Few players made a postseason splash quite the way Rays outfielder and rookie Randy Arozarena has in 2020. Arozarena, the first rookie position player to ever win an ALCS MVP award, has been a sensational reminder of just how fun baseball can be when it’s played at full tilt.
Arozarena, a name no one outside the Rays organization was really aware of to start the season, is now the only thing anyone seems to want to talk about. With seven postseason home runs, 10 RBIs, and four walks, it seems like Arozarena is a machine designed to dazzle in October.
Before we get into the rest of today’s links, here are some spotlights on the postseason wunderkind.
- Jay Jaffe gushes over Arozarena’s remarkable run.
- Michael Baumann wonders where Arozarena’s incredible postseason ranks historically for a rookie.
- Stephanie Apstein spotlights the rookie as “the perfect Ray.”
Now onto the rest!
- Baseball writer John Lott is bowing out after a long, impressive career, and he writes about why for The Athletic. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Dan Szymborski takes ZiPS back to look at the Montreal Expos and the Bartolo Colon trade.
- ESPN staff make their picks for winners and award-winners in the World Series.
- The SB Nation staff have likewise made their predictions.
- Trevor Plouffe is enjoying a new role after retirement with Twitter’s favorite commentator, Jomboy, writes Stephen J. Nesbitt.
- Many people have suggested the Rays are no fun to watch (incorrect), but Emma Baccellieri looks at what the idea of being “aesthetically pleasing” means for the contenders.
- Cody Stavenhagen catches up with the Tigers hottest new prospect Spencer Torkelson. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- CC Sabathia talks about the Negro Leagues. (Video not available in all countries.)
- Rob Mains breaks down how rare it is for the two teams with the best records to be the ones facing each other in October. (Baseball Prospectus premium membership required.)
- No paywall for Zach Kram’s look at the rarity of the two “best” teams meeting in the World Series.
- Billy Heyen looks at the long legacy of Clayton Kershaw’s postseason struggles.
- Sam Miller ranks all 56 players appearing in the World Series.
- Thomas Boswell explains why he’s sitting out this World Series.
- In a new book review, James Fillmore looks at how to swindle a stadium deal.
- Cody Bellinger had great moments in the postseason, but Jay Jaffe takes a deeper look at his uneven year overall.
- The AL Central had a strong year with three of the five teams making it to the postseason, so what does 2021 hold for the hot division? (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Jeff Passan. Song writer.
I am not exaggerating when I say that the best — or worst — thing #ESPNDaily has ever done involves @JeffPassan’s musical #WorldSeries tribute to Randy Arozarena. WHICH MAY NEVER LEAVE MY BRAIN. https://t.co/TVYn0wx8Va @RaysBaseball pic.twitter.com/e6zvNJlj8k— Pablo S. Torre (@PabloTorre) October 20, 2020
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.