The FBC live blog of the MLB’s Hell Day

The FBC live blog of the MLB’s Hell Day

I have been looking forward to this day since it was announced. I wasn’t sure it would happen, but here we are. EIGHT PLAYOFF GAMES. It may never happen again, folks. So today, we’re going to do something stupid. A live blog from first pitch to last pitch of the eight game slate. Four teams, including two of our World Series champion picks… are on the chopping block. So, here is the plan, according to Indianapolis Coastal Time (aka Eastern time).

Game 1- Reds @ Braves 12pm
Game 2- Astros @ Twins 1pm
Game 1- Marlins @ Cubs 2pm
Game 2- White Sox @ Athletics 3pm
Game 2- Blue Jays @ Rays 4pm
Game 1- Cardinals @ Padres 5pm
Game 2- Yankees @ Indians 7pm
Game 1- Brewers @ Dodgers 10pm

And here… we… go…

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What is going on with you MLB?

So last week I was in Tampa on a work trip. Not that I didn’t have access to any news or sports or news on sports, most of Florida does – even if a lot of Florida can’t access anything but Fox News judging by the billboards in Tampa – I did. I was tired.

But Wednesday I was in the hotel lobby waiting for my work comrades when one of them came up to me and said the Astros had fired their manager and general manager. Whoa… and whoa. In my best Montreal Expos accent I said ‘pourquoi?’

Cheating.

And…

Cheating. Spying. Stealing signs.

And…

Rob Manfred is having none of it.

Now Rob is the baseball commissioner, so he has the right to do what he thinks is best for baseball. He’s drawing a hard line – there will be no cheating in baseball. What you may ask? What? Of course, there should be no cheating in baseball, right?

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The MLB’s Hot Stove League – The January Report

January’s come in with a select amount of subtlety, but in the MLB it’s been quite the wild whirling dervish of deals and free agent signings. Before I get to what individual team got and still needs, let’s take a trip around the horn and see where the big names landed like a big lake trout on a dish. Trout sounds so good right now.

Garret Cole. OK. Fine. I was wrong. Are you happy I admitted it? I thought for certain he was going to be an Angel, but neigh he decided to become a devil, AKA a Yankee. Curse you Cole!

Stephen Strasburg. I was correct, stuck with the Nationals. Bite me.

Anthony Rendon. The biggest stick in the free agent class went to the Angels. Now he’s paired with Mike Trout (which still sounds good BTW). Good golly that’ll be fun to watch!

Madison Bumgarner – I’m as giddy he didn’t go to the Twins as I am mad he went to the Diamondbacks. C’mon MadBum! Why those desert bums? Why?!

Hyu-Jin Ryu – Left baseball to start a Korean BBQ franchise called Ryu’s Ribs. OK. Fine. He signed with the Blue Jays. Canadians love Koreans, primarily due to the alliteration.

Didi Gregorius – And I was right. He went to the Phillies to re-join Joe Girardi… and to get a cheese steak.

Corey Kluber – once the ace of the Indians staff, he was traded to the Rangers for a sack of beads.

Eric Thames – not quite a huge deal as he signed a 1-year contract with the Nationals, but what’s significant is he is yet another player who doesn’t want to play for the Brew Crew… or he got tired of all that Usinger’s Sausage.

Tommy Pham – good news is the Tampa Rays traded him from a fan base whose median age is 80 to San Diego whose fan base is a youthful 77. Bad news? You have to be a Brown Shirt now, dude.

Rick Porcello – signed with the Mets. All of Boston breathed a huge sigh of relief, and ordered a pie.

Dallas Kuechel – former CY Young award winner who sat out most of last year signed with the White Sox. Fingers crossed he enjoys Sox Park, and deep dish pizza.

And who has yet to find a team?

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World Series Report, post game 5

I waited until the series was over in Washington. I could spend a whole lot of space breaking down games 3, 4, and 5, giving you reasons why the Astros rallied from two games down to not only make this a series again, but to dominate the damn thing. However, there is truly only one number you need to know… the number one. Good gravy, Nationals. Swept at home. 4-1. 8-1. 7-1. One really is the loneliest number.

The Nationals fans seriously deserve a rousing round of applause for the chorus of ‘boos’ and the showering of ‘lock him up’ toward our feckless Bloated Circus Peanut leader as he was announced prior to the first pitch of Game 5. Made me proud the team also selected renowned chef, humanitarian and Trump-basher José Andrés to throw out the first pitch (low and outside) and then a bit sad their team couldn’t take the grandstand performance and run with it. Hell, Astro fans would have probably given DOTUS a standing ovation. Don’t try to fight me on this one, it’s Texas, one of those states where the capital is pretty much on its own liberal island.

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World Series Report, post game 2

I’m in the Milwaukee Airport, MKE to you aviation buffs, waiting for a flight to Denver. I have a 10:15 flight. I parked at 8:00. I’m now at the gate, after taking a bathroom break, and it’s 8:15. Ergo, I have time to give you a synopsis of the first 2 games of World Series 2019.

I’ll have to admit, I was wrong about the Astros. I was, however, correct about the Nationals. If any team was going to get past the Dodgers, it was the Nationals… and St. Louis stood merely as a speed bump on the way to the World Series.

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The MLB Playoffs… and Joe Maddon is not Mike Ditka

I’m going to sprint through the baseball playoffs and sprinkle some ‘Maddon Moments’ in to explain, in my mind, what happened to Maddon and the Cubs, while using Ditka like he used Bears fans.

By the time you read this, the wild card games – October 1 and October 2 – may be over, or at least started. It doesn’t really matter much. Those four teams can douse themselves in all the champagne they want, but it’s pretty much a cheap victory. Put it this way, it’s the same kind of victory you get when you visit your elderly grandmother at her assisted living facility and win their corn hole tournament.

But before we dig into the wild card teams, let’s just take a look at the 2016-2019 Cubs vs the 1984-1987 Bears. If you look at their timelines, they are a tad similar. And you can argue both Maddon and Ditka can only deal with the hands they are dealt. True. Think of this like Texas Holdem. Ditka was holding the king and queen of hearts and staring at the ten, jack and ace of hearts face up on the table… and threw out the king ‘aka’ Wilbur Marshall. Maddon’s hand, while good, was an ace and a ten. Still a potentially winning hand, but could have been better. Cubs management bet high on a good, but ultimately bad hand.

OK, now let’s place a hand on the wild card teams – The Rays, the A’s, the Brewers, the Nats.

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