The hitting performance of this last week has to go to Albert Pujols of the St Louis Cardinals. In game 3 of the World Series, he knocked 5 base hits including 3 homeruns – both of which tied playoff records. It was only the third time in over 100 years of World Series play that somebody knocked out 3 homeruns in a single game. It was done previously by Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson.
Albert is making the strongest big imaginable to get himself a big free agent contract. Facing free agency for the first time this offseason, Pujols is having a masterful October. In 15 games this postseason, he’s batting .390 with 5 homeruns and 16 runs driven in.
Even despite the offensive onslaught during game 3, the story of the game was still the botched call at first base. It was a judgment call, and replays showed the umpire got it wrong. After the ensuing investigation by fans and media everywhere, Joe Torre had to make a stand in support of umpires on behalf of Major League Baseball.
The question remains whether or not instant replay should be expanded, even if just for the postseason. Rather than game 3 being a story of the umpires, it could be the story of Albert Pujols and his 3 homeruns. Instead of Steve Bartman being ostracized from Chicago, the umpires could have quieted the angry mob with the correct call.
It’s a discussion that’s not going away. Every missed call is under more scrutiny from increased television production and the discussion takes away from the game.
After pouring it on during game three, the bats went frigid last night for the Cardinals. They managed just two hits off the Rangers, facing a masterful 8.1 inning performance by Derek Holland. With a game left to go in Texas, the series is all tied up at 2 games a piece.
Lastly, the Red Sox and Cubs have worked out their agreement on Theo Epstein. Rather than decide on specific players, they’ve agreed upon the steps they’re going to follow to ensure fair compensation is reached.
It’s still not playing nice and hammering out a deal, but at least it has things decided now. Reportedly, the Red Sox were asking for MLB starting pitcher Matt Garza in exchange for Epstein. Garza was acquired by the Cubs as the main piece in an 8 player trade last season, so it was pretty much a given that Garza wouldn’t be moved during this process for a GM.
Just because the baseball season wraps up doesn’t mean the discussions end there. Our daily email will still be going out all offseason long, breaking down the 2011 season and looking ahead to next year.
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