This outrage over Mike Minor’s 200th strikeout must be a joke

By WEEI 93.7

Seriously, what in the world happened to everyone in Arlington on Thursday?

We’ve got one team complaining about guys swinging at first pitches. Then I see all of this nonsense on Twitter that Mike Minor didn’t deserve his 200th strikeout.

Before going any further, here’s a guarantee: when Minor looks back on this season in 10 years and remembers it for the impressive run that it was, he’s not going to lose a second of sleep over the manner in which he got his 200th strikeout.

For those who didn’t watch the Red Sox lose their 76th game of the season on Thursday, Chris Owings was Minor’s 200th strikeout of the year. But, he could have popped out the pitch before, had Rangers first baseman Ronald Guzman and catcher Jose Trevino not let the ball land foul.

Owings struck out on the next pitch — which was a terrible called third strike.

The Rangers intentionally let a popup drop in the 9th inning so Mike Minor could have another shot at notching his 200th strikeout of the season.Minor recorded that strikeout on the next pitch he threw.

— ESPN (@espn) September 26, 2019

If you want to blame home plate umpire CB Bucknor in all of this, fine. Whatever. Just realize there’s a good chance Owings wasn’t the first hitter called out on a questionable strike against Minor this year. (So if you want to blame Bucknor, go back and look at the other 199 strikeouts Minor had this year and find which ones he didn’t deserve.)

When it comes to dropping the pop-up, there was more outrage than I care to share. Go on Twitter, you’ll find everything you need.

The only tweet that matters is the one Minor himself responded to:

Ask me if I care Pete

— Mike Minor (@MikeMinor36) September 26, 2019

On top of that, I saw in the Boston Herald how this whole thing is embarrassing. Minor for the way he handled it. Then there’s Boston’s hand in this.

Apparently, Rangers manager Chris Woodward wasn’t too pleased about Brock Holt, Gorkys Hernandez and Jackie Bradley Jr. going down 1-2-3 in the eighth inning on three pitches. Yes, I’ll grant him the only reason they'd do that is those guys didn’t want to be Minor’s 200th punch out of the season.

Who would though?

Maybe Woodward would prefer it if guys gave in for the sake of Minor’s precious milestone rather than go all out

But the craziest thing in all of this — again, saw this in the Herald — is the idea Minor does not deserve the milestone. On top of that, Eduardo Rodriguez doesn’t deserve 20 wins — if he gets there against the Orioles — because he gave up seven runs and Alex Cora left him in the game on Tuesday, with the hope he’d get his 19th win.

You know who doesn’t deserve a win? A reliever who blows the game, then gets bailed out by the offense before he gets pulled prior to the start of the following inning. But you know what? That reliever gets the win because that’s how the rules work.

Which is where this all comes back to: the rules. Did Minor break one? How about Bradley when he was the third guy to go down on only one pitch in the inning? No? Neither of them?

This isn’t Alex Rodriguez bending the rules as he rounds third base yelling “I got it” or whatever he said to mess with opposing fielders. No one did anything to give themselves an advantage when it came to winning or losing.

Players from one team didn’t want to be on the wrong side of a milestone. Minor wanted his milestone, so he did his best to win the battle.

If I’m not mistaken, it seems like this turned into a competition. Funny, I thought that’s what sports were about.