Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon is known for having his finger on the pulse of his players. In fact, Maddon has actually drawn criticism from within for resting regulars and using “spring training” like lineups after the team clinched the NL Central division and wrapped up home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs. In particular, ace Jake Arrieta and catcher Miguel Montero weren’t thrilled with the lineups and some in-game changes that directly impacted them during Wednesday’s 8-4 loss in Pittsburgh.
The Blue Jays are poised to make the playoffs for the second year in a row and are playing a critical series with the Orioles, the outcome of which will likely determine who gets to play at home for that one-and-done game next week. Why, for example, would the leaders on the team allow someone to put up on a wall photos of two Toronto sports writers with an ‘X’ scratched on their face and the a message written on top reading, ‘Do not grant them interviews’ (or words to that effect)?
Don’t interrupt Angel Pagan in the middle of a wild card race. Better yet, don’t interrupt him at all. A fan learned that the hard way during Friday’s Giants-Dodgers game. In the fourth inning, a group of fans ran onto the field with white flowers in their hands, presumably to hand to Giants players. According to eyewitness accounts, one player was reprimanded by San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner, while Buster Posey fended off another. Angel Pagan, however, took more extreme and inventive measures. On-field security started closing in on the fan as he approached Pagan, but didn’t appear to pick up the pace until the outfielder dropped him on the field. Vin Scully, who was wrapping up the