Bryan Abreu striking Adolis Garcia with a fastball and the ensuing benches-clearing Lone Star War will be the climax of this baseball season. Lost in the shuffle were the Rangers not capitalizing on first and second with nobody out in the bottom of the eighth and ninth of Game 5. Jose Altuve’s home run and the ejections took precedence. And I’m surprised we almost got through five games of the American League Championship Series without an incident. These teams hate each other. And Abreu should be suspended tonight. Major League Baseball upholding his suspension, but deferring it to the first two games of the 2024 season is complete cowardice. It does nothing for anyone. If the league got it wrong, take the ban completely away. If it didn’t, Abreu threw at a batter with intent in a critical juncture of the season. I actually can’t think of a worse way MLB could’ve handled it.
Flag football will last exactly one Olympics
Game 6 of the ALCS absolutely exposed how disconnected from the rest of baseball the Astros and their fan base are. No matter how many times a Twitter account, or an X account, whatever the shell-of-its-former-self platform Elon Musk runs is called nowadays, posts “If you think that was intentional, you know nothing about baseball!!!!!” it doesn’t stop facts. And Abreu will still serve a suspension, albeit several months later. I honestly don’t know why Houston didn’t, and currently hasn’t, embraced villainizing the situation. Without Abreu plunking Garcia, there’s likely not a Game 7. The Rangers already comprise one-half of the World Series. There’s no way we’ll know, but Jose Leclerc has been money since August, and that one moment is what undid him, evidenced by him getting out of a bases-loaded jam in Game 6.
What a Machiavellian move from either Abreu, catcher Martin Maldonado, Dusty Baker himself, or some combination of the three. It’s evil genius, and Baker knows the rules of baseball all too well. And how he extended Leclerc’s delay by sitting on the bench? He’s lucky to have not been suspended himself. I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point in Game 7 if Texas manager Bruce Bochy doesn’t ask the umpires to check Astros’ starter Cristian Javier for a foreign substance, just as the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant proposed. Garcia should’ve had a cooler head, but playing with that emotion is what makes him so great. It’s not an on-off switch, especially this time of year, so Rangers fans take the mostly good with the bad.
Those fans in attendance losing their minds when Nathan Eovaldi hit Maldonado with a pitch last night looked incredibly dumb, especially when the replay showed the Astros’ catcher moving his arm into the pitch. Guess they weren’t so animated when Ryan Stanek plunked Corey Seager. You can’t have it both ways, and saying the league is out to get the Astros? Abreu won’t miss Game 7 or any World Series action. Cheaters gonna cheat, and maybe the league office is colluding.