The Morning Column: October 13, 2021

There was no way the first-ever postseason series between the Dodgers and Giants was going to be over in three or four games. Just like in the regular season, this one had to go the distance.

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1. Dodgers force Game 5 in San Francisco   

Mookie Betts celebrates with his team after game four of the NLDS against the Giants at Dodger Stadium. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

You knew there was always going to be a Game 5 in San Francisco. There was no way the first-ever postseason series between the Dodgers and Giants was going to be over in three or four games. Just like in the regular season, this one had to go the distance.

The Dodgers have 109 regular season and postseason wins this year.

The Giants have 109 regular season and postseason wins this year.

The team with 110 wins after Thursday night will advance to play the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS while the team with 109 wins will close out their season as arguably the best team to fall short of advancing to the championship series.

This series was always going to come down to one game. The Dodgers and Giants battled for the NL West right up until Game 162 and they will battle for the right to advance to the NLCS in Thursday’s do-or-die Game 5. The series could have been 7, 9 or 11 games and it would have gone down to the last deciding game. That’s how close these teams are and have been all season. It sets up a must-see match-up Thursday night at Oracle Park in San Francisco.

“This is what baseball wants,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after the Dodgers’ 7-2 win over the Giants on Tuesday. “All the series are done. We’re going to be the only show in town. If you have a pulse or are a sports fan, you better be watching Dodgers-Giants.”

There’s no need for Roberts to sell the game to sports fans in Los Angeles. They have been waiting for this game all season. One game to decide a postseason series that has been over 130 years in the making.  

2. NFPLA wants to see all WFT emails

Jon Gruden walks on the field before a game against the Chicago Bears at Allegiant Stadium on October 10, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Bears defeated the Raiders 20-9. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

One of the things that was clear reading the New York Times story about the racist, anti-gay and misogynistic emails Jon Gruden sent was that he wasn’t alone in his beliefs. He was sending them to Washington Football Team president and general manager Bruce Allen and others associated with the team.

You don’t type what Gruden did in an email and hit send unless you’re comfortable that everyone else in the group agrees with what you’re saying. Gruden and Allen held positions of power for two of the most valuable franchises in professional sports. This is a bigger problem than just Gruden and Allen and the NFL Players Association knows that. That’s why they have requested that the NFL releases all 650,000 emails from the investigation of the Washington Football Team.

The NFL and the Washington Football Team need to be as transparent as possible with this situation. Allowing only a small portion of the emails to be leaked while hiding the rest fuels the belief that Gruden’s emails are just the tip of the iceberg of a larger issue within the NFL. That was widely believed even before the NFL paid Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid about $10 million to settle grievances with the league.

3. Song of the Day

4. Photo of the Day

Los Angeles Dodgers' Albert Pujols, front, hugs Will Smith after Smiths two-run home run during the eighth inning in game four of the 2021 National League Division Series against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

5. Odds and Ends Powered by Bovada

Here are some odds on Bovada if you’re thinking about placing a wager today:

6. Oct. 13, 1993: Mighty Ducks win their first game

On this day 28 years ago, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim won their first game in franchise history with a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim. The Mighty Ducks lost the first two games of their inaugural season but would claim their first win after taking a 4-0 lead in the second period and holding on for the win despite giving up three late goals to Edmonton. As great as the pregame shows are for the Vegas Golden Knights, the Mighty Ducks were ahead of their time during their first season.  

7. Happy Birthday Jerry Jones

Happy birthday to Jerry Jones. The Dallas Cowboys owner is turning 79 years old today. Jones was actually born in Los Angeles in 1942 before his family moved to North Little Rock, Arkansas in 1945. Talking to Jones about Los Angeles possibly getting an NFL team during the 21 years the NFL was away was always fun. Despite leaving the city when he was three years old, he always talked about L.A. and its surrounding parts as if it were still his home away from home. “I’m the favorite son of El Segundo,” he once said. “I was born in L.A., Inglewood. So, I have a natural passion in that I have a lot of relatives that live in Los Angeles.” Jones always liked the Hollywood Park site in Inglewood, which would become the home of the $5 billion SoFi Stadium, for the NFL’s return to Los Angeles. He also liked pairing the Rams and Chargers there. He also likes Southern California so much that the Cowboys continue to hold a portion of training camp in Oxnard every summer.

8. Ticket Time Powered by StubHub

Here are the “get in” prices for tickets if you’re thinking about going to a game this week.

Winnipeg Jets at Anaheim Ducks – $20

9. On The Air

7 p.m. – Winnipeg Jets at Anaheim Ducks – Bally Sports SoCal

10. The Arash Markazi Show 

On Tuesday’s show, we talked about the Dodgers being on the brink of elimination against the Giants in the NLDS and also caught up with The Charity Stripe crew.

Listen to The Arash Markazi Show on The Mightier 1090 Monday-Friday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., following The Rich Eisen Show. The Mightier 1090 has the second strongest radio signal in North America and can be heard from “Baja to the Canadian Rockies.” You can also listen to the show on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle Play and Stitcher.

And please click below to subscribe to The Morning Column at Substack. Please also consider supporting my colleagues at Substack (and former colleagues at ESPN and SI): Marc SteinHenry AbbottChad Ford and Ethan Sherwood Strauss on the NBA, Molly Knight and Joe Posnanski on MLB, Ariel Helwani on MMA, Dan Rafael on boxing, Grant Wahl and Leander Schaerlaeckens on soccer, Chris Peters on the NHL and Peter Bodo on tennis.

That’s it for today. Talk to you tomorrow!