I say the following definitively as someone who wouldn't dream of watching a full 9 innings prior to late September at the absolute earliest. I'm more than fine with 10 minutes being added to the running time of a Major League Baseball game by a senior citizen ball shagger so long as his spirit shines as brightly as that of the Orioles' ball boy. That endearing elder might have the first step of Manny Machado in late May, but - as far as his effort is concerned - you can call him Mr. Hustle...even if he'll undoubtedly tell you to stop aging him and just call him Johnny.
I know baseball's braintrust has started checking their watches with the hopeless regularity of a teenager nodding off during post-lunch history class. However, if they want to maintain a little love in their game then the Grandpa who speed shuffles only to package each souvenir with a smile is just the guy to do it, as he's irrefutable proof that you can actually send a man to do a boy's job.
Plus, as an added bonus, if Baltimore ever needs someone to replace Chris Davis' production in the lineup, I could certainly think of less enthusiastic people to provide an easy out.
I think what I enjoy the most about that lowlight is just how absolutely, positively certain the person who prematurely mounted the wall was that he was going to dismount with the week's top highlight in hand. Of course, the graceless fall from grace was also pretty goddamn hilarious, as was the ball serving as an extra in bouncing over the wall entirely unencumbered for a ground rule double. However, that split second in which Marcell Ozuna realized, much like someone treading water in the ocean while helplessly watching someone make off with their personal belongings from the beach, that the elements were not about to work in his favor is the stuff that the most timeless of bloopers are made of. Aside from in embarrassing videos of white teenagers scaring themselves sober halfway through the filming of attempts to impress their friends turned catastrophic injuries, that wide-eyed moment of dread in which he was forced to bail on his reenactment of a Ken Griffey Jr. classic in belatedly getting back down to the ground to catch a routine fly ball was unlike any I've ever seen.
And honestly, to simply call it a miscalculation would be a loogie of dip spit to the face of math as we know it. It was as if any old crack of a bat unconditionally triggered an involuntarily decision to recreate the dream sequence in which he actually did scale the wall like Spiderman to Superman snag a ball that was hit about 25 feet further. Other than that, there's nothing else that could possibly explain such an illiterate reading of the situation at hand. Marcell Ozuna's brain wanted to play hero ball and wouldn't take no for an answer, while his body just decided to play the role of its little brother in following right along without hesitation. A monumental mental mistake became the most self-deprecating of physical comedy, in case you needed to be reminded of the inevitable up's and down's of a journey through which the blind are leading the blind.
Nothing to See Here, Just a Couple Pro Ball Players Who Were Pro-Ball Playing in Celebration of a Home Run
Honestly, if loving that "handshake" is gay then call me Neil Patrick Harris. I say that not because I wasn't taken aback by the casualness with which two professional athletes cupped each other's genitals in front of thousands of onlooking fans in broad day light. Instead, I say it because I can't get enough of the mental image of the old, repressed alumni of 'The Goose Gossage School of Hyper-Masculine and Emotionally Constipated Hardball' grabbing their left breast in narrowly avoiding an untimely demise at the sight of some platonic holster checks between the boys.
Again, having my testicles given a celebratory squeeze by a teammate wouldn't be my preferred way of celebrating a solid swing of the bat. However, so long as it gets people to try to suppress their laughter long enough to have a serious debate about the social acceptability of homoerotic self-expression during sport then I fully support it. There's not a fanbase that would be made more uncomfortable in their sexuality by two big, strong pillars of manliness gleefully checking the balance of each other's account at the sperm bank then that of a Major League Baseball team in Texas, and their distress leaves me almost as satisfied as firing off the only gun I care to unload when I'm anxious.
NBCS- In the wake of the replay, Brenly went on about how “Machado, one day, is gonna pull one of his hijinks on the wrong guy and he’s gonna get dropped in his tracks, and he’s gonna deserve it,” as Berthiaume threw in a some “yeahs!” Brenly again called it “all such a bush league act.” They went on to talk about how Machado will always be the villain and “we just saw why.”
After the play was over and the next batter came to the plate, the camera focused on Machado in the dugout and Berthiaume offered a disgusted “300 million dollars!” while Brenly offered another “just a tired act.” They showed the replay again, and this time, from the center field angle, it was plainly obvious that the near-bump between the Machado and Murphy was accidental (Machado reacted in surprise and pulled back when he realized he was near Murphy) yet Brenly called at as if it were on purpose, adding a disgusted “and just to make sure, tosses the bat near his feet” as if this were some premeditated crime.
Seeing as we're talking about someone whose laziness leapt clear over the language barrier he tried to blame it on when - during the playoffs, no less - he decided to renounce trying hard as something that's just not part of his game, I have no problem with labeling Manny Machado as bush league. The guy has done some scummy shit over the years to earn that reputation, so it will rightfully precede him as he continues to get paid hundreds of millions of dollars to casually trot the base paths throughout the remainder of his laughably lucrative career.
That being said, can we at least let him come remotely close to earning his scathing reviews before anyone publicly goes scorched earth on every fiber of his existence as a professional athlete? Just take another look at this "bush league" play that had Diamondbacks' announcers speaking of Manny Machado as if they were disavowing the devil himself...
There's just no way you can convince me that every unoriginal insult they directed at the opposition's most polarizing player wasn't read ruthlessly from their game notes, as if they've had it prepped on the tip of their tongue since they first took a gander at the schedule.
Again, I'm all for a little Manny Machado hate, but all jumping the gun does is ruin the novelty of the unrelentingly repressed reaction when he is actually is being an asshole. So I plead, just give it time. It'll come, I promise. There's no way someone with such an apathetic personality gets guaranteed that amount of money and continues to give whatever small amount of fucks he did prior. He's entirely capable of going full 'Big Daddy' and tossing the stick at the feet of an unknowing opponent in hopes of tripping him. Therefore, there was no reason for the Diamondbacks' broadcast team to get ahead of themselves as the boys who cried bush league when an incident that's actually inexcusable is inevitably right around the corner that Manny Machado is slow to "accelerate" through.
Bryce Harper Flipped Both The Script and His Bat in Offering A Resounding Response to an Unwelcoming Crowd in His Return to Washington D.C.
To be quite honest, I've always been pretty neutral on Bryce Harper, so my opinion on him didn't have too far to travel towards baseless hatred once he decided to sign the rest of his career away to a loathsome sports' city and start shamelessly pandering to its most drunken degenerates.
I say that only to prove objectivity in stating that if there were a ever a fitting time and space for a bat flip that damn near broke the space-time continuum, the new and soon-to-be polarizing Phillies' star found it. After getting booed out of the box while striking out swinging in his first two at-bats back in D.C., Bryce Harper owed one to a fanbase that he was hours removed from showing public appreciation for on the internet...
Of course, the Nationals' faithful had every right to open their mouthes in booing a former fan favorite who bolted to a division rival for the contractual equivalent of a lifetime. Unfortunately, it left them vulnerable to having the tips of their toes shoved forcefully against the back of their collective throat as Bryce Harper proceeded to give his big stick such an impressive spin that it somehow distracted from the fact that the ball he had just hit traveled through the stars to the cheap seats he used to help fill.
The sheer physics of the proverbial mic drop might have been more impressive than the moonshot itself, which is saying something since that home run served an entire (half-filled) stadium a generous portion of humble pie straight out of the oven. If a bat flip that gave a new meaning to the term "dizzy bat" could talk then it would be screaming loudly, proudly, and directly down at the lifeless corpse of an attendance that received a retaliatory knockout punch after flicking the wrong ear one too many times. Bryce Harper turned his homecoming into a home-wrecking in giving the home fans exactly what they instigated, which was pimp slap of a pimp job of epic proportions. Whether you like/respect Philadelphia or not, credit is definitely due to their future Phailure of an overpaid free agent signing for letting his bat talk the talk before taking his sweet old time walking the walk.
You Don't Love Anything As Much As Tigers' Infielder Jordy Mercer Loves The Glove He's Worn For The Last Decade
You know what, I take back referring to that worn and torn slab of leather worn by Jordy Mercer on each and every game day for the last decade as his "glove". By definition, I suppose it literally is. However, both sentimentally and figuratively speaking, that thing is just an extension of his fingertips. A removable limb, if you will. Not a doubt in my mind the the Tigers' shortstop knows the pocket of that thing better than he knows the back of his own hand, and for that reason I hope the dear life it's holding on for overcomes almost impossible odds to remain an immortal one. I don't care if it takes an entire nursery worth of band-aids to keep it's heart barely beating, because not even the most structurally flawless, top-of-the-line mitt could serve him as loyally as the luxury of equipment-based intimacy. That thing might as well be family, and as such he should stop at absolutely nothing to keep it alive as long as possible. Good to see someone appreciates the aesthetic depreciation of a loving, long-term relationship these days.
In The Newest Edition Of 'Things You Can't Make Up', The MLB Awards A Replica Wrestling Belt To The Team That Is Most Frugal In Player Arbitration
This is obviously a hilariously bad look. Salary arbitration, in and of itself, is basically a legally supervised roast of your own players, and thus celebrating its results after the fact makes it much, much more dehumanizing towards "the opponent" whose employment has just successfully been undervalued. Other than that, it doesn't matter much that those running the MLB take so much pride in being a bunch of tight wads that they basically turned disingenuous cost-cutting into its own sport. I'm sure it won't exactly play well in what was already sure to be an absolute teeth-pulling of an upcoming labor dispute, but anyone that knew almost anything about professional athletics has long known that the people in charge of them would pay the talent in rolls of nickels if possible.
Therefore, the most surprising aspect of this story is that all these team delegates agreed to loosen the strings on their coin purses and go in on a plastic replica belt they could award annually to the 'Undermaker' who won the Royal Rumble of reduced prices. Just seems like a wildly unnecessary cost for a bunch of guys who cling to their money like they can actually take it with them. If judging by their standards of spending, some might even call it...::audible gasp::...financially irresponsible.
The truth is, I want to be upset that these guys are so passionate about pinching every last penny out of the pockets of players. However, I really just find myself pitying them for being a bunch of old, rich dudes who have absolutely nothing better to do than hoist a championship belt like they just reached the peak in a fake "sport" whose entire existence is inspired and made possible by the efforts of those playing a much more real and circumstantial form of competition. Hm, why does that concept sound so familiar?
Gary Sanchez Clearly Didn't Work On His Instincts During Spring Training, As He Bat Flipped During A Pop Out On Opening Day
To tell you the truth, I'm not exactly sure what to make of that laughable display of depth perception. On one hand, it could be argued that it was the result of early season unfamiliarity and a reminder that it takes awhile for even the most professional of athletes to get back into the literal and figurative swing of things. On the other hand, it could also be argued that Gary Sanchez displaying a terrible feel for the sport while being involved in such juvenile jackassery is proof that he's already in mid-to-late season form...
Whatever the case may be, I'm just glad it didn't take longer than opening damn day for him to provide a blooper. Especially one as giggle-inducing as the visual of him using his hand to retrospectively recalibrate the aerodynamics of the trajectory of the routine can of corn that he acted as if he had hit clear over the bread aisle.
TheAthletic- The switch to a single non-waiver deadline on July 31, which according to sources will be among the rules changes Major League Baseball and the players’ union adopt this season, will eliminate the indecipherable trade waivers in August, baseball’s version of the U.S. tax code.
The idea, first proposed by the union, is to protect the competitive integrity of the 162-game regular season, create more certainty for players and force teams to decide earlier whether they are buyers or sellers.
As someone whose eye doesn't often behold the beauty of baseball during any month other than October, I'm typically pretty hard on a league as ruthlessly repressed by oft-unwritten rules as the MLB. That being said, I'm not one to deny credit where it's due, and - boy, oh boy - is credit due here.
I mean, the level of compromise is almost unparalleled. Only one deadline? Not even one post-deadline deadline? Surely there are more pressing matters like making sure every player who shows emotion in the heat of the moment feels the wrath of doing so, but deciding they could benefit from bringing a little clarity to their competitive integrity? What a novel concept! Cutting the amount of single, solitary cut-offs for prominent player movement down to...a single and solitary cut-off for prominent player movement? How the hell did they ever come up with such a profoundly unique idea? Talk about risqué! Only giving organizations one final opportunity, after four months of watching their teams play damn near daily, to decide whether or not their current roster is either worthy of improvement or demanding of destruction? I'm not sure those profiting hand over iron fist as Major League executives are ready for that type of pressure, but I sure am willing to find out!
Honestly, I'd love to sit here and mock the self-proclaimed stellar reputation of the MLB, but I can't help but commend them for finally discovering the definition of the word 'deadline'. If you're not progressing then you're regressing, and how can you even argue that they haven't pulled miles ahead of their competition by pioneering the introduction of clear-cut, cutthroat consequences to the business of professional sports?
Ring the stale booze out of what was Justin Verlander's month and a half old Astros' jersey, because making it so that you can't drastically alter the outcome of the imminent postseason by doing the equivalent of being eligible for an A+ while turning in your paper laughably late is worthy of a cheers!
Manny Machado, The Eternal Realist, Has Apparently Already Counted The Padres Out Of Contending For The Division Title...In March
You can say what you want about a high-priced free agent capping the potential of his new team before even seeing it in somewhat meaningful action, but don't say that Manny Machado didn't almost immediately come as advertised. What the San Diego Padres paid for in giving 300 million to someone who was last heard announcing to the media that hustling to first isn't part of his skill-set during the playoffs was not some wordsmith with a penchant for perseverance...
So yeah, it was undeniably hilarious of him to follow the waving of the white flag on the division title with the phrase "anything can happen in baseball", as if the Padres winning the division is such a preposterous notion that it doesn't even fit under the wide-ranging umbrella that is 'anything'. What it wasn't, however, was some out-of-character regrettable slip of the tongue. There's a lot to be expected of someone who just received well over a quarter billion dollars guaranteed throughout the next decade, but if white-lying to the people or leading in the clubhouse were included in those expectations then they were far too high.
A New Rule In College Baseball That Makes Beaned Batters A Judgement Call Was Responsible For Quite The Awkward Finish To A Game
It runs completely contrary to my preferred system of officials doing the bare minimum in hopes of limiting the dose of shit they'll inevitably be force-fed, but - against my better judgement - I think I like this.
By "this", I don't necessarily mean the rule itself, because legislating more judgement calls into the hands of umpires is absolutely, positively guaranteed to go comically wrong in a massive way, especially when those judgements range wildly from being gifted the base path to having the rest of your at-bat stolen. However, in good faith, I can't argue with it being called into practice in this particular situation. As dumb as they might be 95% of the time, the play in question was the perfect example of why the NCAA thought a new rule was needed. That celebratory reverse skip was basically proof positive that the hitter was far too happy to lean his leg over the chalk and give a smooth smooch to a pitch that sat just a little off the inside corner in hopes of representing the game-tying run with one out to spare in 9th.
Again I'll clarify, the rule itself is very stupid, and I imagine it won't be too long before it results in the screaming of expletives and the kicking of sand, but - for what it's worth - the theory behind it was actually supported by that game-clinching "strikeout". Even if it did come on a ball that was only swung at by the knee of a batter who thought he was both figuratively and literally safe (ab)using his body to get on base in a big spot.
Here Are Trevor Bauer's Three Rules To "Dating", In Case You Needed A Couple More Reasons To Find Him Insufferable
NYPost- The controversial and honest-to-a-fault Indians pitcher described why he’s still single in a feature by Sports Illustrated published Tuesday. When he meets a potential partner, he lays out his guidelines.
“I have three rules,” he said. “One: no feelings. As soon as I sense you’re developing feelings, I’m going to cut it off, because I’m not interested in a relationship and I’m emotionally unavailable. Two: no social media posts about me while we’re together, because private life stays private. Three: I sleep with other people. I’m going to continue to sleep with other people. If you’re not OK with that, we won’t sleep together, and that’s perfectly fine. We can just be perfectly polite platonic friends.”
Full disclosure, I think every last one of these rules is entirely acceptable for a 28 year old professional athlete to have, even if I find said professional athlete to be a loathsome prick. I don't know that I'd call them "dating rules" when they are really just typically unspoken justifications for him living the carefree, no-strings-attached life afforded to him by baseball in inserting himself into as much strange as humanly possible. However, at least the Indians' oft-problematic pitcher has the self awareness to know that his priorities match his emotional infancy. That's undoubtedly more than can be said for a lot of his peers who risk wrecking their home whenever the vices of life on the road come a calling.
That being said, I'm not too sure that listing off the entirely undesirable ways in which you govern your private life to the readership of a well-known media outlet is the best way to convey that your "private life stays private". In fact, I might even say that publicly announcing that he's more self-satisfied by his conquests than the cinematic portrayal of the loose-lipped ladies' man in every high school locker room is even douchier than taking the all fuck, no feelings approach to "relationships" in the first place. I'm all for professional athletes sowing their wild oats and embracing the single life during the point in their careers in which it logistically makes the most sense to do so, but - holy shit - Trevor Bauer tried so hard to sound cool and unattainable that one might come to the conclusion that, on the contrary, he's not actually all that cool or unattainable. Who would have thought that to be the case given the otherwise charming reputation he's built for himself as a juvenile jackass?
Doesn't Seem Like The Oakland A's Are Interested In Taking A Hint, As They Reportedly Remain Intent On Swooning Kyler Murray
Oh no. I have seen this before. Especially in the case of rejection, denial is the most delirium-inducing of drug. I hate to kill the Oakland Athletics for remaining hopeful, but looking at a short romp in the sac that didn't work out in their favor as only a lost battle in a war to win the hand of Kyler Murray is basically the plot to Swimfan...
The vibe I get is that the A's aren't leaving the dugout any time soon, but the following announcement (and the returned millions that went along with it) made it undeniably clear that they struck out swinging with two outs in the bottom of the ninth in whatever game of 'hard to get' may have been taking place...
Of course, if Kyler Murray's questionable frame gets crunched enough times, shortstop will make for a hell of a backup plan. I'm just concerned that the Oakland A's see themselves as more of a scorned side-chick than a future option with which to settle.
All-too-predictably, a 21-year old kid who lapped up all the limelight during a Heisman-winning season chose to pursue playing the most prestigious and profitable position in a sport that immediately provides a payday and the adoration of peers, as opposed to traveling by bus to pay his dues in suburban "cities". I suppose his decision isn't set in stone as professional football could pretty easily prove unforgiving, but the professional baseball team that holds his rights sounds suspiciously hell-bent on changing his heart. So much so that I think Kyler Murray might be wise to invest that first NFL paycheck into personal security detail.
Alex Cora Let All The Red Sox Non-Believers, Of Which There May Have Been A Couple Dozen Tops, Know They Can "Suck On It"
The beauty of winning a championship is that it allows you to look back on even the most inoffensive of perceived slights as if it were a gutless attack on the character of your team. To the victors go the spoils, as they say, and Alex Cora is really spoiling himself by acting as if there was even a semi-significant amount of people that thought Boston was anything other than far and away the best team in baseball all season. Again, the narrative is yours for the crafting when you're the last man standing, but I think we can all agree that the Red Sox didn't exactly dig themselves out a 3-game hole to exorcise an 86 year old demon in beating a Yankees' team to which they were superior.
That said, there's something so unadulterated and pure about a baseball manager telling all his detractors to "SUCK ON IT". After 162 games plus a full postseason , the amount of times that someone like Alex Cora has had to hold his tongue while working amongst the most haphazardly hysterical of media markets is almost infinite. If you ask me, a coinciding crotch chop would have been well-deserved considering how many executive decisions he's has questioned along the way. The Red Sox didn't exactly beat the odds as much as they beat everyone they were supposed to beat, but don't you dare tell their manager that while he's taking advantage of the autonomy he earned in making a run in which the Red Sox lost all of three playoff games sound like more of an underdog story than it actually was.
Salty In The Wound: The Red Sox Adopted 'New York, New York' During Their World Series Celebration, And Yankees Fans Are None Too Pleased
On the most basic of surface levels, I get the frustration. I understand the joke, which is that Aaron Judge essentially choked on his own gavel by choosing the most antagonistic of time and place to play 'New York, New York' before failing to hold any sort of court. Still, I must admit that it was a little weird to hear the sweet, soulful vocals of Frank Sinatra belting out the perks of living in New York City from inside the champagne-soaked locker room of one of the best Boston Red Sox teams of all-time.
Unfortunately for Yankees fans, that weirdness is easily topped by their reaction to getting trolled in return, which tells you all you need to know about whether the stunt was worth pulling. Simply put, it's never a bad time to elicit pure saltiness by taking a swipe at your most hated rivals, and - even if there was - it wouldn't be after a successful championship run in which you completely bulldozed said hated rivals.
For Yankees' fans clamoring that this is a sign that they are somehow in Boston's head...as they ironically study the sights and sounds of the Red Sox World Series' celebration. I think it might be to remove the pinstriped glasses and take a look in the mirror. What they might see is something that looks vaguely familiar to an jilted woman hiding in a bush, looking in on a party she wasn't invited to while stalking her ex-boyfriend who she's convinced is still obsessed with her because he's wearing the shirt she bought him while flirting with her potential replacements. In a word, that reflection is probably going to return a hypocrite. Not just the base-level hypocrite that inherently exists within all die-hard fans, but the type of hypocrite that can't even begin to process how much of a hypocrite they are being.
The Yankees got bullish after winning one battle, so why wouldn't the Red Sox return the favor after conquering all fronts? To be in a rivalry is to take a disproportional amount of satisfaction in beating the team with which you hold a grudge so that you can incessantly rub it in their face. That hasn't all the sudden changed just because the most spoiled fanbase in professional sports happens to be on the wrong side of it for a change.
The Astros Were Potentially Caught Cheating, By Way Of A Sign-Snapping Weasel, During Game 1 Of The ALCS
Metro- Whatever the Houston Astros were trying to do at Fenway Park during Game 1 of the ALCS on Saturday night, they got caught.
In the third inning of the first game of the series, security removed a man claiming to be an Astros employee from the media-credentialed area next to the Boston Red Sox dugout, according to multiple security sources who were on the scene at the time of the incident. The man had a small camera and was texting frequently, but did not have a media credential.
After the man was removed another Astros staffer intervened - according to sources who were on the scene - and tried to convince security that he was authorized to be in the area next to the dugout. The man was not allowed back into the credentialed area, but was allowed to remain in the ballpark.
Security sources say they had been warned about the man, because of some suspicious activity in Houston’s ALDS series against the Cleveland Indians. It’s unclear as to whether or not that warning came from Major League Baseball or the Red Sox.
MLB Chief Communications Officer Pat Courtney acknowledged Saturday night’s incident in an email on Tuesday afternoon, saying, “We are aware of the matter and it will be handled internally.”
Some say if you aren't cheating than you aren't trying, but even those people would have to admit that if you're going to try cheating then you should at least give it (excuse the oxymoronic terminology) an honest effort.
From what I understand about sign stealing, it's something just about every team does to varying degrees, and about a dozen times a season (particularly around the postseason) someone gets caught and it's a story for approximately one afternoon. Still, there is an honor among thieves, and by sticking some obnoxiously conspicuous asshole in the press area to take more pics than a teenage girl at a Taylor Swift concert in between texting as frivolously as she might in making her group chat totally jelly breaks that unspoken code. Professional baseball leaves far too many loopholes to expect everyone to always play it the right way, but if you're going to rob the game of its integrity then at least pull on a proverbial ski-mask first.
Hell if I care that Astros authorized an employee/"consultant" to gain a slight competitive advantage, although it does seem extravagantly amateur. I am more offended that they didn't even have the decency to fill the role with someone other than a guy who is only a fur skin-suit away from being able to audition as Splinter in the next Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles retread. If Kyle McLaughlin wasn't first outed as a rat with a hairline that's receding faster than his reputation then he would have been outed as the worst type of fan, which is not what you want out of someone who's trying to go undetected.
Honestly, as the reigning World Series champs, I just expected better of Houston, and by that I don't mean I expected them to fully follow the rules but rather to be at least remotely subtle in breaking them.
We Were One Timely Hit Away From Having The Outcome Of A One Game Playoff Potentially Decided By A Base Path PDA
To both the Rockies and those whose interests align with the integrity of the game, the Cubs grounding out to first to end an extra inning in which a runner was advanced safely into game-sealing scoring position by a warm embrace served as the aversion of a crisis. To someone like me, who is constantly looking for egregious examples that might strengthen my case that a one game playoff is an asininely small sample size in which to decide who deserves to advance following a rigorous 162 (in the Cubs' rare case, 163) game schedule, it feels like a missed opportunity.
This morning we are talking about an objectively exciting game that proved capable of sucking casual fans into ruining their Wednesdays by staying awake well past Tuesday. A game in which the "right" team won without controversy. A game that was undeniably good for Major League Baseball.
That said, with one more seeing eye single, we could just as easily be talking about how the largely hypothetical hindrance of one hug and the judgement call that soon followed potentially ruined all that one team had worked tirelessly for throughout the last six straight months. For what that would have done in tainting the outcome of a one game playoff, it would have at least brought full attention to how moronic it is for a one game playoff to exist in a temperamental sport that...wait for it...embraces its high level of human error.
To be clear, I think Nolan Arenado cost Colorado the ability to argue that a double play that would have ended the bottom of the 11th inning was a legitimate possibility when he leaned right into that hug and even threw in a little pat on the back for good measure. He seemed perfectly content, if not overly affectionate, in tagging out Javy Baez and tossing the ball back to his pitcher with two down. For that reason, I don't think an ensuing walk-off would have been some crime against conventional wisdom. But man, oh man, you can bet your sweet ass that we'd be trying to pinpoint exactly how problematic a base-path PDA was in deciding the entirety of one team's postseason fate if it were immediately followed by their season ending abruptly in the extra innings.
I highly doubt the MLB will ever see the error in their stubborn ways, but if they were to then it would more than likely take a circumstance that chaotic creating an unavoidable controversy. Credit to the Colorado Rockies as they earned their advancement, but we were one perfectly timed swing of a bat held by a Chicago Cub away from the type of mayhem that can inspire modifications to a puzzling playoff format.
There were already plenty of purists that thought Yasiel Puig was the worst thing to happen to baseball since the rampant steroid use they remained blissfully ignorant of as it bolstered both the ratings and the biceps of some of biggest names in the sport. I have a hard time believing their minds will be changed by watching him peacock around the Dodgers' locker room shirtless while guaranteeing victory over nearly every prospective postseason opponent as his skin glistened of an amount of bubbly that could rival his personality with each and every gyration.
I, on the other hand, actually appreciate the most insanely bombastic interview/promo you'll ever hear from a baseball player for exactly what it is, which is a genuine display of who Yasiel Puig is as a person. Painting a target on his team's back for no apparent reason might not have been the most calculated decision prior to a playoff as unpredictable as that of the MLB. However, it sure was an authentic decision from someone who, for better or worse, refuses to let the repressive culture of professional baseball turn him into some respect-fueled robot.
Yasiel Puig has certainly got his flaws as a messenger. However, having hoped upon hope that baseball players would eventually break out of the shell they've been scared into by antiquated traditions and the people in charge that still overvalue them, I'm all-in on the message that it's okay to be a little brash before, during, or after successfully whacking a ball around a field. Even if it's delivered in mildly broken English by someone who's half-drunk on a heavy-handed cocktail of cockiness, confidence, and vanity with a splash or sixteen of domestic beer.
I Can't Help But Wonder How The Mets Feel About The Ad The Yankees Took Out In The NY Post To Congratulate David Wright On His Career...
Unfortunately I cannot, in good conscience, consider this anything other than a classy move. It pains me to classify it as such, as "class" is one of the many things that the Yankees' organization and all those that nauseatingly boast about the triumphs they largely weren't alive to witness take an inordinate amount of pride in. To clarify, I do think it's a classy move, but I don't think you're really all that classy when you feel it necessary to constantly rant and rave about how classy you are. Just an opinion I picked up having watched many a overpaid player damn near boo'd out of the pinstripes they didn't "earn" after a half-dozen underwhelming at-bats.
Anyway, back to the point. It was undeniably nice of the Yankees to offer a collective tip of the cap to a player who has been nothing short of professionalism personified throughout an up-and-down career at the ass end of the Subway Series. I guess I just can't help but wonder whether or not how they chose to do so irks either the Mets or a fanbase that is second-class in their own city.
There was a day, albeit many moons ago, when seeing the name 'David Wright' caps-locked in navy font above an interlocking 'N' and 'Y' that's as disproportionally large as it is internationally unmistakable was the stuff of nightmares for Queens' natives. Like, if I just arrived in 2018 by way of time travel from 2013 and the first thing I saw was that cover, I'd swear David Wright was pried into the Bronx by an egregious sum of money and wasn't walking away from the game as much he was walking towards his eternal home in 'Monument Park'. Maybe it's just me, but I find shamelessly branding your own organization while honoring someone from a rivaling organization to be the wrong (and obnoxiously non-anonymous) way to do the Wright thing.
I'll begrudgingly give the Yankees the benefit of the doubt in assuming the intent of the ad wasn't to make the bittersweet retirement of a Mets' great almost entirely about themselves...but it's definitely not because they've ever done anything to deserve it. After all, it's not like they weren't given a blueprint on how to take a timeout from enjoying the sniff of their own shit to truly appreciate greatness that's not their own...
A Cubs' Fan Went Full-Bartman In Snagging A Foul Ball Away From Anthony Rizzo And Sparking A 9th Inning, Game-Tying Rally
And there's your reminder that winning cures all. That even the most long suffering of fanbases forget what it's like to lose after getting just one super satisfying taste of winning at the highest level.
You just can't convince me that the dude who basically stole the ball from Anthony Rizzo and sparked a 9th inning rally that tied a late September game for divisional supremacy would have done the same if there weren't a World Series banner already hanging in Wrigley Field.
That one championship did such a good job washing away the stain of Steve Bartman from a history book that holds 112 straight chapters of pure, unadulterated disappointment that not even a scenario that used to give Cubs' fans PTSD could stop one of their own from recreating the most replayed nightmare in franchise history.
We're talking about an act of interference was as responsible for running one man out of Chicago as the unforgettably ridiculous attire he happened to be wearing at the time. Again, I don't think that man reaches up for a playable ball in a pressurized situation if this was two years ago, but if he had done so two years ago then there's reason to believe he wouldn't have left his seat alive, never mind leaving it victorious with a souvenir in hand.
If that's not a testament to how undefeated winning is in healing old wounds then I don't know what the hell is.