Great Moments in stupid steroids grandstanding

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Newsday’s Wallace Matthews will not be out-crazied by anyone. After positing — against all evidence, really — that Bud Selig will be remembered as a worthless, failed, commissioner, he suggests one way for the Budster to rehabilitate his legacy:

The way he can do it is simple. All Bud Lite has to do is declare that – under the powers granted the commissioner to act in the best interests of the game – baseball will once again recognize Roger Maris as the all-time single-season home-run leader and Hank Arron [sic] as baseball’s career home-run king.

End of story, cue the crescendo, ring down the curtain on a transcendent commissionership.

Matthews says such a move would take “courage” and “integrity.”  If by courage and integrity he means “stupidity” and “ignorance,” sure, I’m totally with him. And that stupidity goes beyond Wallace’s seeming inability to spell Hank Aaron’s name.

Setting aside all of the chaos such a move would foment, when does Wallace propose that baseball start recognizing records again?  Now? Ten years from now?  Tell us, Wallace, when did the “steroid era” begin and end?  Also, given that one of the most high-profile steroids cheats of the era was a pitcher, what does Matthews propose to do about those records?

And while we’re asking questions, does Matthews even think that steroids are a problem apart form how they impact the big records?  Because as I sit here right now, I can’t recall him ever commenting on what steroids mean for, say, the borderline minor leaguer or the desperate veteran just trying to hang on. With Matthews, steroids only matter for one reason: records, records, records.  Though Matthews probably counts that as three reasons (using his fingers for the counting).

Here’s some advice, kids: whenever someone is peddling simplistic solutions to difficult problems, they’re almost always 100% full of it.  Steroids in baseball and how they impact the big records is a complicated issue. Matthews’ solution is so brainless, it gives the concept of simplicity a bad name.  You do the math.

Red Sox set a new major league record with 11 strikeouts in a row

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 20: Starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez #52 of the Boston Red Sox works the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 20, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
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Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final six Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.

The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.

For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.

Dodgers clinch NL West on Charlie Culberson’s walk-off home run

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 20: Charlie Culberson #6 of the Los Angeles Dodgers runs to first base after hitting a single RBI in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 20, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
Matt Hazlett/Getty Images
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Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.

The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.

Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.

It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.