Red Sox Savagely Mock Yankees In World Series Locker Room Celebration

Not surprisingly, that team was their bitter full-time rival, the New York Yankees.

Watch below as the champagne-soaked Red Sox belt out a sloppy version of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.”

Remember, the game was in Los Angeles, thousands of miles away from both Boston and New York. But the Yankees apparently are never far from the Red Sox’s mind, especially after the teams exchanged some Sinatra trolling earlier in the postseason.

Sometimes revenge is best-served off-key.

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'Trans People Deserve To Live' Banner Flies At World Series Game

Transgender rights activists made a powerful statement during Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday night. 

A large banner that read “Trans People Deserve To Live” was unfurled from the Dodger Stadium upper deck during the fifth inning of the World Series game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox. The powerful statement was displayed on a pink, white and blue banner ― colors of the Transgender Pride Flag. 

The demonstration was organized by the TransLatin@ Coalition, a Los Angeles-based advocacy organization focused on protecting the trans Latinx community. 

“I felt my heart was dropping along with it,” the group’s president, Bamby Salcedo, who helped unfurl the banner during the game, told the media outlet Into. “I was kind of exploding because of the adrenaline. You don’t know what’s going to happen with the police and security and all of that.”

The flag was not shown on Fox’s television broadcast, according to multiple reports. It was displayed in the stadium for only a few minutes before security personnel intervened, removing the banner and escorting the TransLatin@ activists out of the ballpark. 

“I hope that this action will motivate members of the trans community, our allies and our comrades to really activate and to really understand that we have power,” Salcedo continued. “We can demonstrate our power anywhere and everywhere.”

Watch a fan’s video, below, of the banner being unfurled. 

The demonstration came a week after President Donald Trump said he is considering narrowing the legal definition of gender. Such a change would effectively exclude trans and nonbinary people from civil rights protections guaranteed under federal law. 

Thousands of activists have protested the potential move, with some calling it “an attempt to put heartless restraints on the lives of 2 million people.” At least 1.4 million Americans identify as transgender or nonbinary, according to The New York Times

The Trump administration has repeatedly challenged civil rights protections for LGBTQ people, including trying to bar trans people from serving in the military. 

Watch the video, posted to TransLatin@ Coalition’s Facebook page, of activists displaying the banner and later being escorted out by security. 

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Matt Damon And Jimmy Kimmel Renew Feud At World Series Game

Actor Matt Damon and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel are playing hardball with each other again in their funny feud.

The two were spotted together at Game 5 of the World Series Sunday between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers in clashing attire ― Damon wore a red shirt, presumably to show allegiance to his Red Sox, and Kimmel wore blue, presumably to represent the Dodgers.

But it’s what the shirts said that fired another salvo in their war.

Matt Damon and Jimmy Kimmel watched the Boston Red Sox play the Los Angeles Dodgers in clashing attire Sunday.

Just weeks ago, Kimmel called Damon the “most repugnant actor in the world,” so we weren’t expecting nice-nice.

And when Damon and pal Ben Affleck celebrated the Red Sox’s 5-1 victory to win the World Series, Kimmel sure looked left out.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck celebrate the Red Sox' victory while Jimmy Kimmel looks on in disappointment.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck celebrate the Red Sox’ victory while Jimmy Kimmel looks on in disappointment.

Revenge is no doubt brewing. 

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Red Sox Beat Dodgers 5-1 In Game 5 To Win World Series Title

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chris Sale’s final pitch for this Boston juggernaut triggered a celebration on the Dodger Stadium infield, among thousands of fans who made their way to California — and even outside Fenway Park back home.

The quest is complete. Yes, these 2018 Red Sox really are that great.

A team to remember from top to bottom. A season to savor from start to finish.

David Price proved his postseason mettle, Steve Pearce homered twice and Boston beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 on Sunday to finish off a one-sided World Series in five games.

A frustrated franchise during decades of despair before ending an 86-year championship drought in 2004, the Red Sox have become baseball’s team of the century with four titles in 15 seasons.

“Seeing all these grown men over there, just acting like kids, that’s what it’s all about,” Price said after pitching three-hit ball into the eighth inning on short rest. “This is why I came to Boston.”

After losing on opening day, Alex Cora’s team romped to a 17-2 start and a club-record 108 wins, then went 11-3 in the postseason, dispatching the 100-win New York Yankees and the 103-victory and defending champion Houston Astros in the playoffs. Cora, a player on Boston’s 2007 champions, became the first manager from Puerto Rico to win a title and just the fifth rookie skipper overall.

“I don’t know where we stand in history and all that,” said Dave Dombrowski, the club’s president of baseball operations. “If somebody would say you’re going to win 119 games and lose 57, we’d never, ever fathom that.”

Pearce hit a two-run homer on Clayton Kershaw’s sixth pitch. Solo homers by Mookie Betts in the sixth inning and J.D. Martinez in the seventh quieted the Los Angeles crowd. Pearce added a solo drive off Pedro Baez in the eighth, then was selected the Series MVP after the game.

“Best feeling in my life,” Pearce said.

A June acquisition from Toronto, Pearce had three homers and seven RBIs in the final two games. Thousands of Boston fans remained on the first-base side of the stadium long after the final out, chanting “Let’s go Red Sox!” and singing “Sweet Caroline.”

Of course, they let loose a few choice words about the rival Yankees, too.

“I never knew there were so many Red Sox fans here,” Martinez said.

Players’ families, many dressed in red, congregated on the field to join the celebration, some holding babies, some watching children run across the outfield in glee.

“This is the greatest Red Sox team in history,” owner John Henry proclaimed after receiving the Series trophy.

After losing to Houston in Game 7 last year by the same 5-1 score, the Dodgers became the first team ousted on its home field in consecutive World Series since the New York Giants by the New York Yankees at the Polo Grounds in 1936 and ’37. Los Angeles remains without a championship since 1988.

“Ran up against a very good ballclub — and just a little bit too much for us,” said manager Dave Roberts, who played for Boston’s 2004 champions.

Boston outscored the Dodgers 28-16 and had only a slightly better batting average at .222 to .180. But the Red Sox got timely hitting and won their ninth title, tying the Athletics for third-most behind the Yankees (27) and Cardinals (11).

All that stood between the Red Sox and a sweep was an 18-inning loss in Game 3, the longest World Series game ever. They trailed 4-0 in the seventh inning of Game 4 when Sale rose from the dugout bench for a fiery, profane, motivational rant, and his teammates woke up in time to rally for a 9-6 win.

Boston never trailed in Game 5.

“I didn’t say anything that anyone didn’t know,” Sale explained. “Just rallying the troops and letting them know — we’re the best team on the planet, and to start playing like it.”

The 33-year-old Price, a Cy Young Award winner in 2012, long pitched under an October shadow cast by his regular-season success. He had been 0-9 in 11 postseason starts before defeating Astros ace Justin Verlander in the clinching Game 5 of the AL Championship Series. The left-hander won his third straight start Sunday and became the first pitcher to beat Cy Young winners in the finale of an LCS and the World Series in the same year.

“I’ve been through a lot in three years since I came here, but this is why I came,” said Price, who like Kershaw can opt out of his contract in the coming days and become a free agent.

After allowing two runs over six innings to win Game 2 last Wednesday, Price got two outs in the ninth inning of Friday’s marathon game. He became the first to pitch into the eighth inning of a Series game on one day of rest since the Yankees’ Bob Turley in 1957.

“All the haters, it’s time to be quiet and show the guy some respect,” Martinez said.

Boston Red Sox's Steve Pearce holds the MVP trophy after Game 5 of baseball's World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on

Boston Red Sox’s Steve Pearce holds the MVP trophy after Game 5 of baseball’s World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.

Price gave up a home run to David Freese on his first pitch, then allowed just two more hits — the last a triple to Freese that Martinez lost in the third-inning twilight and allowed to drop behind him on the right field warning track. Price struck out five and walked two, retiring 14 in a row before a leadoff walk to Chris Taylor in the eighth ended his night after 89 pitches. He tapped his heart several times to Red Sox fans behind the first base dugout while walking to the bench.

Joe Kelly struck out three straight pinch hitters and Sale, originally scheduled to start Game 5, fanned three more in the ninth. Sale ended by throwing a slider past a falling Manny Machado, a meager 4 for 22 (.182) in the Series, and raised both arms. Boston catcher Christian Vazquez ran out to jump on him with glee, and teammates from the dugout and bullpens followed.

While Price rewrote his own October legacy, Kershaw was unable to do the same as he fell to 1-4 with a 6.06 ERA in postseason elimination games. Plagued at times by an aching back, the 30-year-old lefty no longer is the dominant pitcher who won three Cy Young Awards, his famous 12-to-6 breaking ball now more 10 to 4:30.

Kershaw allowed four runs and seven hits — three of them homers — in seven innings. He is 9-10 with a 4.32 ERA in 30 postseason appearances, a huge drop from his 153-69 record and 2.39 ERA during the regular season.

“It just hurts worse when you make it all the way and get second place,” he said.

Kershaw began aggressively, throwing strikes on his first six pitches, and the Red Sox were ready.

Andrew Benintendi hit a one-out single and Pearce pulled a fastball over the middle of the plate and sent it 405 feet into the left-field pavilion.

While the crowd of 54,367 was stunned, Freese woke up fans in the bottom half. He drove Price’s first pitch 402 feet to the opposite field and into the right field pavilion.

Betts homered on a slider that stayed in the strike zone after going 0 for 13 in Los Angeles this weekend, the first postseason home run of his career coming in his 87th at-bat. Martinez homered in the seventh, driving a fastball to straightway center.

By then, fans had started planning for the April 9 home opener against Toronto, when the championship flag will be raised over Fenway after Boston opens with an 11-game trip out West.

“It wasn’t as easy as what people think,” Cora said.

STAY AHEAD

Boston went 7-1 on the road in the postseason and 10-0 overall when scoring first.

I’M STILL HERE

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts was the only active player on the Red Sox from their 2013 championship team.

SPEND IT TO MAKE IT

Boston is the first team with the highest payroll to win the title since the 2009 Yankees.

JUST LIKE LAST YEAR

Cora celebrated on the same field where he earned a ring last year as the Astros’ bench coach.

Visiting clubhouse manager Mitch Poole estimates he ordered 263 bottles of champagne for the Red Sox, at an estimated cost of $18,000.

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The Women's Baseball World Cup Was Played Under Gaslight

­In late August, I went to the Women’s Baseball World Cup, billed as “Baseball’s Biggest Event for Women.” It is essentially the World Series for the women, but they aren’t allowed to call it that — copyrights and such — and it’s not really the biggest, at least not this eighth iteration, which was the first world cup hosted in the United States. The Japanese Women’s Baseball League, the only women’s professional baseball league in the world, pulls in many more fans on average than the WBWC title game drew.

But do I tell you that? I’m struggling to figure it out. Do I start out by noting how few women there are in baseball in general? A few are in the booth (and wow, do people dislike when they dare to show up there). Rarely are women behind the plate. You’ll find girls in Little League, but only occasionally do they still show up on the field once they age out of it.

So I’ll say what we often like to say about women’s sports in order not to harm what little women have as is: The story of the WBWC is one of triumph against adversity and discrimination, a glimpse into what is possible and a source of hope for the future. That’s all true, but questions nag. Where were the media and the fans in August, and where are the resources and the pipelines to produce more female baseball players in all the other months? And when will women’s baseball be treated as something other than a curiosity? The World Series is on right now, baseball’s biggest event for men. It is bitterly funny to watch and think about the differences between the men’s sport and the women’s version. One represents a radical break from the game’s much-honored past. The other involves women playing baseball.

Wasting Away In Viera

Let’s just start where you are supposed to start: the scene. It was late August in Viera, Florida, an awful month and an awful place to spend a lot of time outside. The town is on the Atlantic coast, about halfway down the state, just off of I-95 and only miles from the ocean. The weather vacillates between heavy rain bursts and lightning displays, and intense periods of bright, hot sunlight and oppressive humidity. I grew up nearby, so none of this was a surprise to me. It did make me wonder why this competition wasn’t being played in November, though.

At the USSSA Space Coast Stadium, where the tournament was held, the keyboard player (with his setting on “organ”) would play all sorts of tunes, including Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville,” which felt particularly fitting. A single concession stand was open in the stadium, but the hot dogs were good. There was almost no merchandise to buy, and you had to know to go into the shop near the outer entrance to find it. If you did find your way in there, you could get a tournament program or shirt for the WBWC (no gear for Team USA was available on site). 

In reporting on women’s sports, especially those that are massively under-covered and rarely supported, it is my moral obligation to assure you, dear readers, of the fervent participation of the fans.

The 9 a.m. games would sometimes start with two dozen people in the stands, the number slowly rising as others wandered in (the stadium had a capacity of 8,100). By the time the 1 p.m. games had rolled around (often delayed due to weather), dozens of baseball fans had gathered and sat in clumps under the covered areas at the top of the stands on each side of the field, just up from first and third bases. Spectators crowded together under the shaded awnings in an attempt to escape the direct sunlight, often moving back as the sun slowly crept up the stands. Luckily, I guess, the crowds were small enough that if you wanted to sit in the shade, there was room for you. The dedicated would sit closer, just above the dugouts if they were rooting for a particular team, or behind home plate. Umbrellas were a common sight — portable shade.

On the field, the players just had to sweat through weather, and they did. It was hard to know how much they minded, though, because they all seemed thrilled to be there and to be playing baseball. If only they had had crowds as large as they deserved.

Oscar Lopez, the head of communications for the World Baseball and Softball Confederation, said the total official attendance for the 50 games was 17,969. I’ll do the math for you: That’s an average of 360 people per game. That is dismal. Lopez said via email that “attendance was significantly lower than that of 2016” — when the tournament was played in Korea — “but that edition was free to enter whereas 2018 incorporated ticketing.”

Jade Gortarez, a pitcher, shortstop and the leadoff batter for the U.S. Women’s National Team, told me that the fan atmosphere at the 2014 World Cup in Japan and the 2016 World Cup in South Korea was very different from the crowd in Florida. In South Korea, Gortarez said, “I know that there were church communities that came out and picked a team and supported only that team. It was a whole group just to show up and cheer and just create that type of atmosphere. That’s something that we don’t have here.” In Japan, she recalled, combined attendance over the team’s final two games in 2014 numbered 28,000 people. The final in 2016 had 2,300 people in attendance. I’d be surprised if there were more than 1,000 people at this year’s final, and that includes most of the other teams who were there to watch.

In Viera, there was a high school across the street — you could see it from the stands — and yet no sign that any of their teams, even the softball team, were there to see the world’s best female baseball players play.

If you didn’t go in person, the only way to watch was streaming through the website. More than 3.5 million viewers in 212 countries and territories livestreamed the games (compared with 6 million in 2016). Lopez noted that the time zone might’ve depressed these numbers, since the majority of WBSC followers are in Asia. Malaika Underwood, who plays first base for the United States and who has represented the country in international competition a record nine times, put a sunny spin on the Americans’ fan support. “We’ve got a lot of people watching on YouTube,” she said after the United States’ victory over Canada, “and through social media we’ve heard a lot of their cheers, too.” By the WBSC’s reckoning, the tournament’s social media presence generated 13.6 million impressions.

Hong Kong’s Woon-Yee Cheuk, batting in front of a lot of empty seats.

There was little other media to speak of, though. The 2016 event was televised in South Korea by the Seoul Broadcasting System, which Lopez credited with helping spread the word around the country. This year’s tournament had nothing of the kind. HBO and Around the Rings were there, as well as local and state media, and international media from Venezuela, Cuba and Japan, among others. But other than MLB.com, which had coverage throughout, and Sports Illustrated, it’s not clear that any major national sports media was on the ground at the tournament. And in an industry that is full of men, as far as I could tell, very few bothered to show up.

After all of that, I should be clear: It was fun to be there in the crowd. I feel as if I have to tell you that. In reporting on women’s sports, especially those that are massively under-covered and rarely supported, it is my moral obligation to assure you, dear readers, of the fervent participation of the fans — and trust me, it would be difficult to overstate the enthusiasm of the people who did show up to the World Cup.

The teams had their own chants and cheered each other on throughout each game, and the spectators who did show up were very much into it. The U.S. crowds were loud, with many fans decked out in red, white and blue. Japan, Canada and Chinese Taipei all had sizable contingents at their games, relatively speaking — 40 to 50 fans, if not more. Japan and Chinese Taipei had ringleaders who would direct the groups in cheers; every fan base always had someone with a whistle, it seemed; and shirtless Canadian male fans showed up with painted torsos to at least one game. This is a universal truth about women’s sports: People who give time and attention to them often fall deeply in love. At the World Cup, the support was small, but it was mighty.

How Baseball Got Gendered

Maybelle Blair and Shirley Burkovich were there, too. They played in the All-American Professional Girls Baseball League, of “A League of Their Own” fame, and in Viera they spent the majority of their time taking pictures with fans of all ages and talking to anyone who wanted to chat about baseball. They also gave pep talks to the U.S. team before some of their games.

Women’s baseball has a past, their presence declared. Given the sport’s evolution, that’s a radical statement. The elevation of baseball into the national pastime was accomplished through the erasure of women from the history of the sport. As historian Jean Ardell, author of Breaking into Baseball: Women and the National Pastime, told me, “It’s been well documented that all over the world whenever somebody had a bat and a ball or a stick and stone, or whatever they could find to play with as children, girls participated it.” But, she said, “once organized baseball got into control of the game, there was real institutional bias against women.”

Base-ball in its mildest form is essentially a robust game, and it would require an elastic imagination to conceive of little girls possessed of physical powers such as its play demands. John Montgomery Ward in “Base-Ball: How to Become a Player” (1888)

In professional baseball’s early days, when games were sparsely attended, some pro women’s teams outdrew the men’s teams. The comparisons are inexact, but as author Debra Shattuck notes, six of the eight teams in the National League in 1879 averaged less than a thousand fans per game. The Red Stocking and Blue Stocking traveling pro women’s teams, which played games against each other, often in cities with National League franchises, averaged more than a thousand fans.

But the professionalization of the sport was accompanied by a mythmaking effort whereby baseball was shorn of its British roots and transformed into an America-spawned crucible of manhood. This was a neat trick. In his book Base-Ball: How to Become a Player, with the Origin, History and Explanation of the Game, John Montgomery Ward, a founding member of the Brotherhood of Professional Base Ball Players, made the case that baseball was “a wholly American invention,” as Shattuck writes in her corrective, Bloomer Girls: Women Baseball Pioneers:

While others focused on highlighting the differences in rules between American baseball and British games like baseball, cricket and Rounders, Ward argued that since girls had played British baseball, it simply could not have been the precursor of the American game. He cited three references to British girls playing baseball. The first was the letter Mary Lepel (Lady Hervey) had written in 1748 that mentioned the Prince of Wales playing baseball indoors with both male and female family members during chilly winter days. The second was Jane Austen’s inclusion of a female baseball player in her novel Northanger Abbey; his third reference was a comment in the 1852 edition of Blaine’s British encyclopedia of sport that “there are few of us of either sex but have engaged in base-ball since our majority.”

From this evidence Ward concluded that American baseball was a different game altogether: “Base-ball in its mildest form is essentially a robust game, and it would require an elastic imagination to conceive of little girls possessed of physical powers such as its play demands.”

The turn of the century saw the “final gendering of baseball as a man’s game,” Shattuck writes. Physical education programs created separated tracks for boys’/men’s baseball and girls’/women’s baseball: Boys played on teams based on their ability and competitiveness; girls participated in a system that promoted equal participation for all, no matter what skill level.

The divergence widened in the following decades as the men’s sport became more and more professionalized and commercialized. Girls and women continued to play baseball, though, and in 1952, the MLB forbade teams from signing women to contracts, a ban that remained in place for four decades. And, of course, always running parallel beside this was softball, the stick-and-ball game open to girls and women. Little League had to be forced to allow girls to play in the early 1970s, and, even then, Little League softball was established to shuffle girls into that sport and away from baseball. To this day, girls and women playing baseball is more a novelty than a norm. Blair and Burkovich were a reminder for those in attendance at the WBWC about this long history of discrimination and adversity, and also the perseverance of girls and women in a sport whose governing bodies want nothing to do with them.

The Conversation

In the middle of the week, word spread that the most famous fan of women’s baseball in the U.S. had shown up. Francis Ford Coppola, the Oscar-winning writer and director, was in the house, and, it turned out, he had read my piece about why Japan is so good at women’s baseball and wanted to meet me. I made my way up to his suite at the top of the stands just before the start of the final between the unstoppable Japanese team and the up-and-comers, Chinese Taipei (Taiwan). Coppola’s feet were bare, a pair of glasses that separate at the nose were draped around his neck, and a soft cream-colored International Women’s Baseball Center cap covered his gray hair. When the two teams shook hands before the game, he stopped mid-sentence. “How touching that is,” he said, “how sweet.” 

Stacy Piagno pitches for the U.S. Women’s National Team on Aug. 23, 2018.

Stacy Piagno pitches for the U.S. Women’s National Team on Aug. 23, 2018.

Coppola’s love of women’s baseball traces back to family games at his baseball field at his wine estate, where, he told me, “inevitably it was always some aunt or some cousin or some lady relative that was the star.” After the 2015 baseball season, Coppola offered to sponsor the independent professional baseball team the Sonoma Stompers. “It was my condition that I would sponsor them if they would add women to their roster and play the women,” he said. And they did. In June 2016, the Stompers announced they had signed Kelsie Whitmore (a pitcher and outfielder) and Stacy Piagno (a pitcher and infielder) with the intention of playing them in their next game. It was a historic moment, with the team becoming “the first co-ed professional baseball team since Toni Stone, Mamie Johnson and Constance Morgan played in the Negro Leagues,” as the New York Daily News wrote. Later that summer, Anna Kimbrell joined them, and she and Whitmore became the first-ever all-female battery in professional baseball.

“I saw some of the games and I thought they were great,” Coppola said. “They were so entertaining and… Stacy Piagno told me the men [she played alongside] were great.” He also recalled what it meant to have women on that team. “I would see the little girls with their gloves.” He said he’d hear them say, “I’m gonna be a pitcher.”

“I was touched,” Coppola said.

Whitmore, Piagno and Kimbrell played on the USWNT at the Women’s Baseball World Cup this year, all veterans on the team.

It makes sense that Coppola made the journey to Viera to see the USWNT play on their home soil. “Of course, women can play baseball,” he said, emphatically. “It’s absurd to even doubt that.”

The Restoration

The outcome of the WBWC was written before the first pitch was thrown. There could be no other winner than Japan, which has now won 30 straight games at the event and six straight titles; the Japanese are simply too good. Watching them play four days in a row, you could tell that those women spend a lot more time playing baseball generally, and playing baseball as a team, than the countries they compete against. Many of them are professionals, unlike their competitors. Many of the women who play for Japan also play in the Japanese Women’s Baseball League. They didn’t have to spend time during the tournament shaking off rust or smoothing out their wheel plays. It’s telling that their opponent, Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), is the only other team with professional baseball players on it; three of them compete in the JWBL.

Canada came in third after beating the U.S. in a tight bronze medal game that went into multiple extra innings. It was a disappointing end for the U.S. team. No one from the team showed up to do press until pressure from the few media people there got a player and the manager in the room.

But there are reasons for Americans to be hopeful. Piagno said it does matter that the WBWC took place here, because every little bit helps. She said that back in 2004, when she first tried out for the team — the first year that USA Baseball fielded a women’s team, in fact — there were only a few dozen girls, maybe 50. “Now we have hundreds of girls trying out every year and they’re all good.” 

“The competition is much better, and we’ve got younger girls who we’re starting to do developmental camps and things with them,” Piagno said. “The pool is growing. Every year it gets bigger. It needs to continue to grow, and it will, as long as we continue to do all of this stuff and publicize and all of that.”

That development is, in part, headed up by Major League Baseball in conjunction with USA Baseball. Their Trailblazers series is a 13U (ages 13 and under) event that Liz Benn, the coordinator of labor, diversity and youth programs for MLB, told me is “a feel-good event” where “girls come from all over the country, and a couple from Canada, and they get to play with other girls.” Their Breakthrough series is for girls ages 14 to 18, and they work more on development of the players. It’s position-specific, so they can begin to hone their talents and specialize. MLB wants girls to “have more development opportunities [and] higher-quality development opportunities,” Benn said.

One of the youngest members of Team USA this year at the WBWC, Ashton Lansdell, a middle infielder and pitcher, was a veteran of the Breakthrough series. She played beautifully in the field and at the plate in the last few games of the tournament, especially the bronze medal game, spending a fair amount of time on base when the team was on offense and showing off an incredible springiness on defense. Lansdell missed her first few weeks of her senior year in high school to be at the tournament. She said she doesn’t know of any other girl in Georgia who plays baseball, but she expects to play on her high school team this year and is adamant that she will play baseball in college, something only a handful of young women have done in the United States, ever.

Expanding women’s baseball is an act of restoration, not revolution. John Montgomery Ward and his fellow mythmakers propagandized women out of history, and the professional game has been played under gaslight ever since. There’s no denying that the WBWC did not have the crowds and media coverage that one would hope for if you love and care about women’s sports, baseball in particular. But the opportunity it provided for many, especially young people like Lansdell, cannot be discounted. Out in the scorching light of Viera, women were reinserting themselves into the narrative of baseball.

Ayami Sato, the Japanese pitcher and three-time tournament MVP, said through a translator after one of Japan’s wins that she wants “the whole world to make [a] better environment for women’s baseball.” The “more media covers the women’s baseball, more people will know women’s baseball is there,” and so Sato does interviews to show that “hey, I am at the World Cup, women’s baseball is there.”

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Trump Scorned For Tweeting About World Series Hours After Synagogue Massacre

Mere hours after a deadly mass shooting at a Pennsylvania synagogue, President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Saturday night to talk about baseball.

The president, who’d apparently tuned in to watch Game 4 of the World Series, called out Los Angeles Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts in his late night posting. The Dodgers lost the game to the Boston Red Sox, 9-6, after having a 4-0 lead, and Trump questioned Roberts’ managerial moves. 

Some supporters said Trump — who has a history of tweeting about sports — saw nothing wrong with Trump commenting on the World Series despite the tragedy earlier in the day ― a shooting that stands as one of the most lethal attacks targeting the Jewish community in U.S. history.

But many Twitter users accused the president of insensitivity, given that a gunman had killed at least 11 people and wounded six others at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

“As a guy living in Pittsburgh, let me just ask: is watching the World Series really the best use of your time this evening?” one Twitter user responded to Trump.

The president’s hometown newspaper, the New York Daily News, also chastised the baseball tweet.

“Trump felt the need to weigh in on the World Series on a day when the president should have had much more pressing issues to attend to,” the paper’s sports staff wrote in an editorial.

Here are some of the other comments:

As for Roberts, he  pushed back against Trump’s criticism, saying that while he was happy the president had tuned in to watch the game, his remarks were but “one man’s opinion.”

Trump has repeatedly come under scrutiny in recent days for his responses to news events.

His remarks prompted the crowd to chant “CNN sucks!” and “lock her up!” Both CNN and Clinton were targets of the bomb mailings last week.

The president was also lambasted for joking about wanting to cancel two public engagements on Saturday — not because of the mass shooting but out of vanity.

“I said, ‘Maybe I should cancel this arrangement because I have a bad hair day,’” Trump said at the Future Farmers of America Convention in Indianapolis, where he appeared after the shooting. “And the bad news ― somebody said, ‘Actually it looks better than it usually does.’”  

Trump was also roundly mocked on social media for his suggestion that an armed guard could’ve “stopped” the synagogue shooter, who officials said wielded an assault-style rifle in his rampage.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said Trump addressed the Future Farmers of America Convention in Washington. The locale was Indianapolis.

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Dodgers Stun Red Sox In Longest World Series Game Ever

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Brian Dozier swung bananas from a rope over the dugout railing.

How appropriate. The longest game in World Series was bananas.

Twenty-three players on each team, including nine pitchers.

Eighteen innings — four more than any of the previous 662 World Series games.

Seven hours, 70 minutes — 1:39 longer than any Series game played before.

Walker Buehler threw the first pitch in autumn twilight at 5:10 p.m.

Max Muncy homered on the 561st and last at 12:30 a.m., when most of America was asleep and even fans up in Alaska and out in Hawaii were struggling to stay up. 

Ernie Banks would have been happy — the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox filled his oft-said desire: Let’s play two! “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” was played twice, during the seventh-inning stretch and the 14th inning elongation.

“It was an amazing game,” Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig said. “I’m a little tired. But we’re ready to come back tomorrow.”

Then he looked at his watch and corrected himself.

“In a couple of hours,” Puig said.

Live from Hollywood: the Late Late Late Show: The Dodgers’ dramatic, draining, dizzying 3-2 victory Friday night cut their World Series deficit to 2-1.

“I think my beard got about 3 inches longer,” said Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, whose red whiskers already were Santa length.

Soccer ends after 120 minutes and is decided by penalty kicks.

Even Wimbledon is instituting fifth-set tiebreakers next year when tied 12-12 after John Isner’s 70-68 first-round triumph over Nicolas Mahut in 2010 and Isner’s 26-24 semifinal defeat to Kevin Anderson this year.

No U.S. major team sport DOUBLED the length of a game in its championship. Notably, a Boston team has been involved in the longest title match in all four of the major sports.

Only once has the Super Bowl gone to overtime, with only an extra 11:02 needed for New England’s win over Atlanta in 2017 .

There have been only two NBA Finals games needing the extra 15 minutes of three overtimes, Boston’s victory over Phoenix in 1976 and the Suns’ win over Chicago in 1993 . The longest Stanley Cup final matchup was Edmonton’s win over Boston in the 1990 opener, a three-overtime affair requiring an extra 55:13.

“You look up and see the 18th inning, and you’re like, holy cow, where did the game go?” Muncy said. “Those last nine innings or so just kind of blended together.”

The Dodgers munched on peanut butter and banana sandwiches provided by a team employee, and hung the bananas to produce fruitful luck — harkening back to the rally banana credited by Enrique Hernandez for helping end a 35-inning scoreless streak three years ago.

“You want to have fun with it,” said Rich Hill, the Dodgers scheduled Game 4 starter before a middle-of-the-night change to TBA to match Boston’s probable pitcher.

Clayton Kershaw, a three-time NL Cy Young Award winner with a .163 career batting average, pinch hit in the 17th inning and lined out.

“Starting pitchers are used to getting their spikes on, but nothing usually comes to fruition,” Kershaw said.

“All I know is we’re feeling pretty good about ourselves right now,” Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said.

Rookie right-hander Walker Buehler allowed two hits over seven shutout innings and left with a one-run lead provided by Joc Pederson’s third-inning homer off Rick Porcello.

After hitting .297 in winning the first two games at cozy, chilly Fenway Park, Boston was 5 for 57 at the plate in the warmth of Dodger Stadium— including 0 for 28 in the top four slots of the batting order.

“This was a gut-wrenching game for both sides,” Muncy said. “Their guys are banged up, our guys are banged up.”

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Meet The First Korean Pitcher To Start In A World Series Game

As the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox duke it out for a World Series title, pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu already has something to celebrate. 

In the second game of the series, Ryu appeared as the starting pitcher for the Dodgers, making him the first Korean player to do so in the Fall Classic. 

The Dodgers lost that game, but for the Korean community both in the U.S. and abroad, Ryu’s start was already a win. 

“Count us as Korea-based Dodgers fans. We admire Ryu and hope he can enjoy the World Series, rather than feeling pressure to prove something,” Korea Times columnist and baseball fan Kang Hyun-kyung wrote. “I think he has nothing to prove. As a Korean Major Leaguer, he has already achieved a lot.” 

While Korean pitchers Kim Byung-hyun and Chan Ho Park have both played in the World Series, neither started in the games. 

Prior to the World Series, the 31-year-old Ryu ― affectionately known as “Ryu-ttung,” which translates to Ryu the cute-fat ― had only seen the Red Sox’s home field, Fenway Park, on a television screen. 

“My initial reaction to the Green Monster is, it’s very tall,” he told The Boston Globe, referring to the stadium’s iconic left-field wall. 

The road to the series has been a long one for the pitcher. Ryu, who pitches left but bats right, made his Major League Baseball debut with the Dodgers back in 2013, against the San Francisco Giants. Over the years, he had several arm injuries, leading some to believe he’d never pitch again. From 2015 to 2016, Ryu made just one appearance, but only a year later made a fiery comeback. 

This past season, the pitcher had another injury, a left groin strain, which kept him off the field for about three months. 

Outside of his baseball skills, Ryu is just a lovable dude. The 31-year-old, who rose through the ranks alongside Dodgers’ right fielder Yasiel Puig, has a serious bromance with his teammate. Some have even joke the pair are a live-action buddy comedy. The friendship is even sweeter given that neither of them speaks English as their first language. 

When Ryu isn’t playing baseball, he shoots pretty dope commercials. Like this ramen one that’s giving us #slurpgoalz. 

 And this bank commercial in which he plays a baker, for some reason. 

And this credit card ad in which he raps because he’s so money. 

Ryu’s love life looks pretty perfect as well. The pitcher, who married TV announcer Bae Ji Hyun, released his baseball-themed engagement photos just ahead of his wedding last December and they are just *adorable*. 

Regardless of which team you’re rooting for, pretty much anyone can agree that Ryu is a champion at heart.

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Los Angeles Dodgers Defeat Milwaukee Brewers In Game 7 For World Series Return

MILWAUKEE ― Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Cody Bellinger acknowledged feeling “ice cold” late Saturday night.

He was referring to the champagne that had doused his uniform, not the struggles that threatened to sink his National League Championship Series.

Persistence flowed like clubhouse bubbly for several players as the resilient Dodgers booked a return trip to the World Series by defeating the Milwaukee Brewers 5-1 in Game 7 of the NLCS.

Bellinger, the NLCS MVP, was a leading example. Though he hit .200 in the series, his home run on Saturday accounted for the go-ahead run, and he had the game-winning hit in the 13th inning of Game 4.

“All postseason, I felt fairly good,” Bellinger said. “I wasn’t seeing any results. And luckily for me I’ve got a lot of veterans on this team. They said stick with the process and the result will come. And that’s exactly what I did, and it showed.”

Yasiel Puig also hit a home run to back a strong effort from rookie right-hander Walker Buehler and four relievers, sending the Dodgers to the Fall Classic in consecutive years for the first time since 1977-78. Game 1 of the World Series against the Red Sox is set for Tuesday night at Fenway Park in Boston.

The Dodgers and Red Sox franchises ― among the most storied in Major League Baseball ― met in the World Series once before, in 1916, when the Dodgers existed as the Brooklyn Robins. 

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who helped the Red Sox to the 2004 World Series title as a speedy reserve outfielder, forecast a great series ahead.

“I’m looking forward to going back to Fenway,” Roberts said. “Obviously for me personally, I have a lot of fond memories of the Red Sox and Fenway Park. To be wearing another uniform going in there playing for a World Series championship is going to be special for me. 

Puig had three of the Dodgers’ 10 hits, none bigger than a three-run home run in the sixth inning that gave Los Angeles a 5-1 lead. Buehler helped set the tone for the pitching staff with a strong start, limiting the Brewers to one run and six hits in 4 2/3 innings while striking out seven.

Bidding for its first World Series appearance since 1982, Milwaukee finished 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position while striking out 14 times against the Dodgers.

“That was the bottom line is they pitched well and they didn’t let us get anything going,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.

“We weren’t able to put together rallies, multiple hits, and get things going. And credit to them for how they pitched tonight.”

Los Angeles’ sixth-inning rally came on the heels of Dodgers left fielder Chris Taylor’s dazzling defensive play to end a prime Milwaukee scoring chance in the fifth. With two out and the potential tying run on second base, Brewers right fielder Christian Yelich drilled an opposite-field line drive to the left field gap against Julio Urias.

Taylor ranged toward the ball to make a sliding, over-the-shoulder catch on the warning track.

“That was the catch of the year,” Bellinger said. “I don’t know what would happen if he doesn’t make that catch. It would have been a tie game, who knows. That was an unbelievable catch. And it was really cool to see it firsthand, right there.”

Yelich opened the scoring with one out in the first inning, delighting the sellout crowd of 44,097 by smacking a solo home run to right field. The ball narrowly escaped Puig’s leaping attempt at the wall.

The Dodgers responded in the top of the second, however, as Bellinger hit a two-run homer into the second deck in right to give Los Angeles a 2-1 lead. Shortstop Manny Machado, who had two hits, started the rally by bunting down the third base line on a 3-2 count to beat a defensive shift.

Brewers right-hander Jhoulys Chacin worked out of further trouble to end the inning, which proved to be his final action of the game. Counsell pinch-hit for Chacin with two on and two out in the bottom of the second, but Jonathan Schoop grounded out to end the threat.

Chacin (1-1) allowed two runs on three hits in two innings, walking one. A fully rested Josh Hader followed and kept the Brewers afloat by continuing a dominant postseason.

Pitching for the first time since Game 4, Hader struck out four, walked one and allowed one hit in three innings of scoreless relief. The All-Star left-hander fanned 16 of the 35 batters he faced in 10 shutout innings over seven playoff appearances. He allowed five hits and walked one.

Hader said he hopes the Brewers can use their postseason experience to their advantage next season.

“The group of guys that we have here, the talent that we have, the sky’s the limit. I really feel like that,” Hader said. “We just come back next year, get better and see where it takes us.”

Largely reliable throughout the regular season stretch run and into October, the Brewers’ bullpen stumbled after Hader exited the game. Puig lined a three-run home run to left field against Jeremy Jeffress with two outs and pumped his arms exuberantly as he rounded the bases.

Urias, Ryan Madson, Kenley Jansen and Clayton Kershaw combined for 4 1/3 innings of one-hit relief. Madson (1-0) earned the victory, scattering one hit and two strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings.

The Dodgers stood at 16-26 on May 16 and did not climb over .500 until June 10. They took sole possession of the National League West lead for the first time on July 13 but battled with the Colorado Rockies for the division crown through the end of the regular season.

Los Angeles clinched its sixth successive division title with a home victory against the Rockies in the NL West tiebreaker game.

The Brewers also needed a 163rd regular-season game to outlast the Chicago Cubs for the NL Central title, earning the club’s third postseason berth since moving to the National League in 1998.

“This series could have went either way,” Roberts said. “And they gave us all we could handle.

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Mississippi State Fan Goes Viral After Bizarre Love Triangle Interview

Interviews with spectators at sporting events can be repetitive, but one Mississippi State baseball fan found a way to liven things up when discussing the NCAA College World Series in Nebraska.

On Tuesday, Megan Stewart, a reporter for Omaha’s KMTV-TV, approached Bulldogs fan Terry Powell to get his take on whether persistent rain delays had dampened his spirits. Powell, of Madison, Mississippi, said he was excited despite the soggy conditions and then detailed some extreme measures he claimed he and his family had taken to get there.

“The sacrifices that we personally made to be here are incredible,” Powell said. “My wife’s boyfriend sold his prosthetic leg on Craigslist to afford me the opportunity to be here, but they get alone time, and I get a chance to be in Omaha.”

Powell sounded as if he were admitting to a bizarre love triangle. For her part, Stewart continued the interview as though nothing were unusual, and after a clip was posted online, it quickly went viral.

His wife, Lee Powell, even tweeted about the video:

An extended version of the interview has since been shared, in which it’s clear Terry Powell was joking. Still, he did an amazing job keeping a straight face while spinning the yarn. 

WATCH THE COMPLETE INTERVIEW:

He has since received at least one request for a follow-up interview, which apparently conflicted with the removal of some unwanted hair:

And then there’s this Gators fan with a prosthetic leg who claimed to be Lee Powell’s boyfriend:

While rain might have disappointed some spectators this week, it appears Terry Powell was having a helluva good time at the ballgame.

Send David Lohr an email or follow him on Facebook and Twitter

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