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MLB Notebook: Note cards, beanballs, and Wild Card races

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September 23rd, 2021

We’re entering the final push toward the Major League Baseball playoffs. Several spots have already been clinched, while other teams are looking to avoid booking October tee times.

Here are some of the latest news and notes from around MLB.

Note cards and beanballs

The series between the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays has taken several weird turns. We’ll try to summarize it as succinctly as we can.

Tampa Bay’s Kevin Kiermaier picked up a card dropped by Toronto catcher Alejandro Kirk that had information on how to pitch to Rays hitters. Kiermaier was then hit by a pitch in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s series finale.

Many of the hot takes in the wake of the note card incident were terrible, and I won’t add to the frenzy. However, it’s safe to say very few people involved look good here, and the sooner this washes over, the better.

Drama in the AL Wild Card race

The Rays/Blue Jays series took on an extra layer of significance because of the situation in the American League East.

The Rays have already clinched a playoff spot and will likely take the division title, barring a total collapse down the stretch. The Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, and New York Yankees, meanwhile, are separated by just 2 1/2 games. Boston sits two games up on the Yankees, who are a half-game up on Toronto. Add in that Seattle and Oakland still have a chance, and we have the makings of an exciting final few weeks of the season.

American League 2021

Sun, October 17 2021, 10:00 AM

Houston Astros

+220

Tampa Bay Rays

+250

Chicago White Sox

+325

Boston Red Sox

+900

Toronto Blue Jays

+900

New York Yankees

+1100

Oakland Athletics

+7500

Seattle Mariners

+10000

Cleveland Indians

+100000

Bell, Reds agree on extension

Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell will return to the club, after the two parties agreed on an extension, through the 2023 season. Bell helped lead Cincinnati to the postseason in 2020, and the Reds are in contention for a playoff spot this season, with a 78-74 record.

Duvall’s home run that wasn’t

We’ll finish with a weird story from Wednesday’s game between the Atlanta Braves and Arizona Diamondbacks. Atlanta’s Adam Duvall hit a deep fly ball that cleared the fence in left-center, after it deflected off an Arizona outfielder.

However, he then passed Austin Riley while he rounded the bases, as Riley thought the ball was caught short of the wall.

Duvall wound up with a two-run single, but the saga didn’t matter much, as the Braves walloped the Diamondbacks, 9-2.

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