembers the sloppy, snowy mess from 2008. Basically, if you’re not in a dome, down south or on the coasts you can’t guarantee great weather, which makes these later playoff schedules potentially problematic.

As I noted last year (and the year before that), if weather does mess with the Fall Classic, turning it into the Winter Classic, expect to have a long offseason conversation about things like 154-game schedules and neutral site World Series again. Which are dreary topics to be sure, but dreary weather could give them fresh currency.