I like baseball. So much so that at home we have a rule.
After 10 p.m., I can’t talk about it anymore.
“Yes, but honey, the Rays …
– What time is it ?
– 10:20 p.m.
Wednesday morning, I opened my eyes at 5 a.m. Can’t wait for her to wake up to tell him about the last game of the World Series. A moment of anthology. A part that our grandchildren will be talking about in half a century.
For the best. But maybe also for the worse.
* * *
First, the best.
Rays starter Blake Snell. His start was the most sublime of the last 50 World Series. Am I exaggerating? Not at all. His quick twitched. Its curve bit. The Dodgers, powerless, cut through the air. After four innings, Snell had already struck out nine batters. Unheard of since the great Sandy Koufax, in 1963.
A master’s lesson.
In the sixth inning, the Rays were leading 1-0. Snell was in control. Mookie Betts, Corey Seager and Justin Turner – three big hitters – were coming to bat. Pfff. Nothing to scare him. He had just pulled them out of holds. Twice each.
Its manager, Kevin Cash, came out of the shelter of the Rays. He asked her for the ball.
Blake, it’s over.
“! ! ! ! ! Major League Baseball tweeted.
“F * CK,” Snell yelled as he walked back to the locker room. His cry rang out from Montauk to Vladivostok. Even my girlfriend jumped.
“Alex, did you hear something?
– Yes. We’ll talk about it tomorrow. ”
She fell asleep again.
Kevin Cash pulled Blake Snell out of the game after just 73 shots as he feared the Dodgers’ third round at bat. Advanced statistics – on which the Rays rely heavily – show that a pitcher loses efficiency in these circumstances.
Except Tuesday night Snell was in exceptional shape. Outside the statistical margin of error. Algorithms are great. But a manager must also trust his instincts, and recognize an epiphany when he sees one.
What Kevin Cash did not do.
“Who will remove the coach from the match?” Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard asked. “Worst decision I’ve seen in any World Series,” said Alex Rodriguez. Brewers star Christian Yelich was speechless. So he published a short animation.
A man destroying a computer …
* * *
The following ?
Exactly as you imagine it. The algorithm’s favorite launcher got wrecked. The Dodgers won the game, 3-1. And the World Series. The players threw their gloves, their caps. They clustered around the mound. Always a moving moment. Even more this year.
Then they took the traditional team photo.
On which was an intruder.
Their third baseman, Justin Turner.
What I haven’t told us yet is that in the eighth round, something really weird happened. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts kicked Turner out of the game. Without explanation. An amazing decision.
Turner is one of the team’s best hitters – four doubles, two home runs in the World Series. And it wasn’t a substitution to improve defense. His replacement, Edwin Rios, has only played 26 games for third base in the major leagues.
What happened ?
On Monday, the players were tested for the virus. Tuesday night, on the first pitch, the results were still not known. In the seventh inning, Major League Baseball contacted the Dodgers.
Justin Turner? Positive.
The Dodgers followed protocol. They took Justin Turner out of the game and isolated him in a locker room. Except after the last withdrawal, Turner sent everyone to graze. The Dodgers. Security guards. The leaders of major baseball.
I’m not surprised. Some professional athletes, covered with privileges since their teenage years, can be very brittle, contemptuous and obnoxious when upset.
Justin Turner, infected and contagious, joined his teammates on the field. He embraced them. He carried the trophy with his bare hands. For the photo, he took off his mask and went to sit half a yard from Dave Roberts. A cancer survivor …
“While the desire to celebrate is understandable, Turner’s decision to break his isolation and go onto the field was wrong,” said Major League Baseball. He endangered everyone he came into contact with. When major baseball security [lui en a parlé], Turner flatly refused to comply. ”
Turner reaction? ” I feel good. I have no symptoms. […] I can’t believe I couldn’t celebrate with my teammates. ”
Yet Turner did celebrate. For at least 15 minutes. And, yes, he had a choice. I remind you that he is not the first nor the last human being deprived of a precious moment by the virus. Millions of people have canceled or postponed a wedding, a trip, a convocation, starting a business, studying abroad. This spring, some fathers missed the birth of their child. People have missed the last moments of a loved one.
These people have made sacrifices.
Justin Turner was unable to.
He preferred neglect.
Let us hope that his irresponsible behavior does not have serious consequences for his teammates. On his trainers. On the officials. On cameramen. On their members of their families. Hopefully none of these people become one of the 700 daily victims of the virus in the United States.
Otherwise, in 50 years, we will not be talking about this great World Series for the exploits of Blake Snell, Mookie Betts, Corey Seager or Clayton Kershaw.
We will only remember the selfish gesture of Justin Turner.