2013 MLB All Star Game: Shoe Porn Edition

All Stars Lineup

One of my favorite parts of the All Star festivities is the looser uniform restrictions. It reminds me of my days in Catholic school when we had to wear our uniforms on a field trip but could accessorize anyway we chose. Girls would wear crazy earrings and fun shoes with funky socks. We went buckwild, and it’s no different for the boys participating in the All Star Game.

That brings us to this year’s fashion statements. Use your fancy new cleats to jump over the break for some of this year’s best feet accessories.

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Hit and Run: I Was There Edition

I moved and changed jobs almost simultaneously this spring. As a result, I’m off the academic schedule for the first time in over a decade and it’s throwing off my whole concept of summer. So Tuesday night I went to check on the Cardinals score and discovered, to my dismay, that they had just finished one of the two games they are playing in NYC that I could actually attend.  Luckily, they were playing the Mets, which isn’t exactly a tough ticket to get at the last minute these days. So Wednesday night, my boyfriend and I headed out to Citifield, where around the actual game action, my blog post wrote itself.

First off — paper all star ballots!  Nostalgia!  Also, once we had established that I somehow didn’t have a writing implement in my purse, we discovered that the plug end of a pair of headphones is actually the perfect tool for punching the holes out of the ballot.

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The hardest part about filling these out was trying to remember who was on the disabled list, particularly in the AL. (That’s not a Yankees joke — entirely.)  Then we put them in the ballot box to be buried under everyone’s 35-per-person internet ballots. I’m still looking forward to the All-Star Game if only because I was out of town when it was at old Yankee the last time, and since both the marathon and Fleet Week were canceled this past year, we’ve been lacking in the crowds-of-people-in-uniforms-descending-on-the-city-to-be-ogled department.

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Just before the 7th inning stretch, this happened.  The crowd seemed primarily delighted, with an undercurrent of bemusement.  I certainly think Kidd can handle the in-game/practice side of coaching, but I’m a little unsure how the front office/roster building side is going to go, especially with a front office that can be …mercurial.

The scoreboard proved a great source of entertainment throughout the game.  The consensus in our section was that Matt Holliday has the saddest media photo ever.

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My boyfriend’s comment: “That’s totally an ‘I’m going to go 0-4 and we’ll lose by 5,’ face.”  So perhaps he’s not sad, he’s just psychic.

Also appearing on the CitiField board, periodic Stanley Cup Final updates!  I didn’t get a picture, but the updates piqued my interest enough that even though the 2 hour and 40 minute game time got us home well before 11, we then stayed up past 1 watching the 6th longest Stanley Cup game in history.

2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game One

Happy Friday! Anyone else going to a game this weekend?

What I’m reading this week

So I know there are apps and other ways to handle “clipping” things from Twitter and your mobile phone, but when I am scrolling through and see a link that intrigues me, I just email myself the tweet. There’s no need to remember to check another app or anything like that – I’m in my inbox a hundred times a day. It’s a little old-school and probably a little silly, but it’s my comfort zone and I’m owning it.

Anyway, I realized this week I’d sent myself quite a few links, so I thought I’d pass along some of the stuff I found interesting recently:

This ESPN piece trying to understand Italian soccer, hooligans and racism is just beautifully written. The subject matter is baffling, but this is a read that’s totally worth your time. Long form journalism at it’s finest.

Carlos Gomez is having a heck of a year and he’s played enough places that I think you’ll find this interesting: if you hit a ball to center field in Miller Park, the odds are not in your favor that you’ll actually get a hit. According to ESPN.com, of 35 balls hit to straightaway CF, just one of them resulted in a hit. Carlos Gomez has caught 97% of those balls. The major league average is 78%.

But you already knew Gomez was a plus (plus) defender. This year (and the end of last season) he has also figured out how to hit for power. Turns out, his coaches just didn’t know how to harness all his skills before and were pigeonholing him as a ground-ball hitting speedster. 

Did you watch the USWNT play Canada two weeks ago? I have re-watched this Alex Morgan goal a ton of times and I’m still in awe of her first touch. Also, the first few “not touches” if you know what I mean

If you didn’t read this amazing profile of Britney Griner, you should. Great insight into a ground-breaking woman. I don’t watch basketball, but she will always get a hearty “you go girl” from me .

Deadspin ran this excerpt which tells the tale of meeting and hanging out with Muhammed Ali, which on it’s own is just stupendously cool. But then it led to commentors telling stories of randomly meeting with Ali and then I had many warm fuzzies.

That was my first intro to The Stacks at Deadspin. Talk about a rabbit hole. Do yourself a favor and go for a scroll. So much good reading.
Former Badger Hockey player Hilary Knight is probably my all-time favorite. Hard to explain, but I’m still heart-broken she never won the Patty Kaz, especially because her taking time off to play for the US in the 2010 Olympics likely had something to do with that. In those same Olympics it was said she likely has the best shot in the game – she was a Junior in college at the time. Anyway, she plays in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League and won their inaugural season MVP. Here’s an interview with her.

In the only vaguely sports related department:

There’s a gorgeous old hotel in Downtown Milwaukee that most visiting sports teams stay at. It’s supposedly haunted. The stories are apparently varied and widespread enough that ESPN the Mag did a story about it. Read all about the Pfister.

I’m a Twitter fiend. I’ll admit it. Yet there is only one account I check in on multiple times daily to make sure I haven’t missed anything – @DUPorterhouse.
Porterhouse is the live bulldog mascot of Drake University in Iowa. He’s a rescued bulldog, winner of the Most Beautiful Bulldog Contest at Drake and very, very photogenic. He’s also an advocate to help end puppy mills bc his native state of Iowa has so many of them.
His mom started him a Twitter account and well, she’s just really good at it. There are tons of adorable pictures and cuteness and Porterhouse consistently makes my day better. He goes to their basketball games and leads them onto the court by chasing the ball. He’s just great.
Seriously, though – here’s a pic of him in Shrek Underoos. Tell me that doesn’t make the whole world better.

From the “not at all about sports” filesL

If you’re a Mad Men watcher and haven’t watched Sunday’s episode, this piece contains spoilers, so be warned. But even if you don’t watch Mad Men, this is a spectacular piece from Tom and Lorenzo that gives a very detailed and interesting cultural look at what it was to be a gay man in 1968.

Mr. Monday: Robbie Rogers

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Sporting his national colours

So a little history took place this Memorial Day Weekend. Robbie Rogers, whom you may recall from the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup Team, not only came out of retirement to join the L.A. Galaxy, but became the first openly gay male athlete to actively play in a Major League Soccer game.

There’s been some debate about this in light of many recent “firsts”, namely that some sporty media types may have neglected to point out that Andrew Goldstein was the first openly gay male athlete to play in a professional league when he was active in Major League Lacrosse in 2005 (which I didn’t know because lacrosse.) Regardless, golf claps all around as we celebrate another step towards acceptance and focus on the REAL reason for this post:

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Hump Day Hottie: 2013 NHL Playoffs

David Steckel HOT

Steckel wants to know who you got in the Stanley Cup Playoffs?

It’s that time of year…finally! We weren’t sure if we would even have the NHL Playoffs this year, but here we are. While other sites try to compile their own lists of the hotties of the NHL, we know our hockey here, so you can trust us.

As an added bonus, we’re even providing a preview of sorts for those who have checked out on the NHL so far. So strap on your skates and don’t ice the puck…

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Another reason why firsts matter: Jason Collins

I was chatting with the other Ladies… this morning about how I was ready to post tonight on Don Cherry’s Saturday night rant about how women reporters don’t belong in the locker room. Then Jason Collins happened, we all got weepy at our workplaces, and I decided it would be more fun to reflect on the progress of the human race then a loudmouthed former coach defending the likes of Duncan Keith with a patronizing attitude towards women.

(Photo: SI.com)

(Photo: SI.com)

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Ryan Lochte: Reality Star

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As most of our readers know, Ryan Lochte has been a sort of a Ladies… mascot over the years. When his star power blew up last summer, it felt like one of our own had finally done good for himself. Obviously, we were pretty excited when it was announced that Ryan would appear in his own reality show on E! (natch). Lochte live in our living room every week? Where do we sign up?

While Ryan is lovely to look at, he’s not that great to listen to. He says really dumb things that make for great television/Internet meme material. So follow me after the jump for the best of What Would Ryan Lochte Do?

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Supporting women’s athletics, not just paying lip service (Go Badger Women’s Hockey!)

I’m absolutely loving this column Val Ackerman is doing over at ESPNW where she is speaking to prominent male sports executives about the future of women’s sports. It’s at once fascinating, heartening and upsetting. Her most recent is with recent Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke. Burke is probably best known around these parts for his no bigotry stance – he’s one of the few high-level executives out there consistently saying all the right things about why skin color, sexual orientation and really anything other than your athletic ability shouldn’t matter on the playing field.

Ackerman talks to Burke about the rapid growth of women’s hockey. I’m a huge women’s hockey fan and supporter and this was the first I’d heard that Burke was, as well, so I’m always happy to hear that high level men’s execs are also behind the women. I started wanting to break down some of the things Burke says, but ultimately, this quote of his is really what it comes down to for me:

Don’t just say you support Title IX, don’t just say you support women’s athletics; buy a ticket, bring your family. Buy a sponsorship on a team, put some money behind this thing, help it grow. If you really believe in women’s sports, there’s an opportunity to show it in a very direct way. Fans vote with their feet. Show up at a game.

– Brian Burke

I can’t stress enough how important this is and I’m going to go ahead and call each and every one of your out. When was the last time you went to a women’s college or professional game? Do you donate to your local college’s scholarship programs? Buy season tickets? Go to a game? Even at the high school level? Do you support fund raisers or pay admission?

If you do, do you drag your friends along? Do you extol the virtues of your favorite game or team? Do you introduce your friends and family to a sport or team they’re not familiar with and get them as excited about it as you are? Do you take your sister or niece or grandkid to as many different sports as you can and foster their love in a way that we didn’t get when we were little?

Because I didn’t used to do that and this year I made a concerted effort to change that. I’ve always been a hugely vocal supporter of Wisconsin women’s hockey, but I’d never put my money where my mouth was before now.

Follow the jump for more on Badger women’s hockey, Team USA and $5 world class talent
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Opening Day Moments That Made Us Smile (so far)

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Mo’s last Opening Day. Insert heaving sigh here.

Never mind that it was Easter weekend. Opening Weekend made it more like Christmas Day at the Bee Household, just as I expect it may have been for you this past long weekend. (True story: we spent Sunday morning watching the replay of Yankees-Army at West Point on MLB.tv via Apple TV. And it was glorious.)

While it wasn’t such a great day for my Yankees – and please, let’s all just calm down, alright? – there was so much to celebrate. For one, I was glad to see Francisco Cervelli back in the regular lineup and having a decent outing at the plate, and hearing the Yankee faithful bellowing YOOOOOOOOUUUUK! (Suck it, Boston. He’s OURS now!) For Boston fans, seeing a strong outing from Jon Lester at Yankee Stadium was likely pretty uplifting. Maybe we don’t need to relegate them to the AL East basement just yet.

Here are a few other moments that may have brought a smile to your face:

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Friday Fellow(s): Feeling Good

We’re going literal this week: it’s Friday, and there are some fellows in the basketball world who are feeling (and looking) pretty good.  Feel free to click the above for a soundtrack appropriate to the coming joy…

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Throwback Thursday: Miracle on Ice

Miracle on Ice Sports Illustrated

I meant to post this last week, but it’s better late then never.

We’ve been doing a bit of spring cleaning around the house, and I was crawling around the attic and stumbled across this copy of Sports Illustrated from March 3, 1980. It was randomly sitting on top of a few boxes, calling my name from across the room.

My dad has been collecting SI since the 70s, and every issue of the magazine since then is somewhere in my house. After finding this issue, I’ve decided to search for some iconic issues and start framing them. Wish me luck!

What I love about the cover is how simple it is. No headlines, no descriptions, no words. Just the pure joy of a couple amateur hockey players beating the best hockey team in the world.

TGIF: Out of the Office Edition

My Friday was technically Wednesday this week – I am somewhere on the Gulf Coast as you read this, so no long post this Friday. However, it’s also the weekend of the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference – which means a bunch of ESPN and other sports world and personalities are out of the office as well. Which panel interests you most?
The discussion about firing coaches (with Stan VanGundy and Brian Burke!) cleverly titled “It’s Not You It’s Me”? The Lance Armstrong discussion (not with the actual Lance)? The surrealism of Mark Cuban and Nate Silver in the same room? Also, how long until ESPN starts streaming this on ESPN3?

Danica Patrick and Lauren Silberman: Why Even Small Firsts Are Still Important

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Danica Patrick has been around, even in NASCAR driver form, for a while now, and if you are like me you’ve gotten used to rolling your eyes at whatever dumb thing the 13 year old boys who run Go Daddy’s marketing department are making her do now and moving on.  So unless you’re a diehard NASCAR fan, you might have missed that this week Danica became the first female driver to ever capture the Daytona 500 pole.

Unless you are a NFL junkie (and I mean a serious, I-am-dvring-the-scouting-combine-footage-on-NFL-Network junkie), you may have also missed that next weekend Lauren Silberman will become the first woman to attend an NFL regional scouting combine as a prospective draftee.

In the context of the wins-oriented sports world, these are not mind-blowing achievements.  No one has won Daytona from the pole in over a decade, and anyone meeting the NFL’s general eligibility requirements (and ponying up the registration fee) can attend a regional level combine (it’s the Draft Combine, which is invitation only, that gets all the media coverage, usually).

But tell the little girls suddenly swarming Daytona that Danica’s pole doesn’t really matter.  Tell the eleven year old in Philadelphia who still is being forbidden to play football solely because of her gender that the best football league in the world accepting a woman’s application to enter their scouting process as if she was any other player is no big deal.  Just think for one minute about SportsCenter Sunday night ending with the traditional celebratory winner and what that looks like if it’s Danica amid the confetti. Think about watching Fox’s Game of the Week on Sunday, and hearing Joe Buck casually announce “Silberman out to attempt the field goal.”  We may be a long way from that actually happening (particularly the latter), but the path to both of those endings just got a little bit smoother.  And that’s something to celebrate.

Hump Day Hottie: Hockey Players with Pets

Troy Brouwer Puppy

Troy Brouwer and one of his famous beagle puppies, Ari.

Who doesn’t love a cute picture of a puppy or kitten? Who does’t love a picture of a hot hockey player? OK, how about if you combine the two? That’s a recipe for swoon. (Well, at least it is for me.) Yesterday, I stumbled (or Tumbl’d?) upon an awesome Tumblr account dedicated to this topic: Hockey Players with Pets.

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Hope Springs: Pitchers and Catchers Report!

Aren’t you impressed that I refrained from using a caps locky title with multiple exclamation points? BUT IT WAS SO TEMPTING!!!!

Monday was the big day for pitchers and catchers from several MLB teams to report. Others, like my Yankees, report Tuesday. And then you have those like my second husband Derek Jeter recovering from surgery and other ailments who have been at their respective training facilities for a while. All this to say HOORAY FOR BASEBALL’S WELCOME RETURN! How about a photo essay?

Let’s start with new Jay R.A. Dickey, who is kind of an awesome human being in case you weren’t aware. It’s going to be tough cheering against this new AL East foe.

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There’s something about a maple leaf on R.A. Dickey’s hat that makes him even more endearing. (Canadian Press photo)

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Winning it All: The Baltimore Ravens are World Champs

joe-flacco-super-bowlIt’s been awhile since one of my favorite teams won it all, and I’ve missed the feeling. I’ve been on a high since the Ravens beat Denver last month thanks to Jacoby Jones’ “Mile High Miracle,” and I’m not about to come down. The momentum from that game carried the Ravens into Foxborough, 9 point underdogs for the second week in a row. The Patriots did not stand a chance.

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Hump Day Hottie: Torrey Smith

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I know what you’re all thinking, “Enough with the Ravens, Raven!” But it’s not every day your favorite NFL team is in the Super Bowl. I feel kinda skeevy selecting Torrey Smith as a Hump Day Hottie, considering I’ve been a fan of his since he was 17. Torrey is a former Terp and you know I love my Terps. Also, I want to share the best smile in the NFL with the rest of the world. Enjoy!

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But Seriously…Did Anyone Watch The Pro Bowl?

probowl2013Not to be such a negative Nancy on my first post back in quite some time, but really when you’re surrounded by the media treating this game like the joke that it is, I can’t really help it.  Just from my initial evaluation from my own Facebook news feed (which I assure you is filled with plenty of sports fans), there were more people watching the SAG awards last night and  mocking the Pro Bowl than actually watching it.  Are we surprised?  Has it always been such a joke?  I decided to investigate…

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How the NBA Seduced Me Over My Morning Coffee (and What MLB Could Learn From It)

How adorable is it that this is his Twitter profile photo?

Not *that( kind of seduction, Tyson. I’m not going to complain about the tux, though.

A funny thing happened on my slog through the baseball offseason: I fell back in love with the NBA.  Well, maybe “in love” is too strong — let’s say we’re having a “friends with benefits” relationship while my one true love is studying abroad in the Carribbean. In any event I can list the teams in playoff contention in both conferences off the top of my head, or note that the Hornets have gone on a bit of a run since Eric Gordon came back, or chortle through the latest episode of Lakers’ schadenfreude with an enthusiasm I haven’t felt since the Jordan era.  How did this happen?

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A Bunch of Strong Men in Silly Hats

In the last few months of the NFL season, I have developed an obsession with the striped pom-pom hats which have popped up on the sidelines. There is just something incredibly amusing about a player trying to maintain his game intensity on the sidelines while wearing something that looks like a present from their grandmother. Since the Super Bowl is in both a warm climate and the dome, this Sunday will likely be the last hurrah for their fuzzy majesty.  Let’s bask in the goofiness with a slideshow!

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Advent Calendar of Hotness Day 19: Carlos Bocanegra

So I’ve given you a bit of Boca in the past, so I won’t even lie that this post didn’t just start out as an excuse to post these spectacular pics from this year’s ESPN Body Issue…

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boca head

boca kick

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But the I realized there’s so much more to share with you!

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Advent Calendar of Hotness Day 17: Eric Hosmer

Time for my homer pick! Apparently Eric Hosmer has only been mentioned on this site one time in history, and it was when he was too young for the Ladies… to officially think he was attractive. Life sucked then. But this is now, so let’s DO THIS.

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From his very brief stint in my town, in front of my camera.

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Advent Calendar of Hotness Day 15: Derrick Rose

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Alright. I have a crush. I haven’t really been a big NBA fan, but after attending my very first game on December 7th at the shiny new Barclay’s Center to see the Golden State Warriors take the Brooklyn Nets down, I’ve decided that I both enjoy basketball and should pay closer attention. And after researching what basketball players are great AND hot, I discovered that I apparently have just a huge stupid little kid crush on Derrick Rose. I can’t be alone here.

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Hanukkah Hunks: Night 1

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Happy Hanukkah to my fellow Heebs! As sundown approaches this evening, I’m happy to continue the Ladies… tradition of recognizing excellence in the world of Jewish athleticism and kick it off right with one of our old favorites – I’m sure the masses will approve…

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Advent Calendar of Hotness Day 7: Kayne Lawton

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Leave it to me to disappear for a while again, only to resurface when it’s time to dedicate the entire holiday season to ogling men. For today’s delicious treat, a BIG thank you to CuteSports for bringing this one to my attention this summer. I’m pretty sure I single-handedly increased traffic on Google image searches for this gent’s name because of how many times I went on and on to every girl and gay man that hey, maybe Australian Rugby should be aired over here! I will warn you though – it is Friday, and some of these are not for the faint of heart. Oh how I’ve missed posting…

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Advent Calendar of Hotness: Day 1

I’m starting us off on a bad foot by starting a day late, but hopefully the first two hotties are so hot that you’ll forgive me. (Also, you’ll understand that I bought a house and did a lot of packing and moving today.)

We Ladies… are long-time fans of U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte, but his title as hottest summer Olympian was seriously in jeopardy this summer when we got a load of Nathan Adrian.

He’s got the killer body and ups the ante with an amazing smile – there are like five total pictures on Google where he’s not grinning from ear to ear. He graduated with honors from  Berkeley. And did we mention those abs.

Where Lochte is gimmicky and a bit blase, Adrian was fresh-faced and looked to be enjoying every minute. I found just one picture of him in a suit and there are few pics of him not in the pool. He seems goofy and fun and genuine. Here’s hoping we have a few more summers of hoping we can one day have a beer or two with Nathan Adrian.

“I’m the first entry in the Ladies… Advent Calendar of Hotness? YES!”

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The Ladies… Make Their 2012 World Series Picks

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We all agree on how awesome Verlander is.

The defending champs have been eliminated (sorry, GM. I was sad for you last night. For reals.) and the stage is set for the World Series Wednesday night (8pm ET on FOX and Sportsnet). You may remember the San Franscisco Giants from…two years ago! When they won it all and we cemented our crush on Buster Posey. The Tigers return for the first time since 2006, when they lost to the Cards in five.

We don’t have any love for either team (we do, however, have a holy hate-on for Brian Wilson. But that was a sidebar in our email conversation today and deserves its own post.) but we do love to make picks! Here’s who the Ladies… are root-root-rooting for in the Fall Classic.

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5 Unbelievable Things About The Postseason Thus Far

1. Manny Machado

We didn’t end up doing a Call-Up Cuties post this year (I know! Blame Olympic fatigue/2nd Wild Card Frenzy) or you would have seen Manny already. On Wednesday, he became the first player under 21 to hit a Division Series homer (and one of only 4 players to hit a postseason homer at that age). If the Orioles rally to win their series with the Yankees,  let’s hope they don’t get cited for providing alcohol to a minor during the celebration.

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Moneyball Lives…For Now: The End Of Season/MLB Playoff Omnibus

Although it wasn’t quite up to the standards of last year, with the meaningful games being all about playoff seeding instead of mere survival, at least we had the Oakland A’s and their surprising AL West Title win to entertain us. Is this truly the year of Moneyball? Or is it just going to be the Yankees, Cardinals, or Rangers taking the pennant again? We discuss!

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