The Rundown: Juicy Dodgers-Brewers Conspiracy Theory, Alleged Extension Offer for Kris Bryant, Playoff News & Notes

I apologize for leading off with a hot take this morning, but there is no baseball until Friday.

Just when you think you’ve heard it all, former Marlins president Dan Samson said he believes  MLB is taking an aggressive stance in its hope that the Dodgers beat the Brewers in the NLCS and advance to the World Series. Samson shared his thoughts during a guest spot on ESPN Radio’s Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz on Wednesday.

Le Batard: “Give us something about the postseason that you can say right now that people aren’t thinking about enough or aren’t hearing elsewhere. Because you are an executive, or a former executive, who doesn’t mind speaking the truth. So give us something the people won’t hear elsewhere.”

Samson: “MLB is going to do anything they can to have the Dodgers beat the Brewers.”

Los Angeles is the nation’s second biggest television market while Milwaukee is 36th, sandwiched between West Palm Beach and Cincinnati. Naturally, the league would probably favor a Dodgers matchup with Houston (seventh largest market) or Boston (ranked 10th). So it would be totally rational for the MLB to want the Dodgers over the Brewers, yet it ruins the integrity of their sport and their executives, including Rob Manfred, if they would take measures to stack the odds in favor of the Dodgers, as Samson claims.

Samson likely misspoke, but it’s not something that can be magically redacted. I haven’t seen an apology for the quote, and baseball hasn’t responded.

Still, Samson is no stranger to fixed events, as Craig Mish of SiriusXM reported earlier this year:

“David came in and was livid that Julio won,” Mish reported of Samson’s reaction to the between-innings mascot race. “He said, ‘That can never happen! He’s never supposed to win!’ And he said that if it ever happened again, he’d fire everyone.”

Someone did take the fall for the race result. Samson was so angry that he fired manager Mike Redmond later that day after a 6-0 loss to the Braves.

Cubs News & Notes

Speaking of conspiracy theories…Did he or didn’t he? Kris Bryant was allegedly offered, and turned down, a $200M contract extension from the Cubs. There’s a little bit of debate between Dave Kaplan of ESPN 1000 and Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic on Twitter regarding the authenticity to this rumor, well worth checking out.

Ed. note: Cubs Insider was first to refute the notion of Bryant declined the massive offer based on sourced info, for what it’s worth. I’m generally not big on tooting our horn too much, but this is one of those situations in which I think it makes sense.

Davis Ross is a person of interest in the managerial search being conducted by the Twins. MLB studio analyst Mark DeRosa is also in consideration for the opening.

Sean Holland provides a recap of the season and grades the performances of the team in the aftermath of the 2018 season.

What’s happening to the much anticipated plans for Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s eatery — to be named Joe’s — with Spiaggia Chef Tony Mantuanoat The Park at Wrigley, adjacent to Wrigley Field?

“It sure seems as if nothing much is happening yet,” said a top Chicago foodie who has been keeping an eagle eye on the eatery’s “development” on the corner of Waveland Avenue and Clark Street.

Playoff News & Notes

Baseball News & Notes

Tigers television announcers Mario Impemba and Rod Allen, who were suspended by Fox Sports Detroit last month after allegedly getting into a physical altercation, will not return in 2019, according to a Detroit Free Press report.

Former Mets and Phillies outfielder Lenny Dykstra was indicted on three counts by a grand jury in Union County N.J. on Wednesday per TMZ Sports. Dykstra faced charges for possession of meth, possession of cocaine, and for making terroristic threats.

Major League Baseball is insisting to casino executives that the league should get a cut from wagers placed on the sport following the repeal of a federal ban on sports betting.

Lack of demand for single-game tickets has cost the Rangers nearly $54M in lost revenues since 2012.

White Sox minor league outfield instructor Aaron Rowand believes the team’s outfield prospects may be the best in baseball.

The Nationals acquired relief pitcher Kyle Barraclough from the Marlins, the team announced Wednesday.

Redbird Rants takes a look at the free agents that the Cardinals should target this winter.

Here’s a tongue-in-cheek look at digitally animating baseball games to reduce game times.

Extra Innings

Despite being knocked out of the playoffs, the Yankees have an awful lot of money to spend this offseason. In fact, they could conceivably sign Manny Machado, Patrick Corbin, and Clayton Kershaw without exceeding their 2015-16 payroll, though they’d exceed the league-mandated salary cap ceiling to do so. The Cubs are primed to go over the luxury tax cap this winter as well.

They Said It

  • “I just want to win. That’s it. My main goal is to win in the playoffs, to win a World Series. … And whatever I need to do to help us do that, I’m fine with. But I know I’m more than capable of winning games as a starter in October. That’s what I look forward to doing.” – David Price
  • “I know every time I swing and miss it’s going to hurt. So, I try not to swing and miss and then I try to baby my swing and I don’t swing as hard as I usually do or as quick as I usually do. So, it’s definitely been tough. I’m a competitor so you grind, you try to perform. But it’s definitely … been frustrating at times.” – Carlos Correa

Thursday Walk Up Song

Subterranean Homesick Blues by Bob Dylan. Conspiracy theories abound, I guess.

Back to top button