MLB Diamond Notes: October 24, 2011

Lester Admits to Drinking in Clubhouse.

With reports swirling around about the behavior of the Red Sox pitching staff in September, Jon Lester decided to come out and set the story straight. He admitted that he, Josh Beckett, and John Lackey did in fact drink in the clubhouse during games that they weren’t pitching. However, all of the pitchers, including former manager, Terry Francona, said that the alcohol wasn’t in the dugout, contrary to reports. I agree with Lester that this wasn’t the reason that the Red Sox collapsed, but just say it once and then stop talking about it. I feel that he was quoted for almost a week straight. Do I think what they did was wrong? Absolutely; but do I think the 2004 team taking tequila shots  before Game 4 of the ALCS? I do. At the end of the day, whether they were sober or drunk on the field, they stunk and didn’t deserve to be in the play offs. That’s a fact.

The McCourts Have Finally Settled Their Divorce.

After the season-plus long saga between Frank and Jamie McCourt, they finally were able to reach a settlement this week. The agreement includes Jamie receiving $130 million, but giving up any rights that she had to claim ownership shares of the Dodgers, giving Frank full ownership. To be honest, I’m glad that this part of the story is over because it’s a really sad one. The Dodgers are one of the most storied franchises in baseball and Frank McCourt is making a mockery out of them because he is too selfish to realize that holding onto this team during such a public dispute is not smart at all. I wish he would just sell the team and let Los Angeles get back to the play offs.

Brewers GM Doug Melvin is Under the Gun.

After the Milwaukee Brewers lost a chance to get to the World Series with a loss to the St. Louis Cardinals last Sunday night, the organization is forced to think of what life will be like if Prince Fielder doesn’t sign back with the team. It seems highly unlikely that Fielder will be back, especially since he said that it’s “probably” his last year with the team. While making $15.5 million this year (an arbitration record) and hitting .299, with 38 home runs, and 120 RBI, it’s safe to assume he’s going to command close to $20 million per year for a long-term deal in the open market. GM Doug Melvin is already defending himself, talking about the depth the franchise has at first base; I will be interested to see what the open market will offer Fielder, and what the Brewers will do to try and keep him.

Selig Talks About Two More Wild Card Teams.

In an interview with Bob Costas, Bud Selig revealed some of the things that he’s thinking about for Major League Baseball in 2012 and beyond. One of the topics of conversation was the proposed idea of adding two more Wild Card teams; if this does take place, it would be effective in 2013. His thought process is that the league can’t continue to expand without adding more play off opportunities. I don’t agree with this proposed idea because it can remove the excitement of a playoff race and take away from the mystique of playing in October. If that rule was in play this year, both the Red Sox and Braves would have made the play offs, even though they didn’t deserve it one bit. I think that just having one Wild Card spot is fine because it still shows teams that they have to work to be the best to get into the postseason, not just be one of the two teams towards the top. I hope that this idea gets shot down in the end because I also think that this idea is only coming about to generate more revenue, just like the NCAA is trying to do with March Madness.

Pujols Joins Elite Company in Game 3.

In a 16-7 slugfest won by the Cardinals on Saturday night, Albert Pujols stole all of the headlines by doing something that has only been done two other times in World Series history. The Cardinals first baseman may have put on the most impressive hitting clinic ever, tying three records, while setting one other one. Pujols tied World Series records with five hits, three home runs, and six RBI, while setting a new record with 14 total bases. This was an amazing performance and further entrenches the belief I had before this series started: the Cardinals are a team of destiny and I don’t see how they’re not going to win it all. Coming back from a 10.5 game deficit in the regular season and then knocking off the teams that had to two best records in the National League is reason enough to believe that they’re going to win it all. Now, with this historic performance from Pujols, there is no way not to think that.