Remember when Alex Rodriguez was branded the country's biggest scandal for his behavior during the Yankees' 2004 ALCS battle with Boston? Remember when Chas McCormick of the Astros just did, uh, the exact same thing, but in a more dangerous manner, against the Mariners this week, with none of the spotlight? Let's give him the spotlight.
The 2004 ALCS was the lowest point in Yankees franchise history, and Rodriguez's glove slap, as an individual moment, was the nadir. Late in Game 6 of the series, with the Yankees in danger of being forced into a Game 7, Rodriguez tried to ignite a rally and score a run by smacking the ball out of Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo's glove as he covered first.
Was it a distinct "slapping" motion? You bet it was. The run was taken off the board, A-Rod became a pariah long before his steroid use came to light, and the Yankees found a way to override, "Why didn't they bunt on Curt Schilling's bum ankle?" as the game's dominant failure narrative.
Oh, man. Imagine if they'd just bunted that loser out of existence? He'd probably have been shamed into doing something so random in his post-career life, like hosting a far-right talk show and sharing memes about -- you know what, we don't have time for this.
Rodriguez was the game's biggest star in the most attention-grabbing postseason series of the decade when he went for the slap. It's obvious why he became the center of a scorn tornado. That's why we're taking it upon ourselves to show you all that Chas McCormick of the Astros, a less famous man (but a contributor to the defending World Champions), attempted the exact same maneuver against the Mariners.
Astros' Chas McCormick tries to cheat again (or injure Mariners first baseman Ty France)
What you doing with that arm over there, Chas? You good? Wouldn't want you accidentally getting hurt by ripping your arm through a tangle of limbs/the path of a currently-in-flight baseball. That's a pretty easy way to get somebody's arm broken. So glad you weren't doing that on purpose.
A-Rod may be the original, but McCormick and the Astros have been living comfortably in a cheating incubator for so long that they've begun to absorb other illegal strategies from throughout the game's history. What's next? Steroid scandal? Throwing the World Series to benefit gambling interests? Can't rule it out. You've seen the sponsorships.
Whatever type of disreputable behavior's next in line for MLB to experiment with, it's safe to say a variety of it will be alive and well in Houston. Whistle to that tune!