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).
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.