Aroldis Chapman pitched a scoreless, hitless inning in the Arizona Fall League yesterday
16 pitches, 8 strikes, 1 BB, 1 K. And did some young rube really try to steal a base on Chapman? Runners have only succeeded in just 4 of 10 attempts lifetime against this LEFT HANDER who consistently throws around 100. Chapman's outing was the most important and only thing Reds-related that happened yesterday. But since there is no photo or video evidence of it, I'm still not completely convinced it wasn't just a Gameday error.
Doug Gray at Reds Minor Leagues rounds Second Base with his "State of the Farm" series
Especially relevant with Brandon Phillips' contract talks on a slow boil, there's some exciting 2B talent winding its way up the minor league ladder. Ronald Torreyes tops the list at RML. Doug points out that Henry Rodriguez doesn't have the glove that Torreyes does, but H-Rod will be 22 in February and made it to AA this season. If 2013 is the first post-Phillips year, H-Rod would stand to be the in-house heir apparent, depending on how quickly he can hit his way through Louisville.
Ken Griffey Jr. was awarded the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award before Game 4
He also met Zooey Deschanel. Assuming he's a dude in his mid-20s who went to a liberal arts college, Griffey has now fulfilled two lifelong dreams. Ken Griffey Jr. loved playing baseball in such a contagious, palpable way that I suspect it inspired a good portion of the fandom for anyone aged 18-35 (A critical demographic MLB is failing to reach in the abysmal WS ratings). I'd give him an award for that too, but all I've got is a bunch of Zoey Deschanel memorabilia.
Hall o' Famer Hal answers your questions on ball-doctoring
Hal sez spitballs are a thing of the past, but "scuffing" still perpetrated by pitchers today.
Grant Brisbee: "Say, Did Anyone Notice Those Curious Decisions From Tony La Russa?"
Grant has the goods on the dust-cloud of bunts, intentional walks and bullpen mismanagement last night:
(I)n Game 5, La Russa was the one playing checkers. Wait, no, he was the one playing a game of Life with missing pieces, so he had to use broken spaghetti noodles to represent the family.
Fangraphs also tries to reason with TLR in the aftermath of the decision/accident of having Mark Rcbryrbbrubfjncknznzinksky face Mike Napoli:
Maybe Jason Motte, having gotten the word late, wasn't ready yet? Who cares?! It's the World Series! No more baseball after this! Take a dive on your way to the mound! Feign a heart attack! Bring in the left fielder to warm up like he's going to pitch and then put in your reliever! Do something to wrest yourself free from the burning vehicle you're currently in, TLR! It's Game 5 of the World Series! This one really matters!
Blame it on the Red Phone: "The real reason Tony La Russa had communication problems"
This is a truly bizarre press room exchange, captured in transcript by Big League Stew. Things happen first as tragedy and are recapped as farce. Although this farce starts out kind of like an Abbot and Costello routine, turns into one of those bad Kids in the Hall sketches and ends up like an avante-garde theater piece that threatens the fabric of our democracy.
Over at Bleed Cubbie Blue, they're hailing the Theocracy, as Epstein officially steps in as Cubs President Of Baseball Operations today
After much pacing in two of the most neurotic towns in America, Cubs and Red Sox both announced that Theo Epstein is leaving Boston and heading to Chicago. Transferring out of Boston before winter hits? Smart man. Oh.
Joe Posnanski on Fox Baseball coverage
And now that Moneyball has been made, I have an idea for a movie that involves Posnanski, the Fire Joe Morgan guys and Zooey Deschanel. But this time I'm not walking into that Hollywood exec's office spouting off about how "you just put Brad Pitt, Bill James and Aaron Sorkin in a blender." I need cash UP-FRONT.