The pool awaits.
Ten years after the Dodgers’ memorable division-clinching celebration in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chase Field pool, and six years after the Diamondbacks enlisted horse-mounted police to prevent an encore in the 2017 playoffs, the two division foes are set for another October meeting in the National League Division Series starting Saturday at Dodger Stadium.
ed. note: Anyone else pissed off by that opening paragraph and title?
You have heard how Diamondbacks General Manager Mike Hazen built this team while losing his wife to brain cancer, how this vintage athletic triumph carries notes of sadness and grief. On the flipside, this is also a baseball team fueled by young players who are growing up together.
Manager Torey Lovullo conducted another oversized playoff celebration Wednesday in Milwaukee and that was, essentially, his point:
This version of the Dodgers does not exactly resemble the juggernauts of recent vintage. The pitching staff lacks starters who can last deep into games. Clayton Kershaw will take the baseball in Game 1 despite battling shoulder trouble all season — although he still posted a 2.46 ERA. The group of pitchers behind him will include rookie Bobby Miller, veteran Lance Lynn and a whole host of openers, bulk guys and other various relievers. The team will need Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman to spark the offense to offset the run-prevention uncertainty.
LDS around the league
This will be the third time the Braves and Phillies, interdivisional foes since 1994, have faced each other in the postseason. The Phillies won both previous meetings, defeating the Braves in six games during the 1993 National League Championship Series and eliminating the reigning champions in four games last October in the NLDS.
the Rangers are on a high not reached in a dozen years. Texas, which hadn’t won a playoff series since 2011, opens the best-of-five AL Division Series on Saturday at the Baltimore Orioles. First pitch is set for 12:03 p.m. and will be televised on FS1.
Another regular season is in the books, the 45th for Dusty Baker (19 as a player, 26 as a manager).
One might think Baker would regularly sit back and take stock on the ride he has been on. Perhaps reflect on these bonus years in Houston that have been among the most enjoyable stretches of his baseball life.
Anything goes (As Justin Says)
Maria Hernandez, the union spokeswoman, said the Major League Baseball Players Assn. had asked Major League Baseball for the Diamondbacks to change hotels. The MLBPA provided MLB with a list of alternative hotels the team could consider, according to a players union official familiar with the matter but not authorized to comment publicly.
Josh Rawitch, the President of the Hall, had offered to give us a special tour and presentation. I got to know Josh when he was the Vice President of Communications with the Diamondbacks. Since taking over this new position two years ago, it’s been wonderful to see him embrace this once in a lifetime opportunity for he and his family. He kicked off our tour of the museum by taking us down to the archives storage room, explaining there are over 40,000 items in the Museum, while 10% artifacts are typically on display. Check out the video at the top of this article for an introduction to some of the special D-backs related items he had prepared for us.