Picks of the Pen (10/4): Shenanigans!

It’s already October and the 2010 regular season has come to a close. I don’t know where the summer went but I’m going to go ahead and call “Shenanigans” on the whole damn situation. I want more regular season baseball and warmer weather and I want it back post haste.

On the other hand it was an absolutely beautiful day in Kansas City today and I do enjoy football season (though not as much as baseball season) … Please enjoy our picks this week as I switch into playofff and hot stove mode.

Justin:

Well, my fantasy team is now a smoking crater, but I take solace in the fact that at least I’m not being put out by the Minnesota Timberwolves.  After elbowing their way into the sight radius of Target Field, the Twins contacted them with a message: “WTF, bro?”  Seriously, T-Wolves.  Just… just stop.

Pirates ex-manager John Russell went down with the ship, finally, and it wouldn’t be “Pirates’ News” without Tom Smith and his ridiculous Photo Shop.

Wally:

It’s not a surprise that Zack Greinke was unable to replicate his 2009 season in 2010. What may be a surprise to you is the fact that Greinke followed up his historic 2009 with a very good 2010 when you dig below the surface. Will McDonald of Royals Review does just that and in the process explains why Zack should land a few “down ballot” votes in the AL Cy Young Award voting.

Speaking of surprises, the Pittsburgh Pirates fired Double-A manager Matt Walbeck. Why is this shocking? Check out what our lead writers on Rum Bunter and Motor City Bengals had to say.

John:

The wild NL West race was finally settled with the Giants 3-0 win over San Diego on Sunday and Joe Posnanski tells us why these Giants are so lovable.

At Twinkie Talk, Erin tells us about Mr. Clutch. As a Tigers fan, I shudder when this guy comes to the plate. It’s not Mauer or Morneau, or Kubel or Young, or even Thome. No, this guy is one you wouldn’t expect.

Nathaniel:

Here’s a great breakdown of Mat Latos’ stuff.

Joseph Lopez addresses which direction the A’s should go this offseason.

Steve:

Immersed in the joys of moving …

Ryne:

Joe Lemire of SI.com breaks down the final day of the summer in baseball. It’s October and that means one thing: playoff baseball and the World Series!

David Lee of Tomahawk Take recaps the Braves big win over the Phillies that lifted them into the playoffs as the National League Wild Card.

Jordan:

“Paulie….Paulie…..Paulie…” has been a catch phrase among Chicago White Sox fans, as they have admired the talents of Paul Konerko, who has been a team leader of the White Sox for year. Jon Greenberg, of ESPN Chicago, gives his reasoning why Konerko must return to the White Sox next season.

With Barry Zito pitching the Giants to a loss on Saturday, Frisco Fastball examined all the NL Playoff scenarios.  Then the Giants went out and took care of business.

Michael:

There’s nothing like going to the ballpark to see your team live.  A big field of grass, the opportunity to see the players right in front of you, the food.  It’s an experience unlike just about any other in my view.  It’s also a lot of fun, and sometimes, the team plays along to add a little bit more fun to the experience.  Normally I hate the between innings distractions.  Okay, Kiss Cam is amusing, and I always ALWAYS root for Ketchup in the hot dog race at Kauffman Stadium (and have never ever seen Ketchup win in about 30 games over the past three years), but in Washington, they have a President’s Race, where apparently, Teddy Roosevelt never wins.  He came close the other day, but did he still lose?  OH yeahhhh!  Big League Stew has the footage.

If you don’t follow a team that makes the playoff, this time of year is a time to look back at what went right, what went wrong, and how to get better for next year.  When your team has a high payroll and higher expectations, when things go wrong, change can be drastic, such as the case of the New York Mets.  General manager Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel are not likely to return according to reports. Adam Garnett at Rising Apple breaks down the report and makes his choices for successors.

Topics: Atlanta Braves, Barry Zito, Chicago White Sox, Jerry Manuel, Joe Lemire, Joe Posnanksi, John Russell, Jon Greenberg, Mat Latos, Matt Walbeck, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, Oakland A's, Omar Minaya, Paul Konerko, Pittsburgh Pirates, Royals Review, San Francisco Giants, Will McDonald, Zack Greinke

Want more from Call to the Pen?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.