Must-Click Link: Inside the mind of a Yankees beat writer

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Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger is, in my view, the best Yankees beat writer there is and is one of the best beat writers in all of Major League Baseball.

I like his temperament. I like that he always manages to be even-handed while not checking his brain or his opinions at the door.  He’s smart and he’s fair and his writing is informed by a curiosity about and appreciation of the game that has long left the writing of many other beats, if indeed they ever had it.

Today Moshe Mandel of The Yankee Analysts has a lengthy and highly informative Q&A with Carig that sheds a huge amount of light on the way a good beat writer approaches his or her job.  It’s required reading for anyone who ever plans on criticizing someone in the media. And criticism is totally fair game according to Carig. The point is to know what the hell these guys do before you rip them.

Just fantastic reading if you care at all about baseball media.

Braves clinch NL East title

Ender Inciarte
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So much for a last-minute, nail-biting finish to this division race. The Braves cemented their division title with a dominant 5-3 finish over the Phillies on Saturday, laying claim to the NL East title for the first time since 2013.

The Braves asserted themselves right off the bat after amassing a four-run lead from Johan Camargo and Freddie Freeman, both of whom cleared the bases with two-run singles in the first two innings. Ronald Acuna Jr., meanwhile, found another way to make his presence known after swiping his 15th stolen base of the year and joining Alex Rodriguez, Orlando Cepeda, and Mike Trout as one of the youngest players to collect at least 25 home runs and 15 stolen bags in major league history.

Not to be outdone, Atlanta right-hander Mike Foltynewicz delivered one of the strongest starts of his season to date. The righty set down six innings of no-hit ball against the Phillies, and, with just 62 pitches under his belt, looked ready to go the distance before he lost his bid on Odubel Herrera‘s leadoff single in the seventh.

Unfortunately for the Braves, the Phillies not only upended Foltynewicz’s no-hit attempt, but the shutout as well. In the eighth inning, Cesar Hernandez and Rhys Hoskins wrestled two RBI singles from Atlanta’s bullpen and brought Philadelphia within one run of tying the game. Hoskins was the last Phillies batter to reach base, however, as Jonny Venters and Arodys Vizcaino tossed a combined 1 2/3 scoreless innings (backed by a final RBI hit from Kurt Suzuki in the bottom of the eighth) to cap the Braves’ win — and the NL East title.

With the loss, the Phillies sit seven games back of a wild card spot in the National League. They’ll need to outpace the Diamondbacks, Rockies, and Cardinals in order to make 2018 their first postseason-qualifying year since 2011.