Death row inmate’s last words: “God bless the Texas Rangers”

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Robert Wayne Harris killed five people in cold blood and wounded another while robbing a car wash twelve years ago.  And yesterday the State of Texas put him to death for his crimes.  As he went to meet his maker, he had baseball on his mind:

“I’m going home. I’m going home,” Harris said. “Don’t worry about me. I’ll be alright. God bless, and the Texas Rangers, Texas Rangers.”

Probably not the sort of the sort of thing that offsets the Rangers’ opponents’ endorsements.

Anyway, this is not a new thing for Texas executions. According to the story, several condemned men “have thanked the Dallas Cowboys football team for providing them enjoyment” prior to their lethal injections. So, yeah, priorities are pretty awesome down there.

Also: man, do NOT give your son the middle name Wayne.

Aaron Judge was involved in a weird play in the fourth inning

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge found himself front-and-center in a weird play in the bottom of the fourth inning during Game 4 of the ALCS on Tuesday evening. Judge drew a walk to lead off the frame. After Didi Gregorius lined out, Gary Sanchez flied out to shallow right-center.

Judge must have thought the ball had a high probability of falling in for a hit, so he was past the second base bag around the time he realized his mistake. He retraced his steps, running back to first base. Reddick’s throw hopped a couple of times but first base umpire Jerry Meals called Judge out on the tag-up play.

Manager Joe Girardi requested a review and the call was overturned: Judge was safe. However, Astros manager A.J. Hinch wanted to challenge that Judge did not re-touch second base on his way back. Rather than issuing a formal challenge, the Astros had to appeal the play by having starter Lance McCullers throw to second base, at which point second base umpire Jim Reynolds would issue a ruling. McCullers was a bit hasty, though, and made his appeal throw before Greg Bird stepped into the batter’s box. Reynolds told McCullers that he had to wait. So, McCullers again made his appeal throw.

This time, Judge was running and he was simply tagged out at second base for the final out of the inning. No need for a review.

As Ken Rosenthal explained on the FS1 broadcast, the Yankees were trying to “beat the police.” They knew Judge would have been ruled out — replays clearly showed he never re-touched the base — so they had nothing to lose by sending Judge. If he was safe, the Astros would no longer be able to appeal the play. If he’s out, then it’s the same outcome they would have had anyway.