The Rundown: Juicy Dodgers-Brewers Conspiracy Theory, Alleged Extension Offer for Kris Bryant, Playoff News & Notes
I apologize for leading off with a hot take this morning, but there is no baseball until Friday.
Just when you think you’ve heard it all, former Marlins president Dan Samson said he believes MLB is taking an aggressive stance in its hope that the Dodgers beat the Brewers in the NLCS and advance to the World Series. Samson shared his thoughts during a guest spot on ESPN Radio’s Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz on Wednesday.
Le Batard: “Give us something about the postseason that you can say right now that people aren’t thinking about enough or aren’t hearing elsewhere. Because you are an executive, or a former executive, who doesn’t mind speaking the truth. So give us something the people won’t hear elsewhere.”
Samson: “MLB is going to do anything they can to have the Dodgers beat the Brewers.”
Los Angeles is the nation’s second biggest television market while Milwaukee is 36th, sandwiched between West Palm Beach and Cincinnati. Naturally, the league would probably favor a Dodgers matchup with Houston (seventh largest market) or Boston (ranked 10th). So it would be totally rational for the MLB to want the Dodgers over the Brewers, yet it ruins the integrity of their sport and their executives, including Rob Manfred, if they would take measures to stack the odds in favor of the Dodgers, as Samson claims.
Samson likely misspoke, but it’s not something that can be magically redacted. I haven’t seen an apology for the quote, and baseball hasn’t responded.
Still, Samson is no stranger to fixed events, as Craig Mish of SiriusXM reported earlier this year:
FYI, the race was always fixed. Years ago, Julio the Octopus (who never wins) won because Bob the Shark fell. David Samson stormed into mascots room after and threatened to fire them all if Julio ever won again. https://t.co/WyIuCGKFsM
— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) February 12, 2018
“David came in and was livid that Julio won,” Mish reported of Samson’s reaction to the between-innings mascot race. “He said, ‘That can never happen! He’s never supposed to win!’ And he said that if it ever happened again, he’d fire everyone.”
Someone did take the fall for the race result. Samson was so angry that he fired manager Mike Redmond later that day after a 6-0 loss to the Braves.
Cubs News & Notes
Speaking of conspiracy theories…Did he or didn’t he? Kris Bryant was allegedly offered, and turned down, a $200M contract extension from the Cubs. There’s a little bit of debate between Dave Kaplan of ESPN 1000 and Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic on Twitter regarding the authenticity to this rumor, well worth checking out.
Ed. note: Cubs Insider was first to refute the notion of Bryant declined the massive offer based on sourced info, for what it’s worth. I’m generally not big on tooting our horn too much, but this is one of those situations in which I think it makes sense.
That report that Kris Bryant rejected a Cubs extension offer "well north of $200 million" in the last several months? A source close to the situation said it's "simply not true." That and more on Kris Bryant and what he's hoping to do in 2019. https://t.co/mr3UHuMAZz
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) October 11, 2018
Davis Ross is a person of interest in the managerial search being conducted by the Twins. MLB studio analyst Mark DeRosa is also in consideration for the opening.
Sean Holland provides a recap of the season and grades the performances of the team in the aftermath of the 2018 season.
What’s happening to the much anticipated plans for Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s eatery — to be named Joe’s — with Spiaggia Chef Tony Mantuanoat The Park at Wrigley, adjacent to Wrigley Field?
“It sure seems as if nothing much is happening yet,” said a top Chicago foodie who has been keeping an eagle eye on the eatery’s “development” on the corner of Waveland Avenue and Clark Street.
Playoff News & Notes
- Red Sox manager Alex Cora is going to stick with David Price as his starter in Game 2 of the team’s upcoming ALCS battle with the Astros. Price is 0-9 as a starter in his postseason career and his team has lost all 10 of his playoff starts, the longest such skid in postseason history.
- Astros shortstop Carlos Correa is still dealing with a bad back. Correa was just 1-for-10 in the Astros sweep over the Indians in the ALDS. Last year, the young shortstop slashed .288/.325/.562 and hit five home runs with 14 RBI during the 2017 postseason, helping the Astros win the World Series.
- If the Brewers win Game 1 against the Dodgers, all of Milwaukee will celebrate with free burgers from George Webb restaurants. The local chain has an ongoing promotion that promises free burgers whenever the Brewers win 12 straight games, something that hasn’t happened since April, 1987. The Brew Crew will have to beat Clayton Kershaw Friday night to make that happen.
- Tim Kurkjian of ESPN says the Dodgers will advance to the World Series.
- Max Muncy is the Dodgers’ not-so-secret weapon this year.
- The Brewers have made it known that the Dodgers’ path to victory must go through their vaunted bullpen.
- Meanwhile, the Brewers know they will have to get past the Dodgers’ starters and into the LA bullpen to make their first World Series appearance since 1982.
- A former Dodgers minor leaguer has been accused of sexually assaulting a hotel worker in 2015. The Dodgers allegedly knew, but kept it quiet.
Baseball News & Notes
Tigers television announcers Mario Impemba and Rod Allen, who were suspended by Fox Sports Detroit last month after allegedly getting into a physical altercation, will not return in 2019, according to a Detroit Free Press report.
Former Mets and Phillies outfielder Lenny Dykstra was indicted on three counts by a grand jury in Union County N.J. on Wednesday per TMZ Sports. Dykstra faced charges for possession of meth, possession of cocaine, and for making terroristic threats.
Major League Baseball is insisting to casino executives that the league should get a cut from wagers placed on the sport following the repeal of a federal ban on sports betting.
Lack of demand for single-game tickets has cost the Rangers nearly $54M in lost revenues since 2012.
White Sox minor league outfield instructor Aaron Rowand believes the team’s outfield prospects may be the best in baseball.
The Nationals acquired relief pitcher Kyle Barraclough from the Marlins, the team announced Wednesday.
Redbird Rants takes a look at the free agents that the Cardinals should target this winter.
Here’s a tongue-in-cheek look at digitally animating baseball games to reduce game times.
Despite being knocked out of the playoffs, the Yankees have an awful lot of money to spend this offseason. In fact, they could conceivably sign Manny Machado, Patrick Corbin, and Clayton Kershaw without exceeding their 2015-16 payroll, though they’d exceed the league-mandated salary cap ceiling to do so. The Cubs are primed to go over the luxury tax cap this winter as well.
As the Yankees turn the page to 2019, which impending free agents should New York seriously consider adding? pic.twitter.com/uu7HeLDZAe
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) October 10, 2018
They Said It
- “I just want to win. That’s it. My main goal is to win in the playoffs, to win a World Series. … And whatever I need to do to help us do that, I’m fine with. But I know I’m more than capable of winning games as a starter in October. That’s what I look forward to doing.” – David Price
- “I know every time I swing and miss it’s going to hurt. So, I try not to swing and miss and then I try to baby my swing and I don’t swing as hard as I usually do or as quick as I usually do. So, it’s definitely been tough. I’m a competitor so you grind, you try to perform. But it’s definitely … been frustrating at times.” – Carlos Correa
Thursday Walk Up Song
Subterranean Homesick Blues by Bob Dylan. Conspiracy theories abound, I guess.