The new guidance, which took effect with the start of the court’s new session, requires the court’s nine justices to allow lawyers to lay out their arguments, uninterrupted, for two full minutes before the justices start making inquiries.
The justices held back for the first six arguments of the term. But then Sotomayor apparently couldn’t control herself Wednesday, during an immigration-related case, Bloomberg Law reported.
According to the outlet, attorney Paul Hughes started his argument in a case examining whether states can prosecute immigrants using information obtained on employee verification forms.
“Even if they were applying to a college?” Sotomayor interjected soon into the lawyer’s remarks.
“I’m sorry,” Chief Justice John Roberts said to the associate justice. “You can answer that question after your time has …”
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor speaks during an event in San Francisco, Jan. 28, 2013. (Getty Images)
Perhaps Sotomayor can seek out some pointers on silence from Justice Clarence Thomas, who in 2016 startled many court watchers by posing his first questions during an oral argument in 10 years.
This week the Supreme Court also listened to arguments in the case of whether Lee Boyd Malvo, one half of the “D.C. sniper” duo who terrorized the Washington area nearly two decades ago, should be granted a new sentencing hearing.
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) reacts after scoring a basket against the Utah Jazz during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. The Pelicans won 128-127. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)
People walk on stairs on Capitol Hill Thursday as the House Intelligence Committee held a closed-door deposition of Ambassador Gordon Sondland. Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Imageshide caption
Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images
People walk on stairs on Capitol Hill Thursday as the House Intelligence Committee held a closed-door deposition of Ambassador Gordon Sondland.
Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images
Each week — and some days, it seems, each hour — brings more clarity to the picture of the Ukraine affair and the political crisis it sparked in Washington over impeachment.
But some of the biggest questions still don’t have answers.
Here’s a look at where the saga stands, what investigators want to learn, and what major decisions still must be reached before the fever breaks.
The Ukraine affair
No one disputes the basic outlines of the Ukraine affair, including Trump:
He used a combination of personal aides and official State Department diplomats to pressure the government of Ukraine to launch investigations into the family of Vice President Joe Biden and a conspiracy theory about the 2016 cyberattacks against Democrats.
The White House says it sees no problem.
Trump has cited what he’s called his responsibility to investigate “corruption,” referring to the Biden family. And Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said on Thursday that foreign policy is always political, diplomats work for the president and that everyone needs to “get over it.”
Democrats say all this is not only improper but could be grounds for impeachment. Trump invited another foreign government to interfere in another U.S. election, they argue, and defied the will of Congress by halting military assistance to an ally, in Ukraine, against an adversary, in Russia.
Many Republicans in Congress, meanwhile, have blasted what they call Democrats’ “illegitimate” impeachment inquiry. And a handful of Trump’s supporters have said that although they believe the president’s actions weren’t appropriate, he shouldn’t be impeached.
Question 1: How involved was Trump?
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has commissioned three committees to investigate. A stream of witnesses have been appearing for closed-door depositions in the Capitol.
Much of what they’ve said is not yet public, but the narrative that has formed is about an effort driven by Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, which also included Mulvaney and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
There’s no question that Trump also was involved, and it was Trump who asked Ukraine’s president for the investigations in a now-famous July 25th phone call.
But did Trump plan and organize the Ukraine pressure strategy himself? Did Giuliani pitch it to him? How involved was the president in carrying it forward?
What Trump knew and did, and when — whether he admits it or investigators build a case based on witness testimony — could bear significantly on how Congress and Americans decide to respond.
Question 2: How much more investigating will Democrats do?
A fog of unreality has accompanied the fast-moving Ukraine affair, among other reasons, because it seemed to flash nearly fully formed into public understanding.
As Mulvaney said on Thursday, people in Washington expect there to be a cover-up — but the administration has admitted many of its actions. He acknowledged that Trump expected concessions from Ukraine’s president and he also pointed out that Trump has released the account of his phone call.
Neither Trump nor Mulvaney, in short, are hiding or apologizing. What’s there is there, they’ve said.
And even though the White House said it wouldn’t cooperate with impeachment, many witnesses keep appearing in Congress, including the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, who testified on Thursday even though he previously was barred.
Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., have said they must learn more and conduct some hearings in public before the House approaches the point of a vote to impeach Trump.
But with so much of the story now told, how much of that further investigation is about necessity and how much of it is a play for time?
What impeachment means
Impeachment in the House is an indictment that would spur a trial for Trump in the Senate. The president’s Republican allies control the upper chamber and he appears to enjoy more than enough support to retain his office.
Pelosi, Schiff and their allies also can see that when impeachment leaves the House, they lose control and the saga shifts into a new phase with different political implications.
So how much of the pending investigation is about accumulating information — and how much of it is about keeping the story alive while Democrats still can? And how much is about staving off the point at which Democrats must decide how to act in light of all that’s been revealed?
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, left, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., right, leave after speaking about the House impeachment inquiry into President Trump on Capitol Hill Tuesday. Andrew Harnik/APhide caption
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, left, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., right, leave after speaking about the House impeachment inquiry into President Trump on Capitol Hill Tuesday.
Question 3: Will the House vote to formally initiate the impeachment inquiry?
Trump and his Republican supporters argue that impeachment isn’t real unless the full House gets to vote. Pelosi observes that the Constitution gives her broad discretion about how to handle the matter and that she can proceed as she has.
The speaker was asked this week why, if she believed she has the support in the House, she wouldn’t just convene a vote and call Trump’s bluff, as a reporter put it. Pelosi didn’t address that directly, but she did say that Democrats remains serious and that this isn’t a “game.”
Pelosi resisted calls from her most liberal members to pursue impeachment for months, mindful about the need to continue to reach moderate voters to defend her majority and run alongside Democrats’ presidential nominee next year.
When the outlines of Trump’s Ukraine pressure strategy became public, that moved so many Democrats that the speaker had no choice but to move with them and announce that the House had moved into the impeachment inquiry.
Proceeding without a recorded vote is a way for Pelosi to keep her options open. If impeachment becomes a political loser, she and Democrats could back away without having opened a door they might be expected to then close with a difficult vote on impeachment itself.
But some polls have suggested that public opinion may be moving the Democrats’ way on impeachment and even removal of Trump.
If the speaker and Democrats feel they’re standing on solid ground, they might convene a vote by the full House to launch impeachment as a way to undercut Republicans’ arguments about its illegitimacy. That also might make the momentum unstoppable toward articles of impeachment.
Question 4: Would Democrats go through with a vote to impeach Trump?
Democrats have been talking about impeachment for years. Possible cases have included Trump’s immigration policies, the Russia imbroglio and Trump’s ongoing business dealings. On Thursday, Mulvaney said would host next year’s G-7 summit at his own golf resort in Florida.
But the discussions never went forward — in large measure because Pelosi held them back.
The old conventional wisdom was that an impeachment process that resulted in a Senate acquittal would wind up hurting Democrats and helping Republicans.
A party-line vote that resulted in Trump keeping his office would be seen as a vindication and acquittal, in this line of thinking, and voters would punish Democrats in the way they punished Republicans after President Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998.
Today, Pelosi argues that House Democrats are taking a stand based on principle — that a president cannot solicit foreign interference in U.S. elections or defy Congress. She and the House majority are contemplating what would only be the third impeachment vote in history for a sitting president.
Would Pelosi only take that step if she feels the political landscape had changed enough that she could do so safely?
Or would she trigger the Senate trial even if she believed it would damage her own party politically — or, even more consequentially, remove a president within a year of the day that voters expect to have their own say in the matter?
Matternet CEO Andreas Raptopoulos walks next to an operator carrying a drone used to deliver medical specimens after a flight in March at WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh, N.C. Jonathan Drew/APhide caption
Matternet CEO Andreas Raptopoulos walks next to an operator carrying a drone used to deliver medical specimens after a flight in March at WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh, N.C.
Sounding like a huge swarm of angry bees or maybe a hedge trimmer on steroids, a small quadcopter lifts up off of a landing pad in front of the main hospital building on the WakeMed campus in Raleigh, N.C. Underneath it is a metal box — smaller than a shoebox — with vials of blood samples inside of it that are now heading across the campus to the lab for analysis, guided by a drone operator on the ground.
It’s not a long trip.
“This facility happens to be across a very busy road from our main campus hospital,” says Stuart Ginn, an ENT surgeon and medical director of innovations at WakeMed. But when taken by carrier on foot or by car, he says “the logistics of getting those samples across often resulted in about a 45-minute time of delivery.”
But now, with the drone?
“We’ve seen that drop to about 10 minutes, and that’s really door to door,” Ginn says. “The actual flight time one way is about three minutes because it’s not a long route.”
Saving that much time can, in some instances, save lives, and at the very least it should reduce delays in providing medical treatment.
Now, WakeMed’s partner in this endeavor, UPS subsidiary UPS Flight Forward, has won federal approval to expand its drone delivery operations, allowing the company to use multiple aircraft in multiple locations to make revenue-generating deliveries over longer distances.
Ginn says that will allow WakeMed to bypass the traffic congestion of area roads and fly drones with tissue and blood samples or urgent medical supplies quickly between its other health care facilities in the region.
“We anticipate being able to connect those hospitals together and those health-plexes back to the hospitals and back to where we’re sitting now, back to the main campus hospital,” Ginn says.
In Raleigh, UPS is using Matternet drones capable of carrying 5-pound loads over 12.5 miles.
Drones with longer ranges could eventually be a game-changer in helping meet health care needs in underserved communities and in rural areas, where doctors and patients could be miles apart from medications and supplies.
“What we are doing is we are opening up a third dimension that wasn’t there,” says Bala Ganesh, vice president of the advanced technology group at UPS. “We were thinking in 2D and now we’re starting to think in the third dimension. And no pun intended, the sky’s the limit in what we can build out going forward with this third dimension.”
UPS Flight Forward now has federal approval to expand its drone delivery operations. Courtesy of UPShide caption
Courtesy of UPS
UPS Flight Forward now has federal approval to expand its drone delivery operations.
Courtesy of UPS
Ganesh says GPS and other technologies allow for these unmanned drones to fly to precise locations, and collision-avoidance technology will help prevent the drones from crashing into obstacles such as trees, power lines, buildings or even other drones.
“We are moving forward into a future that does not exist today, so it’s an amazing, amazing thing,” Ganesh says.
Drones are not quite ready to compete with Santa Claus in delivering toys to your home by Christmas morning, but the dream of transporting goods from the store to your door is closer to reality.
Walgreens is testing on-demand delivery by drone on a limited scale in Christiansburg, Va., partnering with FedEx and Wing Aviation, a subsidiary of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.
A lot of others in the online retail industry are working feverishly to develop drone delivery systems that can win federal approval. Most prominent among them is Amazon; CEO Jeff Bezos said several years ago that drones would be delivering Amazon orders to our homes in 30 minutes via drone by 2019. That hasn’t happened yet, in large part because the regulatory framework does not exist yet.
Drones are already being used commercially for photography and film, inspecting crops, buildings, bridges and railroads. And first responders use them in search and rescue operations and to survey damage from fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and other disasters.
But those drones operate on short leashes. The new FAA “part 135” certification awarded to UPS will eventually allow for drone deliveries going beyond the operator’s line of sight, flying the drones at night and over populated areas.
“This is a huge leap forward,” says Jacob Reed, director of the unmanned aircraft systems degree program at Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill., which is about 35 miles southwest of Chicago.
“Everyone understands the value in this and everybody understands the demand that consumers have with wanting their goods and wanting their goods faster,” Reed adds. “We’ve seen retailers cut it down to two days and one day, but imagine starting to get something in hours instead of days.”
Drones can meet that demand much more easily than delivery vans and trucks, but Reed says there’s still a lot of uncertainty in the industry.
Jacob Reed, director of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems degree program at Lewis University, demonstrates a drone at the school’s airfield outside of Chicago. David Schaper/NPRhide caption
Jacob Reed, director of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems degree program at Lewis University, demonstrates a drone at the school’s airfield outside of Chicago.
“The biggest thing is safety,” he says. “It’s not only the safety of everybody on the ground that the aircraft may be flying over, but it’s the safety of other manned aircraft that are in the skies.”
There are also privacy concerns about drones flying over homes and businesses, concerns about the noise bigger drones generate, and security concerns over drones possibly being hacked and steered off course.
And then there’s just plain old human curiosity. Reed imagines a drone delivering to his house on a warm summer day “and this big rotor-craft comes and lands maybe on my driveway or my doorstep to drop off a package. Well, now there are kids in the area that are off of school and they come by to check out this cool aircraft that just came to deliver something.”
Will the drone know kids are close by so it doesn’t restart the rotors that could injure them? If so, how long might it sit and wait and delay other deliveries? And what if someone damages the drone while it’s on the ground?
The FAA and drone developers and manufacturers are working on addressing those concerns. In fact, the FAA’s drone advisory committee is meeting in Washington this month for just the second time this year.
Nonetheless, it is increasingly likely that drone deliveries to our homes will soon take off.
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Oct. 17: In this photo taken from the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, in Ceylanpinar, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, flames and smoke billow from a fire on a target in Ras al-Ayn, Syria, caused by shelling by Turkish forces. (AP)
Good morning and welcome to Fox News First. Here’s what you need to know as you start your Friday …
Journalists from the Associated Press reported witnessing shelling and said they could see smoke billowing around the town, which sits along the border with Turkey. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, reported intermittent clashes in Ras al-Ayn, but calm elsewhere. Reuters also reported machine-gun fire and shelling that could be heard from a border town in Turkey near Ra al-Ayn.
The deal was for a 120-hour cease-fire, during which time the Kurdish-led forces could pull back from the roughly 20-mile-wide safe zone on the Turkish-Syrian border. All Turkish military operations under the recent offensive known as Operation Peace Spring are to pause during that time, with the operation coming to an end upon completion of the Kurdish withdrawal, under terms of the deal.
Outside the rally, some 30,000 Trump supporters watched the speech on a large screen, as the president blasted 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. He derided former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas as “very dumb” for pushing to confiscate guns and tax religious institutions, and said Joe Biden’s family overtly profited from the former vice president’s political career. He also denounced Pelosi a day after she and other top Democrats walked out of a White House meeting, telling the crowd, “She’s nuts.” Click more on this story.
Mulvaney comments seized on by critics saying it’s proof of Ukraine quid pro quo Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney says his comments about the Trump administration’s decision to hold up military aid to Ukraine have been misinterpreted after he initially seemed to contradict President Trump’s claim that there was no “quid pro quo” during his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky.
At a briefing at the White House on Thursday, Mulvaney told reporters that the release of $400 million in military aid to Ukraine was tied to the administration’s demands that Kiev investigate purported corruption by the Democrats during the 2016 presidential election campaign. Trump also mentioned to him that the corruption was related to the DNC server and “that’s why we held up the money,” Mulvaney said.
In a statement later Thursday, Mulvaney declared there was “absolutely no quid pro quo” between aid and any investigations. “There was never any condition on the flow of aid related to the matter of the DNC server,” he said.
A worker carrying boxes of goods walks by women selecting handbags at a commercial building in Beijing, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
China’s economic growth sinks to a 26-year low China’s economy took another hit last quarter as the tariff war with the United States continued to take its toll. Its economic growth decelerated to a 26-year low in the latest quarter, adding to a deepening slump that is weighing on global growth. The world’s second-largest economy expanded by 6 percent in the three months ending in September, down from the previous quarter’s 6.2 percent, data showed Friday. The slump increases pressure on Chinese leaders to avert politically dangerous job losses as they fight a tariff war with President Trump over Beijing’s trade surplus and technology ambitions.
TUNE IN TODAY: In Fox News exclusive, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg rejects calls for shutdown of Trump’s social media Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says President Trump’s activities on Twitter and other social media platforms should not be curtailed in any way. “My belief is that in a democracy, I don’t think that we want private companies censoring politicians in the news,” Zuckerberg told Dana Perino in an exclusive interview airing Friday on “The Daily Briefing.”
Perino asked Zuckerberg about Sen. Kamala Harris’ demand that Twitter shut down Trump’s account, which the president uses regularly to share his views on a multitude of issues. Zuckerberg said Silicon Valley shouldn’t be taking such actions. He also responded to 2020 frontrunner Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s criticism of Facebook. Click here for more on this story.
On Thursday, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney called the Trump National Doral resort near Miami “far and away the best physical facility for this meeting.”
Cooper mocked the announcement with both his facial expressions and a heaping dose of sarcasm:
“Really? Far and away? Gosh! I mean, thank goodness that they found a hotel with a golf course. You know how hard those are to find in the United States? It’s like finding a Russian needle in a Ukrainian haystack.”
Cooper also played clips of Trump talking up his resort, promising that each delegation could have its own bungalow.
“Sounds fancy ― sounds like the Beverly Hills Hotel, where you can allegedly have your security guard bring the porn stars in the back way,” Cooper said, referring to the site of Trump’s alleged dalliances with adult entertainer Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal.
See his full “RidicuList” takedown below:
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A Texas sporting goods store broke the law when it sold an AR-15-style rifle and large-capacity magazine to a man who later committed a mass murder at a San Antonio-area church, federal prosecutors argued in a court filing.
Devin Patrick Kelley, who fatally shot himself as authorities chased him following the bloody massacre at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs in 2017, was ineligible to make the purchase because he used a Colorado driver’s license as identification, prosecutor Paul David Stern wrote.
“Sale of that rifle would have been illegal in Colorado,” Stern wrote, referring to a Model 8500 Ruger AR-556 that authorities say Kelley bought from Academy Sports + Outdoors.
Devin Patrick Kelley, who authorities say killed himself following a church massacre in Sutherland Springs, Texas, in November 2017, is seen in an undated photo. (Texas Department of Public Safety via AP)
In 2017, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the state had denied Kelley a gun permit and he should not have been legally allowed to own a firearm, the BBC reported.
Kelley fired at least 450 rounds inside the church, killing more than two dozen people and wounding 20 more, authorities have said. A nearby resident shot and wounded Kelley before the killer drove away and ultimately ended his own life, according to authorities.
Now federal authorities are looking to add the Texas retailer as a possible third party in a lawsuit that relatives of those killed or wounded in the massacre have filed against the federal government. The plaintiffs argue that the U.S. Air Force neglected to add Kelley’s criminal data to a national database that might have blocked his weapons purchase, despite six opportunities to add the information.
Kelley, a former airman, had a background that included beating his wife and stepson, mistreating animals, escaping a mental health clinic and being court-martialed, the BBC reported.
The Justice Department argued that federal employees should be shielded from the legal action, but in May U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez in San Antonio ruled that the government itself should not be shielded.
Academy Sports + Outdoors operates more than 250 stores in 16 states and posted $4.9 billion in sales for the fiscal year that ended in February, a company spokeswoman told the Associated Press. She would not comment on the federal court filing, the AP added.
Jamal Alsaffar, an attorney representing the victims’ families, said the plaintiffs expect federal authorities to examine Academy’s history of gun sales for examples of firearms sales that should have been prohibited.
With three polls showing her in the lead, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., may soon eclipse former Vice President Joe Biden as the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. That’s great news for Republicans, because Warren has a problem: The central message of her campaign is that the economy is working for the very wealthy but it is not working for ordinary Americans. Unfortunately for her, ordinary Americans disagree.
A Marist poll asked voters whether “the economy is working well for you personally.” Nearly two-thirds of Americans said yes. This includes large majorities in almost every demographic group.
Sixty-seven percent of college graduates and 64 percent of those without a college education say the economy is working for them. So do 68 percent of whites and 61 percent of nonwhite people.
So do Americans of every generation: 63 percent of Generation Z and millennials; 69 percent of Generation X; 63 percent of baby boomers; and 69 percent of Greatest Generation and Silent Generation voters.
So do supermajorities in every region in the country: 60 percent in the West, 65 percent in the Northeast, 67 percent in the Midwest, and 68 percent in the South.
So do most voters in every type of American community: 63 percent of both big and small city voters; 64 percent of small-town voters; 66 percent of rural voters and 72 percent of suburban voters.
Most everyone, it seems, says the economy is working for them.
The only groups who disagree, Marist found, are progressives (59 percent), Democratic women (55 percent) and those who are liberal or very liberal (55 percent.
So, when Warren declares that President Trump is “part of a corrupt, rigged system that has helped the wealthy and the well-connected and kicked dirt in the faces of everyone else,” it resonates with almost no one except those on the political left.
There is a good reason for that. Unemployment is near a record low, and the United States has about 1.6 million more job openings than unemployed people to fill them.
Not only are jobs plentiful, but wages are rising. And The New York Times reported in May that “over the past year, low-wage workers have experienced the fastest pay increases.”
Americans don’t just think they are doing better in the Trump economy, they are doing better. Little wonder Democrats barely mentioned the economy in Tuesday’s debate.
This progress is bad news for Warren. Why would Americans rally to her call for “big structural change” to the economy when they say the economy is working for them? Especially when they learn the structural changes Warren is proposing would cost tens of trillions of dollars and – whether she admits it or not – would require them to pay more in taxes?
Manhattan Institute budget expert Brian Riedl recently added up the price tag for Warren’s proposals, and the numbers are staggering: $30 trillion to $40 trillion over 10 years for Medicare-for-all; $2 trillion for Social Security expansion; $3 trillion for climate change and environmental policies; $2 trillion free college and student loan forgiveness; and another $1 trillion for initiatives that include free child care and housing.
“Total cost: $38 trillion to $48 trillion,” Riedl says. And that’s before calculating the cost of offering free government health care to illegal immigrants, which Warren supports.
There’s no way to pay for that miasma of spending with Warren’s wealth tax; it will require massive middle-class tax increases.
No wonder the so-called moderates were going after Warren so hard at Tuesday’s debate; they know it would be a disaster if she were to capture the Democratic nomination.
To win in 2020, Democrats need to win over voters who like Trump’s policies but don’t like Trump. They can’t do that by telling these voters they are wrong about the economy working for them, and that they need to make peace with socialism. Instead, they need to convince voters that they can dump Trump and still keep their prosperity.
If Democrats nominate Warren, they will give voters suffering from Trump exhaustion no safe harbor. Her nomination would turn the election into an existential threat to the American economy.
And since Warren said Tuesday that, if she is elected, and Democrats take back the Senate, they will “repeal the filibuster,” she will be able to pass her radical agenda by simple majority vote. That means Trump’s message – “whether you love me or hate me, you have got to vote for me” – will ring true for millions of Americans whose votes might otherwise be up for grabs.
The cold reality is that the series is over, and should officially end Friday night with Cy Young favorite Justin Verlander on the mound for the Astros.
Sweet revenge has never felt so good.
“I think winning three straight at their home park,’’ Astros right fielder Josh Reddick said, “will make a bigger statement than that.’’
The Astros say they love being in the raucous atmosphere of Yankee Stadium.
Reddick, who had objects thrown at him in Game 3, prompting Astros manager A.J. Hinch to warn the umpiring crew that he’ll take his team off the field if it happens again, says it’s one thing for fans to support their team, but quite another to make it cruel and personal.
“There could be atmospheres where it’s loud, it’s electric,’’ Reddick said, “and the outfield bleachers aren’t really saying unnecessary stuff at you or your whole team. There are places you go like Tampa. Tampa was a loud atmosphere (in the Division Series), and nobody was yelling, obscene gestures about my wife, or my mother out there. That’s definitely something you get when you come here. …
“They’re going to find anything they can on you whether its them using Google to the best of their abilities or just picking on you with what they have at any given time.’’
The right-field fans stood and screamed at Reddick when he came onto the field in the first inning, but he kept his back to them, trying his best not to acknowledge them. It could happen to any opposing right fielder, Reddick says, but he also knows it’s personal.
“I think it’s a little different for me because I’m a loud-mouth and I speak my mind,’’ Reddick said. “And I don’t think they like that. I speak facts, and I’m just going to talk about what I want to talk about.
If it’s not enough dealing with the hostilities from the fans, the Astros are incensed that anonymous members of the Yankees’ organization accused them of cheating. There were several published reports in New York that said the Astros were whistling and banging pipes in their dugout at Minute Maid Park to relay signs.
“We all get sick of it because it takes away the credibility of our hitters,’’ Reddick says. “This is a damn good lineup and it shouldn’t be shunned by people saying were cheating and whistling in the dugout.
“How can you even hear whistling in a playoff game? You can’t hear whistling in a playoff game from a dugout. There’s no way you can do it, so it makes no sense where that comes from.’’
Why can’t the Astros simply get credit for being one of the greatest teams in baseball the past few years, winning 115 games this year, and on the verge of their second World Series in three years?
“When I listen to the people talking about it in the business, I just laugh,’’ said Carlos Correa, who along with George Springer hit three-run homers. “I just laugh because they say, ‘Oh, we have something or the pitchers were tipping,’ when they had nothing, sometimes. You know what I mean?
“We’re just watching the game. We’re taking advantage of every single detail we can get. Hitting is tough. If you’re tipping your pitches, fix it. If you’re tipping your pitch and I can see, I’m going to take advantage of it. I’m trying to help my team win ball games, and every single edge counts.
“But I think it’s disrespectful that every time we score a lot of runs, people talk about tipping. Nobody was tipping today and we scored, what, eight runs? We’re great hitters. We’ve been doing it for a whole season.
“You look across the board the numbers this team has put up through a full season, it’s just unbelievable how many guys have been on top of their game this year. Not every pitcher that goes out there for 162 tips.’’
Astros MVP candidate Alex Bregman has heard the accusations for years, but shrugs them off, calling it comical.
“It’s just like, silly, honestly,’’ Bregman told USA TODAY Sports. “We’re like, ‘Come on, again? People are trying to find an excuse to why we win games.’
“There’s going to be people always throwing reasons why we win, and stuff like that. To us, we know we win because were a damn good baseball team.
“We’re just go to focus on playing baseball, do our thing, and let people say what they want.’’
Let them keep talking, Hinch said, but if you talk, be a man and put your name behind it.
“In reality, it’s a joke,’’ Hinch said. “When I get contacted about some questions about whistling, it made me laugh because it’s ridiculous. Had I known that it would take something like that to set off the Yankees or any other team, we would have practiced it in spring training.
“The problem I have is when other people take shots at us outside this competition. When you guys ask me this question, my face, my name is by my quotes, my opinions, my reaction is all for you guys to tweet out and put on the broadcast. But we have people that are unnamed, or you guys have sources that are giving you information. I suggest they put their name by it if they’re so passionate about it to comment about my team or my players.’’
If people really want to talk, maybe they turn their attention to the Yankees, a team that barely looked like they belonged on the same field with the Astros this night.
They made four errors, their most in a postseason game in 43 years.
They struck out 13 times, including 11 times from the No. 2 to No. 7 spots in the order.
They were hitless in seven at-bats with runners in scoring position, and left 10 runners on base.
It was an absolute stinker.
“We played poorly tonight,’’ Yankees manager Aaron Boone said, “there’s no other way to explain it. And we need to flush this immediately.
“Stranger things have certainly happened, a lot stranger. We need to play a cleaner game, obviously, if we’re going to beat a team like that.’’
The Astros won’t come out and say it, but they know this series is over.
They fully expect to be playing in front a subdued crowd Friday night, with most of the Yankee fans gone by the time they celebrate the American League pennant.
The Astros know they need to win one more game, but with Verlander on the mound, they’d love to end it early, making sure they will have a rested bullpen with Cole going in Game 1 of the World Series.
“We have all of the faith in the world in him,’’ Reddick said. “We want him to on the mound. It would make it so much sweeter to do it [Friday], go home, spend time with the family, and get ready for the World Series.
“Let’s get it done right here.’’
A silent Yankee Stadium may never sound more beautiful.