Last week the New York Times ran a story about discrimination claims lodged against Jim Crane’s company several years ago and wondered if the existence of such claims could complicate his approval as the new owner of the Houston Astros. I was highly skeptical that would be an obstacle because if Bud Selig had any issues with Crane over this his bid for the Astros a couple of years ago would have been squashed, as would his bid for the Rangers last year. That the present sale of the Astros has gotten this far is pretty clear evidence that, as far as baseball is concerned, Crane has no worries.
Today Richard Justice confirms that, reporting that Crane met with Selig yesterday and that it’s full steam ahead. In the course of the article he notes how, if anyone was going to have a trouble with the discrimination allegations it would be Selig, and the fact that he’s cool with it means that everyone will be cool with it.
Now, we still await word as to whether anyone cares about those reports that Crane’s ownership group is debt heavy. For that I’m not holding my breath.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.