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Major League Baseball issues a statement on the Adam Jones-Boston incident

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Commissioner Rob Manfred, Jr. issued the following statement a few minutes ago regarding the incident in Boston last night in which a fan, or perhaps a few fans, hurled racial slurs at Adam Jones

“The racist words and actions directed at Adam Jones at Fenway Park last night are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated at any of our ballparks.  My office has been in contact with the Red Sox, and the club has made it clear that they will not tolerate this inexcusable behavior.  Our 30 Clubs will continue to work with fans and security to provide a family-friendly environment.  Any individual who behaves in such offensive fashion will be immediately removed from the ballpark and subject to further action. The behavior of these few ignorant individuals does not reflect the millions of great baseball fans who attend our games.”

As I said in the post about the Red Sox’ apology, there are limited things you can do to someone who is intent on being a jackwagon at the ballpark. Kicking them out, certainly. I’d suggest a permanent ban, though that’s harder to implement. We don’t do retina scans of fans as they enter the ballpark and people’s names are not necessarily tied to their tickets.

At the moment the most we can hope for with a ban from a ballpark is that the threat of a trespassing prosecution would follow if they were somehow discovered or ratted out. And that, eventually, people will just stop being jackwagons. That may seem naive, but despite last night’s ugliness, the friendliness of the atmosphere at the ballpark is way better now than it was even 20 years ago and light years ahead of the way it was in, say, the 1970s when drunkenness and nastiness was far more typical and far more accepted.

In the meantime, let’s hope that people will be better. We should always hope that.

Video: Kurt Suzuki breaks World Series Game 2 tie with long solo homer

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The postseason has a knack for finding unlikely heroes. Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki was 1-for-23 in the postseason entering Wednesday’s Game 2 of the World Series. The Nats and Astros each plated two runs in the first inning, then went otherwise scoreless through the sixth inning. In the top of the seventh, with Justin Verlander returning to the mound, Suzuki demolished a high, 1-0 fastball just below the train tracks in left field at Minute Maid Park, breaking the 2-2 tie.

Verlander proceeded to walk Victor Robles, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to take his veteran starter out of the game. Ryan Pressly came in to attempt to keep it a one-run game.

The underdog Nationals held on to defeat the Astros 5-4 in Game 1. Another victory by the Nats in Game 2 would put the Astros — heavy favorites according to oddsmakers — in a big hole.

Update: Pressly walked the first batter he faced, Trea Turner. Adam Eaton successfully sacrifice bunted both runners over. After Anthony Rendon flied out to shallow center field, Hinch decided to issue his team’s first intentional walk of the entire year to Juan Soto, loading the bases. Howie Kendrick then hit what appeared to be an inning-ending ground out, but Alex Bregman booted the ball as he moved to his left. Turner scored to make it 4-2. The floodgates opened when Asdrúbal Cabrera lined a single to center field, bringing home two more runs to pad the lead to 6-2. While pitching to Ryan Zimmerman, Pressly uncorked a wild pitch to allow the two base runners to advance. Zimmerman followed up with a slow roller down the third base line which Bregman barehanded and proceeded to throw away. Two more runs scored. 8-2. Yiiiikes, Astros.