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Guardians, Mariners, Phillies move on...and Mets or Padres
Add-on posted early Wed.
Mets Go Down…Joe Musgrove Superb
I have to start out with what I wrote before Game 3 Sunday night, Mets-Padres.
“Musgrove, though, is more than capable of a lights-out effort.”
And so he was. More than capable. Historic, in fact. The first pitcher in a winner-take-all game to throw seven innings and allow one hit or less.
And thus the Mets lost 6-0, Chris Bassitt sucking wind, just like he had against the Braves a week earlier.
Mets fans love television announcer Gary Cohen, who will be in the broadcasting wing of the Hall of Fame one day. A lot of us waited until after the desultory ending of the season to see what Cohen would say in his postgame remarks. And he didn’t mince words when giving his thoughts about Buck Showalter opting to check Joe Musgrove’s ears for a banned substance.
Showalter asked the umpires to do that in the bottom of the sixth inning, Musgrove having allowed the one hit, San Diego leading 4-0 at the time. Musgrove’s spin rates were way up from the norm (as ESPN broadcaster David Cone was noting) and chatter started on social media about his ears appearing shinier than normal. I thought they were shiny, but I haven’t watched Musgrove all year.
Cohen, not on the ESPN broadcast, didn’t agree with Showalter’s decision.
“Let me phrase this the right way,” Cohen said. “Buck Showalter is completely in his rights to ask the umpires to check a pitcher for foreign substances. It’s up to the umpires then to decide whether it’s an appropriate thing to do.
“I thought that considering the circumstances, 4-0, sixth inning, season on the line, it smacked of desperation and it was fairly embarrassing I thought for Buck to do that in that spot. It was not necessary. As it turned out, Musgrove was not cheating. If you’re going to pull a stunt like that, you better be right and Buck wasn’t right.” [Fellow post-game analyst Todd Zeile agreed with Cohen, sidekick Jeremy Blevins did not.]
I agree with Gary. And as Cohen said more than once the last month of the season, Buck made more than a few questionable moves.
As in the bloom is off the Showalter rose.
And so we go back to June 1, the Mets 35-17, but with a 10 ½-game lead in the NL East.
They would go 66-44 the rest of the way, hardly a collapse, and never lost more than three in a row all season.
But the fact is after taking 2 of 3 against the Dodgers, Aug. 30-Sept. 1, they were 84-48, up 3 games on the surging Braves, but critically had the easiest final 30 games in baseball given their opponents.
So the Mets lost three in a row, Sept. 3-6, against Washington and Pittsburgh…7-1, 7-1, 8-2.
They lost three in a row, Sept. 12-14, to the Cubs at home…5-2, 4-1, 6-3.
And then when they needed just one win against the Braves down in Atlanta to secure the division tiebreaker, leading the season series 9-7 going in, Sept. 30-Oct. 2, they lost all three…5-2, 4-2, 5-3.
Notice how in all nine of those losses, the Mets never scored more than three runs.
Since the Dodgers series, it wasn’t just the likes of Scherzer and deGrom coming up short, the offense was infuriatingly inconsistent.
They then lost to the Padres…7-1, 3-7, 6-0.
For good reason Mets fans are pissed. No, I’ll never look back on 2022 and say, ‘Wow, 101 wins, that was a great season!’ You kidding me? This team was built to win it all. Certainly at least get to the NLCS and if they lost to the 111-win Dodgers at that point, those are the breaks.
But what transpired is inexcusable. And, yes, Scherzer and deGrom came up small in crunch time, deGrom with four poor starts going into the wild card game where he was good, but far from great.
Mets owner Steve Cohen and the front office have their work cut out for them this offseason. Broadcasters who don’t cover the Mets, though, make it sound like it’s the whole team, and that’s not right. Only one position player, center fielder Brandon Nimmo, is a free agent and the hope here is that they find a way to keep him as there is no obvious replacement in the farm system for 2023.
But the big issue is closer Edwin Diaz, and then the starting staff. Jacob deGrom is gone. Chris Bassitt would want to stay, I think, but Mets fans, and I’m guessing Cohen, have seen enough. Carlos Carrasco could come back, but the Mets don’t have to bring him back. Let him go.
The starter I want them to re-sign is Taijuan Walker, but only for two years, and it’s highly likely he can get four / $50 million somewhere else.
So aside from Max Scherzer, the Mets are left with Tylor Megill and David Peterson as options.
And…a guy I’ve been thinking a lot about the past few days, Trevor Williams. Buck Showalter loves the guy, the teammates admire him…all he did was just do the job, whatever he was asked to do, and no reason why he can’t be a solid No. 4 starter.
So that’s a potential starting four, and then hopefully Walker. But it sure doesn’t look good on paper, and you’re counting on Megill and Peterson to step up bigly.
After all, the offense is going to potentially be a lot better with one single move. Turn phenom Francisco Alvarez into the full-time DH. He may struggle for a bit, but he’s a lock for 80+ RBIs and that’s a helluva lot better than this year’s multiple DHs did for the Metropolitans.
There’s also a chance Alvarez hits his stride early and is the monster at the plate much of baseball thinks he can be.
Finally, the Mets have some other solid prospects, including a 21-year-old shortstop who’s more of a 2024 play, Ronny Mauricio. A kid showing big pop already.
As in this kid could be part of a package, including third baseman Brett Baty and 3B/DH Mark Vientos for Shohei Ohtani! And the Mets’ pitching problems are largely solved.
OK, so much for my daydream. Aaron Judge? They let Nimmo go, move Starling Marte over to center, and Judge plays right…and DH.
Bottom line, it’s going to be one interesting offseason in New York. And there is bound to be a surprise or two.
To be accurate, Steve Cohen wants to model the Mets after the Dodgers and build both a top-tier farm system and trade and sign judiciously. So forget swapping all the prospects for Ohtani. And the Angels’ eventual new owners recognize they need to keep the superstar.
--Meanwhile, in the Division Series….
Philadelphia manager Rob Thomson had the interim tag removed on Monday, the Phillies announcing they had signed him to a two-year contract to remain as their manager through 2024, a nice reward for a job well done after taking over following a 22-29 start. The Phillies went 65-46 the rest of the way.
And the Phillies held on Tuesday to defeat the Braves in Atlanta, 7-6, having nearly blown a 7-1 lead heading to the bottom of the fifth.
For Philadelphia, Nick Castellanos had three hits and three RBIs, along with a great catch in the ninth, while Travis d’Arnaud (homer, double, 3 RBIs) and Matt Olson (3-run homer in the ninth) accounted for the six Braves runs.
Now the Braves have to face Zach Wheeler and Aaron Nola.
In Houston, the Mariners blasted Justin Verlander out of the box, 6 earned on 10 hits in four innings, but the Astros came back from a 7-3 deficit to score 2 in the eighth, and then won it 8-7 in the ninth on a dramatic 3-run walk-off home run from Yordan Alvarez off Robbie Ray.
Yes, Robbie Ray, the starter who signed a massive $21 million+ per free agent contract in the offseason through 2026 (with opt outs) and then proceeded to have a so-so 12-12, 3.71 season.
The same Robbie Ray who was totally ineffective in Game 2 of the wild card against Toronto, though the Mariners came from behind in spectacular fashion to advance.
That said, I didn’t have a problem with manager Scott Servais bringing his lefty in to face the lefty Alvarez, up 7-5, two on. It just didn’t work.
And thus a massive win for Houston.
In New York, the Yankees prevailed 4-1 over the Guardians, Gerrit Cole with 6 1/3 of one-run ball, Anthony Rizzo with the big 2-run homer off Cleveland starter Cal Quantrill in the sixth to make it 4-1, the Yankee pen doing the job the rest of the way.
Cole won his ninth in 15 postseason starts, the third in MLB history to do so (Chris Carpenter and Orlando Hernandez the others).
But there was no reason for an off day, Wednesday, and now the weather in New York is likely to screw things up Thursday.
--The Dodgers won their opener against the Padres 5-3.
--Brian Cashman called Aaron Judge’s wager on himself “an all-time best bet” after Judge responded to turning down the Yanks’ seven-year, $213.5 million extension offer on Opening day with one of the most prolific offensive seasons in history.
Cashman said on Sunday: “There’s a pot of gold there. It’s yet to be determined how much it weighs. …Good for him. It was already a big pot and obviously, it will be bigger.”
Cashman reiterated the Yankees’ desire to keep Judge in pinstripes, but acknowledged he’ll have “a lot of choices.”
Cashman added: “He’s a great player that bet on himself and it was an all-time best bet, the way he navigated the season. He always puts up huge numbers when he stays healthy and now he’s stayed healthy for a number of years. It’s a remarkable accomplishment that was very special to watch and captivated the entire baseball world.”
--Eric Kay, the former communication director of the Los Angeles Angels, was sentenced to 22 years in prison after being convicted in February of providing the drugs that caused the 2019 death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs.
But this is amazing. Kay got more than the minimum 20 years because of remarks he made in prison.
As in prosecutors played a tape of a prison phone conversation in which Kay, 48, said of Skaggs: “I hope people realize what a piece of s--- he was. …Well, he’s dead, so f--- him.”
District Judge Terry Means said he had been dreading sentencing Kay because he felt mandatory minimums were “excessive.” But the judge said that the prison conversations showed a “refusal to accept responsibility and even be remorseful for something you caused.”
Federal prosecutor Erinn Martin claimed that Kay was in Skaggs’ hotel room when he choked on his own vomit – a contention based on key card evidence – and that he didn’t try to save the pitcher either because “he freaked out and decided to save himself and his job,” or because he was incapacitated himself. Martin said that Kay knew that the drugs he gave Skaggs were “likely or potentially counterfeit” and could contain fentanyl.
Four biggies on the schedule Saturday.
10 Penn State at 5 Michigan (Noon, FOX)…where we learn if the Knittany Lions are for real. I don’t think they are.
3 Alabama at 6 Tennessee (3:30, CBS)…as big as it gets. I’m assuming Bryce Young is ready.
8 Oklahoma State at 13 TCU (3:30, ABC)…Horned Frogs are for real. Will Cowboys be up to the task?
15 North Carolina State at 18 Syracuse (3:30, ACCN)…this is huge for ACC fans, as we determine whether the Orange are title contenders. For the Wolfpack, Devin Leary’s injury status to be determined later in the week.
Tennessee will be without starting safety Jaylen McCollough, who was arrested Sunday on felony charges of aggravated assault following an incident at a Knoxville apartment complex.
It’s a long, complicated story, but McCollough was jailed (and released Monday) after punching a guy in the face at a girlfriend’s place.
McCollough is the third Tennessee player to be arrested in the past two months, the other two on domestic assault-related charges. They were dismissed from the team. It should be assumed McCollough will be as well.
Way to recruit ‘high character’ guys, Tennessee!
--Barry Svrluga / Washington Post
“The season is five weeks old, and already coaches at five Power Five conference schools have been fired – (Paul) Chryst at Wisconsin, (Herm) Edwards at Arizona State, (Scott) Frost at Nebraska, Geoff Collins at Georgia Tech and Karl Dorrell at Colorado. Total tab they will be paid, again, not to coach; more than $55 million, according to the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics.”
As Svrluga added:
“When an NFL owner makes a mistake on a coach or an executive and has to move on before a contract is up, they’re eating the money. When a college athletic department or athletic director does the same, they can turn, hat in hand, to all manner of places – wealthy boosters who would rather pay $1 million than watch another loss to State or Tech, maybe the fundraising arm of the athletic department. There’s enough cash to pay one person to coach and one person not to. Just don’t suggest paying the players.”
Five weeks in the books.
Buffalo fans have to feel like their Super Bowl favorite Bills, at 4-1, are progressing nicely.
Jets fans are almost giddy at 3-2.
Miami fans, 3-2, are just hoping they can keep a quarterback healthy, any quarterback.
No one gives a damn about the Patriots, 2-3, even their fans.
Baltimore fans, even though their Ravens are just 3-2, must feel like they have the division in the bag with the Bengals, 2-3, struggling the way they have. Cincinnati has lost its three by a combined eight points.
Browns fans, 2-3, should for now be all in on the Guardians.
Steelers fans want to jump off the Clemente Bridge after their 1-4 start, but it’s closed for some maintenance work, so they have to use the far more dangerous Fort Duquesne Bridge.
Tennessee fans, 3-2, but winners of three straight, must feel like their boys have got their mojo back, especially with Derrick Henry back in form.
Colts fans, 2-2-1, have absolutely nothing in their area to be excited about.
Jacksonville fans, 2-3, shouldn’t be too down in the mouth over their 2-game losing streak.
Houston fans, 1-4, should just move to Dallas or pretend they graduated from TCU and take over a local bar on Saturdays to watch the exciting Horned Frogs.
It’s still all K.C., 4-1, until proven otherwise, as Chargers fans (3-2) still don’t know what the 2022 edition is.
At 2-3, Broncos fans, well, let’s just say they aren’t too happy with Russell Wilson, knowing the team is committed to the guy and he looks like crap. I really better stop here.
Las Vegas, 1-4, thankfully has the Golden Knights of the NHL. A ton of talent, but as we saw Monday night, it’s one play here, another there, and four losses by a combined 14 points.*
*I did watch much of the Chiefs-Raiders game Monday night and of course the officiating was atrocious, including the missed hold on Chris Jones with 1:40 left (let alone the earlier Jones debacle).
But the collision on the final 4th and 1 for the Raiders between receivers Davante Adams and Hunter Renfroe was beyond inexcusable. No wonder Adams was fuming (not to excuse his pushing a cameraman onto the ground as he entered the locker room…for which Adams apologized, but the guy rightfully filed a police report afterwards).
I didn’t have a problem with Vegas coach Josh McDaniels going for two, I also have to add.
But what a stat line for the ages…Travis Kelce’s seven receptions for a whopping 25 yards but a Monday Night Football record four touchdowns.
Eagles fans are soaring, far above the clouds, at 5-0, and for good reason.
Cowboys fans, at 4-1, are thankful for Cooper Rush.
Giants fans can’t believe they are 4-1, and building a fun identity. I mean who doesn’t want to root for Daniel Jones at this point? And Saquon Barkley is a highly likeable star in the Aaron Judge mold.
Washington fans, 1-4, can easily just switch to the nearby Ravens and have more fun with Lamar. At least that’s what I’d do.
Vikings fans keep asking themselves, are we really 4-1? How?
Green Bay fans, just 3-2, have that queasy, cheesy feeling.
Bears (2-3) and Lions (1-4) fans are planning Caribbean vacations together this December, so they don’t have to stick around and watch their teams.
Tampa Bay faithful, at 3-2, are just happy they escaped Ian’s wrath and really aren’t that focused on the Bucs yet…and they don’t want to see the name Gisele.
Saints (2-3) and Falcons (2-3) fans are planning on a joint party at Flora-Bama, a terrific bar on the waterfront between Alabama and Florida, east of Orange Beach, a place your editor has frequented. Better than watching these two teams.
Carolina owner David Tepper is wondering what the hell he was thinking when he purchased the Panthers, 1-4, when he doesn’t need the money he’ll of course inevitably make in selling the team, and instead it’s just a source of angina. I’m also guessing he’s more focused on the chaotic European bond market, because this is the kind of market that he has thrived in in the past.
That said, he did find time Monday to fire coach Matt Rhule, who was 11-27 with Carolina. He was 5-11 in 2020 and 5-12 last year.
Niners fans, at 3-2, know their defense will at least keep them in the hunt the rest of the season.
Rams fans, 2-3, are still celebrating the Super Bowl and have moved on to the local excitement of the undefeated USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins.
Arizona fans, 2-3, have great golf this time of year…and can become USC or UCLA fans without a problem, seeing as Arizona and Arizona State blow.
Seattle fans, 2-3, have….actually, I don’t know what they have to fall back on. Just Release the Kraken!
--Washington fans are getting tired of head coach Ron Rivera, who was 7-9, 7-10, his first two seasons and 1-4 this one.
Rivera is also having to walk back a comment he made about quarterback Carson Wentz.
When asked why his team is so far behind in the division, Rivera threw Wentz under the bus.
“Quarterback. The truth is, this is a quarterback-driven league. And if you look at the teams that have been able to sustain success, they’ve been able to build it around a specific quarterback.”
Former NFL quarterback Alex Smith, who played for Rivera in Washington, and is an analyst with ESPN, didn’t like what he heard.
“When I heard it, I couldn’t believe it. I’m not here to defend Carson Wentz. He’s had a tumultuous career and ups and downs. But this is a defensive head coach that’s absolutely driving the bus over his quarterback. …The blame has got to be spread around. This is a team sport. It is the ultimate team sport. How can a head coach stand up there in front of the media and utter one word, and its ‘quarterback’?”
--During the Mets-Padres game Sunday night, I checked into the finish of the Shriners Children’s Open out in Las Vegas. I had seen that budding star Tom Kim (really budding ‘superstar’) had built a 3-shot lead, but Patrick Cantlay had come roaring back and they were tied at -24 playing the par-4 18th.
It’s then those watching saw Cantlay totally implode. He hooked a 3-wood left of the fairway into a desert bush in a ravine, while Kim was belting driver into the fairway and by the time Kim finally played his second shot to the green, Cantlay was lying four in the bottom of the pond fronting it.
Cantlay, as all the announcers were commenting on, stupidly tried blasting out of the bush to no avail. I mean the on-course reporter, and the two in the 18th tower, were all virtually screaming (hushed screaming), ‘Don’t do it!’
Cantlay then had to take a penalty drop and proceeded to hit his fourth out of the desert sand and into the water.
Amazingly, Cantlay still sank a 35-foot putt for triple bogey that gave him a share of second place.
Which was the point. He saw where Kim’s drive was. Cantlay was in an impossible position. He and his caddie, knowing they needed to take their medicine, and with a 3-shot lead over Matthew NeSmith in third, should have easily played for second.
Cantlay argues it was his only way to have a shot at winning, which golf fans get, but, again, it was literally an impossible shot as all three Golf Channel reporters were correctly pointing out prior.
Anyway, Tom Kim became the first player since Tiger Woods in 1996 to win twice on the PGA Tour before turning 21. He won the Wyndham Championship in August to earn a tour card and he’s been soaring ever since…including in his Q Rating, witness his Presidents Cup performance.
Now there’s only one problem for Tom, and it’s a problem faced on the LPGA Tour from time to time.
S.H. Kim was T4
Sungjae Im was 7
Si Woo Kim T8
And further down….
K.H. Lee was T37
Byeong Hun An T44
Impressively, all six South Koreans who entered made the cut. But it’s just a fact. For the casual fan, it’s difficult to tell who’s who.
--In light of what I wrote last time concerning Bryson DeChambeau, I couldn’t resist the following.
Eamon Lynch / Golfweek
“Who could have imagined that a low-speed collision with a gallery rope would occasion a loss of critical faculty? But then, that presumes Bryson DeChambeau had a firm grasp on logic or fact before he banjoed himself in front of tens of spectators at a recent LIV tournament in Chicago. If nothing else, the resulting viral video finally brought eyeballs to the LIV product, and perhaps some comfort to its CEO to see someone else suffer an embarrassing choke inside the ropes.
“The discombobulated DeChambeau didn’t seem to have all synapses firing at LIV’s latest event for guys who want to spend more time at home, this one held in Thailand, a dozen time zones from his bed in Texas. He was angered that the Official World Golf Ranking declined to award points to LIV’s Bangkok stop within 24 hours of the Saudi-funded enterprise announcing an alliance with a near-defunct MENA Tour, which is recognized by the OWGR but hasn’t actually staged a tournament in more than two years.
“ ‘They’re delaying the inevitable. We’ve hit every mark in their criteria, so for us not to get points is kind of crazy…we have the top players in the world…we deserve to be getting world ranking points,’ DeChambeau said, with an air of entitlement more befitting a Crown Prince than one of his playthings….
“(DeChambeau’s) self-righteous claim that LIV has met all of the OWGR criteria is entirely false and absurd.
“LIV’s existing structure falls short of many of the conventions long-established for tours to qualify for world ranking points… On rules around format, cuts and average field sizes over the course of a season, LIV is non-compliant. Nor are LIV events accessible via a legitimate qualification process, since entry is determined largely by Greg Norman’s use of MBS’s checkbook. Defenders will point to LIV’s proposed relegation system but that is meritless since some players are contractually exempt from being demoted, regardless of performance.
“Tours must be compliant with OWGR standards for a year before ranking points will be awarded, but LIV has shown no intent to become so. Instead, Norman has adopted a strategy popular with his puppeteers: insist that established rules don’t apply, allege that the application of said rules amounts to unfair and discriminatory treatment, and launch a bot-driven misinformation campaign to create a deceitful narrative of a conspiracy….
“What DeChambeau and Norman think they’re entitled to is immaterial and the onus is upon the OWGR to stand firm against LIV’s artless intimidation and to follow its established protocols. LIV tournaments should receive ranking points when the tour is eligible, not because its CEO and players pitch a public tantrum as the consequences of their career decisions become apparent. If Norman sold his players a bill of goods – they couldn’t be suspended by the PGA Tour, they would continue to earn ranking points, they would be hailed as game-changing visionaries and not castigated as stooges for Saudi sportswashing – then that’s a problem for him and those who might privately feel hoodwinked.
“There are already too many traditional norms that the abhorrent Saudi regime considers itself exempted from, like not dismembering critics, imprisoning students for tweets, or commissioning mass executions. Surely it can at least be held to the requirements necessary to award ranking points for its damned golf tournaments.”
Advancing to the Round of 8…three races to determine the final four for the finale.
--The New York Rangers opened up the NHL season with a nice 3-1 win over the Lightning, Mika Zibanejad with two goals. [Nashville and San Jose actually opened things up days earlier with two in Prague, Czech Republic.]
--The Golden State Warriors fined, but won’t suspend, Draymond Green for his violent punch to the face of teammate Jordan Poole.
Coach Steve Kerr said last night that Green would return to practice Thursday and play in the season opener next Tuesday against the Lakers.
--LeBron James Jr., aka Bronny James, the 18-year-old son of LeBron and a decent high school player, was one of five players to sign NIL deals with Nike. Two college women hoopsters, Iowa’s Caitlin Clark and Stanford’s Haley Jones, as well as two more high school seniors: Dajuan “DJ” Wagner Jr. of Camden, N.J., and Judea “JuJu” Watkins, who plays for the Sierra Canyon girls’ team.
“Each athlete is recognized as a player who is paving the way for the next generation on and off the court,” Nike said.
Whatever. LeBron Sr. has been with Nike since before he was drafted No. 1 in 2003 by the Cavs. He now has a lifetime deal with them.
Bronny is not a potential NBAer, though with his contacts might become one, but he’ll get a Div. I offer soon.
--Congratulations to Emily Sisson, the 30-year-old American half-marathon record-holder, who competed in the 10,000 meters at the Tokyo Olympics last year.
Sisson is the new American marathon record holder, running 2:18:29 in the Chicago Marathon on Sunday. Her only other marathon was in London, 2019, when she ran 2:23:08.
Sisson finished second to Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya, who finished in2:14:18, just 14 seconds short of the world marathon record.
Benson Kipruto of Kenya won the men’s race in 2:04:24.
--Angela Lansbury, the legend of Broadway, the big screen and the small one, died at the age of 96 on Tuesday.
Lansbury was a force in the entertainment business in a career that spanned eight decades and garnered her an Oscar, five Tonys and 18 Emmy nominations, although she never won one for CBS’ “Murder, She Wrote.”
--Finally, I have to note the death of a local kid, Letrell Duncan of East Orange, 16, who was shot to death walking home from school Monday when a car pulled up near the front door of an elementary school, and two men, both wearing masks, shot Duncan four times. The vehicle fled the scene and Duncan died a short time later.
The kid started at point guard for a solid East Orange High School team last season and was by all accounts clearly headed to a Division I program.
East Orange is close to Summit, but the communities are light years apart in so many respects.
It just sucks. May the bastards who did this rot in hell.
Next Bar Chat, Sunday p.m.
Add-on up top by noon, Wed.
[Posted Sun. p.m., prior to Mets-Padres and late football games]
MLB Playoff Quiz: Name the ten with at least 18 home runs in MLB Playoff history. I’ll give you Reggie Jackson and Mickey Mantle, both with 18. The others are all post-1990. Answer below.
--Let me just say up front that I love the wild card format, and while I have come to like the ghost runner in the tenth inning, I understand why it’s eliminated in the playoffs. And I can’t wait for the offseason, which I wrote at the time of the MLB settlement with the Players will truly be exciting again, especially for New York area fans. As in as we’ve seen all season, baseball is back.
But in the here and now, thank God us Mets fans have a third game tonight.
In Game 1, Friday at Citi Field, Max Scherzer again laid an egg, yielding 7 earned, 4 home runs, in 4 2/3 as the Mets fell to the Padres, 7-1. For San Diego, Yu Darvish was his usual sublime self, 7 innings, yielding just a solo homer to Eduardo Escobar, who was a jerk with his incessant kiss-blowing. Yoh, Eduardo, you made it 7-1! When you had a chance to cut it to 3-1 and potentially change the tenure of the game, you struck out with a runner on third and one out. [Ditto Pete Alonso in the first.]
Mets fans were rightfully down in the mouth, even with Jacob deGrom on the mound Saturday night. After all, Jake had pitched poorly his last four starts, a 6.00 ERA, including a crappy effort in that key series in Atlanta.
But the Mets came out on top, 7-3, as deGrom went a solid six, giving up 2 runs, while striking out 8. Despite throwing 99 pitches, however, it was a bit of a mystery that he didn’t take the mound in the seventh. It was do-or-die, after all, and the Mets were up just 3-2, thanks to solo shots by Francisco Lindor and Alonso.
Instead, manager Buck Showalter rolled the dice and put Edwin Diaz in for the seventh, and then for two outs in the eighth, before Adam Ottavino and Seth Lugo closed it out, the Padres with the tying run at the plate in the top of the ninth before Lugo induced Josh Bell to hit into a groundout to wrap things up.
Encouraging for Mets fans as we head to tonight’s drama was the clutch hitting in the 4-run seventh, led by Jeff McNeil’s big two-run double, followed by a run-scoring hit from Escobar and a big sac fly (my favorite play in the game of baseball) by Daniel Vogelbach.
So tonight, it’s the Padres’ Joe Musgrove vs. the Mets’ Chris Bassitt. Bassitt, like deGrom and Scherzer, laid an egg in the critical Atlanta series that cost New York the first-round bye in the playoffs. But he’s a battler. I’d take six innings, 2 runs in a heartbeat. Musgrove, though, is more than capable of a lights-out effort.
--In the other wild card series…the Cleveland Guardians eliminated the Tampa Bay Rays with superb pitching, which was matched on the other side, winning game 1, 2-1, as Shane Bieber (7 2/3, 1 run) outdueled Shane McClanahan (7 innings, 2 runs).
And then Saturday, it was scoreless entering the 15th inning (the first time any MLB playoff game went beyond 14 scoreless), when in the bottom of the inning, Oscar Gonzalez ended it all with a home run, the surprising Guardians moving on to face the Yankees in the ALDS.
[The Yanks have left reliever Aroldis Chapman off the playoff roster after he inexcusably missed a mandatory workout on Friday. It seems he was in Miami. This is the same idiot who was on the IL from Aug. 24 until Sept. 16 due to an infection in a leg caused by getting a tattoo.]
--The equally surprising Mariners took two in Toronto, winning the first, 4-0, behind Luis Castillo’s outstanding 7 1/3, and then with a stunning come-from-behind 10-9 win on Saturday.
The Mariners were behind 8-1 after five, and then scored 4 in the sixth, 4 in the eighth, and one in the ninth for the win.
It was baseball’s largest road comeback win in playoff history, and the largest comeback victory to clinch a postseason series.
Adam Frazier had the big hit in the ninth, a tie-breaking double.
Seattle heads to Houston for the other ALDS.
--And then we had the Phillies at the Cardinals, and Philadelphia is headed to Atlanta to face the Braves after 6-3, 2-0 wins over St. Louis.
Philadelphia received outstanding starting pitching from aces Zack Wheeler, 6 1/3 scoreless Friday, and then Aaron Nola, 6 2/3 of no-run ball. They should be lined up for Games 2 and 3 in the Braves series.
Albert Pujols had two hits yesterday, including a single in his final at-bat in the eighth inning, and Yadier Molina got a single in the ninth, with the sellout crowd serenading both.
Now the two will head off into the sunset, to be reunited in Cooperstown in five years as first-ballot Hall of Famers.
Again, what a special season for Pujols, who came through royally the second half of the season after contemplating retirement in June.
He also said he planned to honor his 10-year, $10-million personal-services contract with the Angels despite owner Arte Moreno’s intentions of selling the team and the disappointing end to his nine-plus-year tenure in Anaheim.
The contract is with the team, not Moreno, and Angels GM Perry Minasian said Thursday that the team “absolutely” wants Pujols to fulfill the contract and that he would be “a great asset for myself to have in this organization.”
And indeed he would be.
--Since I posted an Add-on Wed. morning, I missed the final game of the regular season and for those bitching about the Mets’ Jeff McNeil sitting how the final game to clinch the batting title, don’t give me this Ted Williams last-day crap.
Here’s the tale of the tape.
After Sunday’s play, Sept. 25, McNeil was batting .317 and Freeman .328 (Freddie was at .329 after Sept. 24).
McNeil then went out and grabbed it…six straight multi-hit games, including 3-for-8 in a doubleheader last Tuesday to settle at .326.
Freeman, on the other hand, pulled the El Choko…going 0-for-12 before a final game (Wed.) 3-for-4 performance pulled him to .325. The Mets had a two-hour rain delay Wed. and McNeil had the luxury of knowing Freddie wasn’t going to pass him. It also only made sense to rest a guy with leg issues all season.
In the American League, the Twins’ Luis Arraez ended up winning it comfortably over Aaron Judge, .316 to .311, denying Judge the Triple Crown.
--In other stuff of note….
Atlanta’s Kyle Wright was baseball’s only 20-game winner, 21-5, 3.19.
Houston’s Justin Verlander, having thrown all of one game in 2020-2021, came back to lead the A.L. in ERA, 1.75, while going 18-4.
The Dodgers’ Julio Urias, one of the great stories in the game, wins the N.L. ERA title at 2.16, going 17-7.
--While Aaron Judge hit his 62 home runs, Kyle Schwarber led the N.L. in homers with 46, in the midst of a very Rob Deer-like season, 46-94, .218 BA.
--In the final game, Mike Trout hit home run No. 40, the third time of his career at that level. In just 119 games, the season shortened by a back injury, Trout had 80 RBIs and a .999 OPS.
Shohei Ohtani threw five innings of one-run ball Wednesday to finish 15-9, 2.33, 219 strikeouts in 166 innings. At the plate, 34 home runs, 95 RBIs, .875 OPS.
Yes, any other year he’s winning his second straight MVP award. Alas, Aaron Judge will rightfully receive it.
The Angels opted to bring back manager Phil Nevin for the 2023 season, a bit of a surprise given that he was 46-60 after replacing Joe Maddon in June.
--The Royals fired manager Mike Matheny after the team finished 65-97. He was 165-219 during his time with the Royals, after parts of seven seasons in St. Louis.
K.C. is a miserable franchise at this point.
--Cory Youmans is the fan who caught Aaron Judge’s No. 62 home run ball and he already has an offer.
JP Cohen, president of Memory Lane Inc., told the AP on Wednesday that he has texted and emailed Youmans with a $2 million offer for the baseball.
Cohen had previously pledged to offer $2 million for Judge’s 62nd homer. According to the AP, he added that his company has a good relationship with the Yankees and it would be willing to loan the ball to the team for an exhibit. His team has frequently exhibited items owned by Memory Lane at Yankee Stadium. “We did make an offer of $2 million and that offer is still valid,” Cohen said.
--Lastly, in our year-long watch at 2022 vs. 1968 (the Year of the Pitcher), following a dreadful start at the plate for MLB, which we knew was due to the miserable weather, and not just the baseball, the MLB batting average was .243 vs. .237 in ’68. This season’s OPS was .706 vs. a putrid .639 in 1968.
College Football Review
[Comments written prior to release of the latest AP Poll.]
No upsets in the AP Top Ten, with 10 Penn State idle, but we had a big near miss.
No. 1 Alabama (6-0), playing without Heisman winner Bryce Young, made a final goal-line stand to escape with a 24-20 win over Jimbo Fisher’s Texas A&M team (3-3).
Bama turned it over four times, three by Young’s backup, Jalen Milroe, who nonetheless threw for three touchdowns and ran for 83 yards.
A&M was playing without its starting QB, Max Johnson, and Haynes King drove the Aggies 69 yards in the final 1:50, only to have Alabama’s All-World Will Anderson Jr. and the defense come up with two late stops, including a final shot from the 2 with three seconds left, King’s pass to Evan Stewart falling incomplete.
So Nick Saban and Co. survive and it appears Young will be back next week in a massive showdown at Tennessee.
Speaking of which, 8 Tennessee (5-0) tuned up with a 40-13 win at 25 LSU (4-2) as Vols quarterback Hendon Hooker continues to gain Heisman attention.
2 Georgia (6-0) could leap back over Bama in the upcoming AP Poll after a 42-10 win over Auburn (3-3).
3 Ohio State (6-0) certainly looks CFP bound after a 49-20 win at Michigan State (2-4) as Heisman favorite C.J. Stroud threw for six touchdowns, three to receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., while running back TreVeyon Henderson had 118 yards on 19 carries in essentially a half of play.
But for those looking ahead to Nov. 26 and Ohio State-Michigan, and what college football fan today isn’t already doing so, the No. 4 Wolverines cruised to a 31-10 win at Indiana (3-3), though the game was 10-10 at the half before J.J. McCarthy threw three second-half TD passes for Michigan. Blake Corum, having a super season, added 124 yards on the ground.
5 Clemson (6-0) remains firmly in the CFP picture, 31-3 victors at Boston College (2-4).
There is excitement in Los Angeles. Not only is 6 USC still undefeated at 6-0 following a 30-14 win over Washington State (4-2), but 18 UCLA is going to surge in the rankings after a very good 42-32 win over 11 Utah (4-2).
For Chip Kelly’s 6-0 Bruins, quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson is having a Heisman caliber season, tossing four touchdown passes and rushing for another score.
As in Los Angeles, there is a quarterback controversy. Who is better? USC’s Caleb Williams or Dorian Thompson-Robinson?
November 19….USC-UCLA…must-see TV.
7 Oklahoma State (5-0) is saying, ‘Don’t forget about us’ when it comes to the CFP picture, the Cowboys a 41-31 winner over probably the best 3-3 team in the country, Texas Tech.
9 Ole Miss (6-0) remains in the SEC title picture following a 52-28 win at Vanderbilt (3-3), Jaxson Dart throwing for 448 yards and three touchdowns for Lane Kiffin’s Rebels. Ole Miss receiver Jonathan Mingo had a career day…nine receptions for 247 yards and two scores.
Now tell me…is that a cool name or what…Jonathan Mingo. Kind of has an Old West sound to it.
[Busting through the saloon door, the fellas playing poker in the corner, whisper… “That’s Mingo…Jonathan Mingo.” “Oh s---.”]
--In other games of note…
12 Oregon moves to 5-1 with a 49-22 road win over Arizona (3-3).
South Carolina (4-2) had a big win at 13 Kentucky (4-2) 24-14 as the Wildcats will tumble out of the Top 25 (at least they should), though I hasten to add star QB Will Levis was out for Kentucky.
14 North Carolina State (5-1) held serve against Florida State (4-2), 19-17, FSU quarterback Jordan Travis getting picked off in the endzone on the final play.
But the Wolfpack are waiting to see the injury status of star QB Devin Leary, who suffered a right arm or shoulder injury.
15 Wake Forest (5-1) will move up a few after a 45-10 win over a poor Army (1-4) squad. Go Deacs!
16 BYU (4-2) will slide out of the top 25 after a 28-20 loss at Notre Dame (3-2), who might sneak into the 25th spot.
17 TCU (5-0) will be moving up about 4 slots with a 38-31 win at 19 Kansas (5-1), a 10-3 game at the half turning into a shootout.
20 Kansas State (5-1) won a yawner at Iowa State (3-3) 10-9.
23 Mississippi State is 5-1 after a 40-17 win over Arkansas (3-3), as storyteller / quarterback extraordinaire Will Rogers passed for 395 yards and 3 touchdowns as he continues his assault on the SEC record book.
Texas improved to 4-2 and a probable top 25 ranking this week after demolishing Oklahoma (3-3) 49-0, outgaining the Sooners 585-195!
New OU coach Brent Venables, the supposed defensive whiz from Clemson, has seen his team outscored 145-58 in their last three as a 3-0 start has turned into 3-3. Oh, I can just imagine the anger in Norman.
Duke (4-2) suffered a bad loss at an admittedly resurgent Georgia Tech (3-3) 23-20.
And in Pitt’s 45-29 win over Virginia Tech (2-4), Panthers running back Israel Abanikanda rushed for a spectacular 320 yards and six touchdowns on 36 carries. Abanikanda broke Tony Dorsett’s single-game record of 303 yards set against Notre Dame in 1975, in a game your editor was at, and he became just the third back from a Power 5 school to rush for 300 and score six TDs in the last 25 seasons, joining LaDainian Tomlinson and Ricky Williams, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Johnny Mac’s Coastal Carolina is 6-0 after a 28-21 win over UL Monroe (2-4), as the Chants just get the job done, even if in unimpressive fashion.
Friday night, Rutgers (3-3, 0-3 in the Big Ten) was leading lowly Nebraska 13-0 at halftime and should have put the Cornhuskers (3-3, 2-1) away. Instead, they lost 14-13.
As longtime Star-Ledger sportswriter Steve Politi put it, following a Rutgers penalty late for unnecessary roughness that allowed Nebraska to keep the ball and preserve the victory:
“It was, in a word, inexcusable.
“The same word sums up this entire loss.
“How did Rutgers blow a 13-0 lead at halftime against a Nebraska program that fired its head coach three weeks into the season? With the usual offensive ineptitude befuddling personnel decisions and a level of quarterback play that wouldn’t fly in the Patriot League. It would have been hard to stomach under any circumstances.
“All of this happened six games into (Greg) Schiano’s third season. The Scarlet Knights are 3-3 now, and barring a quick reversal following the bye week, will take a step back this season. This was a bad loss, to a bad team, with as bad an end-game sequence as we’ve seen in Piscataway in a long time.”
And now…the new AP Poll!
1. Georgia (32) 6-0…1535 points
2. Ohio State (20) 6-0…1507
3. Alabama (11) 6-0…1489
4. Clemson 6-0
5. Michigan 6-0…huh…would have kept them No. 4
6. Tennessee 6-0
7. USC 6-0
8. Oklahoma State 5-0
9. Ole Miss 6-0
10. Penn State 5-0
11. UCLA 6-0…Zoom Bam Boom
12. Oregon 5-1…quack quack
13. TCU 5-0
14. Wake Forest 5-1
15. North Carolina State 5-1
16. Mississippi State 5-1
17. Kansas State 5-1
18. Syracuse 5-0
19. Kansas 5-1
20. Utah 4-2
21. Cincinnati 4-1
22. Texas 4-2…deserved
22. Kentucky 4-2…eh
24. Illinois 5-1…where did these guys come from? First ranking since 2011…
25. James Madison 5-0…holy Harrisonburg! On my way to Roanoke two weeks ago I passed JMU’s stadium…a very cool facility in the middle of campus, up on a hill…first ranking in program history…and first season in Division I as a member of the Sun Belt Conference.
The first CFP Ranking is Tues. Nov. 1st, in case you were wondering, as I was.
Four big games next week…more in my Add-on….
The NFL and the NFL Players Association agreed to update the league’s concussion protocol on Saturday.
The decision follows the review of the incident on Sept. 25 in which Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered an apparent head injury and was later allowed to re-enter the game.
Under the new protocols, players will be unable to compete if they are experiencing ataxia.
As part of the joint announcement:
“Specifically, the term ‘ataxia’ has been added to the mandatory ‘no-go’ symptoms. ‘Ataxia’ is defined as abnormality of balance/stability, motor coordination or dysfunctional speech caused by a neurological issue. In other words, if a player is diagnosed with ‘ataxia’ by any club or neutral physician involved in the application of the Concussion Protocol, he will be prohibited from returning to the game, and will receive the follow-up care required by the Protocol.”
--So then in today’s action, the Giants hooked up with the Packers in London and it was a terrific game, New York (4-1) stunning Green Bay (3-2) and Aaron Rodgers 27-22, after trailing 20-10 at the half.
Quarterback Daniel Jones, playing on a sprained ankle suffered in last week’s game, was under control throughout, 21/27, 217, 0-0, 100.2, and Saquon Barkley returned from an injury to pick up 70 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown (along with three receptions for 36), the Giants’ defense pressuring Rodgers throughout the second half, holding the Packers scoreless until New York took a late safety on purpose.
What a job by first-year head coach Brian Daboll. A total turnaround in attitude and the culture. After all, this is a team that has gone 4-13, 6-10, 4-12, 5-11, and 3-13 the last five seasons.
--Of course, the team the Giants share MetLife Stadium with, the Jets, have gone 4-13, 2-14, 7-9, 4-12, 5-11 and 5-11 their last six seasons!
But they are 3-2, snapping a 12-game losing streak in the division today at MetLife, 40-17 over the Dolphins (3-2).
Granted, Miami was without Tua, and the Jets knocked out his replacement, Teddy Bridgewater, early, meaning the Dolphins had to go with third-string Skylar Thompson, but a win is a win.
And Jets fans got to see rookie Breece Hall go off for 97 yards rushing and 100 receiving, with Zach Wilson having another terrific fourth quarter, while the defense held Tyreek Hill to just 47 yards on seven receptions.
The Jets aren’t playoff bound, but there is distinct improvement and I am wearing my Jets pullover with pride. [It’s also very warm and can help reduce heating bills.]
--New York doesn’t just have two teams with a combined 7-3 record, it also has the Bills (4-1), who embarrassed the Steelers (1-4) 31-3 at the half, Josh Allen with a monster first 30 minutes, 348 yards and four touchdowns, as the Bills cruised, 38-3.
Next up for Allen and Co., Kansas City at Arrowhead.
--The Chargers improved to 3-2 with a 30-28 win at Cleveland (2-3), Austin Ekeler with a monster game out of the backfield for L.A., 173 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown, plus another 26 on four receptions and a second score.
Cleveland’s Nick Chubb had another huge game himself, 134 yards on 17 carries and 2 TDs.
--Tom Brady has the Bucs 3-2 after a 21-15 win over the Falcons (2-3), Gisele’s ex- 35/52, 351, 1-0, 92.7. Tampa Bay’s defense held Atlanta to just 261 yards.
--Thursday night, Indianapolis (2-2-1) beat Denver (2-3), 12-9 in overtime, in what many said was the worst football game of all time.
Seriously, this is what Jim Rome tweeted: “This is literally the worst football game I have ever witnessed… No way the worst game ever WASN’T going to OT. Don’t tell me bad football is better than no football.”
Former NFL head coach Wade Phillips: ‘I think both teams should consider punting on 1st down.”
For the Broncos, not exactly what they had in mind when they ransomed their future to trade for Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson and handed him a five-year, $245 million contract extension.
Wilson threw a pair of game-breaking interceptions and missed a chance to win the game in overtime with his errant throw on fourth-and-inches from the Colts’ 6-yard line. Wilson completely missed a wide-open KJ Hamler and tried to squeeze the ball in to Courtland Sutton, which fell incomplete, ending the game.
Per NFL Network’s James Palmer: “#broncos WR K.J. Hamler to me on the final play of the game. ‘I could have walked in.’”
ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky: “Russ looks either hurt or is totally checked out/disinterested. He’s never looked this bad.”
SI’s Conor Orr: “Russell Wilson doesn’t have Pete Carroll to take the blame anymore.”
--Heading into the final round of the Shiners Children’s Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, a Presidents Cup match broke out…Patrick Cantlay and 20-year South Korean budding star Tom Kim alone at the top by 3 strokes.
Cantlay, looking for his ninth win, and Kim his second in four starts, shot 60 and 62, respectively, in Saturday’s third round.
But this one is finishing after I post.
--Jon Rahm won the DP World Tour’s Acciona Open de Espana in Madrid this weekend. It was his third Spanish Open title, tying idol Seve Ballesteros. As Rahm admitted after, he wasn’t facing the best field of the season, but the pressure was on him as the huge local favorite.
This tour is gearing up for its finale in Dubai, Nov. 17-20.
--The LIV Golf topic keeps coming up because Greg Norman and Co. can’t seem to get it into their heads that they aren’t getting Official World Golf Ranking points…at least not yet.
LIV and its players knew this going in. [At least the players should have, though some of them are idiots.] While a few of them will probably be allowed to play in the majors next year, like Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Cam Smith…maybe Brooks Koepka, maybe Phil at Augusta…if they still have exemptions left from their prior major triumphs, the others are falling by the wayside as they tumble down the rankings, which use a rolling two-year format.
At this weekend’s LIV Golf event in Bangkok, Thailand (bad timing giving the horrible mass-shooting/stabbing at the nursey school this week), DeChambeau spoke to the media about LIV’s new alliance with the MENA Tour (a circuit as minor as they get) and the ongoing quest for world ranking points.
“They’re delaying the inevitable. We’ve hit every mark in their criteria. To not get points is kinda crazy as, at least I believe, we have the top players in the world,” Bryson said.
“We’re gonna keep dropping down in the rankings until it gets to the point that our rankings won’t ever matter. And that’s what they’re trying to accomplish, and I hope people can see right through that instead of believe the lies they’ve been told.”
No, Bryson. People do get it. You knew the rules going in. You grabbed the money, claimed you wanted to focus on family and your foundation, and never said anything about ranking points.
DeChambeau’s best finish in a LIV event is 10th. He was 14th this week.
Back to last Wednesday, LIV announced a partnership with the MENA folks, a developmental tour founded in 2011 and based in Dubai that already had OWGR accreditation. LIV officials touted the move as a way for its events to immediately begin receiving World Ranking points.
The OWGR didn’t see it that way and issued a statement acknowledging it had received communication from MENA outlining changes to its membership structure and that it was beginning the review process on its changes. However, the ranking organization said that LIV still is not eligible for points in Thailand or in its event in Saudi Arabia next week.
The MENA Tour wasn’t approved for World Ranking points until 2016, and this is hardly a major tour, as in any points are minimal and hardly going to be difference makers for LIV players.
In the end, MENA could easily risk decertification for changing its approved competition format to align with LIV.
I never, ever heard of the MENA Tour before this. It’s also been on hold since the start of the pandemic.
One more…the OWGR, after several years of modifying its plans, put in place a more detailed ranking system that began in August. It is already apparent that smaller field events are seeing a decrease in points.
For example, the 30-player Tour Championship won by Rory McIlroy saw him get 38 points for winning (and having the low 72-hole score). A year earlier, Jon Rahm and Kevin Na shared the 72-hole low score and each received 51 points.
In December, the 20-player field for the Hero World Challenge (Tiger’s event), will see its points allocation reduced.
--Meanwhile, Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra, the 22-year-old Spaniard and All-American at Oklahoma State who gave up his senior season to turn pro this summer and sign with LIV, shot a final-round 69 to cruise to the title in Thailand, winning by three over Patrick Reed to grab the $4 million first-place check.
Yes, not having the kid on the PGA Tour, eventually, hurts, and his story might entice 2 or 3 others to jump, not wanting to have to move up through the ranks, like through the Korn Ferry Tour, to just sign for the riches…and admittedly, everyone’s story is different.
It’s Erling Haaland’s world and we’re all just living in it these days. Haaland scored another two goals in Manchester City’s 5-0 rout of FC Copenhagen in the Champions League, and then he had another Saturday in a 4-0 Premier League win over Southampton.
So Haaland has 20 goals in 12 games, all competitions, and 15 in nine PL games.
In this weekend’s games, Man City whipped Southampton 4-0, Chelsea beat the Wolves 3-0, and my Tottenham Spurs had a big road win, 1-0 at Brighton on Harry Kane’s header.
And then today, Arsenal proved once and for all they are a true contender for the title, beating Liverpool, 3-2, as Liverpool’s mysteriously poor start continues to be perhaps the big story of the early season.
Manchester United beat Everton 2-1.
Standings 8/9 of 38…played – points
1. Arsenal… 9 – 24
2. Man City…9 – 23
3. Tottenham…9 – 20
4. Chelsea…8 – 16
5. Man U…8 – 15
6. Newcastle…9 – 14
10. Liverpool…8 – 10…2-4-2 (W-D-L)
Christopher Bell won his way into the NASCAR Cup Playoff Series Round of 8 with a win at the Charlotte Roval today, knocking out defending champ Kyle Larson in the process.
Four races to go for the Cup.
--Many of you have seen the leaked video of the Golden State Warrior’s practice where Draymond Green throws a punch at teammate Jordan Poole, and while we don’t know what precipitated it, the two supposedly have a history of mixing it up in practice.
On Thursday, Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers indicated Green would spend a couple of days away from the team, and that any other punishment would be handled internally.
But that was before TMZ obtained video of the punch and published it Friday.
As USA TODAY’s Jeff Zillgitt wrote:
“It was vicious, unnecessary and unprofessional, and Green is lucky he didn’t cause a significant injury. Before the video became public, the altercation was vague and it was difficult for someone not there to discern its severity.
“The video exposed that, and the need for the Warriors to deliver a substantial punishment. (The Warriors have the additional problem of figuring out who leaked video of practice to TMZ). ….
“Even in heated exchanges, it’s unacceptable to throw a punch, and the consequences should not be insignificant.
“Just because Poole didn’t sustain a serious injury doesn’t mean Green should get off easy. Maybe the NBA should get involved and take the appropriate action that the Warriors were unable to do.”
Longtime Warriors Steph Curry and Andre Iguodala came to Poole’s defense.
“There’s nothing that warranted the situation (Wednesday),” Curry told reporters, a direct rebuke of Green. “I want to make that clear.”
Saturday, Green said he will step away from the Warriors “for a few days” to focus on himself and allow the team to “heal.”
“I was wrong for my actions,” Green said, adding that he apologized to Poole and Poole’s family. “There’s a huge embarrassment that comes with [this]. Not only for myself, as I was the one who committed the action…but the embarrassment that Jordan has to deal with and that this team has to deal with, this organization has to deal with. But also Jordan’s family. His family saw that video. His mother, his father saw that video. If my mother saw that video, I know how my mother would feel.”
He added that he must also “rebuild trust in the locker room.”
Into the December file he goes.
Top 3 songs for the week 10/13/79: #1 “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” (Michael Jackson) #2 “Rise” (Herb Alpert) #3 “Sad Eyes” (Robert John)…and…#4 “Sail On” (Commodores) #5 “My Sharona” (The Knack) #6 “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” (Dionne Warwick) #7 “Pop Muzik” (M) #8 “Dim All The Lights” (Donna Summer) #9 “Lonesome Loser” (Little River Band) #10 “After The Love Has Gone” (Earth, Wind & Fire…EWF attempts to save the week, but still a ‘C-‘…your editor in fall of senior year, and it seems like there is a narrow window for graduation on time…)
MLB Playoff Quiz Answer: Ten with 18 or more playoff homers….
Manny Ramirez, 29 in 493 plate appearances
Jose Altuve, 23 in 363
Bernie Williams, 22 in 545
Derek Jeter, 20 in 734
Albert Pujols, 19 in 360
George Springer, 19 in 300
Carlos Correa, 18 in 334
Reggie, 18 in 318
Mantle, 18 in 273
Nelson Cruz, 18 in 207
Randy Arozarena holds the single-season record with 10 home runs in 2020, 10 in 86 plate appearances.
Bernie Williams leads in playoff RBIs with 80.
David Freese has the single-season playoff RBI mark with 21 in 2011.
Add-on up top by noon, Wed.