Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Tuesday Lunchtime Hot Links

I don't care who wins the NLCS, I will be their biggest fan for the next two weeks, despite the fact that I'll likely not watch a minute of the World Series. This is a time for resetting, for reacquaintance, for recharging. More at the end.

To the Links:

*Only two teams in MLB history have lost all four home games in a seven-game series: the 2019 Astros and the 2023 Astros. As much as I hate the Rangers right now, I might hate the Astros just as much. 

*Chas McCormick, who got 16 plate appearances in seven games in the ALCS:

I mean, we just didn't play well enough at home. That's what finished our season. We didn't win at home. Game 5, when we came back and won, I was like, 'We have this. We're going back to the World Series.' It's a different taste in the mouth just because I've been in the World Series my first two years in the big leagues, so it's different.

Martin Maldonado, who went 1x7 with runners in scoring position in the ALCS:

It's frustrating, but at the same time, I feel like we accomplished a lot of stuff. It wasn't easy all year. We had a lot of injuries. I'm really proud of this group of guys. We never gave up. Just to make it seven in a row, it's pretty special. 

Jeremy Pena, who hit .160/.192/.160 in the ALCS:

I wouldn't consider [this season] a success.

Kyle Tucker, who hit .150/.292/.225 in the 2023 postseason, 0x6 w/RISP in the 2023 ALCS, and .180/.295/.326 in 24 games in the 2022-23 postseasons combined:

We had a good year, a lot of ups and downs throughout the season. And we at least had the opportunity to get there.

Dusty Baker, who is not under contract for the 2024 season and has indicated that 2023 would be his last in the dugout:

There's a whole bunch of stuff you can point to in that ballgame. And so we just got beat. Sometimes there's no rhyme or reason. Sometimes you lose and sometimes you get beat. There's a difference. We got beat. 

*Dusty Baker is going to take some time to evaluate his situation for 2024:

I haven't had time to evaluate or think about my future because I'm not that kind of dude. I don't want to steal the spotlight or anything from these guys. You've got to savor what we did. You've got to think about how we can get better. And then I'll evaluate my situation and my life. 

Not a single person has any negative thing to say about Dusty Baker's character. 

*Alex Bregman, who only had four hits in the ALCS but included a triple and two home runs:

I think we fully expected to be here, and we expected to win. We got outplayed, and we'll learn from the mistakes this offseason. We'll get after it and be ready to get back to competing.

Justin Verlander, who allowed 12H/6ER in 12.1IP in the ALCS:

I think moving forward, there's still a good window available. It's a little early to say I'm excited about next year (Ed. note: SAME) I'm still dealing with this, but that was on my mind.

*Career Postseason Home Runs, MLB History:

1. Manny Ramirez: 29
2. Jose Altuve: 27
3. Bernie Williams: 22
4. Derek Jeter / Kyle Schwarber: 20
6. Alex Bregman / Albert Pujols / George Springer: 19

The Astros are apparently focused solely on extending Jose Altuve this off-season.

*Yordan Alvarez, 2023 Postseason: .465/.510/.977, 6HR/15RBI. Yordan's 41st career postseason RBI moved him into a tie for 18th all-time with Lance Berkman and Alex Rodriguez. His .949 career postseason OPS is 5th all-time among players with 50 postseason games played.

*I had completely forgotten that The Bastard Chris Young threw 4IP in G1 of the 2015 ALDS for the Royals. I don't think I've ever hated another team's GM more, and I hope his bicycle gets stuck in a cattle grate and skins up his knee real bad. 

What To Watch, October 24:

2:00pm Central: Champions League: Arsenal at Sevilla.

6:15pm: New Jersey at Montreal

7:07pm: DiamondBacks at Phillies.

*Please allow me a moment of introspection and vulnerability: 51 days ago I decided to stop drinking, which is my personal longest streak since the day I was born until the day I turned 21. It was enough of a problem that I recognized it as a problem. It was not recommended by a doctor (mainly because I don't go to the doctor), it was a personal choice. The first few days were really hard. There were certain triggers around particular days of the week and work milestones and whatnot that I recognized were particularly difficult. Still, I made it through with the help of my wife, a couple of friends who are various stages of their sobriety journey, and a lot of mineral water. I didn't want me opening a beer to be the soundtrack of my kid's childhood. I didn't want to have anxiety about what time I got home in the evenings based on when I could have a drink. It hasn't been easy. It still isn't easy, but I'm not fragile. This weekend I'll go to the wedding of one of my best friends (who happens to be a Ramger fan despite not being able to name three Ramgers on the active roster) armed with a six pack of HEB Lime Mineral Water, and it'll be fine. I feel better, I eat better, I can actually feel rested after sleeping, and get up and go to the gym. I was emotionally dependent on alcohol, and probably will continue to feel that way for a while, but I'm doing fine. If I can make it through an Astros postseason - especially this absolute pile of dogshit of a postseason - without drinking, I feel like I'm invincible. I don't know why I'm telling any of you this, but if you feel like you're in a similar circumstance or vortex or whatever you want to call it, feel free to reach out. FTR. 

*A Musical Selection: