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Trump takes credit for Red Sox sweeping Mariners

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As I mentioned in the recaps this morning, the Mariners are a bad team that started off hot and is now finding its level. As I also mentioned in the recaps this morning, the Red Sox are a good team that started off poorly and is now finding its level. As such, one should not be terribly surprised that Seattle came to Fenway Park this past weekend and got swept by Boston in pretty resounding fashion.

Of course, there are some others who have a different explanation for why the Red Sox swept the series:

I suppose that’s one possibility.

Another possibility is that the president is — shockingly — engaging in some fallacious correlation/causation reasoning.

I mean, Hector Velázquez skipped the White House visit because he took specific issue with Trump’s comments about his native Mexico and he tossed five innings of two-run ball and got the win yesterday. Maybe his snubbing of Trump was what gave him his best outing of the season. Rafael Devers went 9-for-14 with a homer, a couple of doubles and seven RBI over the weekend after giving Trump a pass. Xander Bogaerts went 4-for-10 with three RBI on the weekend after skipping out. Alex Cora, of course, managed the Sox to all three of those wins despite his decision to avoid a meeting with Trump.

I’m joking of course. There is no correlation or causation to be found here, whether the player in question went to the White House or not, because visiting a politician — or choosing not to visit a politician — in no way impacts one’s baseball performance. To suggest otherwise is either (a) to be silly; or (b) to be cynically using a non-political actor, like a popular sports team, as a political prop in order to bathe in unearned glory and to make oneself look or feel better.

Which is, actually, a pretty good reason for a sports team that has no desire to be cast in a political light to go see said politician.

Dodgers upset with Héctor Neris after Thursday’s game

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July hasn’t treated Phillies closer Héctor Neris well. Entering Thursday, he had allowed runs in three of his last four appearances, blowing two saves in the process. His struggles continued as he allowed a two-out solo home run to Alex Verdugo in the bottom of the ninth inning on Thursday afternoon, closing the deficit to 7-6. Thankfully for the Phillies, he was able to get the final out, getting Justin Turner to fly out to right field. An excited Neris looked into the Dodgers’ dugout and yelled an expletive.

The four-game series between the Dodgers and Phillies had quite some drama. After Matt Beaty hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning on Tuesday, Neris threw a pitch at the next batter, David Freese, seemingly in frustration. Neris was suspended three games. He appealed his punishment, which is why he’s been allowed to pitch. In the fourth inning of Thursday’s game, Max Muncy and Beaty stepped on first baseman Rhys Hoskins‘ ankle on consecutive plays. That, along with his own struggles, explains why Neris might’ve been amped up after closing out the ballgame.

The Dodgers were, understandably, not happy about Neris yelling at them. Several players shouted back, including Clayton Kershaw and Russell Martin. An unamused Muncy glared at Neris. Martin suggested to Neris that they meet in the hallway.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after the game, “I think we played this series the right way, played it straight. To look in our dugout and to taunt in any way, I think it’s unacceptable. Look in your own dugout.”

Muncy said, “He’s blown about eight saves against us over the last two years. I guess he was finally excited he got one. Whatever.”

Neris attributed his outburst to emotions, saying, “It’s a great win for my team and just I let my emotion get out.”

In baseball, everyone is pro-showing-emotion when it’s himself and his teammates, and against when it’s players on the other team. Muncy got into a back-and-forth with Giants starter Madison Bumgarner after flipping his bat and watching his long home run at Oracle Park last month. Bumgarner jawed at him and Muncy said, “I just told him if he doesn’t want me to watch the ball, go get it out of the ocean.”

Neris, however, is the last guy on the Phillies who should be antagonizing the Dodgers after his terrible decision to throw at Freese, not to mention his overall poor performance against them. The Phillies were pigs in mud who wanted to wrestle and the Dodgers jumped in with them for some reason. Thankfully, the two teams are done playing each other for the rest of the regular season.