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Tuesday, October 22, 2019


George Springer defends himself for not running hard on double

George Springer defended himself after Tuesday’s 5-4 Game 1 World Series loss to the Washington Nationals for not running hard on a big double in the eighth inning.

Springer hit a ball deep to right-center in the bottom of the eighth that scored Kyle Tucker from second. Springer was pimping the ball out of the box and only ended up at second, which potentially cost the team the tying run.

After the game, Springer defended himself by saying he would have been out if he tried to go to third. He also noted that Tucker was hanging out near second in case Adam Eaton caught the ball, and he didn’t want to overrun his teammate.

Springer is clearly trying to cover himself, but the reality is if he were running hard out of the box as he should have, he might have had a chance to be on third base and score on Jose Altuve’s flyout to tie the game at five.

There is no excuse for Springer not running harder out of the box. He didn’t pimp the hit because he was afraid of overrunning Tucker or because he thought he’d be thrown out at third; he did it because he thought he’d hit a home run.

George Springer costs Astros tying run by pimping double in Game 1 loss

George Springer pimps double

George Springer gets credit for being such a clutch postseason hitter, but he cost his Houston Astros with a poor decision on Tuesday night.

Springer was batting with Kyle Tucker on second and one out with his Astros down 5-3 to the Washington Nationals in Game 1 of the World Series. He sent a 2-1 breaking ball from Daniel Hudson deep to right-center field and began to hop as if he had just hit a home run.

Tucker was able to score on the play, but Springer only ended up at second instead of third because he pimped his hit, thinking it was a home run. He didn’t start to run hard until after the ball went off Adam Eaton’s glove.

The next batter was Jose Altuve, who flied out to right field. Had Springer been at third, he could have tried to tag up for the tying run. Instead, he remained at second. Michael Brantley later lined out to end the inning with Houston down 5-4.

Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna received criticism for doing the same thing as Springer earlier this postseason. Springer’s mistake was even more costly but is being overlooked by many.

Carlos Correa ‘Apex Predators’ quote about Astros becomes T-shirt

Carlos Correa home run ear

Carlos Correa’s savage quote about the Houston Astros after the team clinched a World Series berth is now a T-shirt.

Correa won Game 2 of the ALCS against the New York Yankees with a walk-off home run in extra innings. Then in Game 6, Jose Altuve won the pennant with a walk-off 2-run home run off Aroldis Chapman.

After the Astros clinched their second World Series berth in three years, Correa gave an interview with FS1 in which he referenced the Yankees’ “savages in the box” nickname.

“We knew they had a great team. Like they call themselves, they’re savages. But in this jungle called the American League, we’re the apex predator,” Correa said.

And just like that, a catchphrase was born. Show your support of the Apex Predators by wearing the Apex Predators T-shirt! It’s a must-have item!

Report: Astros’ Brandon Taubman had previously complained about reporter he targeted

Houston Astros assistant GM Brandon Taubman looks worse and worse with every revelation that comes out about what happened in the clubhouse after ALCS Game 6.

According to NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik, Taubman was targeting a female reporter who was wearing a purple bracelet to raise awareness of domestic violence. The reporter had tweeted information about domestic violence hotlines when Osuna appeared in games for the Astros in 2018. That had prompted Taubman to complain about those tweets.

Essentially, Taubman knew about the reporter’s history of taking an anti-domestic violence stance during Osuna’s outings, had complained about it, and taunted her over it by using Osuna’s name in the clubhouse celebration. That’s simply awful behavior and warrants a much stronger response than the Astros have given so far. Manager A.J. Hinch is the only one whose reaction has hit the right notes, and with an MLB investigation underway, this story won’t be going away.

AJ Hinch ‘very disappointed’ in Brandon Taubman for Osuna remarks

AJ Hinch

Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch has issued the strongest statement yet condemning assistant general manager Brandon Taubman.

Hinch called Taubman’s actions “uncalled for” and said he was “very disappointed” after Taubman essentially confirmed that he taunted female reporters over the team’s acquisition of closer Roberto Osuna, who had been suspended by MLB for domestic violence in 2018.

The Astros initially called the story “misleading” before continued outcry forced them to issue a half-hearted apology. Hinch’s statement is much stronger than the apologies were, and the Astros’ entire organization would be better off if they took his tone. MLB is investigating, and it may get worse for the organization yet.

Could a ‘bombshell candidate’ shake up Mets’ managerial search?

New York Mets

The search for a new manager rages on for the New York Mets, and several Tuesday reports suggest that if a clear favorite does not emerge for the job, a “bombshell candidate” could serve as a fallback option.

Who might that “bombshell candidate” be? Some have suggested — and since dismissed — that David Wright could be the guy, while others have batted around names such as Alex Rodriguez, Bobby Valentine, Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez, Joe Torre, Jessica Mendoza, Mike Piazza and even David Cone.

While each and every one of those names would be considered a “bombshell,” what does it say about the confidence in them that they’d be considered a fall-back option behind the likes of Joe Girardi, Carlos Beltran and others?

The timing of this report suggests more of a PR move for the Mets to drum up interest in the job, but don’t dismiss the possibility of a legitimate surprise candidate emerging. If New York is unhappy or uncertain about anyone that has interviewed thus far, why not shake things up?

No risk, no reward.

Astros still confident in Yordan Alvarez for World Series despite struggles

Minute Maid Park Houston

Yordan Alvarez has looked very much like a rookie during his first MLB playoff run, but the Houston Astros still have faith in him to get right.

Astros manager AJ Hinch said on Monday that the 22-year-old will start and hit seventh in Game 1 of the World Series against the Washington Nationals. He also said that Alvarez will play in Game 2 as well but would not commit to playing the lefty slugger once the series shifts to Washington.

“A.J. has put his confidence in me and it’s given me a fresh, clear mind,” Alvarez said through his interpreter, per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. “Just to have his support and the support of our coaches and players has been huge for me. I’m very happy for that.”

After hitting a scorching .313 with 27 homers and 78 RBIs during the season, Alvarez has fallen back to earth during the postseason with a .171 batting average and a mere three extra base hits in 11 games. He was particularly putrid in the ALCS against the New York Yankees, going 1-for-22 (.045).

The Nationals will be fresh heading into the World Series, so the Astros may need Alvarez to return somewhat to form or risk losing home-field advantage.