Rooting Interests

Rooting Interests! (Ed Zurga, Getty Images)

Bunt jokes!  Ned Yost!  Small market teams!  The American League Wild Card play-in game had it all!

First, there was Yost:



You may recall that Yost helmed the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008 when they were battling one of the best Cubs teams in our lifetimes for the National League Central title.  I say “helmed” because he was fired just before the end of the season, allowing ex-Cubs manager Dale Sveum (before he was ex-Cubs manager) to help the Brewers win the NL wild card that year.  The Brewers weren’t that bad, but Yost apparently was a bad enough manager that the Brewers didn’t feel like taking any chances.  I don’t know if it’ll happen, but let’s just say I wouldn’t be surprised if the Royals decided to clean house this offseason, especially as they are about to lose Big Game James Shields to free agency. There was also THIS…WHAT IS THIS?!

Between the bunting, the Yosting, and the TOOTBLANing, the Royals didn’t exactly deserve to win here.  Although in extras, the bunts do make sense because run expectancy takes a back seat to win expectancy if you’re the home team; Kansas City only needed one run to walk it off.  The baseball gods were not very forgiving, though.

I was rooting for one of my hometown clubs as well as Billy Beane to get some vindication here.  I was also very interested to see how former Cub Jeff Samardzija and future Cub Jon Lester will do as they get yet another shot at the Angels in the ALDS.  Unfortunately, there was a point when Jon Lester was left in way too long and then crazy crap happened to send the game to extras and then Jason Hammel blew it in the 12th inning on a botched pitchout and a walkoff hit by Salvador Perez, so that was that.  Feh.  Bob Melvin out-Yosted Ned Yost.

On the other side, the National League Wild Card game will feature the other one of my hometown teams, the San Francisco Giants, against a solid small market team in the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The winner of that game gets to face the Washington Nationals.  Obviously I’m rooting for the Giants, but this triumvirate of teams is very intriguing.  All were built off of mostly homegrown talent, with exciting young stars like Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Andrew McCutchen, Bryce Harper etc etc etc.  These teams exemplify what the Cubs could become very soon, as Cubs Den talked about earlier today.

Baseball is fun!  And one of these days, the Cubs will play deep into October too.  That will make baseball even more fun.

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  • Some thoughts......

    With the A's exiting early from the playoffs, does this make Lester have second thoughts on joining the Cubs?

    Will Lester consider Yankees or Angels above the Cubs now?

    Who would have thought we would have seen Jason Hammel first before Jeff Samardzija in the playoffs?

    Just like in 1984 & 1989, speed at the top of the batting order will help the Cubs get into the playoffs.........Royals had 7 stolen bases last night!

    Did I see George Brett say "Holy S***" when the Royals won?

    The A's still owe the Cubs a PTBNL in the Shark deal......any guesses who it will be?

    How many of you would have put Samardzija in the game to pitch the 12th last night?

    Brad Pitt will play Billy Beane again in a new movie about the A's 2014's called "Choke"

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Samardzija wasn't on the wild card game roster.

    It's very unfortunate. And honestly nobody will know with any certainty until after the World Series.

  • In reply to Rice Cube:

    Know what? Why he wasn't on the roster?

    Was Melvin of the Lou Pinniella school of "we have to save Z for Game 4?" Just think what would Cubs history have been if Lou did not have that brain fart.

    Or who was the 25th player that took his place?

  • In reply to jack:

    Know about what Lester wants. Mostly speculation now but you have to consider the Cubs have as good a shot as anyone.

  • In reply to Rice Cube:

    Maybe, but the foamers (especially on Cubs Den) seem to think the shot is higher, apparently due to the old boys network that brought Rizzo.

    I guess, though, you didn't have the answer to the wild card roster question.

  • In reply to jack:

    Usually the one-game playoff is all hands on deck but of course you have to save someone to pitch in the ALDS should they advance, so that's why no Samardzija or Kazmir. It's not a terrible decision especially since they would've been last resort guys anyway.

  • In reply to jack:

    Re: Lester, he'll likely do what most free agents do -- go to where the money is and where he's most likely to win. Whether that description fits the Cubs won't be known until after the World Series and the exclusive negotiation window.

  • In reply to Rice Cube:

    Samardzija was not ....but Jason Hammel was on the roster !!!!!!!

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Yes, probably because again, they wanted Kazmir, Gray and Samardzija available to pitch the ALDS if they made it, and Hammel would be odd man out in a short series anyway so he got to be the emergency long reliever. Didn't work out, and that's baseball.

  • Part 1 of my two part prediction came to pass. The second will have to await the arbitration tender deadline.

    The angle on radio was "with Hammel, the ex-Cubbie curse hit again," and while Grobstein kept insisting that Mark Grace helped the D-Backs win, that seems the exception that proves the rule.

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