I’m not usually one for link dumps, but there’s not usually such a volume of great and/or hilarious writing out there about the Dodgers, enough that it just needs to be shared.
“As a player, I just think he doesn’t know [about how to act],” Beltran said. “That’s what I think. He really doesn’t know. He must think that he’s still playing somewhere else.
“He has a lot of passion, no doubt about that — great ability, great talent. I think with time, he’ll learn that you’ve got to act with a little bit more calm.”
“Mickey Mouse stuff,” Adam Wainwright called it.
2. Maybe people should just, you know, accept that baseball is fun.
Brian Costa in the Wall Street Journal with an excellent viewpoint:
The game would be better off if more players handled success like Puig, or at the very least, felt like they were free to do so. It’s supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to be entertaining. Somewhere along the line, U.S. baseball players became the most sensitive athletes in all of sports. Clap once after a hit, and they’ll tolerate it. Clap twice, and you’re showing them up, an offense punishable by a fastball off your leg the next time you come to the plate.
Yes, Puig all but danced his way into third base. The hit was worth celebrating, considering it helped breathe life back into the Dodgers’ World Series hopes.
3. Why don’t the Cardinals respect baseball?
Deadspin just absolutely kills it here, in mostly GIF form.
If the plucky, swaggering Cardinals really want to learn how to act like professionals, they’d be wise to look across the diamond, at grizzled veterans like Michael Young and Mark Ellis. Young and Ellis may be too old and too far past their primes to send the Cards packing, but they’ll hopefully be able to send them off with a lesson on how the game should be played.
4. Chad Moriyama with another great look at the “hurt feelings” stories of the day.
I make this point all the time, but sports is entertainment, and if you take it that way you stop being so offended over things as silly as celebrating. And honestly, I think you stop taking stuff that goes on within that arena so personally, in general. Besides, if you’re going to get mad about something, do it over something worthwhile, like pointless beanball wars and brawls, not guys having fun.
I just have trouble with understanding the logic and reasoning of people who look to sports as some kind of moral compass for how we as a society and culture should act. If you’re relying on sports for that, then it seems to me there are more pressing issues with your life and decision making than why some dude on TV is happy and you’re not.
5. Not everyone thinks the Dodgers are just having a good time.
I had honestly never heard of Andrew Sharp before today, but I kept waiting for the punchline at the end of his Grantland piece, and it just never came.
Back in August, Puig was asked to speak to the media and said, “[Expletive] the media” and told all of us journos to perform a sexual act. This is the postseason “hero”?
This team may have the most expensive roster in the league and all kinds of money to spare, but it can’t buy baseball’s respect. It can’t buy my silence, either.
Especially not with the Cardinals standing in that other dugout. If the Dodgers are the disease in pro sports, the Cards and their fans are the cure. St. Louis is a city that lifts its team every October, and together they hit greater heights than anyone thought possible. “This is why I signed back here,” Adam “Ace” Wainwright explained last week. “There’s no amount of money worth what this city and this team means to me. I’m honored, I’m privileged, I don’t deserve any of this.”
It’s painful to read. Update: Turns out, this is satire. If so, well done. It still hurts my soul.
6. The tide is turning in the NLCS.
Jonah Keri at Grantland:
In a series that looked to be the Cardinals’ to lose, the tide has started to turn. Clayton Kershaw figures to give St. Louis fits in a potential Game 6, and Ryu could renew his own mastery of the lineup if we get a Game 7. As of now, the Dodgers are saying they’ll start Ricky Nolasco in Game 4, thereby going with the weakest of their four starters, a right-hander who projects as a favorable matchup against the Cardinals’ righty-mashing lineup. Whether it’s Nolasco, or Zack Greinke on short rest, the Dodgers likely come in as either an even-odds bet or possibly slight underdogs tonight. If the Cardinals don’t take care of business, watch out. With Ramirez and Andre Ethier back in the lineup, and the rest of the Dodgers’ rotation well-positioned to exploit the Cardinals’ offensive weaknesses, a big shift could follow.
7. How do you pitch to Adrian Gonzalez?
Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs:
Back to the fourth. When Wainwright and Molina settled on the inside cutter, Wainwright didn’t miss by very much. If anything, he missed a little bit up, but that just meant he missed more near the hands. The pitch was more than 16 inches inside from the center of home plate, according to PITCHf/x. It was more than three feet up off the ground. It was a pitch you’d expect to successfully jam a hitter. Over the PITCHf/x era, I identified 69 Adrian Gonzalez swings at pitches in roughly similar places. Only one of those swings missed. However, 22 hit the ball foul, and of the 46 that hit the ball fair, only ten hit the ball fair for a hit. In the past, this has been a decent place to pitch Adrian Gonzalez.
8. Yasiel Puig is a rollercoaster of a human being.
Eno Sarris at FanGraphs:
No player is all parts ‘fireplug’ or ‘veteran’ or ‘headcase,’ even one as controversial asYasiel Puig. All year long, he’s made blunders in the field and on the basepaths. All year long, he’s shown us feats of strength with his arm, his legs, and his bat. In Game Three Monday night, he showed us that he’s not as incorrigible as he’s been portrayed to be. And yet, he also showed us the same flaws that have inspired some to wonder if he would cost his team with a big blunder in October. You can’t fit him easily into one narrative, but at least it looks like the emerging story is a compelling one.
9. Howard Megdal would like to remind you that Andre Ethier exists.
“He’s pretty much giving us that other piece,” Mattingly continued. “He definitely gets overshadowed a bit, and we’ve missed him. The kind of defense he played for us in center field, with Matt being out, I think it’s overshadowed how good he was out there. He kind of solidified us, defensively. We were in a little bit of disarray, because it was like, who’s gonna play center, and all of a sudden, Andre just took it over.”
10. The Rally Bear
Last but absolutely not least, my pal Amanda Rykoff with a wonderful round-up of everything Rally Bear-related:
The last one is a photo collage of the entire rally bear episode, courtesy of @ThkBleu:
The Rally Bear Scandal of 2013. Will we ever know the true Hollywood story revealed? Who was behind the mask? pic.twitter.com/jozySJqsgy
— THK BLEU (@ThkBleu) October 15, 2013