The Rundown: Dodgers Hire Andrew Friedman; Royals Looking Unbeatable

Things just got a little more interesting in the National League. Former Tampa Bay Rays General Manager Andrew Friedman is joining the Los Angeles Dodgers as president of baseball operations.

It feels somewhat similar to when Theo Epstein came over to the Cubs from Boston, other than Friedman taking over a 94-win team with young talent, rather than a broken 90-loss outfit.

Friedman, 37, has thrived in a low-budget environment. So what will he be able to do at the helm of one of the league’s richest teams?

Who Friedman hires as general manager, and what will happen with current Rays manager Joe Maddon, will certainly be worth monitoring. Will Maddon end up in Los Angeles at some point, replacing Don Mattingly?

It’s a very interesting — and surprising — turn of events, but I would have felt better about things if Friedman had stayed in the American League. The Cubs, and every other team in the NL, could have their hands full for quite a while.

Giants go up 2-1; Royals can’t be stopped

Tuesday featured some more one-run games. The Giants jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in Game 3, only to see the Cardinals claw their way back and tie the game in the seventh (always the seventh).

But then it was the Giants’ turn for magic, as they scored the winning run in the 10th inning on a throwing error by Randy Choate.

If there is one thing I can gather from watching the Cardinals in the playoffs (which is difficult because of all the unpredictable heroic home runs), it’s that Randy Choate is not very good at pitching.

I’m not sure what will happen in this series. I had picked the Cardinals to make quick work of the Giants, but without Yadier Molina, the Cardinals are a different team. I still think he’ll be back at some point, though.

Meanwhile, the Royals look like a sure thing to reach the World Series. They beat the Orioles 2-1 to take a 3-0 series lead. Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer stayed hot at the plate, while the bullpen continued to do its thing.

Kevin Gausman pitched 2.2 scoreless, hitless innings in relief for Baltimore. He looks like a pretty legit piece going forward.

Hard to envision the Orioles winning more than one game in this series.

AFL wrap-up

* Addison Russell was back at shortstop, but the Mesa Solar Sox lost again on Tuesday in the Arizona Fall League. Russell was 1-for-4 with two runs scored, a walk and a strikeout in the 10-7 loss to the Scottsdale Scorpions. Gerardo Concepcion got tagged for three runs in 1.2 innings.

* Mark Appel, who many people hoped the Cubs would grab in the 2013 draft with the second overall pick but was taken first overall by the Astros instead, pitched four scoreless innings and gave up only one hit for the Salt River Rafters. Appel struggled somewhat in the Astros’ minor league system this year, while the Cubs’ top pick in the 2013 draft, Kris Bryant … well, dominated.

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