Alex Cora upset Rangers let fly ball drop to let Mike Minor get 200th strikeout

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Rangers starter Mike Minor reached a career milestone during Thursday afternoon’s start against the Red Sox, recording his 200th strikeout of the season. It’s the first time he has reached the 200-strikeout plateau in his career. The Rangers certainly helped Minor get to 200.

Minor entered the start at 191 strikeouts, meaning he needed nine to get to his milestone. He entered the top of the ninth inning with eight. Sandy León flied out to left field to begin the inning, bringing up Chris Owings. With a 1-1 count, Owings popped up a change-up about halfway up the first base line, just barely in foul territory. First baseman Ronald Guzmán didn’t make much of an effort to catch the pop-up, which hit the dirt for strike two. The Rangers’ broadcast showed Joey Gallo enthusiastically clapping in support of what just happened, which made Guzmán’s lack of effort seem all the more intentional. Minor then got over another change-up, high and inside, which Owings took for strike three, giving Minor his ninth strikeout of the game and his 200th of the season. The ball was out of the strike zone but Minor got help from home plate umpire CB Bucknor.

You can see No. 200 around the 1:45 mark in this video:

Red Sox manager Alex Cora wasn’t happy about the Rangers’ attempt to get Minor his milestone,’s T.R. Sullivan reports. For what it’s worth, Rangers manager Chris Woodward also wasn’t happy about it, per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Woodward, however, said the Red Sox set the tone by wildly swinging to avoid striking out in the eighth inning, which is bizarre as well.

Baseball players, famously, have unwritten rules to police behavior on the field which are largely pointless and archaic. Cora and Woodward’s distaste with the other side’s behavior should come as no surprise, even if it is… bizarre.

At the end of the day, neither side was playing for anything more than pride. Minor, who can become a free agent after the 2020 season, turns 32 years old in December. Reaching 200 innings and 200 strikeouts may actually help him leverage a better contract going into the 2021 season. Rationally, 199 innings and 199 strikeouts isn’t much worse than 200/200 but humans love nice, round numbers. So good for Minor for getting there and good for his teammates for supporting him in his pursuit, even if it involved a little gamesmanship.

Minor, by the way, was taken out after getting that strikeout. On the afternoon, he allowed five runs on 10 hits and two walks with nine strikeouts across 8 2/3 innings. He’ll end 2019 with a 14-10 record, a 3.59 ERA, and a 200/68 K/BB ratio in 208 1/3 innings.

New bill to build Athletics stadium on Las Vegas Strip caps Nevada’s cost at $380 million

D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

CARSON CITY, Nev. — A bill introduced in the Nevada Legislature would give the Oakland Athletics up to $380 million for a potential 30,000 seat, $1.5 billion retractable roof stadium on the Las Vegas Strip.

The bulk of the public funding would come from $180 million in transferable tax credits from the state and $120 million in county bonds, which can vary based on interest rate returns. Clark County also would contribute $25 million in credit toward infrastructure costs.

The A’s have been looking for a home to replace Oakland Coliseum, where the team has played since arriving from Kansas City for the 1968 season. The team had sought to build a stadium in Fremont, San Jose and finally the Oakland waterfront, all ideas that never materialized.

The plan in the Nevada Legislature won’t directly raise taxes. It can move forward with a simply majority vote in the Senate and Assembly. Lawmakers have a little more than a week to consider the proposal before they adjourn June 5, though it could be voted on if a special session is called.

The Athletics have agreed to use land on the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip, where the Tropicana Las Vegas casino resort sits. Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao has said he is disappointed the team didn’t negotiate with Oakland as a “true partner.”

Las Vegas would be the fourth home for a franchise that started as the Philadelphia Athletics from 1901-54. It would become the smallest TV market in Major League Baseball and the smallest market to be home to three major professional sports franchises.

The team and Las Vegas are hoping to draw from the nearly 40 million tourists who visit the city annually to help fill the stadium. The 30,000-seat capacity would make it the smallest MLB stadium.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said a vote on the Oakland Athletics’ prospective move to Las Vegas could take place when owners meet June 13-15 in New York.

The plan faces an uncertain path in the Nevada Legislature. Democratic leaders said financing bills, including for the A’s, may not go through if Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo vetoes the five budget bills, which he has threatened to do as many of his priorities have stalled or faded in the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

Under the bill, the Clark County Board of Commissioners would create a homelessness prevention and assistance fund along the stadium’s area in coordination with MLB and the Nevada Resort Association. There, they would manage funds for services, including emergency rental and utility assistance, job training, rehabilitation and counseling services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

The lease agreement with the Las Vegas Stadium Authority would be up for renewal after 30 years.

Nevada’s legislative leadership is reviewing the proposal, Democratic state Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager said in a statement.

“No commitment will be made until we have both evaluated the official proposal and received input from interested parties, including impacted community members,” Yeager said.