Yesterday we learned that baseball is taking a longer look at the background of would-be Astros owner Jim Crane. Today the current owner of the Astros, Drayton McLane, is quoted about that:
“I have great respect for the commissioner, but he doesn’t do anything until he’s finished. He’s the most meticulous man I’ve ever met.”
Seriously. Just ask the Oakland A’s. That said, McLane still believes that the deal will go through. Maybe even in less than three years!
My hope: that the increased scrutiny on Crane isn’t just window dressing designed to placate those who have concerns about civil rights complaints against his company. If there is any meat to those accusations, I would hope that they’d be seriously reviewed. If not, I would hope that baseball not patronize people by pretending to take small things so seriously.
Most of all, I would hope that they’re scrutinizing the financing of the deal just as much as they’re looking at the character stuff. Because as history has shown us, baseball is able to correct aberrant behavior among owners on the civil rights front (just ask the ghost of Marge Schott). But it hasn’t yet gotten its brain around poor financing (just ask the ghost of the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise).
The Rangers got a bit of a breather on Saturday after clinching the division lead during Friday night’s win. Naturally, it was also a prime opportunity for another of Adrian Beltre‘s well-documented antics, as he spent his off day directing the Rangers’ infield defense with a series of signs. Even with Carlos Beltran‘s help, no one, least of all those playing the infield, appeared to have any idea what Beltre’s gestures were intended to convey.
You can add this to the list of in-game oddities Beltre has become so well-known for over the years, running the gamut from the way he kicked a ball over the foul line to his histrionics every time someone comes close to touching his head. If nothing else, it’s a convincing audition reel for the third baseman’s future in major league coaching — a career path that, I’d imagine, would end up looking something like this:
Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.
It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.
Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.