Major League Baseball has long been sensitive to any distractions taking away from the World Series, which had Alex Rodriguez and agent Scott Boras in some hot water upon announcing during the 2007 Fall Classic that he was opting out of his contract with the New York Yankees.
While teams and players have largely obliged with completing official business before or after a championship is being played for, the 2019 World Series has not been spared from an array of headlines that extend beyond the field.
Though the Houston Astros having made for a compelling series by winning three consecutive games at Nationals Park, much of the talk on Monday is centered around two women who exposed themselves while Gerrit Cole was pitching during the seventh inning.
Instagram models Julia Rose and Lauren Summer have claimed responsibility for the act — aimed at raising breast cancer awareness — and it earned them an indefinite ban from MLB games, as they were notified in a letter shared by Darren Rovell of Action Network:
Letter MLB served to two women who exposed themselves behind home plate last night. One of them, @juliarose_33, is founder of a digital magazine called Shagmag, which they were promoting. It generates nearly $125,000 in monthly subscription fees through Patreon. pic.twitter.com/u5wxKCaofO
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) October 28, 2019
It’s unclear if Cole saw the two women lift up their shirts, but he did immediately step off the mound once the publicity stunt was completed.
As the Astros were playing their way to a third consecutive win over the Washington Nationals, the topic of conversation for Game 5 centered around United States President Donald Trump getting booed after being shown on the video board.
Leading up to Game 5, the World Series had been marred by the Astros’ handling of an incident created by former assistant general manager Brandon Taubman. His support of Robert Osuna and apparent taunting of a reporter who was a victim of domestic violence sparked discussion and earned the Astros criticism.
They multiplied that by initially deeming the account to be false and defending Taubman. A second statement issued by the team drew more scrutiny and it wasn’t until the Astros fired Taubman that some of it began to subside.