Team news (more or less)
[AZ Central] Mike Hazen talks finances, offseason plans - Hazen was noncommittal on Martinez’s future, stopping short of calling him an offseason “priority” for the Diamondbacks, whose season came to an end on Monday night when they were swept in the division series by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Still, the idea of the team remaining largely intact is encouraging news given the expected rising costs on the roster. “I’m not anticipating a lot of challenges with being able to bring the group back as constituted if, in fact, that’s what we chose to do,” Hazen said on Tuesday, at an end-of-season news conference at Chase Field. “I’m assuming, just organically, I would anticipate there would be some changes. We’re going to have needs in various areas. I don’t think a large majority of that will be driven by (finances) specifically.”
[AP] Diamondbacks had great year despite postseason loss - When the pain of the way it ended finally fades, the Arizona Diamondbacks will realize just how successful their season was. They literally flipped their record, from 69-93 in 2016 to 93-69 this year, third-best in the National League. Outscored by 138 runs in 2016, Arizona outscored opponents by 153 this year. The Diamondback earned the league's No. 1 wild card spot and beat the Colorado Rockies 11-8 in a crazy game before a raucous capacity crowd.
[MLB.com] D-backs look ahead after 'frustrating' end - "As far as the roster goes, we didn't do a lot of offseason planning just yet," general manager Mike Hazen said. "We were going to be forced into doing that had we continued to play. Now that we're not, we'll dive into that over the next several weeks." One of the big topics will likely be whether to keep Archie Bradley in the bullpen or return him to the starting rotation. Bradley, who met briefly with Hazen and Lovullo on Tuesday, has said he would like to start and still believes that he can. The club wants him in a role that will allow him to have the "biggest imprint" on the team in 2018. What that means remains to be seen.
[Arizona Sports] Reports: D-backs' Gardenhire finalist for two managerial openings - Diamondbacks bench coach Ron Gardenhire is a hot commodity as MLB teams begin searching for new managers. Pioneer Press sports columnist Charley Walters reported that Gardenhire is one of the three final candidates the Boston Red Sox are considering for their next manager. In addition, the Detroit News reported that Gardenhire is among the candidates the Tigers plan to interview. Gardenhire, 59, completed his first season as the Diamondbacks bench coach in 2017.
[Inside the 'Zona] It Was a Hell Of a Run - It’s just not feasible to expect my writing frequency to return to normal, but it’s almost harder to imagine not doing it at all. Honestly, every post just feels like delaying the inevitable, which hurts more and more every time. Coming to grips with the reality that I can’t sustain something that’s been an integral part of my life for the last five years hasn’t been easy. I’ve started and stopped writing this post a few times now and put it off. Today it finally feels like that last strike is going by and I’m not going to hit it.
The work of Jeff and Ryan over the past few years has been amazing. Inside the ‘Zona will be sadly missed.
[ESPN] Cubs survive strangest elimination game ever played - It'll go down as one of the wildest elimination games in postseason history, but somehow, some way -- while using seven pitchers -- the Chicago Cubs advanced to their third consecutive National League Championship Series behind a 9-8 win over the Washington Nationals. Leading 4-3 at home in Thursday night's elimination game, Scherzer was supposed to bridge the middle innings and deliver the lead to the Nationals' brilliant late-game pitchers. It never happened, because the most unusual of innings did.
[SI] Yankees, Dodgers Prove Playoffs Are Being Dominated by Bullpens and Strikeouts - Some nifty work by that pair plus the likes of Yu Darvish, Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and others has helped level things off, but through Wednesday night, the numbers are still rather ugly: 4.60 ERA and just 4.4 innings per start. By comparison, in the regular season, starters combined for a 4.49 and 5.5 innings per turn, respectively. If this trend continues, the starters’ swollen ERA would be the highest in a single postseason since 2011 (4.87), the year that Tony La Russa steered a wobbly Cardinals rotation to a championship using a lot of quick hooks.
[MLB Trade Rumors] Latest On Braves Investigation: “Unprecedented” Violations - The investigation into apparent international signing violations by the Braves has already claimed the jobs of GM John Coppolella and special assistant Gordon Blakely, but the investigation is still ongoing. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has a lengthy update [but it’s behind a paywall, which is why I’m linking to MLBTR] on the matter, citing sources that tell him the team’s “violations are unprecedented in scope.” Even as the Atlanta organization weighs its next steps, which will necessarily include a replacement for Coppolella and others, the league continues to dig.
The Meticulous Metric of Baseball Team Names - Look, just click on the link. The resulting minutes spent will be well spent. Trust me on that.