I want to just say thank you to everyone who showed up to read what I have to write today. I know that after this ridiculous losing streak, I don’t want to think at all about baseball. I probably wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have to be.
I remember some late-night West Coast game, probably in the early ‘80s, that I was listening to on WGN radio in which the Dodgers (although it may have been the Padres) were beating the Cubs by double-digits. It was probably 11:30 at night Central time and Vince Lloyd announced to anyone still listening that “You are a true Cubs fan.”
I just want to say to those that came here today that “You are a true Cubs fan.” Either that, or you’re just a visiting troll.
- So Jay Jaffe has a proposed fix for the disappointing teams this season. (ESPN+ sub. req.)
- Mike Axisa looks at what the Mets have to do this winter to get back on track.
- Matt Ehalt looks at what might have been if the Mets hadn’t traded for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz.
- Diaz set a new record for most home runs given up in the ninth inning in a single season.
- The Twins became the first team in history to hit 300 home runs in one season.
- Eric Stephen breaks down how the Brewers caught fire and won 18 of their last 20 games.
- Emma Baccellieri credits the Brewers improved pitching for their hot streak.
- David Schoenfield looks at the chances of the Brewers catching the Cardinals in the division and whether or not they should even try.
- Travis Sawchik credits the Cardinals success this year to their development of young pitching. And the Cubs’ failure to the opposite.
- Matt Martell explains why the Cardinals can win the World Series.
- But Mike Lupica writes that no one wants to face the Rays in the playoffs.
- Except Scott Osler writes that the Athletics will win the World Series.
- Tim Brown talks to A’s shortstop Marcus Semien about how he’s quietly become a star.
- Mike Mazzeo profiles “savage” Yankees manager Aaron Boone about his famous family and his success this year in the Bronx.
- Tom Verducci writes that the playoffs are all going to be about home runs.
- Commissioner Rob Manfred told Maury Brown that there needs to be a change made to the baseball (because of all the home runs) and that he’ll have more to say about this during the World Series.
- An injury ends Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr.’s attempt to be a 40/40 man this year. He’ll finish the year with 41 home runs and 37 steals.
- Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman called his final game on Thursday.
- Wick Terrell explains what Brennaman means to Reds fans.
- Ken Rosenthal explains why the Red Sox may find it difficult to hire a new team president/general manager. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper called out Nationals fans for “crossing a line” when heckling him. A day later, his wife, Kayla Harper, did as well. It seems Nationals fans were saying things about Kayla and their month-old son.
- This seems as good a place as any to put this piece by Allison McCague. McCague reminds us to think of ballplayers as human beings and not as commodities.
- J.J. Cooper has a story about the falling fortunes of the independent minor leagues.
- Scott Hines has some big ideas about what baseball stadiums of the future should look like.
- Jay Jaffe has a “blast” looking at the home runs for the past season with the greatest launch angle. Plus a few famous ones from history, like Reggie Jackson in the 1971 All-Star Game.
- Reds pitcher Sonny Gray had arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow.
- Rangers pitcher Mike Minor recorded his 200th strikeout yesterday but only after first baseman Ronald Guzman let an easy foul pop up drop for a strike. Red Sox manager Alex Cora was not happy about this.
- And finally, the NBC sitcom The Good Place started its fourth and final season last night. The show’s producer, creator and overall driving force is Michael Schnur, who is a huge Red Sox fan and also the former owner of the now-legendary Fire Joe Morgan blog. But he tells the story of how his staff at the show pranked him by getting him to watch the famous Aaron Boone home run in the 2003 ALCS. He was not amused at the time, although he seems to be able to laugh at it now.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.