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Robbie Ray & Luke Weaver Get Ejected For Staring Down The National Anthem, The Brewers Are Doing Their Bullshit Again, And Everyone Say A Prayer For Aaron Judge (MLB Roundup Blog)

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There's two weeks left in the baseball season and I can't remember one with this much drama. Just an unbelievable weekend of action and major implications on playoffs and October. But first obviously a tip to 700 with or without the asterisk 

I was at dinner on Friday with Mrs. Carl enjoying myself when I said, quite literally, the only thing that could ruin this perfect evening is Albert Pujols hitting two pops in the next hour and forcing us to leave early. Then that exactly happened and he ruined my dinner. Albert Pujols will always have room to fuck with me. On some messed up level, I very much respect that. 

As for the sanctity of his achievement? It's suspicious. I'll say that. But he's healthy on a great club in the comfort of St. Louis. I'll point some fingers when the data comes through. A good starting point would be the ball bucket but that's just a hunch. Has nothing to do with recent equipment changes or MLB owning Rawlings. 

In that sense, did they change the balls on Judge this week? 

9 games left and what are the chances he only hits 1? Or 0? I don't want to live in a world populated with millions of Yankees fans reeling in this agony. But also that's the exact world I want to live in. The conspiracies and complaining and blaming would be nothing short of magnificent. IS AARON JUDGE EVEN CLUTCH? Would be a dynamite headline going into October.

Truthfully though he'll have 5 more by the end of the week even if that means breaking the Yankee record in Toronto. Bright side is some of those fans will gladly trade any HR ball for access to a minimally invasive arthroscopic outpatient procedure. Make sure the Yankees orthopedic's on that flight. 

Speaking of surgery, some bad injuries around the league. BUT FIRST. PLAYOFF UPDATES: 

AL

The 1-3 seeds are fixed in the AL with the Astros-Yankees-Guardians. Now there's a battle almost entirely for Wild Card positioning. The Mariners have the easiest end with 10 games at home against the Rangers-A's-Tigers. The Rays just took a beating to their staff and have 9 harder road games left. The Blue Jays are somewhere inebtween. My gut says you see the Rays finish 6th with the Mariners 5th and the Blue Jays 4th. That would mean

Guardians vs. Rays in Cleveland… winner plays Astross

and

Blue Jays vs. Mariners in Toronto… winner plays Yankees

Personally I would rather play the Yankees so give me the 4/5 seeds all day in the AL

NL

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The Milwaukee Brewers won't go away. As a Cubs fan I completely understand this because this is their style. They wait til the last week and then win out and ruin your season. Will that be the Padres or the Phillies this year? Padres are at home 9 times to close the year which is a nice bump from the MLB office after last year's collapse. 

The Brewers are also at home 9 straight times to close the year starting with 2 tomorrow vs. STL then 4 against Miami and 3 against Arizona. And the Phillies are on the road for the last 10 with 3 in Chicago, 4 at Washington and then 3 bizarre games in Houston to end the year. A resting Houston I might add.

Needless to say, plenty of drama for the last 10 games and that's before I even mention the Braves/Mets. You want to talk consequences then look at this: 

Braves vs. Mets for the 2nd seed:

They have 3 games against each other next week that will very likely decide the division. For now here's the stakes. The winning team gets the 2-seed and a bye in the WC round along with home field advantage in the Division Series. The losing team would have to host the WC round: 3 games against the 2nd best WC team for the right to go on the road in the DS to the 2nd seed aka the NL East Champions. 

I don't know the exact numbers but that's a cataclysmic change on the WS odds. Almost like a pre-playoff playoff series. 

And to think I was shortchanging the 162 drama down the stretch last week? Crazy talk. 

Also Crazy To See How Much The Guardians Hate The White Sox

Maybe not crazy. Just actually refreshing? I like seeing guys talk shit after this long of a season. 

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And boy is it long. 

Why Not 130-games? 

Because MONEY! I know. But what if they did it so you played 5-games a week every week, Wednesday-Sunday. Monday and Tuesday are always off. And you alternate the weeks you play at home. Then you only host one series a week. So it's CARDINALS WEEK or some shit at Wrigley. Or you know when the Blue Jays are in town or when you host the Royals, etc. It's easy to market and program and create rivalries and appeal to the common sensibilities of the regular sports fan. Give me something super easy to follow just like the NFL. Makes so much more sense from every angle and you can make the money back on the format because this allows the game to grow internationally. Much easier to consume. I'll flush this one and get back to you guys. 

In mean time we got some injuries that will drastically impact the playoffs. I'll be breaking those down on Starting 9 for tomorrow morning so subscribe to the show here: 

Other observations for the fellas:

- Pete Alonso breaks the Mets RBI record with 128 

- Michael Harris vs. Spencer Strider for ROY has to go to Michael Harris I think that's insane considering Spencer Strider just broke a very routine strikeout record that Randy Johnson formerly held. And he's not the best rookie on his team, maybe

- Don Mattingly fired in Miami despite a shit roster in a wagon division. Dayton Moore also fired out of Kansas City - long time president and head honcho. So polish up at that resume if you're jonesing to put your economics degree to use. 

- Mike Trout deserves a comprehensive study. I don't get him. You say a couple nice things about Shohei Ohtani and he absolutely fucking ignites in my face: .731 slg with 9 bombs in 20 September games. OPS of 1.020 in the 2nd half and very likely another 6+ WAR season despite playing in less than 75% of the team's games.

- Bryce Harper has been struggling very badly in September which makes you wonder about the trade off of playing hurt/injured if he's not entirely ready. We've talked a lot about him as a teammate and influence given Jake's time with him so I'm sure this will lend itself to compelling dialogue.

- Robbie Ray and Luke Weaver put on a fucking clinic in the pregame: 

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Game 153 and they still find the spirit to get into it like this. That's rich. That's wholesome. A little disrespectful absolutely but in good nature and it gets the umpires worked up so I'm all in. I like when they get frustrated. 

If you're a Braves fan, you're probably very frustrated with the news that Spencer Strider is out until maybe the NLCS? No bueno my friends. And the Rays are dealing with their own shit just about worst time of the year. That's why my Mariners future is looking extra juicy. We'll be getting into all the dynamics for the playoff rotations on Starting 9 so go check out the show. This is a pre-episode promotional statement. Tomorrow mornings episode will be all fire and gas without brakes.