Two teams enter, one team leaves: NLCS Game 7 lineups

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Here are the lineups for Game 7 of the NLCS between the Cardinals and Giants, in San Francisco:

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS            SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
1. Jon Jay, CF                 1. Angel Pagan, CF
2. Carlos Beltran, RF          2. Marco Scutaro, 2B
3. Matt Holliday, LF           3. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
4. Allen Craig, 1B             4. Buster Posey, C
5. Yadier Molina, C            5. Hunter Pence, RF
6. David Freese, 3B            6. Brandon Belt, 1B
7. Daniel Descalso, 2B         7. Gregor Blanco, LF
8. Pete Kozma, SS              8. Brandon Crawford, SS
9. Kyle Lohse, SP              9. Matt Cain, SP

Matt Holliday is in the Cardinals’ lineup after sitting out Game 6 with a back injury, which means manager Mike Matheny can go with his now-standard playoff batting order with the season on the line.

Bruce Bochy is also going with his standard lineup versus a right-handed pitcher.

“You know the law: Two teams enter, one team leaves.”

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?