Eve of Destruction

A-Rod Agonistes has kept us from talking about the midseason trades that resulted in things like Bud Norris getting creamed after he won his first start as an Oriole . . .

A-Rod Agonistes has kept us from talking about the midseason trades that resulted in things like Bud Norris getting creamed after he won his first start as an Oriole . . .

In hindsight, it seems almost inevitable. Not just that Alex Rodriguez is going down; that’s been just about a given since he became the number one topic around actual or alleged performance-enhancing substances after Ryan Braun’s suspension.

Now, we’re talking about A-Rod himself pushing the plunger on himself. If you’ll pardon the expression. And the Yankees, who’ve been stretched to the absolute end of their proverbial rope, even by their standards, aren’t exactly ready pick up his funeral tab.

"That's telling me I was incorrect in my position . . .": Jerry Meals

“It’s a shame,” Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Wednesday, “because Jerry Meals is one hell of an umpire.”

Meals is also one hell of an honest ump, based on remarks he made later in the day Wednesday about his call that enabled the Atlanta Braves to win a marathon, 19-inning, 4-3 game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Turner Field. The Braves won after Julio Lugo, tagged above his right kneecap on his thigh by Pirates catcher Michael McKenry, was called safe by Meals, inexplicably.

The Human Factor Be Damned

This is exactly what the Pittsburgh Pirates, whose surprising graduation from the National League’s near-two-decade doormats to legitimate National League Central contenders has been one of the season’s sweet surprises, don’t need.

Never mind pitching coach Ray Searage tweeting an outraged Tweeter, “Deal with it.” If the Pirates hold to that attitude and push it to one side, it will say plenty about the makeup of this year’s edition. But first the Pirates are going to let their feelings be known about home plate umpire Jerry Meals absolutely blowing the call on the run that won a game for the Atlanta Braves in the bottom of the nineteenth. And enough of everyone else are asking when baseball government is going to wise up and sanction instant replay.