And That Happened: Monday's scores and recaps

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Tigers 5, White Sox 4:
After the game, Ozzie Guillen was mad at his poor-performing team and
said this: “If this was the 1980s, [none] of these guys would be in the
big leagues right now, because if you hit .210-.230 and you can’t
execute, I don’t think you should be out here.” I was gonna be all
clever and make fun of Ozzie Guillen the player, but he never hit below
.245 in a full season as a starter. Not that he was good or anything —
in fact, he was quite awful with the bat — but he framed the argument
in terms of batting average, so I’ll let it slide. Other things that
wouldn’t be here if it was the 80s: U.S. Cellular Field; Ozzie
Guillen’s belly, and the grown up version of every player on the roster
short of Jose Contreras, who I think was born during the Ramón Grau
San Martin administration. The first term. Zing!

White Sox 6, Tigers 1:
On second thought, maybe I shouldn’t have made fun of Old Man Contreras
(8 IP, 1 H, 0 ER). Young Gordon Beckham, on the other hand, is now 0-13
to start off his career.

Rockies 5, Cardinals 2:
Jason Marquis wins his eighth, which leads the National League. This
has to be either evidence that wins don’t mean a thing, or evidence
that the talent gulf between the American and National Leagues is
larger than ever, because I sure as hell ain’t gonna admit that Jason
Marquis is any good. My out: maybe the Cardinals are just really bad.
They certainly are lately, as they were swept 4-0 buy Colorado, and
were outscored 33-9 in the process.

Marlins 4, Giants 0:
Sean West dominates the Giants (8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 6K). In contrast,
Randy Johnson is now 0-1 for his career on short rest following the
achievement of significant milestone games during which he fell on his
ass while awkwardly fielding a dribbler to the mound. Seriously, you
can look it up.

Yankees 5, Rays 3:
Another hogshead of home runs in Yankee Stadium will no doubt have
people again wondering about the place again. The Yankees will no doubt
claim that the fences are the same distance from home plate as they
were in the old Stadium. And if you don’t believe them, they’ll let you
inspect the survey records, which have been on display down at Yankee
headquarters for the past nine months. They can be found down in the
cellar with the use of a flashlight, since the lights have gone. Be
careful, though, because so have the stairs. Anyway, they’re in the
bottom of a locked filing cabinet in a disused lavatory with a sign on
the door saying “Beware of the Leopard.” See for yourself.

Braves 7, Pirates 6:
Yet another marathon ends with Bobby Cox’s 2000th win with the Braves.
Listen to him boast about it after the game: “All it means is that
you’re getting old and you’ve been around too long.” Stay sassy, Bobby!
Nate McLouth had a nice game against his old mates. Whenever I see
something like this so quickly after a trade I wonder if the player’s
old team just hadn’t gotten around to changing the signs yet. Worth
noting that Andrew McCutchen had a better game. Not that this will stop
all of the Pirates fans from complaining about their team’s annual
selloff.

Blue Jays 6, Rangers 3:
Adam Lind jacks two dingers and has now matched his previous best for
homers in a season with 11, set in 2007. He’s also about 100 points of
OBP and 150 points of slugging ahead of where he was that year too.

Athletics 4, Twins 3:
The A’s extend their winning streak to seven, which is their longest in
three years. Scary moment for Aaron Cunningham, who was hit in the head
in the fourth inning. He stayed in the game for a while, but was
eventually taken to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a
concussion.

Padres 6, Diamondbacks 3:
Adrian Gonzalez is leading the majors in walks, and was given three
more free passes last night. This time Kevin Kouzmanoff — who hits
behind Gonzalez — made someone pay for it, driving in four runs.

Video: Minor League Manager goes on epic rant

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Frisco RoughRiders manager Joe Mikulik got his money’s worth last night. He was ejected after arguing an automatic double play on an enforcement of the slide rule, and he didn’t go gently into that goodnight.

Rather, he threw things, kicked things, threw things and then subsequently kicked those same things, gave overly-demonstrative slides and safe signs and basically went all Earl Weaver/Lou Piniella on everyone.

Double-A baseball is the best minor league because you tend to see more prospects there than you do at Triple-A. But it’s also the best because, when you’re a manager who is not quite a heartbeat away from getting your shot at the big leagues, you’re a little less uptight about things. Or at least Mikulik was. Or maybe he was more uptight. I don’t know. He just went with it, and going with it has its charms.

 

(h/t Big League Stew)

A must-read oral history of the 1998 home run chase

7 Jul 1998:   American Leaguer player Mark McGwire #25 of the St Louis Cardinals and Sammy Sosa #21 of  the Chicago Cubs answer questions during  the Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Coors Field in Denver,  Colorado.The American  League defeated the
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It’s hard to believe that it’s been 18 years since Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa captivated the nation with their epic chase of Roger Maris’ home run record. But it has been, and after years of reaction, counter-reaction and, of course, baseball’s reckoning with the performance-enhancing drugs which helped fuel the chase, it’s probably finally time to do our best to contextualize it historically.

Today one of my favorite news outlets does that with an oral history. All of the key figures weigh-in on it, from McGwire and Sosa to Bud Selig to Tony La Russa. Randy Johnson makes an appearance as well, reminding us that it wasn’t just the sluggers who had an amazing year in 1998. Indeed, his story, including his being traded to Houston and going on an amazing second-half run, has almost been lost to history.

This is bookmark material, my friends. For savoring later if you can’t read it now. And for revisiting at another time given the depths to the drama which justifies multiple readings. I’ll just warn you that there is some adult language in the story, but that’s to be expected given the passion the 1998 baseball season inspired.

Go check it out.

UPDATE: Asdrubal Cabrera leaves Mets-Nats game with back spasms

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 12:  Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera #13 of the New York Mets throws to first from his knee after diving to catch a ground ball to get Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the second out of the sixth inning at Dodger Stadium on May 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  The Dodgers won 5-0.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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UPDATE: Cabrera was removed from the game due to back spasms.

1:21PM: This is not good: Asdrubal Cabrera was removed from today’s game against the Nationals with an apparent injury.

It’s unclear what the injury was, as Cabrera had yet to even play in the game. Matt Reynolds came on to play shortstop in the bottom of the first inning, but Cabrera didn’t bat in the top of the first. It could be an illness. Or some freak occurrence.

We’ll update when we hear more.

There are apparently unwritten rules about manager replay challenges now

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 05: Manager Joe Maddon #70 of the Chicago Cubs shakes hands with manager Mike Matheny #26 of the St. Louis Cardinals before the Opening Night game at Wrigley Field on April 5, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Last night’s Cardinals-Cubs game was a blowout, with the Cubs beating the Cards 12-3. Apparently, however, in the ninth inning of the game, Reynoldsburg, Ohio’s own Mike Matheny played the Cardinals infield in, which is a move you never see in a blowout. Why did he do that?

He hasn’t said yet, but Cubs manager Joe Maddon just spoke to the media before today’s game and he’s speculating that Matheny did it as a form of protest:

God, I hope that’s true. I hope that manager replay challenges, which are already dumb enough inasmuch as they turn what should be an officiating correction device into a strategic tool, are now turning into another front in the Great Unwritten Rules Wars. I hope that we now have a bunch of people talking about how there’s a right way and a wrong way to use the replay system and that one can disrespect the other side if they do it the wrong way. The way the replay system has been implemented often resembles tragedy. Why not make it farce?

Oh well, I guess it beats throwing at someone for doing that wrong. And I guess it’s just a reminder that no matter what we do, baseball is always gonna give us an opportunity for petty bits of silliness.