MLB News: Los Angeles Dodgers score record 11 runs in first inning in win over the Braves

The postseason is over after losing game five of the ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays for the New York Yankees, but there are still things going on in MLB. Last night the Los Angeles Dodgers, two games behind in the NLCS, in their quest for a World Series appearance, scored a record 11 runs in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves. No team has ever scored 11 runs in the first inning of postseason play.

The final score in the game was Dodgers 15 and the Braves 3. Before the Dodger win, the Dodgers were two games behind the Braves, now 1-2 in the seven-game NLCS. They got the win with 5 homers, 13 hits, and 15 runs scored, all in the game’s first 3 innings. The game was held at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, and was the first series of the year to have fans socially distanced in the stands. During the first inning, many Atlanta fans left for local restaurants.

On the MLB American League side, the Tampa Bay Rays may walk away with the America League Championship tonight as it will be an elimination game for the Houston Astros.  The Rays won the first game in San Diego at Petco Park 2-1. The Rays won game 2, 4-2, and the third game 5-2, putting the Astros in an elimination situation. But the Astros won last night’s game 4-3, starving off elimination, which they again face tonight. The Ray already won the ALCS series from the New York Yankees three games to two, with the Yankees losing the deciding game by just one run.

In other baseball news the Wall Street Journal reported that Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane will soon have a stake in the Boston Red Sox through his company RedBall Acquisition Corp. Since you can’t be involved in running two MLB teams at once, it appears Beane will instead leave baseball entirely — joining Red Sox owner John Henry’s business efforts across other sports (most notably soccer — Henry owns the Liverpool club). During Beane’s time with the Athletics he brought the team to seven division titles since 1998.

 

Dodgers’ crazy Joe Kelly curses out Houston Astros after being suspended

Dodgers, Joe Kelly

About two weeks ago, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly threw at the heads of Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa. What ensued was a benches-clearing situation that went against MLB protocols regarding COVID-19.

As Kelly was walking off the mound, he stuck his tongue out at the Astros bench and mocked them. This has been a consistent trend across the league, as most players believe the Astros deserve some sort of consequences for their cheating actions that subsequently won them a World Series title. The players didn’t receive any suspensions, snitching their way out of the situation, Kelly would express on Ross Stripling’s the “Big Swing Podcast.

For throwing out their heads, Kelly was suspended eight games, which social media and players took personally, considering the lack of consequences for the Astros’ players.

“I think I’ll be irritated forever.”

The players subsequently sacrificed their coaches to walk away scott-free.

MUST SEE: Athletics’ Ramon Laureano attacks Houston Astros bench with rage

Ramon Laureano

Being hit as a batter is never a fun time, but being hit twice becomes personal. Oakland Athletics outfielder Ramon Laureano, who the Astros traded away back in 2017, sparked a benches-clearing attack against Houston. Laureano began to exchange words with hitting coach Alex Cintron.

What unfolded was not a surprise, considering the negative attention the Astros have received the season. From Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly throwing out Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa’s heads, Laureano attacking the entire bench doesn’t seem out of character.

The Athletics outfielder was hit in the back twice, once by Brandon Bailey and later on by Humberto Castellanos. Oddly, both pitchers were rookies, as the Houston Chronicle states.

After being hit his second time, Laureano was clearly angered and filled with rage. In just his third major league appearance, losing his cool was probably not the best idea. But once again, attacking the cheating Astros seems to be a trend around the league these days.

The melee ended rather quickly, as Laureano charges the bench and catcher Dustin Garneau tackled the Athletic to the ground, putting him in a chokehold.

Interestingly, Astros manager Dusty Baker was ejected earlier in the game for arguing calls made by umpire Nick Mahrley.

Yankees: John Sterling torches Astros over cheating scandal on live television

John Sterling, Yankees

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last year, you’re well aware of the cheating scandal against the Houston Astros. With the New York Yankees playing a big part in the history of their cheating, having lost the ALCS to the Astros back in 2017 and 2019, Yankee fans and fans across baseball want to see karma get the best of Houston.

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly took the karma situation quite literally, throwing at the head of Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa. This subsequently induced a benches-clearing situation, as Kelly made several aggressive facial expressions toward Astros players while exiting the field.

However, disdain towards their organization stretches far into the corners of baseball. Even long time announcer John Sterling for the Yankees, couldn’t hold back from making a joke about their cheating.

Sterling was breaking down why facing off against pitchers like Gerrit Cole is difficult.

He mentioned that batters have to cheat with their bat, but not like the Houston Astros cheated. Good one John, it’s nice to have you back. These are the small sleights that make commentating that much more fun. At 82 years old, Sterling seems to have plenty of life left in his bones.

The Astros are currently 6-8 on the season, struggling to get anything going after losing Cole to the Yankees and their star players failing to produce at the plate. While the negativity circling their team might have a significant impact, the cheating has brought them back to earth. Seeing their mortality is definitely a nice slice of revenge for fans across the country.

Astros’ Carlos Correa hits himself in the family jewels, more revenge!

Carlos Correa, Houston Astros

The Houston Astros continue to put themselves in the spotlight after pitcher Kent Emanuel was suspended 80 games for a PED violation.

Of course, the national media is well aware of the cheating scandal that Houston embarked on and somehow managed to escape with no player consequences. Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly threw two fastballs at Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa’s head, and he was suspended eight games for his transgressions. However, no Astros players faced any significant consequences after cheating their way to a World Series victory and much more.

Karma has taken it’s a toll, though, as Astros shortstop Jose Altuve is currently hitting .190 on the season through 13 games.

While Carlos Correa is currently hitting .375, he hit himself in the family jewels on Friday evening on a foul ball. The baseball gods are clearly angry and are doing something that Rob Manfred simply couldn’t bring himself to do, punish Houston.

 

Houston Astros pitcher suspended 80-games, more cheating?

Kent Emanuel, Houston Astros

The Houston Astros simply can’t get out of the spotlight after being thrown at by Dodgers‘ pitcher Joe Kelly and their primary hitters struggling at the plate. It seems as if the lack of cheating has made them mortal after all, which attests to the more harsh suspension that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred should’ve imposed.

Kelly received an eight-game suspension for his transgressions, representing the ridiculousness that occurred regarding the Astros’ suspensions.

Not a single player was forced to miss games during the 2020 season, but Kelly, who threw two wild pitches on purpose, was banned.

Nonetheless, one Houston Astros pitcher was recently suspended 80 games for testing positive for steroids. Kent Emanuel, who was on the Astro’s 40-man roster, tested positive for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone.

Emanuel stated regarding the positive test:

“I do not know how 7 picograms of the long-term metabolite of DHCMT got into my system, but I know I have never knowingly or intentionally taken oral turinabol,” he wrote.

Take this as you will, but Houston just can’t play the game of baseball the right way. While Kent might disagree with the test and have an alternate explanation, the reality is, somehow and some way, the illegal substance got into a system.

Yankees: Baseball Yankee fans finally get an apology from the Astros!

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge, Jose Altuve

Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle via AP has reported that the Houston Astros, after a postseason of complete silence, have finally addressed the sign-stealing scandal this morning.  In front of the media, Astro owner Jim Crane, new Manager Dusty Baker and players Jose Altuve, and Alex Bregman discussed the sign-stealing situation by reading prepared statements.  Team owner Jim Crane spoke first, saying this will never happen again, while he’s in charge.  He blamed the scandal on the front office and leadership.  He further added that the players should not be held responsible for the lack of leadership.

Alex Bregman than spoke, saying:

“I am really sorry about the choices that were made by my team, by the organization, and by me. I have learned from this, and I hope to regain the trust of baseball fans.”

Jose Altuve said he felt remorse:

“I want to say that the whole Astros organization feels bad about what happened in 2017. We especially feel remorse for the impacts on the fans and the game of baseball. Our team is determined to move forward.”

Following Bregman and Altuve’s statements, they immediately returned to the clubhouse without taking any questions from the media.

Crane and Baker did stick around to answer some questions.  Crane, in answering a question, said: “Our opinion is this didn’t impact the game. We had a good team. We won the World Series, and we’ll leave it at that.” “I truly believe there were no buzzers ever.” He continued that he felt that he should not be accountable for the actions of the team.  He also added that he did not think it was necessary to reach out to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  He did not refer to the Yankees.  Altuve and Bregman’s comments were an improvement over their less than apologetic comments made recently at the Houston Astros FanFest.

After Commissioner Manfred released his report on January 15 detailing the scheme, reactions around the league began to seep out slowly.  Now that pitchers and catchers have reported to spring training, many of the pent up feelings of anger are coming to light.  Yankee pitchers CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka have both expressed that they felt cheated.  Sabathia now retired felt he may have missed on his last chance at another WS ring.

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone and catcher Gary Sanchez expressed doubt that the Astros were totally clean this past year either.  Boone, in his news conference, said when asked about the scheme, he summarily replied that we have moved on and are focused on the 2020 campaign.  There will likely be many more statements coming forth that will express disappointment with the Astros.  With spring training starting, the Astros had to address the situation to ease the backlash they will most certainly feel as the storyline occupies the season.

New York Yankees: Three Must See Regular Season Series

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

The New York Yankees play plenty of tough regular season series against challenging teams, but there are some that you just don’t want to miss. Here are three to circle on your calendar:

April 2-5: Toronto Blue Jays

This series is the first home series for the Yankees. They play on the 2nd, 4th, and the 5th at 1pm. The 3rd is the rainout date for the 2nd. Fans will have their first opportunity to see new players for the first time. Assuming that Gerrit Cole pitches on opening day, he will be in line to pitch the final game against the Blue Jays or the first game against the Orioles (the 6th).

Fans will also have an opportunity to see some great young talent on the Blue Jays. Though they kill the Yankees, guys like Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and Cavan Biggio are very fun to watch.

June 26-28: Chicago Cubs

The Cubs come to town early in the year with a new manager (David Ross) and just the fact that they are in the NL. You only have an opportunity to see an NL Central team at home every six years, so take advantage of it. They will be towards the top of the National League again.

Kris Bryant, Javy Baez, and Anthony Rizzo are also fun players to watch, and it should be a really fun series.

September 21-24: Houston Astros

The Astros come to town at the end of the season, and this should be the most entertaining series of the year. Not just that both teams are stacked, but Gerrit Cole faces his old team and it will be the first time that the Yankees are facing them at home since the cheating scandal.

It’s gonna be sold out at the Stadium, and fans aren’t going to let the Astros hear the end of it. Should be highly entertaining.

I didn’t put any of the Red Sox series down because they faceoff 19 times per year. No series will be astronomically different from the usual rivalry antics.

 

New York Yankees: Do the Houston Astros pass the Duck Test?

UNCLE BILL ASKS:  DO THE HOUSTON ASTROS PASS THE DUCK TEST? The New York Yankees should be wary of them during 2020.

Surely you have heard of the Duck Test. “If it walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.”  That phase is generally considered to identify something or someone that is defined by their habitual characteristics.  According to the nine-page report issued by Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred the Houston Astros cheated during the 2017 postseason by the use of electronic means in stealing the signs of opposing catchers.  Okay, now we know that, although we expected it long before the report.

There is also a saying that states, “once a cheater always a cheater,” that is at least until your caught.  It would be natural to wonder if you were successful at cheating, would you give it up or work to refine it even more?  Some believe Houston was successful at it and continued it in even more refined ways, right up to and including this past postseason.   However, the MLB took steps before the 2019 season to further prevent electronic sign-stealing from happening by limiting live feeds and preventing the placement of in house cameras from being placed between the foul poles.

It was evident that the Astros were very creative in scheming to steal signs and allowing their hitters to know what pitch was coming from the opposing pitcher.  Due to their creativity, all kinds of things creep into your mind, like why did Jose Altuve, the MVP of the series, scream at fellow players waiting for him at home plate as he rounded third base.  He shouted twice, “don’t rip off my jersey.”  There are three possibilities.  One is his wife wouldn’t like it, two he wanted to save it as a souvenir of his walk-off homer, or three he was hiding something under his jersey.  Unfortunately, now that they have been proven to be cheaters, the later might well have been true.  He could have had some wiring under his jersey that would signal in some way, possibly through vibrations, what pitch was coming.  If you are of the negative mind, you think that Altuve was intimately involved.

That’s the big problem the Houston Astros will be facing for years to come, the Duck test.  In Minutemaid Park and wherever they travel, fans and the opposing team will continually be wondering if they are cheating in some way.   If you are positive of mind, you will believe the steps the MLB has taken will prevent them from doing so and that they have learned their lesson.   One thing is for sure, the 2020 season for the Houston Astros is going to be a challenge in many ways as they try to restore their reputation and avoid the Duck Test.

New York Yankees: Strip The Astros Title

New York Mets trade for Jake Marisknick

This week has been unbelievable for baseball.

The Houston Astros were punished for cheating in the 2017 season, but there may be more. What they have done over the last few seasons has stopped the New York Yankees from advancing to the World Series, and has affected many other teams as well.

To go along with the sign stealing, there are accusations that Astros players may of had buzzers on their chest in some games, including the 2019 ALCS game six. The buzzers would buzz a certain amount of times to notify players the pitch.

Jose Altuve, who hit the walkoff home run off of Aroldis Chapman, may of had a buzzer on him. As he rounded third base headed for home, he pleaded to his teammates to not rip off his jersey. Watch:

Absolutely unbelievable. This can’t happen, and it may of happened a lot. The MLB needs to review the entire case again and repunish.

Some may think that it’s extreme, but here’s what I think should happen:

-Alex Cora, AJ Hinch, and Jeff Luhnow banned from baseball

-Loss of 2020 and 2021 first and second round picks (current punishment)

-$5 million fine (current punishment)

-Jose Altuve stripped of MVP

-Players from team stripped of any offensive awards from 2017-2019

-World Series title stripped

There should just be no 2017 World Series winner. With what they did, it’s just completely unfair for them to keep the ring and all the accolades. Kudos to pitcher Mike Fiers, who brought light to the whole situation and was brave enough to say something.

More needs to be done. Not doing so will hurt baseball.