Today is the day to take a moment and remember Broderick Crawford…
The MLB playoffs are set; it went down to the wire. Tomorrow is single elimination day; the winners of tomorrow’s two wildcard games play on, and the loser gets an early start on the offseason. It is the MLB equivalent of March Madness in October. The games tomorrow are:
- Yankees at Red Sox – – telecast on ESPN
- Cardinals at Dodgers – – telecast on TBS.
The wildcard winners will then face the team in each league with the best regular season record. So, the bracket will look like this in the AL:
- Wildcard winner vs Rays
- White Sox vs Astros
Meanwhile in the NL, the bracket is:
- Wildcard winner vs Giants
- Brewers vs Braves
If the World Series eventually goes to 7 games, the last MLB game of the year will happen on November 3. One way to avoid having World Series games played in near-freezing condition would be to have the World Series involve the Tampa Bay Rays and the LA Dodgers. Just because that seems like a good thing to root for, that will be my hope for the World Series matchup.
While on the subject of baseball, I ran across this item from Gregg Drinnan’s blog, Taking Note:
“If you are an MLB fan of a certain age, take a moment or two to think about this note from Elias Sports Bureau: ‘No pitcher in the American League will hit 200 innings this season and there are currently only 13 qualifiers for the AL ERA title. There has never been a full season in which a league did not have a 200-inning pitcher.’ . . . RHP Ferguson Jenkins, a hall of famer who also is Canadian, threw more than 200 innings in 12 seasons, topping 300 in five of those. Yes, those days are long gone.”
One more baseball note if you please… I went to check the “almost final” numbers for the number of MLB players who spent time on the Injured List this year and how much money they earned while in that status. As of October 1st, here are the data:
- In total, 823 players spent time on the IL.
- Of those players, 481 were pitchers (58.4% of the total).
- The number of man-days missed by players on the IL was 46,910.
- Those players earned a total of $817,313,884. [That’s a lot of cheese.]
- Justin Verlander missed the entire season and earned the most money of any player on the IL. Verlander collected $32M and change.
- Ten players – including Verlander – collected $10M or more while on the IL.
Yesterday saw a first in the history of the NFL. When the Chiefs beat the Eagles, Andy Reid became the first head coach ever to amass 100 or more wins with two different teams. Reid had 140 wins with the Eagles and Sunday gave him his 100th victory as the head coach of the Chiefs. Somehow it seems fitting that win came over his former team – – the Eagles.
Believe it or not, the NBA teams have reported to training camp and Exhibition Games are starting up. Here are three narratives/storylines I have already heard more about than I need to hear:
- I do not care how the Ben Simmons/Sixers divorce/rapprochement is ultimately resolved – – but can it please happen sometime soon. This story ran out of even marginally interesting twists about a month ago.
- Let me say the same thing here about John Wall and his desire to be traded from the Rockets. Please make that happen this week or kill the idea entirely before the story takes root. There is a parallel between the Wall and Simmons situations. Both involve point guards who have never won anything important who are intruding their personal wishes on sports fans. Get over this, please.
- The Brooklyn Nets have a “Big Three” that makes them title hopefuls. But one of the three is Kyrie Irving who is – evidently – not vaxxed and has not indicated that he is going to be vaxxed. The problem for him and the Nets is that in NYC he would not be allowed to play in an indoor venue if he remains unvaxxed and the Nets have 41 home games and a couple of games against the Knicks and some games against the Raptors – you need to be vaxxed to enter Canada. So, Irving could be “unavailable” (the NBA term of art is “healthy scratch”) for more than half of the games this year.
- Memo to NBA Writers and Sports Editors: The only real news here is an announcement by Kyrie Irving that he is now vaccinated. Until and unless you can report that fact, there is nothing new here. Please ignore it.
Finally, Franz Kafka’s writings were full of situations involving alienation and absurdity; those qualities might well be summed up in one of his observations:
“The meaning of life is that it stops.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…