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The Astros are blazing with power and flair,
Bregman, Altuve, and Cole has his share,
An ace with a 5.2 WAR and a Dragon,
They’re hitting and running and stealing and tagging.
The Astros could be a new dynasty, yet
For my part, I’d rather see Betts.

The Brewers have Miley and Yelich and Cain,
Maybe a tri-cycle, though no Reds remain.
Acuña and Albies make Braves fun to watch.
Rookies and veterans, and Freeman’s topnotch,
Cerverceros and Bravos both serve up a treat,
But really, I’d rather see Báez compete.

Dodgers and Yankees, Athletics and Rocks,
All are exciting, not just Cubs and Sox.
Can Kershaw pitch shutouts? Can Stanton provide?
An 8+ WAR Chapman’s his whole city’s pride.
There are no Cinderellas in Denver this year,
Coors Field is prepped for the cheers and the beer.
All four teams are posing a possible threat,
but the fun to be had is in Báez and Betts.

Báez walked out of your happiest dreams,
He’s throwing out runners while still on his knees
After smothering liners that should have gone through,
By appearing in spots where no human should do.

Mookie can hit it to any old spot
Because he’s not out there to make sure it’s caught.
He miniaturizes the outfield expanse
Necklace in mouth, it’s just part of the dance.

So many dingers; that wouldn’t be bad.
But imagine the fun they’d have on the base pads.
A stolen base here, and another one there, 
Second and third and running everywhere.
Their focus won’t waver; it refuses to roam.
Seeing their chance, they might even steal home.

The outlook for playoffs is crowded with talent.
You might say my preferences are easily balanced
By the drive and emotion and power and speed
That I see in contenders all over the league.
No matter what happens, I won’t be disappointed
The outlook is bright and I’ll feel no regrets.
But when the time come, when it’s all said and done, 
I’d like a World Series with Báez and Betts.

“Musical Chairs” was a fun elementary school game designed to associate an innocent-sounding bop with acute insecurity, abject failure, and frigid isolation for the rest of your miserable life. You loved it.

An even more demented version of this “game” plays out around this time every year within baseball. Front offices know how important it is to have a Triple-A affiliate remotely near the parent club, yet one of them finds themselves with an affiliate sitting in a chair about 3,000 miles away, which is arguably worse than no chair at all.

The Washington (D.C.) Nationals had to leave Syracuse, NY as a Triple-A minor league home because those disheveled New York Mets found themselves in Las Vegas, Nevada the last few years. The Mets straight up bought the Syracuse Chiefs in a momentary pique of self-improvement and even remembered to sign a player development contract with themselves. The music played in earnest this week when the Oakland A’s moved their top minor league operations from Nashville, TN to Las Vegas. The Texas Rangers then announced they actually always loved Nashville and signed a deal to raise their kids there. The Houston Astros landed with the Triple-A Little Rock, AR team. A bunch of farmers in dells where they always belonged. A happy ending.

Except for those Fresno Grizzlies, shivering in the cold, and the Nationals, equally Cheese-esque, standing alone, already thinking about that 2,687 foot one-way trip to make.

Well, 2,687 plus. There are no direct flights from D.C. to Fresno Yosemite International Airport.

Matt Reynolds is a living legend. He only walks among us because his great feat of humanity has been shamefully suppressed by the brave folks trying to end insomnia.

Reynolds was called upon to return to the big league team on a Sunday while he and the other Las Vegas 51s were in Salt Lake City, UT. Reynolds’ red-eye from SLC to Boston, Massachusetts took off at 11 p.m. eastern time. On his flight from Boston to Cincinnati, he wanted sleep and instead received a one-sided conversation with a garrulous, lonely soul seated next to him. Reynolds got to the Cincinnati hotel at 9:15 a.m. monday morning and caught 50 winks for an estimated half-hour, putting his total number of hours in Dreamland to two before starting at shortstop for the Mets’ 1 p.m. eastern time battle with the Reds. Reynolds homered in his first at-bat and went 3 for 4. Playing on no sleep was officially his #brand, the poor bastard.

Reynolds apparently opted to get decent rest instead of further his major league career. The Mets dealt him for cash this past February to an NL East rival. Yeah, the Nationals.

Eighty-eight of the 100 games Reynolds played this year were in Triple-A. Another cross-country misadventure is on the horizon. He’ll be 28 years old. He’ll be fine as long as he is dreaming with his eyes open instead of closed, provided he keeps them closed at least seven hours a night. As long as he gets a seat, provided he doesn’t get too comfortable sitting. In the dugout. I dunno, I’m tired.


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Donny Wilkins
9/20
Really, Little Rock mixed up with Round Rock?