And That Happened: Sunday's scores and recaps

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Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 2:
The game story headlines give credit for the win to the Sox shaking up
their lineup — Pedroia hit leadoff and Ellsbury dropped to eighth —
but Ellsbury actually got on base more than Pedroia did in this game
and wasn’t on base for either of Kevin Youkilis’ home runs. Hey, why
don’t we give Kevin Youkilis the credit for the win? Or maybe Jon
Lester (6 IP 3 H, 1 ER, 12K)? The lineup shakeup seems fairly
insignificant to me here.

Mets 3, Marlins 2:
John Maine pitches six shutout innings and then left the game because
he was barfing. Pansy. He shoulda just rubbed some dirt on it and
toughed it out. No I don’t know where she should have rubbed
the dirt. My mom once taught me that there is a pressure point related
to nausea is on the back of your hand, right at the webbing between
your thumb and your index finger, so maybe that would have helped. I
tried that once, but that treatment must not be rated for
hangover-related nausea.

Phillies 4, Nationals 2:
Jamie Moyer wins his 250th. Guys who don’t have as many career wins as
Jamie Moyer: Juan Marichal, Three-Finger Brown, Whitey Ford, Luis
Tiant, Jim Bunning, Catfish Hunter, Curt Schilling, Pedro Martinez,
John Smoltz and Sandy Koufax. If you look at it from one direction,
it’s proof positive that win-totals aren’t all that important when it
comes to rating a pitcher, because Moyer isn’t as good as any of those
guys were. But it’s not meaningless, and Moyer has certainly been a lot
more useful in his career than anyone ever would have thought he’d be.
Hall of Fame discussions are always something of a chore. Moyer is a
lock for the Hall of Very Good, though, and in many ways I like HoVG
players more than Hall of Famers.

Twins 3, Rays 2:
Matt Garza says hello to his old team for the first time since the
trade. And he pitched well (7 IP, 7 H, 3 ER), but Nick Blackburn
pitched a little better (6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER). Twins’ reliever Jose Mijares
caught a ball that smacked off of one of those catwalks up near the
roof in Tropicana. Fun and all, but I have no idea how we ever allowed
that stadium into Major League Baseball. Given that no one in St. Pete
seems to want the Rays to build a new one anyplace, can we commission a
study to see whether that can’t simply take a can opener to that joint
and retrofit it with some sort of retractable roof? A new park would
cost hundreds of millions. Could some unique fix to the old one really
be that expensive?

Astros 2, Pirates 1:
Mike Hampton wins. The AP game story says this: “[Hampton] became only
the second pitcher to win eight in a row against the Pirates since
1954, improving to 12-3 lifetime against Pittsburgh.” Which is pretty
meaningless considering that before the two starts he’s had against
Pittsburgh this season, he hadn’t faced them since 2003. And to get to
that eight-win total, you have to count two wins in 2000, when the
Pirates were giving nearly 200 at bats to Luis Sojo, and Mike Hampton
still had some of his original ligaments. It’s kind of like saying that
I haven’t lost at four square since 1985 after teaching my daughter how
to play it over the weekend. Technically true, but utterly meaningless.

Tigers 3, Orioles 0:
I promised some Baltimore fans that I’d start saying more nice things
about the Orioles. Maybe I’ll start tomorrow, because Edwin Jackson (8
IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 7K) didn’t do much to showcase their charms yesterday.
The Matt Wieters debut weekend ends thusly: 2-11, 2B, 3B and three
strikeouts. The extra base hits are nice, but he’s not exactly bringing
his “Z Game” yet.

White Sox 7, Royals 4:
Greinke’s outing wasn’t bad for mere mortals (7 IP, 8 H, 4R, 3 ER, 7K,
0 BB), but compared to the way he’s been pitching it was a shellacking.
He still shoulda gotten the win, however, some suspect defense,
hibernating bats and three runs from the bullpen killed it for him. The
Royals have dropped 16 of 21 games, which means it’s pretty safe to say
that the little Cinderella story they were trying to put together is,
for all intents and purposes, over.

Brewers 5, Reds 2:
What a letdown: Yovani Gallardo vs. Micah Owings, and neither of them
go deep. Look guys: you two represent the best chance at us getting rid
of the DH. You have to hit, and hit with authority if we’re going to
convince anyone that pitchers batting is fun to watch. Trevor Hoffman
is 13 for 13 in save opportunities. And while this one was a three-run
affair, six of those saves came in one-run games and another three in
two run games, there haven’t been a ton of cheapies here.

A’s 5, Rangers 4:
Adam Kennedy hit two homers, including what ended up being the game
winner in the ninth. After not making the Rays out of spring training
and then starting the year in Sacramento, Kennedy is at .390/.462/.622
in 93 plate appearances. I’d say he’s in the running along with Juan
Pierre and Andruw Jones for comeback player of the year award, but
whereas those other two at least once arguably rocked their peers and
put suckas in fear, Kennedy was never any good in the first place. So
no, I won’t call it a comeback.

Padres 5, Rockies 2:
20 homers for Adrian Gonzales. Fifteen of them have come on the road.
There’s been talk about the Padres needing to trade Gonzales. And I can
totally see that. The biggest problem is that most of the contenders
this year have no need for a first baseman. Sure, maybe the Sox could
use him to replace David Ortiz, but beyond that the contender who could
use him the most is the Rangers. My guess is that San Diego keeps
Gonzales, but man, could you imagine him hitting in Texas?

Giants 5, Cardinals 3:
Rich Aurilia hit a homer in the 7th to put the Giants ahead to stay. In
other news, Rich Aurilia is still alive. From the game story: “La Russa
batted his pitcher eighth in all three games of the series and has done
so every game since May 18. The team is 8-5 during that stretch.” On a
related note, I haven’t had oatmeal for breakfast since early February,
and I have not been hit by a bus during that stretch.

Indians 5, Yankees 4:
Pavano deserved the win, but didn’t get it thanks to the
always-reliable Cleveland bullpen. The Tribe will take the win, though.
They’re probably less satisfied with having to put Grady Sizemore on
the DL before the game and the fact that Victor Martinez whacked the
hell out of his knee on Saturday night keeping him out of the lineup.

Braves 9, Diamondbacks 3:
The Braves lineup, which has been on a saltpeter diet recently, sprung
to life against Max Scherzer, rattling out fifteen hits. Chipper Jones
was 3-4 with 4 RBI and he and Johnson and Escobar combined to go 9-15,
scoring seven of the Braves’ nine runs. Also, Kris Medlen offered his
first effective start of the season, giving up one run and striking out
nine over six innings.

Angels 9, Mariners 8:
Seattle had leads of 6-0 and 8-1 before woofing this one away. Which
was only fair, seeing as the Angels did the same favor for them on
Saturday night. Ichiro has now hit in 24 straight and has his average
up to .354.

Dodgers 8, Cubs 2:
Sean Marshall was as hittable last night as Eric Milton was a couple of
years ago (4.1 IP, 8 H. 8 R), and Eric Milton was pretty decent once
again (5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER). I watched this one on TV, and though I know
how much some people hate night games in Wrigley, the park looks
absolutely gorgeous as the sun is going down and the day fades into
night.

Ichiro was happy to see Pete Rose get defensive about his hits record

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 14:  Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Miami Marlins warms-up during batting practice before a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on June 14, 2016 in San Diego, California.   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
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You’ll recall the little controversy last month when Ichiro Suzuki passed Pete Rose’s hit total. Specifically, when Ichiro’s Japanese and American hit total reached Rose’s American total of 4,256 and a lot of people talked about Ichiro being the new “Hit King.” You’ll also recall that Rose himself got snippy about it, wondering if people would now think of him as “the Hit Queen,” which he took to be disrespect.

There’s a profile of Ichiro over at ESPN the Magazine and reporter Marly Rivera asked Ichiro about that. Ichiro’s comments were interesting and quite insightful about how ego and public perception work in the United States:

I was actually happy to see the Hit King get defensive. I kind of felt I was accepted. I heard that about five years ago Pete Rose did an interview, and he said that he wished that I could break that record. Obviously, this time around it was a different vibe. In the 16 years that I have been here, what I’ve noticed is that in America, when people feel like a person is below them, not just in numbers but in general, they will kind of talk you up. But then when you get up to the same level or maybe even higher, they get in attack mode; they are maybe not as supportive. I kind of felt that this time.

There’s a hell of a lot of truth to that. Whatever professional environment you’re in, you’ll see this play out. If you want to know how you’re doing, look at who your enemies and critics are. If they’re senior to you or better-established in your field, you’re probably doing something right. And they’re probably pretty insecure and maybe even a little afraid of you.

The rest of the article is well worth your time. Ichiro seems like a fascinating, insightful and intelligent dude.

There will be no criminal charges arising out of Curt Schilling’s video game debacle

Curt Schilling
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In 2012 Curt Schilling’s video game company, 38 Studios, delivered the fantasy role-playing game it had spent millions of dollars and countless man hours trying to deliver. And then the company folded, leaving both its employees and Rhode Island taxpayers, who underwrote much of the company’s operations via $75 million in loans, holding the bag.

The fallout to 38 Studios’ demise was more than what you see in your average business debacle. Rhode Island accused Schilling and his company of acts tantamount to fraud, claiming that it accepted tax dollars while withholding information about the true state of the company’s finances. Former employees, meanwhile, claimed — quite credibly, according to reports of the matter — that they too were lured to Rhode Island believing that their jobs were far more secure than they were. Many found themselves in extreme states of crisis when Schilling abruptly closed the company’s doors. For his part, Schilling has assailed Rhode Island politicians for using him as a scapegoat and a political punching bag in order to distract the public from their own misdeeds. There seems to be truth to everyone’s claims to some degree.

As a result of all of this, there have been several investigations and lawsuits into 38 Studios’ collapse. In 2012 the feds investigated the company and declined to bring charges. There is currently a civil lawsuit afoot and, alongside it, the State of Rhode Island has investigated for four years to see if anyone could be charged with a crime. Today there was an unexpected press conference in which it was revealed that, no, no one associated with 38 Studios will be charged with anything:

An eight-page explanation of the decision concluded by saying that “the quantity and qualify of the evidence of any criminal activity fell short of what would be necessary to prove any allegation beyond a reasonable doubt and as such the Rules of Professional Conduct precluded even offering a criminal charge for grand jury consideration.”

Schilling will likely crow about this on his various social media platforms, claiming it totally vindicates him. But, as he is a close watcher of any and all events related to Hillary Clinton, he no doubt knows that a long investigation resulting in a declination to file charges due to lack of evidence is not the same thing as a vindication. Bad judgment and poor management are still bad things, even if they’re not criminal matters.

Someone let me know if Schilling’s head explodes if and when someone points that out to him.