Wait, Magic Johnson sitting next to Frank McCourt is a problem of some kind?

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I thought the  picture of Magic Johnson sitting next to Frank McCourt at yesterday’s Dodgers-Padres game was kind of funny in a study-in-contrasts kind of way. But apparently it was more than that. At least to T.J. Simers who believes that it was a legitimate P.R. disaster:

Why would the best thing that has happened to the Dodgers in recent years allow himself to be photographed sitting next to the worst thing that has happened to the Dodgers? … Who is advising Magic? It can’t be a close friend or anyone interested in preserving Magic’s reputation, because they would tell him the last place he should be seen these days is sitting beside McCourt.

I looked high and low in the article for telltale signs of Simers’ trademark tongue-in-cheek thing, but could find no evidence that he was anything but serious here. He seems to legitimately believe that it’s insane that the buyer and seller of a big asset are seen together in between the time the bid was accepted and the deal closed.

You’re right. T.J.  Magic and McCourt should be like a bride and groom on their wedding day and not set eyes on one another lest all The Bad Things happen.

In other news, the O.C. Register has scores of people covering today’s Angels opener. Despite all of that editorial competition, I bet none of those guys have any trouble finding something to write about that is more of a legitimate thing than what Simers is all animated about here.

Braves clinch NL East title

Ender Inciarte
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So much for a last-minute, nail-biting finish to this division race. The Braves cemented their division title with a dominant 5-3 finish over the Phillies on Saturday, laying claim to the NL East title for the first time since 2013.

The Braves asserted themselves right off the bat after amassing a four-run lead from Johan Camargo and Freddie Freeman, both of whom cleared the bases with two-run singles in the first two innings. Ronald Acuna Jr., meanwhile, found another way to make his presence known after swiping his 15th stolen base of the year and joining Alex Rodriguez, Orlando Cepeda, and Mike Trout as one of the youngest players to collect at least 25 home runs and 15 stolen bags in major league history.

Not to be outdone, Atlanta right-hander Mike Foltynewicz delivered one of the strongest starts of his season to date. The righty set down six innings of no-hit ball against the Phillies, and, with just 62 pitches under his belt, looked ready to go the distance before he lost his bid on Odubel Herrera‘s leadoff single in the seventh.

Unfortunately for the Braves, the Phillies not only upended Foltynewicz’s no-hit attempt, but the shutout as well. In the eighth inning, Cesar Hernandez and Rhys Hoskins wrestled two RBI singles from Atlanta’s bullpen and brought Philadelphia within one run of tying the game. Hoskins was the last Phillies batter to reach base, however, as Jonny Venters and Arodys Vizcaino tossed a combined 1 2/3 scoreless innings (backed by a final RBI hit from Kurt Suzuki in the bottom of the eighth) to cap the Braves’ win — and the NL East title.

With the loss, the Phillies sit seven games back of a wild card spot in the National League. They’ll need to outpace the Diamondbacks, Rockies, and Cardinals in order to make 2018 their first postseason-qualifying year since 2011.