A long time ago I made up a word: “metafan.” I only had a vague idea of what it meant, but I liked the sound of it. Recently I’ve come to think that the word was too good to just sit by itself, undefined, so I decided to build a concept around it. That concept is laid out in a guest column I wrote for Baseball Prospectus. Unlike the bulk of BP’s content it’s free for all to read with or without a subscription.
Roughly speaking, the word “metafan” refers to a person who gets into the superfluous stuff surrounding baseball to the extent that, at some point, it starts to crowd out the consumption of actual baseball games. I’m talking about playing fantasy baseball, collecting memorabilia, writing about it, doing sabermetric analysis, going nuts on hot stove league things, whatever. I’m a metafan. Many of you are. Most people who truly go nuts about baseball are, I believe anyway, metafans. And that’s not bad. It just … is.
At any rate, I don’t do longish form columny things very often, so writing this was kind of fun. Let me know what you think of it. I’m actually not sure that it’s good — I really did think up the word first and built a concept around it afterwards, so it may be total bunk — but you can be the judge of that.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.