by John Walters
Dis A Ray
History will record that at the time Blake Snell was pulled from a do-or-die game in the World Series for the Tampa Bay Rays, he had struck out each of the first three hitters in the Los Angeles Dodger lineup twice. And their leadoff hitter, Mookie Betts, was about to come to bat for the third time.
So, in case you are not paying attention: six plate appearances for the Dodgers’ top three batters and six strikeouts.
The Rays led 1-0 with one out in the bottom of the sixth. Snell had struck out nine and allowed two singles, the latter to the Dodgers’ No. 9 hitter. The 6’4″ former Cy Young Award winner had PLENTY of gas left in the tank. And manager Kevin Cash pulled him.
Understand: this is a forever moment. This isn’t the second game of a three-game set in mid-May. Blake Snell, Kevin Cash, the Rays: they’re never coming back to this moment. Even if they all return to the World Series.
Blake Snell was pitching the game of his life in the most important game of his life and Cash, adhering to some arcane saber metric guidepost, robbed him of it. Robbed the entire team. Remember in Hoosiers when Norman Dale tried to diagram a game-winning play that would make Jimmy Chitwood the decoy and the rest of the Milan High team looked at him like he was batshit crazy? That was what happened last night in Arlington.
It’s tough enough to lose. It’s unforgivable when you out-manage yourself. Moneyball, yes. Cashball, no.
No sooner had the Dodgers secured their first World Series title in 32 years than Fox’s Kevin Burkhardt reported that the reason third baseman Justin Turner had been pulled in the late innings was because he had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Then things really got weird.
First, one of my students phoned and posited the thought that what if the Rays had won Game 6? Would Game 7 have been postponed as the Dodgers quarantined? Then there was Turner out on the field celebrating with his teammates, which is completely understandable and yet, probably against MLB protocol.
THEN it really got weird when Fox’s Ken Rosenthal reported that Turner had tested positive on Monday, and again on Tuesday.
I may not be understanding Rosenthal well, but why is he talking about whether or not Turner should’ve been on the field during the celebration? Why isn’t he talking about why Turner was even in the game in the first place? He tested positive on Monday. Shouldn’t the second test have been about whether he could return to the field?
In other words, why let him take the field in Game 6 before a second test, for lack of a better word, exonerated him? And who is at fault here? MLB? The Dodgers? Turner? All?
Crazy ending, but then it fits our year.
And You Want To Be My Latex Salesman
Ole Miss coach was recently fined $25,000 by the SEC for questioning a call in the Rebels’ loss to Auburn on Saturday. Lane-changer was totally correct on the call, which cost his team a touchdown, but he whiffed (twice) on the math later when he suggested snarkily how he’d pay his fine.
Someone must have been sitting in the same math class as Mara Gay growing up.
A Higher Porpoise
Love this moment. It almost makes up for the spring break jackasses being responsible for a baby dolphin’s death a few years back because they all wanted to pose with it on the beach as it suffocated. Thankful for people like this.
I guess we could’ve devoted this final item to what miserable human beings the Trump family are, and how the president left his rally goers in Omaha literally out in the cold as Air Force 1 flew off into the night, with all of them having to find their way back to their vehicles in freezing temps in lots that were nearly four miles away. At least nine of them were taken to hospitals and treated for hypothermia (as many—most?—are older and obese and probably will test positive for the coronavirus, too) and I suppose you could make a point about how it’s all a perfect metaphor for who Trump is and where his dumb(struck) acolytes will find themselves in the near future.
I suppose we could’ve riffed on that. But I’d rather show intelligent and amiable dogs. All of whom I’d rather hang out with than the average Trump supporter.