The 2011 playoff qualifiers represent payrolls of all sizes

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Blogging is basically about reacting to stuff, but sometimes it helps to get ahead of the narrative a bit.  Just to help you prepare, here are the potential state-of-the-game storylines we can expect to see in the coming weeks:

  • If the Yankees face the Phillies in the World Series baseball is broken because the big payroll teams are just buying championships; and
  • If some combination of the Diamondbacks, Brewers, Rays or Rangers make the World Series, the low TV ratings such matchups will create will be proof that baseball is truly dead;

I’m not sure what we do if the Cardinals or Tigers figure in somehow. Maybe something about passionate fans who live in cities outsiders like to denigrate. People eat that crap up.

Anyway, all of this is just an excuse to link Maury Brown’s post from yesterday in which he detailed the payroll situation of the eight playoff teams. Short version: the payroll ranks of the qualifiers: 1 (Yankees); 2 (Philly); 10 (Tigers); 11 (Cards); 13 (Rangers); 17 (Brewers); 25 (Dbacks); 29 (Devil Rays).

So, two rich kids, four middle-of-the-packers and two sisters of the poor.  Viva balance and parity. Just don’t expect anyone to give baseball too much credit for that because it doesn’t fit the usual narratives.

José Abreu hospitalized due to thigh infection

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The Athletic’s James Fegan reports that White Sox first baseman José Abreu has been hospitalized due to an infection in his thigh. It is apparently unrelated for the emergency surgery Abreu underwent last month for testicular torsion. The White Sox expect Abreu to miss the entirety of the three-game series against the Indians, which begins tonight, but are calling him day-to-day.

Abreu, 31, missed three weeks between August 20 and September 10 due to testicular torsion. After going 3-for-4 in his first game back from the disabled list, Abreu went hitless over his next five games spanning 23 trips to the plate. That dropped his triple-slash line down to .265/.325/.473 with 22 home runs and 78 RBI in 553 plate appearances.

Abreu had hit at least 25 home runs and knocked in at least 100 runs in each of his first four seasons in the majors, but he will almost certainly not reach triple-digits in RBI this season. His hospital visits impacted that, unfortunately. Abreu will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility after the season.