Welcome to the waning days of the 2018 season. The MLB playoffs began with much anticipation of exciting matchups that had the potential to entertain and delight many a fan of the sport.
As we await Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday, the harsh reality of the 2018 playoff tilt has revealed itself. Instead of getting what we might want, we seem to get what we deserve: a Red Sox-Dodgers series that may excite some, but leaves me wondering if there’s still a way for both of those teams to lose while Milwaukee sneaks in to take the title. Despite having to watch two teams no one really likes all that much, there are a few storylines to follow to make the series interesting.
Angels meet the new Bossmus
If you had Brad Ausmus pegged as the next manager of the Angels of the vicinity of Los Angeles but actually located in Anaheim which is still California, pat yourself on the back. The Angels interviewed 10 candidates — and if you remember, there was a written test that took several hours. Ultimately they settled on Ausmus for reasons. Here’s what general manager Billy Eppler had to say.
“Brad’s balance of connectivity, communication and leadership skills as well as his understanding of evolving strategies and probabilistic approach to decision making led us to him. We believe his knowledge, drive and growth-mindset will allow him to integrate seamlessly with our players and staff and will be pivotal in advancing our culture and moving us toward our goals as an organization.”
There are a variety of words in that quote that will either cause Tigers fans to chuckle to themselves or burst out in fits of uncontrollable swearing. I can’t believe Eppler actually used the word “probabilistic.”
Tell him, Wash
You know how you can tell it’s the offseason? We get treated to articles that ask questions like “Should Nick Castellanos move to first base in 2019?” Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press seems perfectly comfortable with exploring which position we can all watch Castellanos struggle at next, and this year it’s first base. Fenech cites Castellanos’ history as an infielder as a good reason why he should give it a run. Considering he has played third and is a former shortstop, it should be an easy spot to transition to.
Fenech goes through a lot of words and chews up time a reader could have better spent trying to reason with an angry toddler to come to the conclusion most people will get to quickly: leave Nick in right field.
Behind the dish
It would seem the Tigers have a decision to make at catcher next year. Do they put their faith behind Grayson Greiner, who will have minor surgery to remove a bone chip from his wrist after a season where he showed his fair share of promise behind the plate? Or do they drop an estimated $3.5 million on 28-year-old James McCann, who continues to show that he’s not going to blossom into anything much better than a replacement level catcher
Many would argue the choice to go with the youngster is obvious, but general manager Al Avila, in his own very special frustrating way, says the types of things he’s known for saying that make fans wonder just how much of this team he is really watching. The golden quote from him this time is a series of platitudes where he states, among other questionable things, that McCann handles the pitching staff well.
Sure, Al. Whatever you say.
Around the horn
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