In theory, he would become an independent, not a Republican, but would presumably caucus with whichever side he cares to, giving him tremendous power, since he can swing the Senate either way at his sole discretion.
After this article was published, reporters questioned Manchin about it. He replied, “I can’t control rumors, and it’s bullshit, bullshit spelled with a B, U, L, L, capital B.”
The reporter stands by the story, saying his source in unimpeachable.
As far as I know, only one observer saw this coming. I need to add here that having this come out is a major monkey wrench in the plan. The real key to the plan, as I see it, is to keep a Manchin move secret, so that the Republicans can first trick the gullible Democrats into abolishing the filibuster, then have Manchin exit, leaving the Democrats with a minority and no filibuster to protect them. According to the scenario I presented, Manchin’s departure was supposed to be the hole card which enabled them to win that pot.
Now that the hole card is exposed, the Democrats will be wary of any sudden Republican co-operation to eliminate the filibuster. Even if the filibuster remains, the Senate could turn topsy-turvy if Manchin were to caucus with the GOP, since McConnell would then control all committees, and be able to block all of Biden’s appointments, including to the Supreme Court if a position comes open.
Eddie Rosario homered twice and became the first player to have two four-hit games in a League Championship Series. (But he was not the first in the post-season. Robin Yount did it in games 1 and 5 of the 1982 World Series.)
Rosario had a terrible start to his regular season in the AL. Cleveland acquired him for the pop in his bat, and he totally disappointed, stroking only seven homers in more than 300 plate appearances. They traded him off to Atlanta, where he immediately rediscovered his stroke. His OPS had been a weak .685 for Cleveland, but rose to an impressive .903 for Atlanta. He has been white-hot in the playoffs, hitting .467 overall and .588 in this particular series.
He was not the only good acquisition made by the Braves this year to shore up their outfield:
Around the July 30 deadline, Atlanta traded for four outfielders: Adam Duvall, Joc Pederson, Eddie Rosario and Jorge Soler. In 101 plate appearances this postseason, they're hitting a combined .341/.400/.593 with six homers and 21 RBIs in eight games. Atlanta now up 3-1 in NLCS.
They didn’t just start hitting well the post-season. Together they hit 44 homers and knocked in 116 runs in 676 at bats in the regular season, so obtaining them was roughly the equivalent of picking up Dale Murphy in one of his best seasons.
Framber Valdez went eight great innings and the offense scored five runs (four unearned) in the fifth, as Kyle Schwarber joined Billy Buck in the tradition of costly post-season errors by Red Sox first basemen. To be fair to Schwarber, (1) the Astros would have won even if he had made that play, (2) he’s just not a first baseman. He’s a left fielder who can fill in at catcher in a pinch. Before this season he had never fielded a major league chance at 1B, and had not played the position in the minors or college, except for two games in the Cape Cod Summer League in 2013! He only started nine games at first during this regular season, and in three of those he was pulled for a defensive replacement. But the man hit 32 homers this season in fewer than 400 at bats, and the Red Sox wanted his .928 OPS in the line-up. Powerful J.D. Martinez is filling the DH spot, so first base it was for Schwarber.
In my opinion, that was not an especially good decision, irrespective of Schwarber’s fielding abilities. Schwarber does not hit lefties well. His lifetime OPS against lefties is a weak .684 (the MLB average is about .730), as compared to a very solid .880 against right handers. The Sox left their natural first baseman, Bobby Dalbec, on the bench, although he hits lefties very well. His lifetime OPS is .902 against lefties, with 14 homers in only 203 at bats. Forget defense. Starting Schwarber against the left-handed Valdez was a mystifying offensive choice by manager Alex Cora.
But then again, it didn’t seem that anybody was going to solve Valdez in this game.
The scene with Sydney and Megan Fox is difficult movie to watch, because the acting is so poor that it tends to break the fourth wall. Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy) isn’t much better. Of course, I guess we shouldn’t really care. If the director wanted acting, he would have hired Emma Thompson and Meryl Streep, but that was clearly not what they were going for here.