Great Moments in Independent League Baseball

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Friend of HBT Emma Span makes her Sports On Earth debut on the day that Sports on Earth debuts. She’s the “Video Killed the Radio Star” of the online sports world.

Her topic: Roger Clemens’ return to baseball with the Sugar Land Skeeters.  You should read it all because she’s a great writer, but if you take nothing else away from it, take this:

As the team’s name indicates, the Skeeters are far from the majors in both attitude and talent. (In honor of the Rocket, they postponed Saturday’s scheduled promotion, in which “Human Fireball” Ted Batchelor would set himself aflame and round the bases, until Sept. 8).

I’ve seen Roger Clemens pitch hundreds of times. I’ve never seen anyone round the bases while on fire. I think the Skeeters made a bad call here, folks.

Jackie Bradley, Jr. named ALCS MVP

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Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series after his club punched its ticket to the World Series on Thursday night against the Astros.

Coincidentally, the Astros’ Game 5 starter Justin Verlander was ALCS MVP last year en route to a championship.

Bradley went 0-for-3 with a walk in Thursday’s Game 5, but he hit a three-run double in Game 2, a grand slam in Game 3, and a go-ahead two-run home run in Game 4. That’s nine RBI and three extra-base hits across five games. He also drew four walks.

Though Bradley had a solid regular season, he was not near the top of the list most people would’ve expected to win ALCS MVP heading into the series. During the season, he hit .234/.314/.403 with 13 home runs, 59 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 17 stolen bases in 535 plate appearances.