A year ago, if I’d told you Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber were leadoff hitters in the American League Wild Card game you would have had a lot of questions. One, “Ashley, you know you can’t have two leadoff hitters, right?” and two, “Ashley, you know the Cubs are in the National League, right?” And a year ago, friends, you would have been right to question me.
But here we are in October 2021, and Rizzo is donning a Yankees jersey, while Schwarber sports Red Sox red, and no, I don’t like it any more than you do, but at least the postseason means we’ll get to see some beloved former Cubs take a shot at another World Series ring.
As for that AL Wild Card match, well the winner of the winner-take-all outing was the Boston Red Sox, and they will go on to face the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg at 7:07 CT.
And as we prepare to see who will take home the Commissioner’s Trophy this year, let’s get into some links. Fair warning, if you don’t like reading about the postseason, you’re pretty much out of luck here.
- It was a banner year for MLB.TV, writes Eric Fisher, who looks at the records broken by the baseball streaming service.
- Katie Baker has assembled a full season’s worth of Steve Cohen tweets.
- Jared Diamond looks at how safety gear designed by an umpire has become all the rage with major league catchers.
- Eddie Robinson, the oldest former MLB player, has passed away at the age of 100. Reporting by Joseph Salvador.
- Ben Lindbergh managed to get one more story about the incredible season of Shohei Ohtani in before the Angels-free postseason began.
- Ben Clemens is singing the praises of Corbin Burnes’ incredible season.
- After a spate of recent injuries, surgery is unlikely for Dodgers Max Muncy and Clayton Kershaw, reports ESPN.
- Joe West will be calling it quits after becoming the longest-tenured umpire in major league history. Story by Michael Shapiro.
- Sure, there were fewer home runs this year, but according to Devan Fink the long ball still reigns supreme.
- Speaking of home runs, Ian Browne shared the blast off the bat of Kyle Schwarber in last night’s Wild Card game.
- Ken Rosenthal offers us nine engaging storylines to follow through the postseason. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Here’s one reason every postseason team has a shot at winning the World Series. Except for the Yankees, now.
- The Yankees might be out of the running now, but this Lindsey Adler piece about what drives Gerrit Cole is still well worth the read. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- The staff at FanGraphs break down their predictions for every round of the postseason.
- Matt Martell and the Sports Illustrated staff make their predictions as well.
- Eno Sarris offers five stat-based predictions for the postseason. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Michael Baumann ranks almost ten years worth of Wild Card games. (He absolutely gets it right with his number 1 pick, which remains, to this day, one of the best games of baseball I’ve ever watched.)
- David Purdum looks at each team’s odds and where the bettors are putting their money.
- Just as good, if not better, than real nicknames if we’re being real.
As per tradition, nicknames for the Red Sox-Yankees playoff rosters, as generated by artificial intelligence. pic.twitter.com/jsmH4fAF4c— Dan Szymborski (@DSzymborski) October 6, 2021
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.