It seems that those preseason predictions mean there is no pressure now, the Yankees are outperforming all expectations:
4th in the AL East per bleacher report [link]
5th in the AL East per CBS [link]
4th in the AL East per SB Nation [link]
4th in the AL East per 538 [link]
4th in the AL East per USA Today [link]
4th in the AL East per Sports Illustrated [link]
3rd (tie) in the AL East per Fangraphs [link]
And “The Yankees’ rotation will flounder: And being both unable and unwilling to land a top-flight starter via trade, the prodigious Yankees offense is wasted as New York hangs around .500 all year. (As do the Oakland A’s, which tells you everything you need to know about the Yanks’ campaign.)” per FOX Sports [link]
I know that the Astros must be happy that they don’t have to defeat the Indians themselves, but . . . as JS says, “You can’t predict baseball.” Anything could happen now.
Who would have thought?
Pris went to Game 3, and saw Tanaka, Robertson, and Chapman pitch a shutout and Judge steal a home run from Lindor. And Bird hit one out!
Game 4 was exciting in a different way, with Severino finally calm (and yet not too calm) and the bats alive again:
On to Game 5!
The pitching lines were impressive (except for poor Severino, who needed some chamomile tea or something):
Joe Posnanski has a real gift for communicating the sentimental part of sports without quite crossing the line into schmaltzy. This is his latest: Joe Posnanski, “Last Call,” joeposnanski.com [link], about the great Vin Scully.
Sadly, baseball season is almost over. We do have Randall Munroe’s quirky take from yesterday’s xkcd, titled “Play-by-Play”:
The title text is: “The thrower started hitting the bats too much, so the king of the game told him to leave and brought out another thrower from thrower jail.”
They call you an extremist if you want integration now — which is the only morally defensible position. To advise moderation is like going to a stickup man and saying to him, ‘Don’t use a gun. That’s violent. Why not be a pickpocket instead? A moderate is a moral pickpocket.
Branch Rickey (09/22/1957) quoted in Roger Kahn, Rickey and Robinson 171 (2014).
This reminds me of the Goldwater slogan “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!” (1964 speech). I suppose that few would support both men’s views.
Both Rickey and Goldwater are smuggling in their certainty about justice and injustice. Which, if they are right . . . .
Roger Kahn has been known as one of our premier baseball writers since the publication, in 1972 of the classic Boys of Summer. This newest book is a strikingly personal account of the integration of baseball — not as though by a historian, but by an actual participant. Well worth reading!