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Justice Barrett! | Power Line

It’s all done. She’s Justice Barrett now. As Paul has already noted, Democrats have themselves to blame in their expedient decision under Harry Reid to eliminate the filibuster for appellate court nominees—a move determined by entirely short-term considerations of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals that kept blocking overreaching executive branch initiatives from President Obama.

I wonder if this bitter experience will give Democrats pause about abolishing the legislative filibuster and packing the Supreme Court.

Justice Barrett is a constitutional originalist, which is to Democrats like holy water, a cross, and garlic to a vampire. Actually a pretty good analogy since in embracing the “living Constitution,” liberals want to suck the lifeblood out of the written Constitution, and its underlying principles. For example, check out the dumbest tweet of the day:

Here you can simply apply Hayward’s First Law of Liberal Polemics: when you’re about to lose an argument, call your opponent a racist.

P.S. “We are all originalists now”—Justice Elena Kagan.  I’ll look forward to Sen. Markey moving for Kagan’s impeachment from the Court.

P.P.S. It’s Hillary Clinton’s birthday today. A great day to confirm Justice Barrett.

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The Shocking Bias and Incompetence of Our Public Schools

With an election impending, the public schools are teaching our children about the issues and the candidates. One of their primary tools is Scholastic Magazine, which I think is read by millions of school children and is the basis for instruction in countless classrooms. A friend alerted me to the fact that the current issue includes profiles of President Trump and Joe Biden and describes their positions on several issues.

This is what our children are being told about President’s Trump’s position on “Racial Justice”:

The long history of unjust treatment of Black people in America is a major focus of this election.

This past spring, in the wake of police killings of Black Americans, huge protests erupted across the country in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic has seriously underscored the widespread problem of racial inequality in the United States. Data show that people of color are contracting and dying of the virus at the highest rates, largely because of the wealth gap that exists between white people and people of color. Many Americans of all races are now demanding an end to police violence and other injustices toward Black people in this country.

That’s the preface. This is an issue, according to Scholastic Magazine, on which there is only one possible perspective.

In June, President Trump signed an executive order encouraging police departments to change how they train officers and use force. But overall, he has defended law enforcement…

As well he should!

…opposed protesters’ calls for reforms, and taken an aggressive stance against the largely peaceful demonstrations.

“Largely peaceful,” the Democrats’ weasel phrase.

In July, for instance, he sent federal police to Portland, Oregon, to break up rallies there. Local officials say those officers illegally detained protesters and sparked violence.

This is outrageous. What was happening in Portland was not “rallies.” It was rioting, arson, crime and violence. The idea that the presence of federal officers “sparked violence” is a far-left trope that is totally at odds with the facts. The violence long preceded, and succeeded, any federal involvement.

Many people see the president’s response to the protests as part of a pattern of racism.

“Many people.” The most dishonest trick of the left-wing journalist.

He has repeatedly made racist statements and at times shown support for people who promote white supremacy.

This is a lie. It is intended to poison young minds against the president, his party and his supporters.

He has also largely refused to acknowledge the role racism plays in America. For example, he has dismissed research showing that Black people are more likely than white people to be stopped, arrested, and killed by the police.

I am not sure what exactly Trump has said about such research, but every well-informed person knows that black people are more likely to be stopped, arrested and shot because they commit more crimes, per capita, than other ethnic groups. This fact is not disputed, but needless to say, Scholastic Magazine doesn’t mention it.

Scholastic ends by acknowledging that Trump’s economy has produced record low unemployment for “Black and Latinx people.”

Now, how about Joe Biden? Scholastic begins with the same preface that is quoted above.

Joe Biden has said racism is a problem that needs urgent attention in the U.S. He acknowledges that inequality between Black people and white people is the result of long-standing laws and policies.

Like, affirmative action? That 50-year-old policy has conveniently been forgotten.

Then follows a claim that in the 1980s and 90s, Biden supported “legislation that hurt Black Americans” by being “tough on crime.” Actually, such legislation helped blacks, the principal victims of crime. But that isn’t something Scholastic Magazine, or the public school system, wants our kids to know. It continues:

Last year, Biden expressed regret for criminal justice laws he championed in the Senate that have contributed to racial injustice. Going forward, he says that he is committed to rooting out racism in the criminal justice system, from policing practices to sentencing laws. As president, he says he would enact polices to close the racial wealth gap, which is a direct result of centuries of racist laws, policies, and practices.

It is? That is a highly controversial claim, at best. Academic research suggests that it has much more to do with cultural values and family formation, or lack thereof. And of course there is no mention of other races, like Asian-Americans, who on average substantially outearn both blacks and whites.

For example, he has pledged to expand access to high-quality education, business opportunities, health care, and housing for Black Americans. He has also called for the U.S. government to increase investigations into claims bias and brutality against Black people in police departments nationwide, so that patterns of discrimination can be exposed and fixed.

In other words: tell your parents to vote for Joe Biden! What our public schools are telling our kids about the election is identical to the propaganda being put out by the Biden campaign.

Our public schools are so incompetent, and so ridiculously biased, that they are a threat to the Republic. I think voters should seriously consider abolishing them altogether. Whatever private arrangements would arise in the resulting vacuum could only be an improvement.

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Polls? What Polls?

(John Hinderaker)

Joe Biden continues to lead in most national surveys, but today’s Rasmussen Reports finds President Trump with a one-point lead, 48-47. Rasmussen surveyed 1,500 likely voters. At this point, registered voter polls are pretty much worthless. The pollster that turns out to be “right” after Election Day will be the one with the best turnout model.

Of course, one factor that polls can’t take into account is voter fraud. In a state where the race is close, voter fraud could tip the balance. Pennsylvania comes to mind. It doesn’t happen often, but it happens. For example, there is no serious doubt that Norm Coleman beat Al Franken in Minnesota’s 2008 Senate election. Franken’s 312-vote margin was much less than any rational estimate of his advantage in fraudulent votes.

All that said, for now I’m going with my lying eyes.

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Chuck Schumer reaps what he sowed

The Senate has voted to confirm Amy Coney Barrett as a Supreme Court Justice. She will be sworn in tonight, probably around the time I finish writing this post.

It’s remarkable to me how quickly Mitch McConnell was able to drive this nomination through. I’m also surprised that only one Republican Senator (the embattled Susan Collins) voted against confirming Judge Barrett.

President Trump is said by some to be a divisive influence within the Republican Party. Yet, GOP Senators and House members have been extraordinarily united during the past three and a half years.

During today’s proceedings, Chuck Schumer lashed out at Republicans for hypocrisy in judicial confirmations. He cited the case of Merrick Garland, whom President Obama nominated in 2016. Judge Garland wasn’t confirmed. The GOP controlled Senate didn’t even give him a hearing.

Maybe Garland should have received a hearing out of courtesy. However, the hearing would have been a waste of time. Garland did not have the votes to be confirmed.

Amy Coney Barrett has the votes. That’s the difference between these two election-year nominees.

Why is it, though, that these days Supreme Court nominees likely can’t get the votes needed for confirmation if the opposing party controls the Senate? The answer has lots to do with the efforts of Chuck Schumer.

Jonathan Adler provides the history:

Prior to [Shumer’s] arrival in the Senate, senators were generally reluctant to openly oppose judicial nominees on ideological grounds, but Schumer worked to change that. He enthusiastically supported a blockade of Bush appellate nominees and rejected President Bush’s appeal for a presumptive confirmation schedule.

Once Republicans retook the Senate, Schumer pushed for the repeated filibusters of President Bush’s nominees and, even after the “Gang of 14” deal, continued in his attempts to use this obstructionist tactic.

Schumer led an unsuccessful effort to filibuster confirmation of Justice Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. Afterwards, in a 2007 speech to the American Constitution Society, he proclaimed he should have done even more to block Alito’s confirmation, and argued that the Senate should not confirm any additional Bush nominees to the Supreme Court should any more vacancies arise. In his view, senators should seek to prevent judicial confirmations that might tilt the balance of the Court in a way they do not like, including by simply refusing to confirm them – something he would conveniently forget in 2016.

Senator Schumer did not think both parties should have recourse to the same tools of obstruction, however. When Senate Republicans started filibustering some of President Obama’s appellate nominees he eagerly joined then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision to go nuclear, even though Republicans had (at that point) not blocked any more Obama nominees than Democrats had blocked Bush nominees (five each). No matter. The filibuster was gone, and three of Obama’s five blocked nominees were confirmed (all to the D.C. Circuit).

During the closed session, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) rebuked Schumer for his short memory: “I hope our colleague from New York is happy with what he has built. I hope he is happy with where his ingenuity has gotten the Senate.” There is no question that McConnell upped the ante over the past four years. One might say he hit back twice as hard. Nonetheless, if Schumer is unhappy, he should consider his role in getting the Senate to this point.

(Emphasis added)

Because of the power it exerts over our politics and our lives, and because Justices tend to divide along party lines in the big cases, the Supreme Court invites hypocrisy from both sides of the aisle over the manner in which nominees gain the ability to exert such awesome power. But with the possible exception of Joe Biden, there is no bigger hypocrite than Chuck Schumer when it comes to the confirmation process.

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Polls: Biden has substantial lead in three key states

President Trump’s victory in 2016 was based on his wins in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. How does this year’s race stand in these three states?

If you take polls seriously, it doesn’t look good for Trump in any of them.

In Pennsylvania, every poll taken since late August shows Joe Biden in the lead. The late August poll that didn’t show this had the two candidates tied. The current RCP poll average gives Biden a 5.3 point lead.

In Michigan, Biden’s RCP poll average lead is even more substantial — 8.1 points. There is one poll from this month that has Trump ahead. It’s by the Trafalgar Group, the outfit that predicted Trump’s victory in Michigan four years ago.

As I understand it, Trafalgar tries to take “shy Trump voters” into account. However, even its poll has Trump up by only 1 point.

In Wisconsin, the story is similar. Biden leads by 5.4 points in the RCP average.

There is a very recent poll from Susquehanna Polling and Research for the Center for American Greatness that has the two candidates tied, and a Trafalgar Group poll puts Biden’s lead at only 2 points. But Fox News has Biden up by 5 points and just about every other polling organization finds the former vice president’s lead to be larger than that.

I’m not aware of other states that are likely to make up for electors Trump loses in Pennsylvania, Michigan, or Wisconsin. Thus, unless the polls are way off, the odds are solidly against Trump being reelected.

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How would the 2016 election have played out under 2020 conditions?

The case that Joe Biden will defeat President Trump rests mainly on the polls. The case that Trump will win rests at least in part on the fact that the polls got the 2016 race wrong.

But differences in the ground rules of the two elections suggest that Hillary Clinton might have defeated Trump in 2016 under this year’s conditions.

First, consider all of the early voting this year. In 2016, it is thought that Trump made up ground on Clinton in the closing weeks and days of the campaign, especially in the key states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, all of which went to Trump by very small margins.

This year, making up ground in the final weeks and days (if Trump is able to) may be considerably less helpful than it was four years ago because a much higher percentage of the vote will be cast early. Thus, to the extent that Trump’s narrow victories four years ago in the Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin were a function of a late surge, he may not be able to pull out wins in some or all of these key states this year even if he’s as popular on election day 2020 as on election day 2016.

Next, consider the opportunities for voting fraud this year. The 2016 election was held largely in the traditional way. This year, voting by mail is far more prevalent. This creates many more opportunities to manipulate the outcome.

If these same opportunities had existed in 2016, the Democrats might have stolen some or all of the key states for Hillary.

There is also the matter of third party candidates. Four years ago, the vote of Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, exceeded Trump’s margin in victory in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. (However, the vote of Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate exceeded Stein’s in all three states.)

This year, the Green Party apparently isn’t on the ballot in any of these three states. (The Libertarian Party is, but with a different, less prominent candidate.) The absence of a visible far left alternative might help Biden if the race is extremely close.

In any case, the other two factors — early voting and voting by mail — are potentially significant, in my view. They raise the real possibility that the same voting preference patterns displayed by the electorates of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin four years ago might produce Democratic victories in some or all of these states this time around.

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A lid too far

(Scott Johnson)

Joe Biden didn’t conduct any in-person campaigning yesterday, nine days out from the election. The Biden campaign called a so-called lid on his activities yesterday at 11:30 a.m. He’s resting up. He’s sitting on a lead. He’s giving President Trump a chance to overtake him. I should like to think it’s a lid too far, but that’s clearly not the way his campaign team sees it.

By contrast with Trump’s rallies, Biden’s events are not exactly high energy affairs. Okay, it’s not just by contrast with Trump’s rallies. Biden’s in-person campaign events are embarrassing judged solely on their own terms.

With his daily lids Biden is also minimizing the display of his mental incapacity, as in the video below. Biden’s mental incapacity seems to me the scandal hiding in plain sight. He’s got half a mind to be president.

Via Joe Tacopino/New York Post.

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Today is the day | Power Line

Judge Amy Coney Barrett is to be confirmed as an associate justice of the Supreme Court later today. We support her confirmation. We think she will make a great contribution to the Court.

President Trump himself has made a great contribution to the federal judiciary with the quality of his nominations to the bench. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — I would like to say our beloved Cocaine Mitch — has shepherded the nominations through confirmation. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham also deserves our gratitude.

“Patrick McMurphy” marks the event in the tweet below. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, indeed. It’s a beautiful thing. I’m filing this under Laughter Is the Best Medicine.

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“This is 60 Minutes”

(Scott Johnson)

Watching Lesley Stahl’s interview of President Trump on 60 Minutes last night, one might get the impression that she gets her news strictly filtered and refined by CBS. She therefore doesn’t know anything beyond what can be acknowledged with the approval of CBS News.

Trump gave her 37:40 of his time for the interview last week. In the event, that was about 37 minutes too much.

Peter Schweizer has been on the case of the Biden crime family for a while now. Hunter Biden’s laptop computer hard drive has only given him new material with which to work, as in yesterday’s New York Post column (with Seamus Bruner) “Long-standing claims of Biden corruption all but confirmed with Hunter’s emails.” From the perspective of Lesley Stahl, however, this is unmentionable.

Stahl purports not even to be up to speed on the spying on the Trump campaign conducted by the FBI courtesy of the four FISA warrants fraudulently taken out on Carter Page and so on. She appears to be clueless. We know that’s not true, but you would have to think so if you took her remarks at face value. If we didn’t know better, we might mistake her for a low information voter.

Turning to the unedited transcript of the interview, I would like to submit the following excerpts for your consideration:

Donald Trump: (21:22)
Lesley, let me ask you. You think it’s okay for the Mayor of Moscow’s wife to give him millions and millions of dollars, three and a half million dollars, to give his family three and a half? Do you think it’s okay for Hunter Biden to say that we’re giving the big guy 10% of this massive amount of money they’re taking? Do you think it’s okay for all of these horrible things that you’ve seen, where they’re getting hundreds of thousands, and millions of dollars, where China gives them a billion and a half dollars to manage, the family, a billion and a half dollars, and then he’s supposed to negotiate? Let me tell you, it’s the second biggest scandal. The biggest scandal was when they spied on my campaign. They spied on my campaign.

Lesley Stahl: (22:14)
Can I say something? This is 60 Minutes and we can’t put on things we can’t verify.

Donald Trump: (22:21)
You won’t put it up because it’s bad for Biden.

Lesley Stahl: (22:22)
We can’t put on things we can’t verify.

Donald Trump: (22:24)
Lesley, they spied on my campaign.

Lesley Stahl: (22:27)
Well, we can’t verify that.

Donald Trump: (22:27)
It’s been totally verified. Just go down and get the papers. They spied of my campaign, they got caught.

Lesley Stahl: (22:34)

Donald Trump: (22:35)
And then they went much further than that, and they got caught. And you will see that, Lesley. And you know that, but you just don’t want to put it on the air.

Lesley Stahl: (22:42)
As a matter of fact, I don’t know that.

Trump is right. Stahl is wrong. Indeed, Stahl knows that.

Here we turn to the Biden crime family:

Donald Trump: (24:47)
It’s a very important issue to find out whether or not a man is corrupt, who’s running for president. Who’s accepted money from China, and from Ukraine, and from Russia. Yeah, I think that’s an important issue.

Lesley Stahl: (24:56)
All these things have been investigated and discredited.

Donald Trump: (24:58)
It’s incredible the way you can try and say this and sit there and look me in the eye and say it. He accepted money, his family, from Russia, from Ukraine, from China and from other places. His brother who didn’t have experience became a big builder in Iraq, without experience. Take a look at what’s going on, Lesley. And then you say that shouldn’t be discussed? It’s the biggest scandal out there, Lesley.

Lesley Stahl: (25:26)
And you think it’s the biggest issue to campaign on?

Donald Trump: (25:30)
I think it’s one of the biggest scandals I’ve ever seen, and you don’t cover it. You want to talk about-

Lesley Stahl: (25:36)
Well, because it can’t be verified.

Donald Trump: (25:37)
You want to talk about insignificant things.

Lesley Stahl: (25:40)
I’m telling you.

Donald Trump: (25:41)
Of course it can be verified. Excuse me, they found a laptop. Lesley, listen.

Lesley Stahl: (25:45)
It can’t be verified.

Donald Trump: (25:47)
What can’t be verified?

Lesley Stahl: (25:47)
The laptop.

Donald Trump: (25:48)
Why do you say that? Even the family hasn’t… The family on the laptop… He’s gone into hiding for five days, he’s gone into hiding.

Lesley Stahl: (25:59)
He’s preparing for your debate.

Donald Trump: (26:01)
Oh, it’s taking him five days to prepare? I doubt it, I doubt it. Okay, go ahead.

Trump is right. Stahl is wrong. If we took her at face value, as I say, we’d have to conclude that she doesn’t keep up with the news.

Here is a bit more:

Lesley Stahl: (28:52)
I’ve been listening to you, I don’t know how long we’ve been here, and it’s just attack, attack, attack, attack, attack.

Donald Trump: (28:55)
I don’t think so. It’s not attack.

Lesley Stahl: (28:56)
It is.

Donald Trump: (28:57)
It’s defense, it’s defense against attacks.

Lesley Stahl: (29:06)
No, you’ve been attacking.

Donald Trump: (29:06)
It’s defense against attacks.

Lesley Stahl: (29:06)
You are very oppressive.

Trump is right. Stahl is wrong.

Here we approach the end, when Trump takes a hike:

Lesley Stahl: (34:49)
You want to lock up the Bidens?

Donald Trump: (34:50)
No, I don’t want to lock them up, but they certainly should be looked at.

Lesley Stahl: (34:53)
Obama? You want to lock up Obama?

Donald Trump: (34:55)
No, I don’t want to lock him up, but he spied on my campaign.

Lesley Stahl: (34:58)
Do you want to lock up-

Donald Trump: (34:58)
Obama and Biden spied on my campaign. Do you know what that is? You know what they did? Do you know how horrible it is, what they did?

Lesley Stahl: (35:05)
That’s never been verified.

Donald Trump: (35:08)
It’s been totally verified, Lesley.

Lesley Stahl: (35:09)
No. I’m sorry.

Donald Trump: (35:10)
You’ll find out, but it’s been totally verified.

The comment below via Twitter is close to my heart, but the problem with CBS News isn’t its occasional fraudulence. It is the incessant partisan propaganda, witness the interview broadcast last night.

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Craziest World Series game ever?

I watched my first World Series game in 1956 at a friend’s house and have watched at least part of almost every Series game since 1958, when my parents broke down and bought a television set.

The best Series game I’ve ever seen was Game 6 in 1975, between Boston and Cincinnati. The most dramatic was Game 7 in 1960, between Pittsburgh and the New York Yankees.

Yesterday’s Game 4 between Tampa Bay and the Los Angeles Dodgers doesn’t rival those two games, nor does it match some others I’ve seen. However, it might be the craziest World Series game I have ever watched.

I’ve cheered at the end of World Series games. I’ve screamed at the end of World Series games. I’ve cursed at the end of World Series games.

Last night was the first time I’ve laughed hysterically at the end of a World Series game.

All Game 4’s are pivotal, but this one seemed especially so. The Dodgers were up two games to one. A Dodgers win last night, and the Rays would need to win three straight. The great Clayton Kershaw would be the Dodgers starter in one of them. Current ace Walker Beuhler would be their starter in another.

Last night’s game featured at least a run in every inning except the second. There was a lead change in the bottom of sixth, when the Rays scored three times to take a 5-4 lead. The lead changed hands again in the top of the seventh, when the Dodgers scored twice.

The Rays restored parity at 6-6 in the bottom of that inning, only to see the Dodgers regain the lead in the top of the eighth.

These changes in fortune were the result, in part, of poor relief pitching, as both managers tried to “bullpen” their way through the game. I thought Tampa Bay’s manager, Kevin Cash, might have been guilty of over-managing. He burned through two of his three best relief pitchers — Diego Castillo and Pete Fairbanks — in the middle innings, getting only 12 pitches from Fairbanks and only five from Ryan Thompson, a good middle reliever to whom Cash turned in the fourth inning.

After conceding at least one run to the Rays in every inning from the fourth on, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts finally got a shutdown inning in the eighth from the duo of Adam Kolarek and Brusdar Graterol. However, Roberts pulled Graterol after only seven pitches and brought in veteran ace Kenley Jensen to pitch the ninth. A standard move, to be fair.

Jensen isn’t nearly the pitcher he once was, though. His 91 mph cut fastball seemed out of place in a game where 95 mph looked like table stakes.

Even so, Jensen struck out the first batter he faced. He took advantage of the fact that pinch hitter Yoshitomo Tsutsugo was more intent on tying the game with one swing than on reaching base to start a rally. That’s the modern game in a nutshell.

The next batter, veteran Kevin Keirmaier did reach base on a single. However, Joey Wendell lined out to left field.

That brought Randy Arozarena to the plate. Arozarena, a Cuban refugee, was little more than a throw-in in a deal with the Cardinals last offseason that brought Jose Martinez (since traded away) to the Rays. He barely played at all for the Cards in their 2019 ALCS encounter with the Washington Nationals.

However, this year Arozarena is enjoying one of the best postseasons I can remember anyone having. He has nine home runs in 18 games, a .377 batting average, and an OPS of 1.289.

After a conference on the mound, the Dodgers decided to pitch to Arozarena, rather than put the winning run on base intentionally, but to pitch to him carefully. The result was a walk.

Up stepped Brett Phillips, a career .202 hitter. He was in the game only because Cash had used Ji-Man Choi to pinch hit for Mike Brosseau (hero of the Rays victory over the New York Yankees) and later inserted Phillips as a pinch runner for the rotund, though not unathletic, Choi.

With only a backup catcher remaining on the bench, it was up to Phillips to keep the Rays’ hopes alive.

Then came what is surely the most bizarre World Series play I’ve ever seen. Phillips dropped a single to center field. Chris Taylor, playing out of position due to in-game maneuvering by Roberts, got to the ball quickly, but booted it away.

Arozarena tried take advantage of Taylor’s misplay and score all the way from first. The play at the plate would have been close, I think. However, the Cuban, moving like a runaway freight train, tripped and fell about half down the third base line.

This was no ordinary fall. It was accompanied by tumbling that would have made Cristiano Ronaldo proud.

Arozarena should have been an easy third out. After midnight in the East, this four-hour affair should have been headed into extra innings. But catcher Will Smith didn’t know Arozarena had fallen.

The throw home was on the money and, of course, in plenty of time, but slightly to the first base side of the plate. Smith thought he needed to make a sweep tag on Arozarena. Thus, he tried to catch the ball and move his glove towards the third base side in one motion. As a result, the ball bounced off of his glove towards first base.

Arozarena, having picked himself up, was able to score the winning run.

Three miscues on a single play in a World Series game between the two teams with the best records in baseball. And on a play that decided the game.

Thus did Game 4 of the 2020 World Series become an instant classic. It figures to be a hardy perennial for future writers of “This Day in Baseball History.”

Memo to MLB: Baseball can be truly exciting when batters are doing things other than striking out and hitting home runs.