The National League takes center stage as the MLB playoffs continue with Division Series action in Pittsburgh and Los Angeles. Will there be any goats at either PNC Park or Dodger Stadium? Probably not, especially after what happened to the Cubs 68 years ago today when they kicked out Chicago tavern owner Billy Sianis and his goat from Game Four of the World Series. Sianis proclaimed "Them Cubs, they ain't gonna win no more," which started the now infamous "Curse of the Billy Goat." Here's the latest news and notes from the Senior Circuit:
- The Brewers' solid play over the final two months of the season has changed thoughts of a complete teardown to mere retooling, writes Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Can we win with this roster? Yeah, we can win with the roster we have," GM Doug Melvin told Haudricourt. "I think if our best players are on the field and our young guys take that next step, we can be there." Melvin, however, admitted the Brewers are probably not as talented as in past years.
- The Padres say payroll will increase to $80MM next year, but it still may not be enough to compete in the NL West, according to Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Times. Center opines the Padres need to add a middle-of-the-order bat and could package outfielders Will Venable or Chris Denorfia with a pitching prospect for a corner outfielder or peddle Yonder Alonso for a more traditional power-hitting first baseman.
- Carlos Beltran confirmed he spoke with Mets COO Jeff Wilpon, but would not reveal what was discussed, reports the New York Post's Mike Puma. Beltran, a free agent after the World Series, was diplomatic when asked about a reunion with the club, "I'm going to listen to everybody and we’ll see what happens."
- Wilpon is growing antsy and needs the Mets to start peforming in order to increase attendance and the overall value of the franchise, sources have told Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog.com. With this in mind and based on his knowledge of the front office and his limited conversations to date, Cerrone lists the Mets' potential free agent and trade targets and one notable name is missing: Shin-Soo Choo.