I don’t think Joe Girardi will be the next manager of the Cubs, despite industry speculation that says the former Cubs catcher is waiting on a potential opening. I do, however, think that he will be the next manager of the Cardinals. Let me explain.
The Cubs-Brewers rivalry is going to continue into the off season. The Brewers need to find a starting pitcher or two and the Cubs need to strengthen their bullpen. They’d make perfect trading partners if they weren’t such heated adversaries. Jose Quintana for Cory Knebel. That’s probably a trade that would work for both teams but it will never happen. Expect both front offices to look to free agency and trades with other teams to fortify any perceived weaknesses. They’ll fight for the division title and both will likely make the playoffs again next year. If you’re a baseball fan, you have to love what should be a 3-4 year clash of Central Division titans.
That brings me to the Cardinals. Mike Shildt replaced Mike Matheny as the Redbirds manager on July 14 with St. Louis limping into mediocrity with a 47-46 record. Under Shildt, the Cardinals played well above their heads, losing just five games in August before finishing the season as the middling team that got their original manager fired, missing the playoffs for the third straight season.
Stubby Clapp might have been a better choice to manage St. Louis, but the team felt he needed more seasoning. He may now end up leaving the organization to take one of the managerial positions that remains open. Meanwhile, Cardinals president John Mozeliak and his front office will navigate this winter as they normally do: They’ll inquire about the big names, they’ll make a shrewd trade or two that protects their minor league assets. Then they’ll finish the 2019 season struggling to play .500 baseball, missing the playoffs again and firing Shildt. Cardinals fans will lose their minds. Enter Joe Girardi.
What happens with Joe Maddon? Well, Brad Ausmus took the gig with the Angels so that’s not an option. The Cubs will either extend him some time next season or they’ll let him go and replace the laid-back leader with someone younger — maybe Brandon Hyde if he sticks with Chicago this season. It’s entirely possible Maddon could walk away from the Cubs after next season, too.
— Cubs Insider (@realcubsinsider) October 21, 2018
World Series News & Notes
The Red Sox have knocked off a pair of 100-win teams this #postseason
Others teams that defeated two 100-win teams in one postseason:
• 1988 Dodgers def. Mets and Athletics
• 2003 Marlins def. Giants and Yankees
• 2004 Red Sox def. Yankees and Cardinals
— Matt Eddy (@MattEddyBA) October 22, 2018
- Boston manager Alex Cora has not surprisingly tabbed lefty ace Chris Sale to start Game 1 at Fenway Park. He’ll be working on nine days rest, having last pitched in Game 1 of the ALCS.
- Sale claims his stomach ailment was the result of an infected belly button ring…maybe.
- The Red Sox have been incredibly disciplined in the playoffs thus far. Boston batters have drawn 38 walks against just 67 strikeouts in nine games. The Dodgers have been punched out 117 times against 50 walks in 11 games.
- Red Sox manager Alex Cora has promoted a players-first atmosphere during the team’s run to the World Series.
- After posting a franchise-best 51-30 road record, Cora’s Red Sox have gone 5-0 in postseason road games while outscoring their foes 40-13.
- Clayton Kershaw wasted no time in getting familiar with Fenway Park.
- Rookie Walker Buehler will probably be the only right-handed starter of the series for Los Angeles.
- Eight Dodgers pitchers worked four games or more in the NLCS.
- The Dodgers are just the sixth team in history to fall 10 games below .500 and reach the World Series in the same season.
- Yasiel Puig is a champion clubhouse celebrator.
- Going into Game 1 on Tuesday night, the Dodgers have beaten the Red Sox in Boston just one time.
- The Dodger offense during the regular season ranked eighth in the National League with an OPS of .733 against left-handed pitching. Boston had an OPS of .719 against southpaws.
An enormous X-Factor in this series: The Dodgers' outfielders have zero experience playing in Fenway Park's outfield, with all of its weirdness — The Monster, the triangle, the bullpen jutting into the outfield, the curl beyond the Pesky Pole. Tremendous potential for mistakes.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) October 22, 2018
Cubs News & Notes
Moshe Wilensky proposes a trade involving Addison Russel that would work for both teams involved. Good stuff.
The Cubs and the Yankees are apparently to blame for the less-than-stellar TV ratings so far during the MLB playoffs,
Minor league right-handed starter Michael Rucker could be a bullpen option for the Cubs in 2019.
Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel has taken a lot of crap for his “We’re not the Cubs” quote last March.
MLB News & Notes
Former Cubs and Cardinals assistant David Bell has been hired to manage the Reds and the Angels tabbed Ausmus to take the reigns in Los Angeles.
The Yankees and Giants match up well for a potential Madison Bumgarner blockbuster.
Despite losing Game 7 of the NLCS to the Dodgers, Brewers fans witnessed a special season of baseball in Milwaukee.
What’s next for the Brewers and the Astros after their elimination from the postseason?
In the world of baseball, money still has the loudest voice.
If you’re a spoiled Yankees fan who is struggling with the fact that both the Dodgers and Red Sox are playing in the World Series, the New York Post offers some coping suggestions.
They Said It
- “This is a team that doesn’t have ‘easy’ in the playbook. We like to do things the hard way. But it’s an extremely talented group, and one who’s really, extremely focused on winning four more games and winning a World Series championship.” – Andrew Friedman
- “[Bumgarner] would become the most coveted trade target in baseball—maybe one of the most sought-after summer market pieces in baseball history—if the Giants ever auctioned him off, and he would probably glean at least two high-end prospects for an organization thin on minor-league talent.” – Buster Olney
Monday Walk Up Song
All Day All Night by Moon Taxi. The Dodgers and Red Sox will close the books on the 2018 season as they play for sport’s greatest championship series. Here’s hoping it goes seven games.