On September 26 last year, Rangers starter Mike Minor was on the precipice of a career milestone: his 200th strikeout of the season. He entered that afternoon’s start against the Red Sox at 191, and ended up racking up eight through eight innings of work.
In the ninth inning, Minor got the first out on a Sandy León fly out to left field. The next batter, Chris Owings, popped up about halfway down the first base line. First baseman Ronald Guzmán didn’t make much of an effort to make the catch, letting the ball drop in foul territory. With a new lease on strikeout No. 200, Minor threw a change-up high and inside that was generously called strike three. Manager Chris Woodward lifted Minor from the game with milestone in tow. José Leclerc struck out Marco Hernández to end the game.
Cora has since been embroiled in controversy as Major League Baseball has investigated the Astros’ use of technology to steal and relay signs during their 2017 championship season, when Cora was the bench coach. Cora then went on to become the manager of the Red Sox, leading them to a championship in 2018. MLB’s investigation of Cora’s Red Sox is ongoing. Fired by the Red Sox earlier today, Cora is facing what would seem to be a one-year suspension at minimum and very likely multiple years.
Minor gets to have the last laugh with Cora. After today’s news, Minor tweeted:
But but he plays the game the right way… whatcha got Pete?
— Mike Minor (@MikeMinor36) January 15, 2020
“Pete” refers to Pete Abraham, the Red Sox beat writer for The Boston Globe. Following last year’s kerfluffle, Abraham tweeted, “Mike Minor’s 200th strikeout should have a big asterisk. That was bush. Chasing a milestone that way is unprofessional.”
So make that two last laughs for Minor.