Cup of Coffee: June 30, 2022
Rowdy gettin' rowdy, Reynolds hitting big, the Yankees and Atlanta roll, Rob Manfred fails at damage control, the A's could be Vegas bound, and I talk about Trump, abortion, and Cheez-its.
Good morning! And welcome to Free Thursday!
Today we have Rowdy gettin’ rowdy, a big, big game from Bryan Reynolds, Atlanta and the Yankees keep rolling, the Mets are reelin’, at least relatively speaking, and Dane Dunning took the mound for the Rangers so, buckle up for me wasting a hell of a lot of your time with nonsense.
Elsewhere, Rob Manfred sat for a big ass interview and it did him no favors, the A’s could be Vegas bound as of today, the Rays minority owners are about to learn how little power they have, and . . . somebody sharted.
In Other Stuff I am amused by things that really don’t matter, I am dejected by our values, and I am intrigued but frightened by a new Taco Bell menu item.
Let’s get at ‘er, shall we?
And That Happened
Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:
Brewers 5, Rays 3: Rowdy Tellez hit two solo home runs. He’s a hot one, having hit five home runs and driven in eight in his past six games. After the game Craig Counsell said this was “just Rowdy getting rowdy.” After which he was thrown into prison, and rightly so.
Yankees 5, Athletics 3: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before but Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton homered — a two-run and a three-run shot, respectively — and the Yankees won again, coming from behind here to complete a three-game sweep. The Bombers improved to 56-20, which matches the 2001 Mariners and 1998 Yankees through 76-games. Judge, meanwhile, is on pace for 62 homers. Asked about it after the game he said, “It'd be great if it happened. It'll be something that's pretty cool, but I think having a ring on my finger at the end of the year would be even better.” Judge married Samantha Bracksieck last December. You’d think she’d get around to buying him a wedding band by now, but maybe they’re saving for a house.
Astros 2, Mets 0: Justin Verlander tossed eight shutout innings, allowing only two hits, to up his record to 10-2 and reduce his ERA to 2.03 ERA. Jason Castro’s two-run homer was all the offense there was and all the offense that was needed. And with that Houston takes its fourth in a row against the Mets. Overall they have gone 6-2 in this weird nine-game stretch in which they’re only facing the Mets and Yankees. They have one more against the Yankees tonight.
Not that it was all good news for Houston: star left fielder Yordan Álvarez and shortstop Jeremy Peña collided in the eighth while running down a popup. They hit each other in the face with their gloves. Álvarez was removed on a cart, though he was sitting up. Peña walked back to the dugout. Álvarez and Peña were both in the clubhouse after the game and, per reporters, “appeared to be fine,” but at least Álvarez was being evaluated for a concussion and we won’t know more until later today.
Pirates 8, Nationals 7: Have a damn day Bryan Reynolds. The Pirates center fielder hit three homers and drove in six. Reynolds came to bat a final time in the ninth inning with a chance to pull a Mark Whitten, but instead of big hittin’ he struck out. I suppose he can still be happy with his day, however. And yes, I realize that five guys have hit four homers in a game since Mark Whitten did it, but “Scooter Gennett” does not rhyme with “big hittin’” so it’s not like I’d go with him, would I? I could also go with Ed Delahanty, maybe, but that’d lead me to write 800 words about players who died under messed up circumstances and since I have a Dane Dunning bit next, I really don’t have room for that today.
Royals 2, Rangers 1: Dane Dunning was good — he allowed two runs over six innings — but he had no help from his supporting cast. This is exactly what happened when, very late in his acting career, Dunning snagged a supporting role in the disaster film “Skylab!” There he joined stars James Brolin, Cathy Lee Crosby, Vincent Baggetta, Claude Aikens, a young Kim Richards and Meadowlark Lemon as Himself.
While Dunning viewed “Skylab!” as a potential comeback role, all of the others were busy with other projects at the time and signed on to the production simply for the paycheck. Their sleepwalking through filming may have been OK if the script had been better but it had some pretty big problems.
No fewer than four writers were credited on the screenplay which is surprising given that the plot was basically a carbon copy of the Charlton Heston vehicle “Gray Lady Down” which itself was a carbon copy of “Airport ‘77.” It’s been said that there are no new ideas in Hollywood, so perhaps this could’ve worked if it was well-executed, but it was really hard to suspend disbelief and buy a space station surviving reentry and a crash into the ocean where it rested precariously on an underwater ledge. It was even harder to believe given the poor special effects. As Kenneth Anger wrote in Hollywood Babylon II, “two-thirds of the budget for “Skylab!” was devoted to cocaine,” which is half again as much as most productions of the era, so it made sense that everything else was so shoddy.
Sadly, the movie is unavailable in any format these days as Dimension Pictures, the film’s production company, destroyed all but one of the prints after its initial theatrical run due to what its then CEO claimed were “bad vibes, man.” A few years later he was arrested in the John DeLorean fiasco, but that’s another story. The final print was was seized during the arrest of Camden, New Jersey mayor Angelo Errichetti during the Abscam sting. No one is sure how he got it, but it was lost in between then and the time of his trial and thus was never converted to VHS or Beta. Those who managed to see the movie, however, said Dunning did an excellent job playing the co-captain of the underwater rescue vessel attempting to save the crew of the space station and that his death scene — in which he was torn apart by a squid while attempting to cut through the hull of the sunken space station — was particularly touching.
Tigers 3, Giants 2: Five Tigers pitchers combined to scatter seven hits and Eric Haase’s two-run homer in the sixth put Detroit up for good. The teams split the two-game series in San Francisco.
Padres 4 Diamondbacks 0: Mike Clevinger allowed just one hit in six shutout innings and Nick Martinez got the three-inning save. Jake Cronenworth singled and doubled in runs while C.J. Abrams and Luke Voit each knocked in a run with a single.
Mariners 9, Orioles 3: Seattle posted a six-run fourth inning with Julio Rodríguez smacking a two-run homer to help it along. The bottom of the M’s lineup did a lot of damage too, with Abraham Toro, Adam Frazier and Sam Haggerty combining for seven hits and six runs scored. Seattle took two of three from Baltimore and has won seven of nine.
Atlanta 4, Phillies 1: Kyle Wright allowed one over seven, Adam Duvall homered, Matt Olson hit a pair of doubles, and William Contreras and Michael Harris II knocked in runs. Atlanta’s win was its 21st in June, making it the most wins it has posted in a calendar month since the team moved from Milwaukee in 1966. There’s one more June game to go for them too. The Mets now hold only a three-game lead on Atlanta.
Marlins 4, Cardinals 3: Sandy Alcantara went the distance and, instead of being a hard luck loser, he got the W thanks to Avisaíl García’s ninth inning two-run homer to bring the fish back from behind. Alcantara finished having allowed three runs — only two earned — while scattering seven hits en route to his eighth W on the season. His ERA stands at 1.95.
Guardians 7, Twins 6: Josh Naylor hit a two-run homer with two outs in the 10th inning, completing a four-run rally after falling behind by three in the top half. And I’m pretty sure Naylor killed a bunch of guys during the postgame celebration, too. The best part is that Naylor has absolutely no time for that “I was just looking for a pitch to hit, to make good contact” crap:
"I just tried to hit a homer, to be honest. I was trying to end the game. I didn't want to hit a single. I wanted to end it. I just wanted to win."
I like the cut of this fella’s jib.
Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 5: On Tuesday the Red Sox blew 5-4 lead in the ninth, in large part because hey didn’t have Tanner Houck, who is on the restricted list for the trip north of the border because he’s more interested in “freedoms” than in getting vaccinated and being there for his team. Here Boston blew a lead in the eighth and then held on for dear life after taking the lead in the 10th but they held on. That 10th inning lead came when J.D. Martinez drove in the tie-breaking run when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Alex Verdugo hit a two-run homer and had four RBI. Earlier, in the third, both benches cleared after Nick Pivetta hit Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk on the left elbow in the third. No punches were thrown or anything, though.
Cubs 8, Reds 3: Willson Contreras homered, doubled twice, and got hit by a pitch and later came around to score. Christopher Morel also went deep and nailed a runner at the plate to stop a would-be Reds rally. The Cubs have alternated wins and losses for eight games now. The Reds have lost nine of 12.
Dodgers 8, Rockies 4:Freddie Freeman, Will Smith and Cody Bellinger each homered as L.A. built up a 5-1 lead early, extended it to 7-1 and then cruised the rest of the way. It was a sweep-avoiding win for L.A. which has had a hell of a time against the Rockies this year.
Angels 4, White Sox 1: Shohei Ohtanti tossed shutout ball into the sixth and struck out 11, extending extended his scoreless streak to 21.2 innings. Mike Trout doubled in a run and scored on an error, and Luis Rengifo smacked a two-run homer.
The Daily Briefing
Rob Manfred thinks he’s never done anything wrong
Don Van Natta of ESPN has a big feature on Rob Manfred. It’s based on at least three lengthy interviews over the course of nearly a year spent with the guy. The entire premise of the piece is “People hate Rob Manfred. What does Rob Manfred have to say about that?” And, yes, Manfred says all kinds of things like he normally does. They are, as usual, things which are either beside the point or which are completely unsupported.
The clear through-line here, though, is Manfred’s continued, damn nigh pathological refusal to take responsibility for a single damn thing that he has done or failed to do since he became Bud Selig’s hatchet man and, later commissioner. This despite the fact that a good bit of the article contends that Manfred is the sort of guy who admits when he's wrong. In actuality, he admits to absolutely nothing substantive while deflecting blame for basically everything.
That stage for that pattern is set when Van Natta talks about the 1990 ouster of former commissioner Fay Vincent by Bud Selig in which he, bizarrely, casts Vincent as the bad guy, betraying the owners, and justifying his own coup at Selig’s hands. Then he flashes forward to the 1994 strike, which he treats as a totally isolated incident as opposed to the direct and logical outcome of that 1990 coup. Manfred, despite already being MLB’s lawyer then — and despite him telling Van Natta that Selig told him to stay away from the actual meeting ousting Vincent for political reasons — is treated as a causal bystander to all of that. Manfred is allowed to say how much of a drag it was that he, along with the rest of us, had to sit through the strike but absolutely nothing is said about his role as one of Selig’s key labor advisors during Selig’s darkest days as commissioner.
Manfred is likewise treated as a total bystander with respect to the next big stain on baseball that came up: the steroids scandal. Van Natta cites Manfred’s famous, passive-voiced Congressional testimony — “In a perfect world [we] should have been aware of the use of steroids from the minute it became an issue among the players. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world” — and makes no further mention of it. He does not ask Manfred why MLB didn’t know what was going on and just leaves that completely empty, self-absolving, and patently implausible statement to stand on its own.
The last big thing Manfred did before taking over as commissioner was quarterbacking the Biogenesis investigation which, as Van Natta notes, involved a hell of a lot of sketchy actions by MLB investigators like buying evidence that was quite clearly stolen and making deals with criminals in order to get dirt on players. The investigators who did this answered to Manfred and with almost 100% certainly asked Manfred for guidance and approval before engaging in these sketchy dealings. When asked about this Manfred talks out of both sides of his mouth, first throwing the investigators under the bus for doing the sketchy stuff but then explaining that, actually, yeah, he was totally fine with the sketchy stuff because he had to do what he had to do:
“There were things that some of our investigators did that led to their ultimate departure from the organization," Manfred says now. "I did not condone that behavior, nor did the organization -- it was completely and utterly unprofessional and inappropriate -- and that's why they were terminated.”
“As for the decision to buy evidence and strike a deal with Bosch, Manfred says he had ‘only two options: You either convince them with the force of your logic to cooperate -- or you make a deal with them. They were not prone to be persuaded, and so we made the deal to get to the bottom of what we felt was a really corrosive system.’”
There’s a detailed section on the sign-stealing scandal. Again, Manfred makes it clear that it was not his fault, and that hey, he sent memos out so he did all he could do:
Manfred tells me he had assumed -- well, he "hoped" -- that managers, GMs and owners who were aware of their teams' cheating schemes would "self-correct," a remarkable admission considering Manfred's front-row seat for the steroids epidemic. "I hate to admit this, but it's based on a naive belief that our game is populated by people who want to do the right thing," he says. "They're grown men. They know the difference between following the rules and not following the rules."
This despite the steroids scandal, yes, but also despite the fact that he had a number of sign-stealing accusations in front of him for three years before the Astros story broke, that he did almost nothing about them, and that he did absolutely nothing about them in a public way which suggested to anyone he cared about the problem.
Then there was the rancor which surrounded the scheduling of the truncated 2020 season. Rancor which involved Manfred falsely claiming to the press that he had a deal in place with the players, Tony Clark stating that, actually, that wasn’t true, and Manfred having a little public meltdown after which he imposed a 60-game season which led to a massive grievance being filed against the league. Surely the Commissioner will take some responsibility for that sordid episode, right?
Manfred deeply regrets "this public thing" he had gotten into with the players' union about the players' insistence that they be paid for a full season with fans. "Stupid," he now calls it. But he felt he had no choice: "I had 30 [owners] saying, 'What the hell are you going to say?' They're like, 'Are you a doormat here?'" he says. "My credibility was on the line -- with my bosses."
The harsh criticism from players targeting Manfred was "tactical," he says, and comes with the territory. "I think that the union did an effective job with the tactic of making me an issue in the negotiations," Manfred says now. "It resulted in a lot of negativity."
Not my fault, it was the owners! Not my fault, it was the players! And they weren’t REALLY mad at me, they were “tactically” mad at me! They were ordered to be mad at me by the union! When MLBPA’s Bruce Meyer tells Van Natta that, no, the players were and remain genuinely pissed at Manfred over that, Manfred gets snippy:
That kind of criticism gnaws at Manfred, particularly when things that are said or written about him or the game are "palpably untrue," he says. "Some days you just say, I'm tired of this. Why do I have to listen to this?" But he adds, "I'm a happy person. I literally am a happy person. If I let it gnaw at me, I would not be a happy person. Really, I mean that."
That’s a hell of a quote from the subject of an article which is, again, couched entirely as “Manfred admits his past mistakes and wants you to know that he’s not a thin-skinned control freak.”
The pattern continues when the topic of the lockout and the delay of 2022’s Opening Day is brought up. Everyone was negotiating a deal! A deal seemed close! But then it fell apart! Was it because of the positions Rob Manfred and his very own negotiating team took in a two-party negotiation? Was it because Manfred was unable to counter the positions the other side took in a way that might lead to agreement? Nah, it was because of social media and the press:
Manfred was certain that both sides were on the verge of striking a deal on Sunday night, Feb. 27, less than 48 hours before he announced the cancellation of the regular season's first week. What Manfred says he didn't count on were details from the talks immediately leaking on social media from some players, agents -- and even a few baseball writers who took to Twitter and other platforms to trash a deal they said or suggested was bad for players.
With growing fury, Manfred watched the criticism play out on his cellphone. In his view, the social media opposition helped harden players' resolve against a deal that had seemed within reach.
For starters, no, a deal was not close. Multiple reports about what was going on at the time made that clear. Moreover, there is just as much if not more — far more, I’d say — owner/MLB leaking in these things than player tweets and leaking. Indeed, MLB under Manfred has taken strategic leaking to new heights (or depths), and that’s before you take into account the fact that MLB has scores of reporters and commentators on their actual payroll or under reasonable control due to broadcast rights partnerships. The BASELINE report about labor negotiations for most media outlets which cover baseball is the MLB position. Either way, that dynamic is part of the deal when it comes to sports and entertainment. Those kinds of talks are ALWAYS going to be of great public interest and, inevitably, public discussion. I do not think Manfred fails to understand that. I think Manfred pretends to be surprised by that in order to blame others for his failures and shortcomings.
And then there are the abject falsehoods. Indeed, what Manfred said about the baseballs was patently false. Here he is in the interview:
And there are ongoing questions and complaints over whether Rawlings, now co-owned by MLB, is purposefully modifying the manufacturing specifications of the baseball, either to juice or deaden the balls. Nope, says Manfred: "Our baseball is a handmade product. ... There is always going to be a variation, baseball to baseball, because it's natural materials and it's made by hand."
As Bradford William Davis of Insider reported late last year, MLB sent a memo to teams prior to the 2021 season that they were manufacturing an intentionally-deadened ball for that season. They later admitted that they used both a juiced and a deadened ball in 2021 due to an alleged surplus in older, juiced balls, and, again, before this season, said that they were now going fully with an intentionally-deadened ball. This is not a matter of variation or random human error. In response to events on the field, player complaints, and outside criticism from fans and the media, Major League Baseball has set out to tinker with the baseball on purpose. Manfred refuses to own that, though, despite the fact that it’s, you know, fact.
There’s also a lot in the article about proposed rules changes to increase the pace of play and shorten games. I actually agree with Manfred on a lot of that stuff, particularly the pitch clock. Players have been slower to get on board which is not surprising given that baseball players are creatures of habit. It’s also not helped by the fact that the players don’t trust Manfred given everything that has gone down over the past several years. That, however, is apparently not Manfred’s fault either:
"I can't tell you how many times I heard from club people, players, the people that work for us, that the players hate Rob," says [Dan] Halem, the deputy commissioner. "It's just like how the union has positioned this with the players -- all your problems in life are that guy in New York that doesn't like baseball."
The article consists of thousands of words to that effect. Everyone hates Manfred, but it’s not Manfred’s fault. There are a couple of token nods to things Manfred wishes he had done differently, but it’s just superficial PR stuff like a poor choice of words here or there as opposed to any of his actions. Even then, those acknowledgments are used as a means of attacking others for focusing on unimportant things. It’s completely clear that Manfred saw the series of interviews he sat for as a means of defending himself, not taking any sort of responsibility for anything. It’s also clear that Van Natta has no real interest in pushing back against Manfred’s defensive and, at times, false statements.
Indeed, there is only one unequivocal truth in the entire article in my view. This statement from Atlanta Chairman Terry McGuirk, praising Manfred for delivering the goods the owners want:
"Rob is a relentless guy focused on success. There are very few down days looking at the business of baseball with Rob at the helm. If we had to sign up for him again, we'd do it in spades 10 times over."
That is the argument for Rob Manfred’s commissionership. No matter how many thousands of words are spent trying to position Manfred as some sage leader of men, the money he makes for the owners is the alpha and omega of his status and his paycheck.
A hell of a lot of time would’ve been saved if that quote had gone at the beginning of the article instead of the end.
The A’s could be Las Vegas bound after today
Today could spell the beginning of the end of the Athletics in Oakland. That’s because today is the day that the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission will vote on whether to allow Oakland’s Howard Terminal to be used for something other than strictly for port use which would, in turn, allow a ballpark to be built there.
The A’s need 18 of 27 commissioners to vote to re-designate to allow a potential $12 billion stadium and development area to be built there. A’s president Dave Kaval has indicated in the past that a vote against the re-designation would essentially kill the team’s hopes of staying in Oakland. Even if the vote does go the A’s way, though, there still needs to be a deal struck regarding the specifics of the development, which could be hung up over housing, parking, access, etc.
Which is to say that a “yes” vote is necessary but not sufficient to keep the A’s in Oakland. A “no” vote, however, could put them on the fast track to Sin City.
Rays limited partners sue owner Stu Sternberg
Evan Drellich of The Athletic reports that a group of Tampa Bay Rays minority owners — who, collectively, own a little less than 10% of the team — has filed a lawsuit against controlling owner Stuart Sternberg, alleging that their interest in the team “has been reduced to a mere shell, with no revenues from baseball-related operations, no cash flow, and no responsibilities of the management of the Rays team and franchise to the Limited Partners.”
The main allegation, which is basically a fraud claim, is that Sternberg transferred the Rays into a different business entity, Rays Baseball Club, without their knowledge, and that he’s depositing revenues meant for all of them into the entity which just he controls, leaving the minority owners out in the cold. This is actually the third lawsuit by these owners, all of which claim in one way or another that they’re not getting fair treatment or their fair share.
I have two thoughts here:
If the allegations of the minority owners are true this would not be the first time a baseball owner has played Three-Card Monte with revenues in such a way that allowed him to appear broke while keeping actual revenues from scrutiny. Indeed, it’s standard operating procedure with most MLB clubs which are, in structure, no different than some family-owned car dealership or whatever and for which accounting is more art than science; and
Even if the allegations of the minority owners are true, they’re probably gonna have a really damn hard time getting anything out of this lawsuit given how little power or say minority owners in closely-held corporations have. Indeed, you’d be shocked at how little control minority shareholders in non-public companies have. You can’t, like, hit them over the head with a 2x4 just for fun, perhaps, but you can do almost anything to them short of that. It’s wild, man.
Anyway, good luck with the lawsuit, guys. As for the rest of you: be careful with your vanity investments.
You’ve heard of a quality start? How about a “quantity shart?” From the Washington Post:
A quantity shart — a slangy portmanteau combining vulgar terms for poop and flatulence — is awarded to a starting pitcher who allows six or more earned runs in six or fewer innings. Think of it as the opposite of a quality start, with a sophomoric twist.
Jeff Kabacinski, a 51-year-old paralegal and law school student, credits fellow Nationals fan Jerry Sparks for helping to come up with the name for the other QS after former Washington pitcher Jordan Zimmermann allowed seven earned runs in two innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 21, 2013. Kabacinski created the @MLBWhoSharted Twitter account soon after and, for the past nine years, has dutifully tracked and shared their little joke with the world.
I am simultaneously horrified that I had not heard of this before but overjoyed that it has come into my life, even if it has done so belatedly. It’s like an 85 year-old widower finding true love in the assisted living facility. We’ll enjoy the time we have together rather than lament the time it took for us to meet.
Confession time: I do not even know how to use most of Substack’s analytics. I can figure out how many people subscribe and how many subscribers open the newsletter each day. The third-party payment processor, Stripe, tells me how much money I make, which is useful. Also, if there are delivery hiccups, I can kinda work through and figure that stuff out, but that’s about it. I do not know much else about the non-publishing functions of this website, the community functions, or a lot of other crap like that. I’m a writer and I write. I am way too dumb to understand much context beyond that.
As such, learning yesterday that I am the second-most popular paid sports newsletter on Substack was news to me. Pleasant news to be sure, but news all the same. Of course, given that I spent more time before publishing today’s newsletter researching and writing the Dane Dunning disaster movie bit than anything else, I suppose calling this a “sports newsletter” is a bit of a stretch.
Either way, thanks everyone. I appreciate your support! And as for you non-subscribers reading today, check out what you’re missing:
Great Moments in Deterrents
With Roe v. Wade overturned, states are free to begin outlawing abortion. Many have done so already, and all of the states which have done so to date have made sure that there are serious penalties attached. In Alabama, for example, performing an abortion is now a Class A felony with up to 99 years in prison, and attempted abortion is a Class C felony punishable by 1 to 10 years in prison. In Arkansas doctors who perform an abortion face up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $100,000. In Kentucky, performing an abortion is now a Class C felony, with imprisonment of 5 to 10 years. There are many laws like this now or soon to come.
Meanwhile, yesterday here in Columbus a man who last year threatened to bomb a reproductive health care clinic and kill his then-girlfriend because he thought she was seeking an abortion there has been sentenced to . . . one year and one day in prison.
Our values in this country are supremely messed up, man.
Turn your face to the moonlight
I fully appreciate that the revelations of the past few days conclusively establish that the then-sitting president of the United States who lost reelection was aware of and encouraged a violent attack on the Capitol with the intention of preventing the peaceful transfer of power to the election’s victor and that there is a strong reason to believe that he and his supporters will once again attempt to overturn a future election. That’s deadly serious. I fully appreciate that that, more than all of the salacious details which surround those central facts, is what truly matters.
Still, some of the salacious details which surround that are kind of amazing. From the New York Times:
“When Trump descended into rage, his staff resorted to summoning an aide, nicknamed the Music Man, to play favorite show tunes they knew would soothe him, including ‘Memory’ from the Broadway musical ‘Cats.’”
I really would like people to stop caring about Trump throwing ketchup-filled plates against walls as much as the fact that he has attempted to, and will likely again attempt to, subvert democracy. But man, some of this shit is so wild that you can’t help but stare at the words you’re reading, mouth agape.
Life finds a way
God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates a tostada piled on a Cheez-It that is 16 times the size of a normal cracker:
Yum! Brands Tex-Mex chain Taco Bell has teamed up with Kellogg’s Cheez-It for a new menu item that they’re testing in California: the Big Cheez-It Tostada. Basically, the $2.49 dish piles seasoned beef, reduced-fat sour cream, fresh diced tomatoes, crisp lettuce and shredded cheddar cheese on top of an oversized Cheez-It cracker.
It’s apparently 16 times bigger than a regular Cheez-It cracker.
Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should.
Have a great day, everyone.
And yes, I am aware I accidentally put June 20 instead of June 30 when I sent it out. If that's the worst thing I do all day I'll take it.
Your Nats' recap is testament to the fact that boxscores can't show everything, and this game had enough weird shit to warrant a Stefon from SNL narration, but I'll let Barry Svrluga summarize instead:
"Here are some of the things that happened on a gorgeous Wednesday afternoon at Nationals Park: One Washington Nationals base runner tried to tag up at third base with two outs — and was nearly overtaken at the plate by another base runner, who began the play at second but was thrown out at home. Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Bryan Reynolds hit three homers. The Nats and Pirates turned six double plays — none in the normal 6-4-3 or 4-6-3 fashions.
Oh, and the Nats lost, 8-7, at least in part because the Pirates scored a run on a double play on which the third out was recorded — and the Nationals didn’t take the time to record a fourth out."
The double play in question started with the Pirates having runners on second and third. A soft liner was caught by Josh Bell at first, but both runners broke thinking he hadn't caught it. Bell threw to third, where Ehire Adrianza tagged Hoy Park (who'd come from second) and then stepped on third (doubling off Jack Suwinski) but because the ump didn't see Adrianza step on third and/or because Suwinski crossed the plate before Adrianza tagged Hoy and the Nats left the field without appealing the play, Suwinski's run counted. Had Adrianza stepped on third before or instead of tagging Hoy, Suwinski would've been the third out and the run wouldn't have counted. However, he didn't, and so the Nats didn't get four outs that inning and eventually lost by a run.
And now Nats fans will forever be experts in Rule 5.09(c)(4) I guess