There IS crying in baseball. Wilmer Flores hit a walk-off home run!

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There was some confusion on Wednesday when the Mets and Brewers apparently agreed on a deal involving All-Star outfielder Carlos Gomez. The Mets were to get Gomez in exchange for pitcher Zack Wheeler and infielder Wilmer Flores. The news spread like wildfire, and Flores got wind of it during Wednesday’s game against the Padres. He began crying on the field, as he was about to leave the organization he’d been with since he was 16 years old.

And then the trade fell though. Awkward.

When he might have otherwise been in Milwaukee with new teammates, Flores started at second base for the Mets on Friday night and played a rather important role in a win against the Nationals. He broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning with an RBI single to left field against Gio Gonzalez, the only run the Mets would muster through 10 innings. In the 12th, Flores hit a walk-off solo home run to left-center off of reliever Felipe Rivero.

After the last 48 or so hours Flores has had, you can’t help but feel happy for the guy.

Flores is batting .251/.283/.387 with 11 home runs and 42 RBI on the season.

Astros defend barring reporter from clubhouse

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As we wrote about this morning, last night the Houston Astros, at the request of Justin Verlander, barred Detroit Free Press reporter Anthony Fenech from the clubhouse during Verlander’s media availability following the Tigers-Astros game. After Verlander was done talking to the press in the scrum setting — and after a call was placed to Major League Baseball about the matter — Fenech was allowed in.

As we noted, this was done in violation of agreements to which Major League Baseball, the Houston Astros and the Baseball Writers Association of America are parties. The agreements are meant to ensure full access to BBWAA-accredited reporters as long as they have not violated the terms of their credentials.  In no case do the clubs — and certainly not the players — have the right to bar access to BBWAA-accredited reporters. Indeed, the whole point of the BBWAA is to ensure such access and to ensure that teams cannot bar them simply because they are unhappy with their coverage or what have you.

This morning Verlander tweeted, obliquely, about “unethical behavior” on the part of Fenech that led to his request to the Astros to bar him. As we noted at the time, such an allegation — however interesting it might be — is of no consequence to the admission or barring of a reporter. If Fenech has acted unethically it’s a matter between him and his employer and, potentially, between him and the BBWAA. At the very least, if Verlander has a specific concern, it would be incumbent upon him or the Astros to take the matter up with either the Free Press or the BBWAA.

In light of all of this, it’s hard to make a case for Verlander’s request and the Astros’ honoring it. A few moments ago, however, the Astros released as statement on the matter which, basically, says, “so what?”

Which is to say, the Astros have made a decades-long agreement between the BBWAA and MLB regarding reporter access optional, because a player does not like a reporter who is covering him.  Someone without the power to alter the BBWAA-MLB relationship has just done so unilaterally. And they have done so in such a way that any player, should they decide they don’t like a reporter, will now presumably rely on it as precedent. Finally, it should be noted that in issuing this statement, the Astros have given at least some tacit credence to Verlander’s thus far unsubstantiated and unspecified allegations of unethical behavior on the part of Fenech, which seems less-than-ideal at best.

It’s your move, Major League Baseball and BBWAA. Whatcha gonna do about it?