Jeff Francoeur had some really nice words to say about Bobby Cox in the AJC. So nice that I’m not even going to rip on Francoeur for anything.
And funny too. Francoeur tells a story about the first time he was ever ejected from a game. It was early 2006. As soon as Frenchie got tossed, Bobby got tossed. The two of them were sitting in the clubhouse together. Frenchie was worked up. He asked Cox what he should do. After Cox told him to chill out and have a beer, he said that he’d probably have to pay a fine:
“And then you’ll probably have to write a $500 check. Or you can do what
I do, write a $10,000 one and tell them when it runs out, let me know.”
Cox has 158 career ejections. I’d like him to get four more in his last few games so he can have a whole season’s worth of them, but I suppose he’s done enough to advance the interests of umpire antagonism in his time.
With a 6-1 win over the Twins in Sunday’s season finale, the Royals clinched the best record in the American League, which nets them home field advantage in the ALDS and ALCS. The Royals stand at 95-67 while the Blue Jays, who lost on Sunday, finish at 93-69.
95-67 is the Royals’ best record since finishing 97-65 in 1980, when they lost the World Series to the Phillies. Their division title is their first since 1985.
In the ALDS, which starts on Thursday, the Royals will host the winner of the AL Wild Card game between the Astros and Yankees. They are looking to avenge last year’s World Series loss, in seven games, to the Giants. The Blue Jays will host the Rangers in the other ALDS series.
Both the Astros’ and the Yankees’ fates were decided before their own games had completed on Sunday. The Rangers defeated the Angels, which clinched a Wild Card spot for the Astros. Then the Astros dropped Sunday’s season finale to the Diamondbacks, which clinched the first AL Wild Card slot for the Yankees. The Yankees are on their way to a loss against the Orioles as of this writing, but that will not affect anything now.
The Astros were in a 3-3 tie with the Diamondbacks in the seventh inning, but reliever Chad Qualls served up a two-run home run to Paul Goldschmidt. That would prove to be the deciding factor in a 5-3 loss.
The Yankees are losing 7-4 to the Orioles behind a subpar start by Michael Pineda and a shaky performance by the bullpen.
The MLB postseason opens up with the Yankees hosting the Astros on Tuesday in the AL Wild Card game. The winner moves on to face the Royals in Kansas City in the ALDS.