Mattingly… what part of DON’T TAKE OUT KERSHAW was vague?



Don Mattingly! What the hell are you doing?

Perhaps I should be more specific because people have a tendency of yelling that at you in October.

You forgot the cardinal rule… or more to the point the DODGER rule: NEVER TAKE OUT KERSHAW OR GREINKE IN A CLOSE GAME!!!!

After making decisions that are peculiar at best in the last few post seasons and all throughout the regular season, you have somehow, someway found yourself back in the Division Series and with the home field advantage.

Actually it isn’t hard to figure out why. Every 5 days you hand the ball to Clayton Kershaw. Every 5 days you hand the ball to Zack Greinke. You do that enough times, you will win a lot of games.

The formula of “Hand the ball to the stud” is what was going to open up the lane to the World Series appearance that has somehow eluded you despite nearly 20 years as a Yankee player and coach and managing in Los Angeles with a payroll that resembled Scrooge McDuck’s home.

Think about it. If the Dodgers won every single Kershaw and Greinke start in the post season, they would win the World Series. You could screw up all the double switches and lift Adrian Gonzalez for a pinch runner until you are Dodger blue in the face and you would still win the World Series.

3 Kershaw or Greinke starts in the Division Series.
4 Kershaw or Greinke starts in the NLCS.
4 Kershaw or Greinke starts in the World Series.

BOOM! Start the parade.

But in order for that formula to work, you need to WIN THOSE GAMES.

A team like the Mets, who have stock piled quality pitchers themselves, have an equally simple strategy: Steal a game against Kershaw or Greinke and win the other games at their home.

In other words, winning Game 1 was critical. And guess what, despite giving up a homer, Kershaw was fantastic through 6 innings.

Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Yes, he started walking batters in the 7th. Yes, a tiny but alarming sample size of post season starts have shown his Achilles Heel seems to be the 7th.

But he was still one pitch away from getting out of the inning. He was one pitch away from going to the bottom of the 7th behind only 1-0.

And while Jacob deGrom was pitching an amazing game, LA would be one proverbial mistake from tying it and putting the pressure on the young pitcher.

Instead you broke the rule. You took Kershaw out of the game. And in the single most critical moment of the season… a moment that basically could mean home field advantage and put the Dodgers in a position where a Matt Harvey Game 3 win would mean Game 4 would be an elimination game with a short rest Kershaw on the mound… you said “I would rather have Pedro Baez pitch than Clayton Kershaw now.”

Which pitcher would you rather have throw the one pitch to get you out of that inning?

Kershaw or Baez?

Forget Kershaw was tiring. I’d rather have Kershaw ASLEEP than any middle reliever on the Dodgers now.

I am struggling to find an analogy of how insane that is. “Ladies and Gentlemen, Daniel Day-Lewis has a little cough right now, so the rest of the performance will be by Tony Danza!”

“Folks, I’ve decided this Prince concert will be finished by Warrant.”

Bill Plaschke of the LA Times thinks it was the right move to take Kershaw out because of his post season struggles. Not sure I follow him.

“Why are you taking out the Cy Young candidate in the 7th?”

“Because Matt Adams hit a home run off of him a year ago.”

“Ok. Wait HUH?”

Even if you MUST remove him (which you mustn’t) the magnitude of the moment called for you to bring his best pitcher out. Is Kenley Jansen coming in that situation? Not in the regular season, but he is their best reliever and this is a moment they needed the best option.

If not Jansen, then why not Chris Hatcher? He had struck out 11 batters in his 9 1/3 innings and in the final month pitched to a 0.96 ERA.

Yeah, I know the pitcher’s spot was coming up in the order. But the top of the 7th had potentially the entire post season on the line. Maybe THEN do one of the double switches you love doing, Donnie!

The most important thing was preventing the Mets from adding to the score. I content Kershaw was the best option. Jansen would be the second best option. Hatcher would be the third best option.

What you chose to do with everything on the line was go to your FOURTH best option.

This is NOT a second guess. I’ve been screaming about never removing Kershaw nor Greinke from a close game since at least my August 24th, 2015 Podcast.

It is the rule you should tattoo on his arm and read it more often than Guy Pearce in Momento. DON’T TAKE OUT KERSHAW AND GREINKE.

You did take him out. David Wright gave the Mets the insurance they needed.

And now it doesn’t matter if Zack Greinke throws a perfect game and strikes out 27 and the Dodgers win the game 28-0. The Mets did exactly what they needed. All THEY have to do is win their two games at home and the Dodgers season (and possibly the tandem of Clayton Kershaw and free agent to be Zack Greinke) will be done.

You held the World (Series) in your hands, Don Mattingly… if only you listened to my rule.

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images


Who should you root for if your team is no longer in the playoffs?



So your team is out of the post season… and with no Yankees, Red Sox nor Giants there is no easy team to root AGAINST!

What do you do?

You ask your pal Sully for advice and here are some quick reasons to root for or against a team that does not involve breaking down stats or rosters.

Reason to root for the Dodgers:
Dodger manager Don Mattingly had the worst luck in Yankee history. Yankees make World Series in 1981. Mattingly shows up in 1982. They don’t play a single playoff game in his entire career until his last season. He retires in 1995. Yankees win World Series the next year. Go to 6 of the next 8 World Series, winning 4. Mattingly returns as a coach in 2004. They collapse in the playoffs and can’t make it back to the World Series. He leaves for the Dodgers after 2007. Yankees win the World Series in 2009. His luck is SO AWFUL that you feel for him to win one.

Reason to NOT root for the Dodgers:
Don Mattingly is a HORRIBLE manager and fun to watch him screw up… like he did last night.



Reason to root for the Cardinals:
There is a strange pattern this decade for NL teams in the World Series. 2010, Giants. 2011 Cardinals. 2012 Giants. 2013 Cardinals. 2014 Giants… keep that going for another year. The team went through a lot of injuries and the death of Oscar Tavaras. Their fans are rabid baseball fans.

Reason to NOT root for the Cardinals:
I know Red Sox fans should not throw stones about obnoxious fans, but Cardinal fans can be a bit too much. Let’s spread the wealth, OK?


Reason to root for the Mets:
After all the crap that team and the fans have gone through, whether it was horrible moves or Bernie Madoff or collapses or a stadium that was designed to honor the Brooklyn Dodgers instead of the Mets, they deserve some happiness. Plus, with a few exceptions, they are a very likable bunch.

Reason to NOT root for the Mets:
Many of the people who were in charge of making the horrible decisions for the Mets (and being swindled by Bernie Madoff) are still there. Should THEY be rewarded?

Screen shot 2015-10-10 at 10.30.09 AM


Reason to root for the Cubs:
Because they are the CUBS! The last time they won the World Series, Russia had a God Damned Czar! Geronimo was alive! They haven’t even been IN a World Series since 1945! Enough is enough.

Reason to NOT root for the Cubs:
Are we ready to live in a world where the Cubs are the World Champs? Wouldn’t it rip a hole in the time space continuum? Besides, Cub fans gave Bartman too much shit.


Reason to root for the Royals:
The epitome of a small market team beating the odds, the Royals came within one swing of winning the World Series last year. This year they showed they were not a one season fluke. Seeing a small market team win back to back pennants and a title is good for baseball.

Reason to NOT root for the Royals:
Boring! The Royals were the cute team LAST year. There are all new underdogs this year.

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Reason to root for the Astros:
This would be one of the most remarkable turn arounds in baseball history. In 2013, the Astros lost 111 out of 162 games, their third straight 100 loss team. They were the laughing stocks of baseball. Playing them was not considered fair because they were so bad. In 2014 the improved but still lost 92 games and were still one of the worst teams in baseball. Going from being a joke to a champ in 2 years is incredible.

Reason to NOT root for the Astros:
They turned their back on their cool identity of being the team of the future. Now they play in a stupid faux retro park with a stupid train and until this season a meaningless hill in center field. Teams that deny their cool identity should not be reward. (See this video I did in 2011.)

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Reason to root for the Rangers:
They have never won the World Series before, although they were one swing away twice from winning the 2011 World Series. Plus former Rangers MVP Josh Hamilton is back on the team after the Angels got rid of him when he had a drug relapse. It would be a wonderful middle finger to see Hamilton win a ring for Texas while having his salary paid by their division rival Angels.

Reason to NOT root for the Rangers:
Have you seen the food they serve there? That team is going to give their fans a heart attack. The quicker they shut down those food stands, the better.

Screen shot 2015-10-10 at 11.42.16 AM

Reason to root for the Blue Jays:
1990’s nostalgia! The Blue Jays are packing the fans in the park! They went back to their old Joe Carter uniforms and look cool. Welcome back Canada baseball! You’ve been missed. And frankly, America has been hogging the Stanley Cup since 1994. Maybe Canada can get the World Series for the first time since 1993.

Reason to NOT root for the Blue Jays:
Maybe you love a little place called AMERICA! Maybe Trump can find a way to throw Canadians under the bus saying “They are taking our World Series trophies!”

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – October 10, 2015


The Rangers are a game away from the ALCS? They won a wild 14 inning marathon in Toronto.

Moments after the game ended, I decided to call friend of the Podcast and  Rangers super fan and Dallas sports radio personality Jamie Kelly for her thoughts.

It is a “throw your predictions into the dumpster” episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Jacob deGrom, John Lackey, Delino Deshields, Wade Davis, Cole Hamels, Salvador Perez, Stephen Piscotty, David Wright, Howie Kendrick, Clayton Kershaw, Jon Lester, Colby Rasmus, Ben Revere, Kyle Schwarber and Marcus Stroman all added to their totals for Who Owns October

Follow Jamie Kelly on Twitter by clicking HERE.

Follow The Scoop on Twitter by clicking HERE.
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