This is fun. Howard Megdal has a book coming out about the Wilpons and the Mets, and it contains a pretty juicy claim. The claim: that Fred Wilpon asked Bud Selig to put the kibosh on the deal he made to sell a stake of the Mets to David Einhorn because he was afraid of losing the team.
The report, passed along in the New York Post, is that after the deal was reached in principle, Wilpon got cold feet, realizing that Einhorn’s option to purchase a controlling interest in the Mets was way too obtainable. Wilpon, not wanting to lose the team, asked Bud Selig to intervene and strike portions of the deal in which Major League Baseball would assist Einhorn in taking over if the provision was triggered. As the Post puts it, “to play bad cop” as it were. This angered Einhorn and the deal quickly died. Major League Baseball sharply disputes Megdal’s reporting, calling him a self-promoter. Megdal stands by it.
This strikes me as one of those things we’ll never know 100% for certain because that kind of business — called in favors from friends, etc. — isn’t exactly documented in official reports. Megdal has a source or two telling him this. Baseball denies it. It’s just … business.
Juicy business, though.
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.