Twenty-five years ago, the New York Mets and Houston Astros played what may be the greatest League Championship Series ever contested. Even though the series only went six games, the game-to-game drama was amazing, culminating in Game 6, on the short list of baseball's greatest plays. Mark Simon, our resident Mets fanatic, is looking back at that series and the Mets' run to the World Series title over at ESPN New York. Here's his review of Game 1 of the NLCS, when Mike Scott dominated the Mets with 14 strikeouts. In Game 2, all the Mets had to do was beat a certain ex-Met named Nolan Ryan. Be sure to check out Mark's series all October.
Bill Simmons and Buster Olney look ahead to the baseball offseason on the B.S. Report podcast.
Buster on ESPN Radio talking about Nelson Cruz and the Rangers' big advantage over the Tigers in the bullpen.
Jayson Stark on ESPN Radio talking about Albert Pujols' monster game in Game 2 of the NLCS.
Curt Schilling talks about the Rangers and the importance of a deep bullpen in the playoffs.
ESPN Insider Dan Szymborski runs the odds and says the Cardinals are now the favorite in the NLCS, while the Tigers' chances of advancing have dipped below 15 percent.
ESPN Insider Jim Bowden expects the Rangers to run on Alex Avila in Game 3.
Albert Pujols had perhaps the greatest game by a Cardinals player in their storied playoff history.
Over at You Can't Predict Baseball, a look back at the Cardinals' season.
ESPN Dallas reports that Michael Young will start at first base for Mitch Moreland in Game 3, with Mike Napoli taking over the DH role and Yorvit Torrealba getting the start behind the plate. It makes sense, considering Moreland's struggles (although Young hasn't been hitting either). The risk is the Rangers lose their DH if Napoli has to take over behind the plate.
Skip Schumacher may be able to return if the Cardinals reach the World Series.
Reds GM Walt Jocketty denies that he's shopping Joey Votto. But is that the same as saying he won't listen to trade offers?
Tampa Bay rookie Jeremy Hellickson had the lowest BABIP in 21 years, at .224. Jason Collette of Baseball Prospectus looks at what to expect from Hellickson in 2012.
Speaking of the Rays, owner Stuart Sternberg had some harsh things to say about the financial state of the club after its playoff loss to the Rangers. Now he's had to make good by writing an email to the club's season-ticket holders.
Over at Fire Brand of the AL, a look back at another disappointing aspect of the 2011 Red Sox: the bullpen.