Friday Filberts

Today's links contain some pretty nifty hidden messages, if you read all of them backward ...

  • On the eve of one of the greatest pitching matchups ever, Crashburn Alley asks Bay City Ball and Bay City Ball asks Crashburn Alley about the NLCS.

  • In the '60s it was the slider. In the '80s it was the splitter. And now (as Dave Cameron writes) it's the cutter.

  • I was asking this exact question the other night (and I can dig up proof if you don't believe me). Anyway, we'll find out this weekend.

  • Riffing on my favorite non-pitcher theme of this month, the Knuckleballs blog agrees with me: Brian McCann is all kinds of awesome.

  • Even if Cliff Lee does leave the Rangers, he will already have done enough to qualify as a Hero of the Franchise.

  • Mike Fast has a new gig, and his first outing at the new place is an illuminating take on the next 300-game winner.

  • Scoring was down nearly a quarter of a run this season -- continuing a trend, by the way -- and Jeremy Greenhouse offers a couple of explanations. I don't know if he's right, but I do think we'll make some real headway this winter.

  • In case you missed it, here's an executive summary of the all-time sabermetrickiest episode of "The Simpsons."