Game on, Game 1. The World Series kicks off tonight at Fenway Park in Boston so I thought I’d offer a few predictions.
- I do not know the last time benches cleared during a World Series, but it will happen at least once this series.
- The MVP will be a pitcher. Because I have a soft heart I am going to call it for David Price, who will earn two victories, including a Game 6 clincher.
- I guess what I am really saying is Red Sox in six games.
- Clayton Kershaw will pitch from the bullpen at least once, even though Dave Roberts has no real need to call on him to protect or save a lead. The Dodgers’ bullpen is strong enough without Kershaw, especially with Alex Wood.
- Speaking of Roberts, expect some managerial blunders in one of the Fenway games.
- Joc Pederson will go hitless in the series.
- JD Martinez will hit three home runs in the first two games. Those will be his only hits of the series.
- A Boston pitcher will collect a base hit in one of the LA games.
- It will be discovered that one pitcher is tipping his pitches, which seems to be the de rigueur excuse for a bad outing or two these days. If you are a slumping hitter it is because you do not know how to steal signs.
- The cameras will fixate on Tommy Lasorda during every Dodgers home game and we will see at least three replays of the Kirk Gibson home run in 1988.
- Vin Scully will throw out the first pitch of Game 3.
- Pedro Martinez will cry when the Red Sox win the series.
- Kershaw will announce his free agency at 9:01 am November 1.
Two historic franchises.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) October 23, 2018
World Series News & Notes
- Dustin Pedroia holds no ill will toward Manny Machado for a slide that injured the Red Sox second baseman two years ago. Reliever Matt Barnes hasn’t forgotten though.
- Mookie Betts, arguable one of the best defensive outfielders in the American League, says he is prepared to play second base if the Red Sox need him to.
- New England Patriots QB Tom Brady hates the Dodgers and says the Red Sox will win the World Series. Brady grew up in the Bay area of California and was a Giants fan growing up.
- Chris Sale is making his first World Series appearance and expects to get a ring.
- Machado and Yasiel Puig are embracing their roles as World Series super-villains.
- In a somewhat surprising move, the Dodgers have elected to start Hyun-Jin Ryu in Game 2 in Boston.
- Per Bradford Doolittle of ESPN, Tim Timmons, who has the home plate assignment in Game 1, has called a strike correctly on 89.8 percent of batters’ takes this season, 83rd out of 89 umpires.
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) October 23, 2018
Cubs News & Notes
The Cubs cannot afford not to pursue either Bryce Harper or Manny Machado this winter.
Should the Cubs bring back second baseman Daniel Murphy in 2019?
Cubs fans ask about the team’s bullpen plans for next season in Carrie Muskat’s Inbox column.
The Cubs have followed the Red Sox’ blueprint for success, though there is still much work to be done.
It’s likely that we haven’t seen the last of changes to Joe Maddon’s coaching staff.
Maybe the Cubs’ loss in the Wild Card game is exactly what the team needed to give them rest and motivation heading into 2019.
Baseball News & Notes
CAA baseball player agent Brodie Van Wagenen is among three finalists, along with former Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin and Tampa Bay senior vice president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom, for the Mets’ opening at General Manager.
Super agent Scott Boras believes it is a conflict of interest for MLB to allow a team to select an agent as it’s GM.
The Marlins have officially signed the heralded Mesa brothers as international free agents.
The Rangers are unlikely to extend a qualifying offer to Adrian Beltre, making their third baseman a free agent.
Diamondbacks third baseman Eduardo Escobar will forego free agency after inking a three-year deal with Arizona yesterday.
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) October 22, 2018
Red Hot Chili Peppers’ lead singer Anthony Kiedis was apparently tossed from the Lakers-Rockets game the other night for mixing it up with Houston guard Chris Paul and members of the Rockets’ staff.
New Music Tuesday
This week’s new LP scores.
- Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel – The last album by the famous duo before their infamous break up in 1970.For aural orgasm listen to ‘The Only Living Boy in New York.’ Quite possibly the best deep cut in the history of recorded music.
- Chronicle: 20 Greatest Hits by Creedence Clearwater Revival – When a compilation album lands on Rolling Stones’ Greatest Albums of All-Time list you know it is nothing short of excellent. Original issue, near mint condition.
- Purple Rain by Prince – Original issue, brand new. Lucky to find this one at a rummage sale down the street. Released in 1984, no needle has ever touched this long player.
- “What is this, high school? I’m a grown-ass man, dude. Come on. I’m just working hard to get healthy. The only time I get upset is, I don’t think you understand, for 12, 11 months waking up early and I worked to try to get back and overcome this injury and not being able to yet. Obviously it’s tough. It’s over, man.” – Dustin Pedroia
- “It’s going to be rocking. This place is going to be obviously going crazy. We’ve all been waiting for this. And our fans, too.” – Chris Sale
- “They’re always going to boo the best, so we just take it all in.” – Manny Machado
- “There’s guys that need to be who they are to have the best chance to succeed, not only for the team, but for themselves. There’s numerous guys throughout the league that guys view the wrong way, but honestly, who gives a s—? It’s on you to perform. If you’re going to close yourself off to make strangers happy, that’s bad news.” -David Freese
- “It’s a very cost-effective thing to do, obviously, to ‘bullpen’ and have a deep bullpen because starting pitchers are more expensive. But I think us as an organization, us as a union, will definitely have to take a closer look at that, if that’s the way the game is going. Because I think everybody should be compensated according to what they are worth in the game. So if the bullpen is going to have more value, they’re going to have to pay them more. I think that’s just the bottom line.” – Clayton Kershaw
Tuesday Walk Up Song
Tessie by The Dropkick Murphys. Let’s get it on!