For those of you who are new to the site this year or just forgot about last winter, this is a daily post that will continue through the offseason catching up on the day in MLB. I will, of course, try to tie things back to Boston as much as possible, but generally speaking if you’re a Red Sox fan who doesn’t really care about the league as a whole this is probably a post you’ll want to skip.
Rockies win thrilling NL Wildcard Game
Tuesday was the official start of the postseason with the Rockies taking on the Cubs in a one-game Wildcard matchup to determine who would head to Milwaukee for the NLDS. Chicago, given the talent on paper and their postseason experience, was certainly the favorite heading into the game, but as we know in a one-game situation favorites get thrown out the window. Kyle Freeland was the big star of this game, pitching on short rest and absolutely dominating the Cubs lineup. The southpaw, who is a Denver native, tossed 6 2⁄3 scoreless innings. He wouldn’t get the win because A) Jon Lester put forth a vintage Jon Lester October performance and B) Because Adam Ottavino allowed a game-tying run in the eighth. Eventually, the game would head into extras, and in the 13th Colorado got three consecutive two-out singles and Tony Wolter’s knocked in the go-ahead run. Tewksbury native Scott Oberg struck out all four batters he faced to close the game out for Colorado and the Rockies are moving on.
Read recaps from Purple Row (Rockies SBN site) here and Bleed Cubbie Blue (Cubs SBN site) here.
The Department of Justice is investigating MLB’s international procedures
This was a bit of news that was sort of buried in the excitement of the postseason’s Opening Night, but it is a story that can certainly pick up steam as the winter goes on. We don’t have a ton of details just yet, but Sports Illustrated broke the news on Tuesday that the DOJ is looking into the league’s practices in recruiting foreign prospects, largely from Cuba. It’s been a well-known secret for a long time now that this is a sketchy area for MLB teams, but this report did have a few eye-opening details. Chief among them to me was that the Dodgers, who were the focus of this report, rated their scouts in Latin America in terms of how criminal they were, with four of fifteen rating as a five on a scale of 1-5. It’s not clear what happened to those employees, but clearly this is not a great look. Keep an eye on this story, and check this out for a more detailed update of what we know so far.
Paul Molitor fired by Minnesota
In a surprising turn of events, the Twins decided to move in a new direction in their dugout on Tuesday. Molitor isn’t leaving the organization entirely, but he will no longer be the manager in Minnesota. The Twins certainly had a disappointing year, but it seemed Molitor earned a lot of goodwill in 2017. One bad year leading to his firing is not something most saw coming. Anyway, the Twins will now look for a new manager and they say the candidates don’t necessarily need previous experience. It doesn’t seem like any members of the Red Sox coaching staff are managerial candidates at this point.