Getty Images

John McCain says the Dbacks-Padres game messed up his questions to James Comey

41 Comments

Today, when I was not sticking to sports, I was watching the James Comey hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee. It was good stuff. If you missed it, just ask your friends! Your friends on the left will tell you that it immediately calls for the impeachment and or disembowelment of Donald Trump. Your friends on the right will tell you that the hearing firmly establishes that Hillary Clinton is America’s Greatest Monster.

You know, the usual.

Senator John McCain was the last one to ask the former FBI director questions. His questions were . . . somewhat confusing. While there were a lot of Republican senators who talked about Comey’s actions with respect to Hillary Clinton, they all seemed to acknowledge that there was no connection between the Russia stuff and Clinton. Rather, it was to lay the groundwork for questions about Comey’s judgment when it came to handling other investigations. McCain, however, truly appeared to conflate the two investigations. Even Comey, who answered all manner of questions without difficulty, said he was confused.

A few minutes ago, apparently acknowledging that he did not come off well, McCain released a statement about his questioning:

The Dbacks played the Padres in Arizona last night. It does seem to have been a slog of a game, lasting three hours and forty-eight minutes and featuring 11 pitchers despite it only going nine innings. While it started at a relatively reasonable time for a viewer in Washington D.C. — 9:40 — it did not end until almost one thirty in the morning.

Here’s hoping that McCain did, in fact, stay up late to watch Fernando Rodney retire Hunter Renfroe and that dedication to his hometown team was the reason for his less-than-lucid questioning of James Comey. Here’s also hoping that, the next time he has a big hearing in the morning, he just goes to bed early and watches the game over breakfast via MLB.tv.

It’s the tenth anniversary of the biggest rout in baseball history

Associated Press
Leave a comment

Ten years ago today the Rangers and the Orioles squared off at Camden Yards. The Orioles built a 3-0 lead after three innings and then all hell broke loose.

The Rangers scored thirty (30!) unanswered runs via a five-spot in the fourth, a nine-spot in the sixth, a ten-spot in the eighth and a six-spot in the ninth. That was . . . a lot of spots.

Two Rangers players — Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ramon Vazquez — hit two homers and drove in seven runs a piece. The best part: they were the eighth and ninth hitters in the lineup. There was plenty of offense to go around, however as David Murphy went 5-for-7 and scored five times. Travis Metcalf hit a pinch-hit grand slam. Marlon Byrd drove in four. It was a bloodbath, with Texas rattling out 29 hits and walking eight times.

On the Orioles side of things, Daniel Cabrera took the loss, giving up six runs on nine hits in five innings. That’s not a terribly unusual line for a bad day at the office for a pitcher — someone will probably get beat up like that in the next week or so — but the Orioles’ relievers really added to the party. Brian Burres was the first victim, allowing eight runs on eight hits in only two-thirds of an inning. Rob Bell gave up seven in an inning and a third. Paul Shuey wore the rest of it, allowing nine runs on seven hits over the final two.

The best part of the insanely busy box score, however, was not from any of the Orioles pitchers or any of the Rangers hitters. Nope, it was from a Rangers relief pitcher named Wes Littleton. You probably don’t remember him, as he only pitched in 80 games and never appeared in the big leagues after 2008. But on this day — the day of the biggest blowout in baseball history — Wes Littleton notched a save. From Baseball-Reference.com:

Three innings and 43 pitches is a lot of work for a reliever and, per the rules, it’s a save, regardless of the margin when he entered the game. Still, this was not exactly a game that was ever in jeopardy.

When it went down, way back on August 22, 2007, it inspired me to write a post at my old, defunct independent baseball blog, Shysterball, arguing about how to change the save rule. Read it if you want, but know that (1) no one has ever paid attention to such proposals in baseball, even if such proposals are frequently offered; and (2) the hypothetical examples I use to illustrate the point involve an effective Joba Chamberlain and Joe Torre’s said use of him, which tells you just how long ago this really was.

Oh, one final bit: this massacre — the kind of game that the Orioles likely wanted to leave, go back home and go to sleep afterward — was only the first game of a doubleheader. Yep, they had to strap it on and play again, with the game starting at 9PM Eastern time. Baltimore lost that one too, 9-7, concluding what must have been one of the longest days any of the players involved had ever had at the office, both figuratively and literally.

Hall of Fame baseball announcer Rafael ‘Felo’ Ramirez dies

Associated Press
2 Comments

MIAMI (AP) Rafael “Felo” Ramirez, a Hall of Fame baseball radio broadcaster who was the signature voice for millions of Spanish-speaking sports fans over three decades, has died. He was 94.

The Miami Marlins announced Ramirez’ death Tuesday.

Ramirez, who died Monday night, began his broadcasting career in Cuba in 1945 before calling 31 All-Star games and World Series in Spanish. He was the Marlins Spanish-language announcer since their inaugural season in 1993 and was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame in 2001.

He was known for an expressive, yet low-key style and his signature strike call of “Essstrike.”

Several Spanish-language broadcasters, including Amury Pi-Gonzanez of the Seattle Mariners and San Francisco Giants, have admitted to emulating his style.