After one day of reprieve, baseball transitions to its postseason tournament. That begins tonight with the Nationals hosting the Brewers, in a matchup of Max Scherzer and Brandon Woodruff+Friends. My firmly held belief is that we need a heralded trophy celebrating the best record-holding team in the regular season a la the Supporter’s Shield in MLS, so as to deliver a greater sense of worth in the populous to regular season excellence. The World Series now awaits, and it makes for my favorite sort of high-stakes, nonsense baseball, but we should recognize sustained greatness with hardware as well.
To the links!
In Mariners News...
- Seattle shook up their coaching staff significantly. Two coaches from the big league staff won’t return - 3B/OF coach Chris Prieto and bullpen coach Jim Brower. Additionally, pitching coach Paul Davis will be transitioned into a new, broader oversight role. AAA-Tacoma will also not be retaining long-time pitching coach Lance Painter. The Mariners also have let go of two of their video coordinators - Jimmy Hartley and Craig Manning.
- Per Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times, the Mariners will be looking closely at going internally to fill at least a couple of the positions, including AA-Arkansas pitching coach Pete Woodworth.
- Mariners prospects have begun the organization’s “High-Performance Camp”:
The #Mariners High Performance Camp kicked off today at the team’s Spring Training Facility in Peoria, AZ. Approximately 50 Mariners prospects will participate in the 7-week camp that will run through Nov. 16 as players start preparing for the 2020 season. pic.twitter.com/bLbr58zqUU— Kelly Munro (@kmunro1) September 30, 2019
- Jerry Dipoto’s idea of a quiet offseason is up to determination, but he expects less hustle and bustle this winter. Specifically, this quote from his talk with Shannon Drayer of 710 AM Seattle is a one to remember over the next few months:
“I don’t know how active we are going to be in the trade market,” he said. “I would say moderate is going to be about as strong as a word I would use. And in free agency I would say… the likelihood is we’ll shop early and we’ll shop late and you won’t hear a lot from us around the holidays.”
- Baseball Prospectus wrote up eyewitness reports on a number of big name prospects at the AFL, including M’s Julio Rodríguez. ($)
- Shed Long appears to be making an impact already on The Youth.
- We are relieved to hear former Mariners and Angels ace Mark Langston is in good health after being clinically dead for over three minutes following a collapse in the broadcast booth a week and a half ago.
Around the League...
- Despite firing Brad Ausmus after one season, the Angels will retain GM Billy Eppler, who is entering the final year of his contract.
- Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler had some harsh words on his team’s season, claiming “heads will roll” if the team is not a winner in 2020. A few choice quotes included... “We sucked”, “it’s embarrassing”, Eric Hosmer is “not playing like a Gold Glove first baseman”, and “We’re probably going to have to eat $10 million or more” in speaking about Wil Myers.
- The Mets are reportedly interested in hiring Driveline Baseball’s Kyle Boddy.
- Pete Alonso kept receipts on some less-than-glowing scouting reports he received at the season’s outset.
- Though likely, it’s not a fait accompli that Joe Maddon ends up in Anaheim, per knower of plans Jon Heyman. Also, watch your back Gabe Kapler?
Maddon for the record still has a home in Orange County from his many, many years in the Angels organization as player, minors manager and MLB coach. Long list of potential suitors topped by LAA, SD and Philly (note: Philly not open yet)— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) September 30, 2019
- Bill Thompson of Banished to the Pen profiles 27 year old 3B/1B/cOF Yoshitomo Tsutsugo of the Yokohama DeNA BayStars, who has been vocal about his desire to eventually play in MLB.
- Mariners stalwart and nicest man you could hope to meet Raúl Ibañez is in consideration for both the Cubs and Giants coaching positions.
- Seattle wasn’t the only team shaking up their pitching staff. The Diamondbacks fired pitching coach Mike Butcher after four seasons with the club.
- There’s good news about baseball’s popularity...
MLB announces MLB on FOX averaged 2.403 million viewers during the regular season, an +8% increase over last year and its highest average since 2012.— Emily Waldon (@EmilyCWaldon) September 30, 2019
ESPN Sunday Night Baseball averaged 1.601 million viewers, an increase of +2% over last year’s average of 1.572 million.
- ... and bad news about baseball’s popularity (or, more specifically, the cost of attendance)
Baseball had its worst attendance in 16 years https://t.co/IFNOtFk0iH— HardballTalk (@HardballTalk) September 30, 2019
- The Red Sox, fresh off declaring their intent to cut payroll significantly and floating the possibility of trading Mookie Betts, as well as J.D. Martinez unless he opts out of his contract, announced they will raise ticket prices next year.
- The Nationals have reportedly offered star 3B Anthony Rendon an extension of seven years worth $210-215 million. The 29 year old would be the best position player hitting free agency this offseason, but if true, it’s a competitive deal for the brilliant 3B. Washington is notorious for heavily deferring their contracts, however, so take any deal with a grain of salt.
- Despite a respectable season, Luke Voit is “not a lock” for the Yankees postseason roster.
- People have come out of the woodwork to
celebrateroast the shuttering of Globe Life Park.
Farewell, friend who is the same age as Alex Bregman, Justin Bieber and Dakota Fanning https://t.co/EAu4DCf4tL— Bill (@Bill_TPA) September 30, 2019
- Fear not, however. Globe Life Park will be the new home of the Dallas Renegades - the region’s nascent XFL team - in addition to a home for major high school football tilts. Never change, Texas.
- Jeff Wiser at Baseball Prospectus laments the shift in September call-up rules for 2020 and beyond that will make exciting auditions like what Kyle Lewis and Nico Hoerner provided impossible. ($)
- Marcus Semien has become a fringe AL MVP candidate thanks to massive defensive and offensive improvements. Rian Watt of FanGraphs notes the better defensive numbers over the past two seasons are, in a significant way, tied to the flexibility offered by playing alongside Matt Chapman.
- Beyond the Box Score’s Sheryl Ring interviews former MLB Investigator Eddie Dominguez, who led many high-profile cases including the “Biogenesis” investigation. Dominguez released a book called ‘Baseball Cop’ on his time, including some unsavory claims about Rob Manfred. *fans self in shock*
- The Twins are playoff-bound, and while one of these two likely won’t make the playoff roster, they are an inseparable pair when it comes to costumes.
Cheech and Chong— Kyle Gibson (@kgib44) September 26, 2019
Aka Astudillo and Arraez pic.twitter.com/yYkTQ2yA2W
- Minnesota will be without reliever Sam Dyson for all of 2019 and perhaps 2020 after shoulder surgery.
- Devan Fink of FanGraphs wants it to be known that signing Patrick Corbin is a massive reason the Nationals were able to pull out of their early season swoon and snag a playoff spot.
- Lest you thought the Yankees were ever anything more than exactly who they’ve seemed to be...
When the Yankees lost the pennant in 1940, the Dodgers offered to play them in a series for New York supremacy.— Michael Clair (@michaelsclair) September 30, 2019
The Yankees' answer was peak Yankees. pic.twitter.com/xAFoe1zKpV
- Vladimir Guerrero Sr. shared a touching bit of encouragement for his son on the young man’s first MLB season.
- You want bat flips? You can have some bat flips.
- Sports Illustrated has their playoff preview set, and the cover, well, we’re pretty used to seeing them.
- Somehow the Cardinals have managed to “endure” three seasons without a playoff berth, per Bob Nightengale.
- Roster construction comes in all shapes and forms for playoff contenders:
With #MLB's 2019 #postseason field of 10 set, here's a look at how each team was built: https://t.co/iPtMPiQh6V#Astros#MNTwins#Yankees#Rays#Dodgers#STLCards#Braves#Nats#Brewers pic.twitter.com/Vvsz9LLl4G— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) September 30, 2019
My hockey fandom is in its infancy, but... Palm Springs? Coachella Valley? Sure?