Dan Snyder

When sports owners attack


This isn’t about baseball but it’s fun anyway.  One day I hope to anger a baseball owner this much. Sadly, however, I don’t think there are any baseball owners as crazy, awful and mean as Dan Snyder is:

There’s no question Redskins owner Dan Snyder had a few problems with a cover story about him in Washington’s City Paper in November.

At the moment, in fact, Snyder is fighting mad.

Snyder has objected to the article that detailed some of his controversial actions as team owner and other reports about him in the weekly publication, and has threatened legal action against the newspaper. He also is seeking the dismissal of the article’s author, staff writer Dave McKenna.

Gotta love it when a billionaire goes after the head of an alt-weekly writer. Priorities, you know.

I think the more interesting part of this is that Snyder’s lawyers contacted the Washington Post and asked the Post to save emails between McKenna and the Post’s blogger Dan Steinberg.  Those two are friends, it seems.  The Post describes the move thusly:

The attorneys said they intend to explore whether there was any agreement between McKenna and Steinberg to cross-promote McKenna’s pieces on Snyder. Steinberg routinely links to sports content across the Web.

Um, whatever. I have a lot of friends in the media and greater blogosphere. Here’s how that works: “Hey Craig! If you’re interested I wrote a post about [subject] that you might like.  Hope all is well, Sincerely, Writer.”  It’s nice to get the heads up about such things.  Who knew that emails like that are “agreements to cross-promote” that are subject to pre-litigation discovery hold orders?

Whatever the case, even if McKenna’s piece was defamatory — and a quick reading of it doesn’t reveal anything that sticks out as such —  it strikes me that there are better ways to handle it than to sic your lawyers on newspapers in such a hamfisted way.  How about this: a nice email explaining the problems you have with the article. If nothing is done after that, file suit.  If you don’t have the stones — or the facts — to file suit, let it lie, lest you make yourself out to be a bigger ass than the original article made you out to be in the first place.

Of course, that would be sensible, and this is Dan Snyder we’re talking about here.

There’s no one to blame in Yankees’ loss

Joe Girardi

You’re going to boo All-Star Brett Gardner for striking out against a Cy Young contender?

You’re going to bash Alex Rodriguez for going hitless in another postseason game, three years after his last one?

Maybe you’d prefer to put it all on Masahiro Tanaka for giving up two solo homers to a lineup full of 20-homer guys?

The truth is that the Yankees were supposed to lose tonight. They were facing an outstanding left-hander with their forever-lefty-heavy lineup, and they simply didn’t have anyone pitching like an ace to set themselves up nicely for a one-game, winner-take-all showdown. The 3-0 result… well, that’s how this was supposed to go down.

It didn’t necessarily mean it would; what fun would it be if the better team always won? And the Astros might not even be a better team than the Yankees. However, the Astros with Dallas Keuchel on the mound were certainly a better team than the Yankees with whoever they picked to throw.

I just don’t see where it’s worth putting any blame tonight. Joe Girardi? He could have started John Ryan Murphy over Brian McCann against the tough lefty, but he wasn’t willing to risk Tanaka losing his comfort zone by using a backup catcher.

The front office could have added more talent, perhaps outbidding the Blue Jays for David Price or the Royals for Johnny Cueto, and set themselves up better for the postseason. However, that would have cost them Luis Severino and/or Greg Bird, both of whom went on to play key roles as the Yankees secured the wild card. Would it really have been worth it? I don’t think so.

Tanaka gave the Yankees what they should have expected. Had Keuchel’s stuff been a little off on short rest, Tanaka’s performance would have kept the Yankees in the game.

Keuchel, though, was on his game from the first pitch. The Astros bullpen might have been a bit more vulnerable, and late at-bats from Gardner, Carlos Beltran, Rodriguez and McCann definitely left something to be desired. Still, on the whole, the lack of offense was quite a team effort.

The Yankees got beat by a better team tonight.  I’m not sure the Astros would have been better in Games 2-7 in a longer series, but they had everything in their favor in this one.

Keuchel, Astros cruise past Yankees in AL Wild Card Game

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Dallas Keuchel faced the Yankees two times during the regular season and was fantastic in each outing, striking out 12 in a complete-game shutout on June 25 and whiffing nine batters over seven scoreless frames on August 25.

The 2015 Cy  Young Award candidate continued that trend in Tuesday night’s American League Wild Card Game, limiting the Yankees to three hits and one walk over six innings of scoreless ball as the Astros earned a 3-0 win and advanced to a best-of-five ALDS with the top-seeded Royals.

Keuchel was working on three days of rest but didn’t show very many signs of fatigue, whiffing seven and needing only 87 pitches to get through six. He sure looked like he could have gone an inning longer, but Astros manager A.J. Hinch decided to turn the game over to his bullpen and they added three more big zeroes to the scoreboard at a very loud then very boo-heavy Yankee Stadium. Tony Sipp worked around some early jitters to throw a scoreless seventh, Will Harris kept the Yankees off the bases entirely in a scoreless eighth, and closer Luke Gregerson went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth.

Impending free agent outfielder Colby Rasmus provided the first burst of offense for the Astros in the top of the second inning with a leadoff homer against Masahiro Tanaka. And then deadline acquisition Carlos Gomez, who missed a bunch of time down the stretch with an intercostal strain, got to Tanaka for another solo shot in the top of the fourth. Houston scored its third run on a Jose Altuve RBI single in the top of the seventh.

This is a young, talented Astros team with an ace at the head of its rotation.

Kansas City could have a problem.