Mark Cuban is always a popular topic of conversation around here. To feed that jones, go read Jayson Stark’s column today assessing Cuban, baseball’s opinion of him and his chances of one day becoming a baseball owner. Here’s the highlight of the column, though. It’s a baseball insider quoted by Stark, summing up Bud Selig’s impression of Cuban:
“Bud does not have any interest in an owner who wants to be The Story. … Also, Bud’s not interested in owners who are going to overtly challenge him publicly.”
Process that a bit while you think about Frank McCourt, who has been both The Story and a gigantic pain in Bud’s kiester for the past year or two. The point: you never know what you’re gonna get, so you may as well make sure that whoever you let in the club is well-funded.
My thing on Cuban: I know he was in the bidding for the Cubs for a bit, and I know he was outbid for the Rangers as a minority partner with Jim Crane last year. But do we know how hard he pressed for the Cubs? After he was left out of subsequent rounds of bidding, he had a lot to say about the deal not making perfect sense for him. Same story about upping his bid in the Rangers’ thing.
While we like to think that Cuban has been blackballed, is that really the case? Has he truly gone after a team full-bore, only to be rejected because of who he is? Or is it, as is almost always the case, a bit more complicated than all of that?
Facing an elimination number of one, the Astros staved off elimination in the AL West by beating the Diamondbacks on Friday night by a 6-1 margin. The Rangers suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Angels on Saturday afternoon, which temporarily put the Astros’ fate in their own hands.
Colby Rasmus hit a pair of solo homers and Jose Altuve added a solo shot of his own. Starter Collin McHugh tossed seven innings of one-run ball, limiting the Diamondbacks to six hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Reliever Will Harris allowed a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth, but Luke Gregerson closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.
The Astros trail the Rangers by one game in the AL West and lead the Angels by one game for the second AL Wild Card slot. The Rangers can clinch the AL West on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Astros loss. The Astros can clinch the second AL Wild Card on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Angels loss.
The Yankees lost both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Orioles and lead the Astros by only one game for the first AL Wild Card slot.
If the Astros win and the Rangers lose on Sunday, they will play an AL West tiebreaker in Texas. The winner will win the second AL Wild Card if the Yankees win on Sunday, or the first AL Wild Card if the Yankees lose on Sunday.
If the Astros lose and the Angels win on Sunday, the two teams will be tied for the second AL Wild Card. They would play a tiebreaker in Houston, and the winner would play the Yankees in New York in the Wild Card game.
Giants second baseman Kelby Tomlinson looked more like Ladainian Tomlinson the way he was running during Saturday afternoon’s game against the Rockies. In the first inning with one out against starter Chris Rusin, Tomlinson hit a fly ball into the right-center field gap at AT&T Park, a great place to go if you’re in the mood for an inside-the-park home run.
Neither Carlos Gonzalez nor Chris Dickerson could corral the ball before it rolled all the way to the 421-foot marker at the fence. Tomlinson motored around the bases, but Gonzalez made a strong throw into cut-off man D.J. LeMahieu, and LeMahieu made a great throw in to catcher Tom Murphy, but Tomlinson slid in safely just ahead of the tag.
It was an exciting play and the hit proved important as the Giants eked out a 3-2 win against the Rockies.