The rites (wrongs?) of spring, continued . . .

McCutchen lost his confidence on the bases when he slumped at the plate last year . . .

McCutchen lost his confidence on the bases when he slumped at the plate last year . . .

* Some think the Mets’ Tim Tebow experiment is a farce, some think it’s just good clean fun. He looked a bit on the foolish side in his first two spring games before collecting his first spring hit¬†and making a diving catch while he was at it. There are worse things that could happen in spring training.

To Game Seven, via the ICU

Chapman in the eighth . . .

Chapman in the eighth . . .

Forget about making things a little more exciting even when they leave themselves room enough to make things simple. These Cubs are just hell bent on keeping Cub Country not on edge, but within easy reach of the intensive care unit.

These Indians seem hell bent likewise regarding the Indian Isles, who must have thought—after the Cubs forced a seventh World Series game—that simplicity is simply not an option anymore.

For these Indians, the Cubs are hosts too gracious

IT'S NOT LIKE HE DIDN'T TRY TO WARN YOU---Kipnis (right, with Crisp) said he wanted to bust every heart in Chicago, and his three-run homer in Game Four went a long way to proving it Saturday night . . .

IT’S NOT LIKE HE DIDN’T TRY TO WARN YOU—Kipnis (right, with Crisp) said he wanted to bust every heart in Chicago, and his three-run homer in Game Four went a long way to proving it Saturday night . . .

Apparently, nobody showed the Cubs Jason Kipnis’s Game Three postgame remarks. Just as apparent in Game Four, it almost wouldn’t have mattered if someone had.

The Indians spent the fourth game of this World Series earning the respect they think, not unreasonably, they’ve been denied. A 7-2 win which felt like they were never behind despite an embryonic 1-0 Cub lead does that for you.

Tight Indians win, big Indians mouth

Kipnis may yet learn how nice it isn't to insult another team with a long-suffering fan base . . .

Kipnis may yet learn how nice it isn’t to insult another team with a long-suffering fan base . . .

Jason Kipnis, the Indians’ two-time All-Star second baseman, grew up in a Chicago suburb with dreams of playing the World Series in Wrigley Field. Dreams shared by a few million Cub fans who couldn’t wait to get the party started when the World Series finally came to Wrigley Field after lo these many decades.

And after his Indians managed to squeeze their way to a 1-0 Game Three win in the Confines, Kipnis took into consideration the broken hearts in the ballpark, in front of the television sets, next to the radios, wherever Cub Country congregated, and had words for those hearts.

Enter the Schwarbinator

The Schwarbinator drills the second of his two Game Two RBI singles in the fifth, this one off Indians reliever Bryan Shaw.

The Schwarbinator drills the second of his two Game Two RBI singles in the fifth, this one off Indians reliever Bryan Shaw.

This is what we knew about Kyle Schwarber before this World Series: He made a splash—no, a tidal wave—in last year’s postseason. Including his parking of a meatball from St. Louis’s Kevin Siegrist atop the Wrigley Field scoreboard in the seventh inning of the division series clincher.

Bloody hell, for the Jays, not the Indians

Ten stitches in time couldn't save one, never mind nine innings for Bauer . . .

Ten stitches in time couldn’t save one, never mind nine innings for Bauer . . .

They must have been afraid Trevor Bauer was going to throw a blood ball Monday night. I bet it would have had one helluva break thrown up to the plate. Either that or the Blue Jays feared the Indians—drawing first blood on a first-inning RBI double—really were out for blood.

Bauer’s ten-stitched pinkie bled from the now-infamous injury he incurred while working on one of the flying drones that are among his off-field hobbies. His blood is liable to become baseball’s most famous since that which seeped through Curt Schilling’s ankle-sheath stitches during the 2004 Red Sox’s surreal plunge back to the Promised Land.

Now, it’s Miller time

With his Indians up two games to none, the ALCS is Miller time, thus far . . .

With his Indians up two games to none, the ALCS is Miller time, thus far . . .

If the Blue Jays have any prayer of coming back to win an American League Championship Series in which they opened two games in the hole, they have but one recourse. They’re going to have to arrange Andrew Miller’s kidnapping.

“[B]aseball is so rooted in traditions,” tweeted Dodger pitcher Brandon McCarthy, after the Indians beat the Jays a second straight time Saturday afternoon, “that hitters still take their bats to the plate against Andrew Miller even though they’re not needed.”

So it won’t be the Royals v. the NL after all, but . . .

Cain will be an All-Star starter; Infante (thank God) won't.

Cain will be an All-Star starter; Infante (thank God) won’t.

As regards the final All-Star voting—fans, players, etc.—minus the Last Man online vote, a few sobering thoughts:

1) Four Royals turned out to be voted as starters, after all, compared to eight Reds voted but six left remaining in the 1957 ballot box stuffing scandal. (Then-commissioner Ford Frick, we repeat, removed Wally Post and Gus Bell from the starting lineup in favour of Willie Mays and Hank Aaron.) Apparently, the Kansas City stuffers just didn’t quite have what it took to set a new record for voting perfidy.

The All-Star fan vote’s broken; here’s one way to fix (ahem,—repair!) it

Kipnis, the AL's leading WARrior at second base through Friday . . .

Kipnis, the AL’s leading WARrior at second base through Friday . . .

I didn’t cast my own All-Star vote until this past Thursday, but I’d like to think that I applied a little more intelligence and a lot less up yours to the exercise than seems to have been applied by those determined to stuff the American League’s starting lineup with Kansas City Royals whether or not said Royals (I’ll get to that shortly) actually deserve starting berths.