Bullets today is going to be a lot shorter than it normally is. One reason is that I was really busy last night for the same reasons that you were. The other reason is that most of the news over the past two days has been about the NL Wild Card game and the two game 163s and I think we have that covered well elsewhere.
There was another breaking story about the Department of Justice looking into MLB’s system of signing players out of Latin America and there will be a separate story coming up about that.
- The Twins fired manager Paul Molitor, just one year after he was named American League Manager of the Year. The Twins offered him another role in the organization and he’s expected to accept it.
- Whitney McIntosh is disappointed that many of her favorite pitchers will not be in the postseason.
- The Athletics plan to start reliever Liam Hendriks in tonight’s AL Wild Card game and go with a “bullpenning” game.
- The Dodgers announced that Hyun-Jin Ryu will start game one of the NLDS.
- MLB issued an official video for the postseason that celebrates . . .well, on-field celebrations and mocks those who say that young players need to “respect the game.” So MLB is officially saying that the “unwritten rules” are bunk.
- Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig predicted that that the Dodgers would win the 2018 World Series. While shirtless.
- Good news for Puig in that the gang who burglarized his home as well as the homes of other LA celebrities has been arrested.
- You probably don’t want to read about any Rockies players right now, but if you want to bookmark this for later, Whitney McIntosh has reasons why you should love Charlie Blackmon. (She also did one for Javier Baez, but I don’t think you need to be given a reason to love him. You may still like the piece anyway.)
- David Schoenfield predicts that Astros third baseman Alex Bregman will be the big star this postseason.
- Scott Boeck has 13 statistics to sum up the 2018 season.
- How about this statistic? The LSU baseball team had a higher per-game attendance than the Miami Marlins.
- Katie Baker has an appreciation of retired Mets third baseman David Wright and what he meant to the Amazin’s. She says that for Mets fans, Wright will always be a kid, even now that his aging, adult body has betrayed him.
- Here’s another sign that the issues with the Mets come from the top. Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said that the reason that the Mets had a small analytics department and why they haven’t signed many free agents is because former general manager Sandy Alderson wanted it that way. It should be noted that other reports immediately disputed this and that Alderson repeatedly asked to expand the analytics department but was turned down by ownership. It should also be mentioned that Alderson stepped down to battle cancer, so Wilpon threw a sick man under the bus.
- David Laurila talks to Yankees bench coach Josh Bard about what he does all day. If you’re curious about what a bench coach does in this day and age, here you go. It’s not like when I was growing up and the bench coach was usually just there to be the manager’s drinking buddy.
- The Giants gave a big farewell to outfielder Hunter Pence, but Pence insists he’s not retiring. Pence once said it wasn’t over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor and it isn’t over until he says it’s over.
- Ichiro Suzuki will be given a chance to make the Mariners 28-man roster for their Japan series in March. Here’s betting he makes the trip, pinch-hits a couple of times and then retires for good. Or likely never retires, but just never plays again.
- Mike Oz goes backstage with the cast of “MLB Central,” the morning show on the MLB Network.
- People loved to give Dodgers fans a hard time about the empty seats at Dodger Stadium for game 163. However, that piece does point out that the Dodgers lead MLB in attendance pretty much every single season. It should also be noted that many fans said that they tried to attend the game but were stuck in traffic for hours.
- And finally, you probably need a hug today. Luckily, Javier Baez has you covered. Grant Brisbee has the unwritten rules about breaking up a double play with a tender embrace. Let’s just say Brisbee is pro-hugs on the field.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.