MLB Network is going to cover the living hell out of the Hall of Fame vote announcement

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The “Powell doctrine” mandates the use of overwhelming and decisive force in order to achieve the stated objective. Based on the press release I got a few minutes ago, MLB Network adheres to that doctrine when it comes to coverage of the Hall of Fame vote announcement on Monday:

The results of the 2012 National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot will be announced on MLB Network and simulcast on MLB.com on Monday, January 9 at 3:00 p.m. ET as part of a two-hour announcement show … coverage will include interviews with any electees and be anchored by Matt Vasgersian with MLB Network’s Bob Costas, Greg Amsinger, Brian Kenny and Harold Reynolds, Hall of Fame award-winning baseball writer Peter Gammons, and Hall of Fame voters Jon Heyman, Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci. Hall of Fame coverage and reaction will continue on MLB Network’s Intentional Talk and Hot Stove starting at 5:00 p.m. ET.

That’s a good three total hours of coverage with no fewer than nine talking heads.  All to handle the induction of what will likely be one person, Barry Larkin.  Who, if MLB Network is serious about its business, won’t himself be allowed to talk given that he’s employed by rival ESPN on “Baseball Tonight.”

Not that any of this is criticism. I love baseball and there’s so damn little of it right now. My cable company is awful and doesn’t carry MLB Network, but if it did I’d have it locked in there all day.  If for no other reason than they’ll be showing lots of Barry Larkin highlights, and I miss him a lot.

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.

On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.

Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.