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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Baseball

St. Louis Archdiocese asks Saints to help Cardinals win after Pope’s tweet

St Louis Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals are badly in need of a win to try to turn things around in the NLCS, and they’re reaching out to a seemingly blessed team in hopes of a bit of divine intervention.

On Sunday, Pope Francis inadvertently had a New Orleans Saints logo inserted into one of his tweets due to using a hashtag, which prompted a lot of jokes. It only got funnier when the Saints won, with some jokingly suggesting that the Pope’s intervention had something to do with that.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis noticed. On Monday, they asked for a little help from the Saints — the football team, that is — ahead of a pivotal NLCS Game 3 against the Washington Nationals.

The Archdiocese might be better off going directly to Pope Francis — Cardinals are within his purview, after all. After the way the first two games of the series went for St. Louis, they can use all they help they can get.

ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez set to interview for Mets manager job

The New York Mets are adding to their list of interviewees for the team’s open managerial position.

The latest name linked to an interview is longtime player and current ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.

Perez played 13 seasons in MLB, primarily as a reserve. Though he is known to many for his work on ESPN, he does have coaching experience, having managed in the Puerto Rican league and served on MLB staffs with the Miami Marlins and Houston Astros. He’s also the son of Hall of Famer Tony Perez.

Perez does not appear to be a frontrunner for the job, at least not right now. Joe Girardi has been mentioned as a candidate, and there’s another former player who clearly covets the job. The Mets are taking their time and being thorough, and there’s no real indication of who the preferred candidate is at this time.

Astros’ Joe Espada reportedly interviewing with Cubs for manager job

Chicago Cubs logo

The Houston Astros may be locked up with the New York Yankees in a contentious ALCS, but bench coach Joe Espada is already looking ahead — at least a little bit.

Mark Feinsand of MLB Network reports that Espada is in Chicago on Monday and will interview with the Cubs for their vacant manager position.

Although managerial interviews during the playoffs aren’t entirely out of the norm, it’s at least somewhat surprising to see the Astros allowing Espada to interview ahead of a crucial Game 3. However, the Cubs are adamant they’d like to wrap up their search as quickly as possible and were determined to meet with Espada before a decision on their next manager was made.

In addition to Espada, the Cubs will also interview former Philadelphia Phillies skipper Gabe Kapler, according to MLB.com beat writer Jordan Bastian.

Kapler is also high on the list to take over in San Francisco, and is scheduled to meet with the Giants later this week.

Reggie Jackson apologizes to Giancarlo Stanton after foul-mouthed rant

Giancarlo Stanton

New York Yankees special advisor Reggie Jackson unleashed a foul-mouthed on-air rant against slugger Giancarlo Stanton on Sunday after learning that the highly-paid superstar would sit out Game 2 of the ALCS due to an ailing quad.

During an interview with Jim Bowden of the MLB Network, Jackson dropped multiple f-bombs out of frustration, questioning Stanton’s desire to stay on the field after missing 144 games due to injury this season.

“[Expletive], he’s been out all [expletive] year! How the [expletive] could he be hurt?” Jackson said, later adding that he didn’t realize they were live on the air.

After a few moments of silence, reality set in for Jackson.

“[I was] trying to make fun of the question, thinking it can’t go on the air with the swear words, I said, ‘He’s been out all [expletive] year,” Jackson explained via text with NJ Advance Media. “I thought [Bowden] would then say, ‘OK, Reggie, since you’re going to shoot yourself since we have the same birthday and you filled my tape with all the swear words, let’s do one for radio as we’re wanting to go on the air with you.’

“That was the an ‘Oh [expletive]’ for me. I thought it was all a joke. I almost choked when he said they were on the air.”

Jackson immediately reached out to Yankees media relations VP Jason Zillo to explain the situation and was informed he should bring it to Stanton before the media does.

“I immediately spoke to Jason Zillo and he advised I go in and talk to Stanton, which I did,” Jackson added in his texts to NJ Advance Media. “I’d just spent several days with him during his rehab [from a knee injury] and he graciously accept my faux paux.

“Please know this was said to belittle the question, not with intent or malice.”

Stanton batted .288 with three home runs and 13 RBI in 72 plate appearances this season.

Carlos Correa wins Game 2 with walk-off home run, does basketball celebration

Carlos Correa home run ear

The Houston Astros won Game 2 of the ALCS against the New York Yankees on Sunday night thanks to a walk-off home run by Carlos Correa in the bottom of the 11th inning.

Barely a second after FS1 returned from a commercial break, Correa took the first pitch he saw from southpaw JA Happ and launched an opposite field home run. Happ had thrown Correa a 94 mph fastball on the outside part of the plate — a pitch Correa was looking for. He sent it deep to right to end the game, giving Houston their first run since the fifth and a 3-2 victory.

Correa played to the crowd and his teammates as soon as he hit the homer. He did a basketball shot celebration as he approached the plate and soaked in the atmosphere. He was the total hero of the game. He drove in the first and last runs for Houston, and made a great defensive play in the sixth to save a run.

That was Correa’s second career walk-off hit in the postseason. Two years ago, he beat the Yankees also in Game 2 of the ALCS.

The series is now tied 1-1, and Houston has to be feeling great after winning that marathon game.

Kate Upton was so fired up after the Astros’ big defensive play

Kate Upton Astros

The Houston Astros made a great defensive play to keep Game 2 of the ALCS tied in the sixth inning, and perhaps nobody was more excited about it than Kate Upton.

Upton’s husband Justin Verlander was in trouble with runners on first and second with two outs in the top of the sixth inning against the New York Yankees. Brett Gardner roped a line drive to second that one-hopped Jose Altuve, who was unable to field the ball cleanly. As the ball bounced away from him, shortstop Carlos Correa picked it up and made a great throw home to get out DJ LeMahieu, who was trying to score from second on the play.

Correa’s throw was well in time to get out LeMahieu to end the inning and keep the game tied 2-2. FOX’s cameras showed the reaction from Upton to the great play, and she was jumping around like crazy:

That was a huge play. The Yankees could have had based loaded with two out if LeMahieu didn’t run. And they could have scored to take the lead if not for the great play.

Houston needs the game badly to avoid falling behind 2-0 in the best-of-7 series.

Michael Brantley emotional after foul ball hits security guard

Michael Brantley sad

Michael Brantley was emotional after a foul ball he hit struck a security guard in the Houston Astros’ dugout during Game 2 of the ALCS on Sunday night.

Brantley was batting with a 1-1 count and one out after George Springer hit a solo home run to tie the game. Facing Adam Ottavino, Brantley was out in front of a breaking ball and pulled a rocket line drive into Houston’s dugout. Members of the Astros put their hands over their heads in concern after the security guard was hit.

FOX reporter Ken Rosenthal confirmed that the foul ball hit a ballpark security team member who sits in the dugout. According to Rosenthal, the man stood up with a towel over his head and walked into the clubhouse.

Brantley was distraught over what happened and could be seen crying. Astros manager AJ Hinch came out to console the outfielder, who ended up reaching on a dropped third strike.

The incident and reaction reminds us of what happened with Albert Almora Jr. during a game in Houston in late May.

UPDATE: FOX’s Rosenthal said the man who was hit was a paramedic supervisor. The man was loaded onto a cart and taken to the hospital. He was sitting up and alert prior to being loaded.