Combination of file photos of Frank and Jamie McCourt during their divorce trial in Los Angeles

Frank and Jamie McCourt: masters of logic


Frank and Jamie McCourt had a hearing in their divorce case yesterday.  Because both of them are ridiculous, the hearing was ridiculous.

Jamie McCourt’s lawyers referred to Frank’s battles with Major League Baseball as a “jihad,” which pulls the neat trick of being simultaneously offensive to those who believe in the concept of jihads and those who have been the victims of putative jihads over time.  But hey, it’s Jamie McCourt, so I’m not expecting anything reality-based here.

Frank McCourt — for whom, at least in the context of the whole marital support issue with Jamie, I have some degree of sympathy — was also ludicrous.  In a filing, the subject of his fight with MLB came up. Specifically, the claim that Frank has taken over $100 million out of the Dodgers for his personal use.  Now, there are a lot of ways to deal with that. You could note that it has little to do with the divorce case. Or you can mildly take issue with it and note that it’s something being litigated.  Frank’s tack, however, was rather dumb:

“Even taking the commissioner’s false claim that $100 million was taken out of the Dodgers at face value, it is difficult to understand how the commissioner can complain about this when he pays himself a salary of approximately $20 million a year — meaning that he has taken out between $120 million and $140 million from baseball revenues during the same period that he complains about $100 million being taken out by the owner of a team.”

Really, Frank? That’s where you want to go?  To compare your looting of your team via shell corporations and limited liability companies to Bud Selig’s salary, which is voted on and approved by the other major league teams? Do you really want to admit that you view the Los Angeles Dodgers as your personal piggy bank, equivalent to the paycheck of an individual from his employer?  More broadly, do you really want to reveal to a judge that you have such a poor handle on the concept of analogies that you’d trot this one out?  Talk about a credibility killer.

But that counterargument to McCourt’s little equivalency pales compared to the simple way that MLB Executive Vice President Rob Manfred dealt with it:

In response, MLB Executive Vice President Rob Manfred agreed that McCourt had not taken $100 million from the team. “He took a lot more than that,” Manfred said in a statement.

Oh, snap.

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.