It is interesting that each sport calls their semifinals something different. The Final Four. The Conference Championship Game. The Conference Finals. The League Championship Series.
On one side of the bracket we have two villains. The Houston Astros undoubtedly cheated to win their title in 2017. But let’s be real, the Roid Sux cheated to win all four of their titles between PEDs and Apple Watches. While featuring dastardly teams, the baseball should be great. In fact, it is the closest series ZIPS has ever predicted.
Imagine making the post season three years in a row. Sounds good, right? It wasn’t enough for Mike Shildt to save his job. The Cardinals job is now wide open.
This has been previously linked but the Angels signed a key piece of the Cardinals minor league development system. As we’ve stated for years, any chance at true contention will come from within and the Cardinals do about as good of a job as anyone at developing talent.
Currently the Cardinals rank a bit above the Angels in the farm system rankings. However, there has long been the Cardinal Way and while all of the minor leagues are in need of improvement, there hasn’t been any public knowledge of the dreadful conditions Angels prospects face.
The most pressing needs for the Angels are on the hill. While there’s a core of decent starters emerging, the bullpen is currently barren. But that could change fairly quickly thanks to the Angels all pitchers draft.
Take a look at how fourth round pick Luke Murphy became Vanderbilt’s bullpen ace in the post season. A kid with closing experience in the SEC who put up 61Ks in 41.1 innings should be here quickly.
Just one round later the Angels selected Brett Kerry from South Carolina. He both started and closed out games in the SEC, striking out 84 hitters in 54 innings.
Another round, another guy with both bullpen and starting experience in Jake Smith. He was Miami’s best pitcher whenever he was on the mound.
These picks were all after Sam Bachman and Kyle Bush, both of whom some scouts think could fit into MLB bullpens next year.
Look, some of these guys will work and others won’t. Some need to be developed as starters. But, with the number of college arms that are already dedicated bullpen arms or have experience out of the pen, do expect some quick promotions.
The big game last night was the Dodgers/Giants. It pitted two teams with 109 wins on the year in a winner take all. The betting odds as I type this are dead even. Big rivals, high stakes, hopefully the ratings are high.
You have to love longtime franchise icons having big moments. That was the case Tuesday as Freddie Freeman’s home run off Josh Hader punched Atlanta’s ticket to the NLCS.
I do love the story of Freddie Freeman’s kids. Two of them just weeks apart.
I did have a better week last week as I hit Vegas for the Fury vs. Wilder 3 mega fight. Fights in Vegas are just different and the action in the ring was insane. I can take or leave Screaming A Smith, but like him this might have been the best fight I ever attended.
A big Vegas bout with my best bud was truly some bucket list stuff, and I loved every minute of it until Southwest canceled my flight home. After some “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” stuff we ended up renting a limo to get home. Oh well, adds to the story but did hurt the pocketbook.
One thing people outside of the sport might not realize is the sportsmanship the combatants generally show after the fight is over. Still, I think my favorite example of sportsmanship is the handshake line at the end of a hockey series. I’m not a big hockey fan, but that is all class.