Another great moment for false narratives

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You won’t be surprised to hear that I did not watch the Super Bowl. I’m not trying to act all superior or anything or make some anti-football statement. Just saying that I didn’t watch it because the NFL is not my thing. Instead I watched several “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” episodes, with the “Who pooped the bed?” episode standing out as the absolute topper.

OK, maybe I am trying to act superior. That show is the best.

Anyway, Joe Sheehan did watch the game and he wrote about how anyone telling you that the third quarter power outage changed the momentum of the game and allowed the 49ers nearly successful comeback to get going is full of beans.

No, it has nothing to do with baseball. But baseball has plenty of false narrative of its own. Normally that false narrative starts in some obscure play in some obscure game or bit of history and people tend not to question it because looking back at what really happened is difficult. The Super Bowl blackout false narrative is great, though, because everyone in the world who doesn’t have the good sense to watch “Always Sunny” marathons was watching it so anyone passing it off as the reason for the 49ers comeback is engaging in some particularly bold and obvious narrative-mongering.

Be ever-vigilant, my friends. The forces of false narrative are always out there waiting to take advantage of the gullible. Don’t let them.

Athletics tie for first place in AL West

Athletics
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The Athletics are tied for first place in the AL West for the first time since Opening Day. They took the first of a three-game series against the Astros on Friday with a wild (and controversial) overturned replay call in the ninth and Matt Olson‘s decisive walk-off home run in the 10th — the first of his career to date — then returned on Saturday and bested the Astros 7-1 to take first place.

Saturday’s win was less of a nail-biter than Friday’s had been, but its rewards were just as sweet. Trevor Cahill led the A’s through the first seven innings of one-hit, seven-strikeout ball, backed by seven runs on five RBI doubles from Khris Davis, Matt Olson, Stephen Piscotty and Josh Phegley. All told, the four players struck eight doubles to tie the franchise single-game record.

The Astros, meanwhile, were stymied by both Cahill and the A’s bullpen through the first eight innings of the game. Following Cahill’s seven shutout innings, Jeurys Familia took the ball in the eighth and blanked the Astros to preserve the seven-run lead. Yusmeiro Petit wasn’t quite so lucky: with one out in the top of the ninth, he pitched to a full count against Tony Kemp, then saw his 90.1-MPH fastball returned to right field for a home run. That was the first and last time the Astros crossed home plate, however, as Kyle Tucker popped out to third base and Alex Bregman cemented the loss with a fly ball to right.

Entering Saturday’s game, the Astros had not been out of first place since June 13, when they played second fiddle to the now third-place Mariners. They’ll share first-place honors with the Athletics until Sunday’s finale; it’ll take a series sweep for Oakland to take the lead in the division, but they’ve already delivered incredible results over the last two weeks (and it’s worth noting, as MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart pointed out, that Houston has now lost seven of their last eight games). The A’s climbed out of the no. 3 spot at the start of August and have steadily progressed toward first place ever since, driven by two separate four-win streaks and their two decisive wins this weekend. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle also notes that the club has not been in first place in a non-April month since August 25, 2014 — the last year they qualified for the playoffs.