As Aaron noted earlier today, monobrowed-man-child Jack Clark called the Cardinals “quitters” and said “they have poopy in their pants.” While such a sophisticated and air-tight indictment is difficult to rebut, Tony La Russa has a law degree, so he’s trained in the finer arts of oral advocacy. Specifically, the “I’m rubber and you’re glue” defense:
“I just don’t feel like Jack has had the kind of spotless career
where he can be making judgments like that. Whether it’s our team,
pitchers, players, whatever,” La Russa said. “I think it’s a real
personal (criticism). That’s why I’m saying something about it.
It’s a very offensive quote to make. … I respect Jack a lot
because he did a good job of pulling his career together. But he
had times where there were evaluations from his peers — and I
wasn’t his peer — but his peers and his bosses were less than the
best. I’m disappointed that he doesn’t take some of that past
As a disinterested third party who also has considerable experience with advocacy and debate, I render my judgment thusly:
More seriously speaking, Aaron’s observation from this afternoon wins the day: Jack Clark: if you’re going to say a ballclub “quit,” you had best be prepared to say who on that ballclub quit and show your work. Otherwise you’re nothing more than a friggin’ blowhard.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.