Good morning. Nice leisurely win for the Rangers on Sunday as Texas quietly dispatched of Toronto and...
Yes, you wake up in a world today where Rougned Odor punched Jose Bautista in the face. Like, right in front of everyone and Chuck Morgan. Our lives seem different now.
Levi Weaver does his darnedest to write a baseball recap out of a boxing match. Says here the Rangers won 7-6 in nine rounds.
Evan Grant's game story covers the donnybrook, and an otherwise remarkable baseball game, that will now enter Texas Rangers lore and ignite a real rivalry between two unlikely franchises.
Mike Leslie writes that Sunday's showdown was a long time coming.
ESPN's David Schoenfield wonders if, in fact, the Rangers waited too long. If it was a pitch with purpose by Matt Bush, it's hard to argue that it was at least strategically unsound to be willing to put the tying runner on base in a one-run game.
Gil LeBreton, however, writes that the punch landed squarely in every possible manner for the Rangers. I'm a pacifist at heart but it was cathartic watching the Rangers beat the Blue Jays in dramatic fashion and then beat Jose Bautista in spirited fashion.
Then again, maybe we're all just blood thirsty animals who crave profane violence and wanton recompense given how the Internet handled Odor turning Bautista's face into a Mr. Potato Head in the hands of toddler with prosopagnosia.
Landon Haaf takes a look at how Rougie's 2 for 5 day (ht Steve Busby with the best line of his career) even garnered the Wikipedia edit treatment.
Are the Rangers the villains here? Yeah, probably. Among Grant's thoughts on the fracas, however, is the idea that perhaps this was less about a Bautista's caber toss months ago and more about the fact that Bautista and the Blue Jays are self-aggrandizing whiners.
Dave Sessions writes that Jeff Banister is already ready to move on and why wouldn't he be? His team won the game, the series, the fight, the media quotes, moved into first place, and shoved the Blue Jays to under .500.
Richard Justice gives the national perspective that the Rangers were biding their time and waiting for the right moment to turn heel. If it means making Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson frustrated with impotent rage, perhaps it's good to be bad.
(For what it's worth, I disagree with the notion that the Rangers wanted an all-out melee on the field like that. If anything, Bautista and Rougie meeting at second base was more of a perfect storm for violence kind of divine intervention. You wouldn't have seen that if, say, Edwin Encarnacion wore one and then slid hard at Elvis Andrus.)
Apparently getting a clean shot on Bautista's frontispiece and dropping the mic isn't where MLB just rolls the credits and drops the curtain as Jane Lee previews tonight's series opener in Oakland.
Finally, Rougie's right cross is officially a part of the pop culture zeitgeist:
Have a great day.