And That Happened: Tuesday's scores and recaps

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Tigers 7, White Sox 6:
A bullpen collapse in the ninth inning for the Tigers transformed a
relatively easy win into an extra innings salvage job, but Detroit will
take it. OK, maybe “easy” isn’t the right word, because this game
featured yet another lackluster Dontrelle Willis start. Disastrous? No,
but I don’t know that giving up three run on five hits with five walks
in five innings is good enough to keep giving Dontrelle Willis turns in
the rotation. The last few times out he did OK the first time through
the lineup, so maybe they should give him a go in the pen. I mean,
given what happened in this game, it’s not like anyone else out there
is so deserving of their job.

Marlins 4, Cardinals 3:
That’s five straight losses for St. Louis, which isn’t a common
occurrence. That they lost with Chris Carpenter on the hill is even
more uncommon. That Albert Pujols is 0 for his last 15 goes beyond
uncommon and into the realm of the eschatology.

Angels 4, Rays 3:
Another close loss for the Rays. They’re 29-31, yet they’ve outscored
their opponents 330-284, which should translate to a record roughly
five games better than they’ve got. Not that life is fair or anything.
I went bald at 25 and Leonardo DiCaprio has castoffs that look like this, so I’m not going to sit and cry for the Rays’ bad luck.

Orioles 3, Mariners 1:
Is it just me, or have these two teams been playing each other
constantly for, like, three weeks? Brad Bergesen certainly acted as if
he was sick of the Mariners, dispatching them with nary a run scoring
over eight innings. When the Orioles scored in the first, it was their
first lead in 35 innings.

Mets 6, Phillies 5:
That stupid New York bandbox allowed seven home runs. Man, they really
need to do something about — er, what’s that? This was in Citi Field?
I thought that was Yellowstone East? Well, then, it must have been some
meat pitcher hurling fat pitches — er, what’s that? Johan Santana was
on the mound for the Mets? When you combine this with the Pujols thing,
I’m pretty sure we experienced two of the seven signs last night.

Braves 4, Pirates 3:
Braves win, blah, blah, blah. The best news was that Jeff Francoeur was
benched, showing up only to play defense in the ninth. That’s the kind
of player deployment I can get behind.

Red Sox 7, Yankees 0:
Beckett allows nothin’ but a piddling infield hit and David Ortiz of
all people hit a shot over the centerfield wall. The Yankees are now
0-6 against Boston this season.

Indians 8, Royals 4: And with that, the Royals are back in last place. Maybe the tide is turning on that whole apocalypse thing.

Blue Jays 9, Rangers 0:
A two-hit shutout over seven innings for Brian Tallet shut the Rangers
down. Ian Kinsler (0-4) has seen his OPS drop over 100 points since the
middle of May.

Rockies 3, Brewers 2: The Rockies have won six in a row. Milwaukee had no baserunners after the fourth inning.

Cubs 7, Astros 1: A ninth inning Lance Berkman home run was all the Astros could muster. Maybe they were just tired. I mean, I assume that Drayton McClane doesn’t allow the players to bring in their own energy bars and Gatorade into the game, so it’s a given that they’re going to flag as the season wears on.

Reds 3, Nationals 2: Johnny Cueto (7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER) is putting together one hell of a season that no one is really talking about.

Dodgers 6, Padres 4:
Andre Either smacks two dingers, thus imperiling that whole “drive in a
zillion runs while only hitting a handful of homers” thing. Not that I
suppose he cares.

Giants 9, Diamondbacks 4:
Pablo Sandoval had four hits and drove in three runs and Matt Cain
sucked it up on a night when he didn’t have his best stuff working.

Twins 10, A’s 5:
A laugher until the ninth, when Gardenhire, letting Scott Baker try to
finish off a shutout, had to use three different bullpen arms to
staunch the bleeding. The heart of the A’s order — the third through
seventh batters — went 0-for-16 with seven strikeouts.

Mariners sign reliever Joel Peralta

Joel Peralta
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Right-hander Joel Peralta has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Mariners that includes an invitation to spring training.

Peralta spent last season with the Dodgers and was limited to 29 innings by neck and back problems, posting a 4.34 ERA and 24/8 K/BB ratio. Los Angeles declined his $2.5 million option, making him a free agent.

He was one of the most underrated relievers in baseball from 2010-2014, logging a total of 318 innings with a 3.34 ERA and 342 strikeouts, but at age 40 he’s shown signs of decline. Still, for a minor-league deal and no real commitment Peralta has a chance to be a nice pickup for Seattle’s bullpen.

White Sox sign Mat Latos

Mat Latos
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Jerry Crasnick reports that the Chicago White Sox have signed Mat Latos.

Latos was pretty spiffy between 2010-2014, posting sub-3.50 ERAs each year.  Then the injuries came and he fell apart. He pitched for three teams in 2015 — the Dodgers, Angels, and Marlins — with a combined 4.95 ERA in 113 innings. And he didn’t make friends on those clubs either, with reports of clubhouse strife left in his wake.

In Chicago he gets a fresh start. It doesn’t come in a park that will do him any favors — Latos and U.S. Cellular Field don’t seem like a great match — but at this point beggars can’t be choosers.

 

Jason Castro loses arbitration hearing against Astros

Jason Castro
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Veteran catcher Jason Castro and the Astros went through with an arbitration hearing over a difference of $250,000 and the three-person panel ruled in favor of the team.

That means Castro will make $5 million this season rather than his requested amount of $5.25 million. This is his final year of arbitration eligibility, so the 29-year-old catcher will be a free agent after the season.

Castro showed a lot of promise early on, including making the All-Star team at age 26 in 2013, but since then he’s hit just .217 with a .650 OPS in 230 games. His power and pitch-framing skills are a valuable combination even within sub par overall production, so 2016 will be a key year for the former first-round draft pick.

Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Eminent Domain and the history of the Rangers Ballpark

Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump addresses supporters at a campaign rally, Monday, Dec. 21, 2015, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
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Eminent Domain — the right of a government to take/buy private property for public use — and its implications has always been a controversial topic. It became far more controversial in the 1990s and early 2000s, however,  as the practice, which is intended for public projects like roads and stuff, was increasingly used in ways to help developers and businesses.

The controversy came to a head in the 2005 case Kelo v. City of New London in which the Supreme Court held that general benefits a community enjoyed from economic growth — not just direct public works — qualified as a “public use” under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The upshot: if someone had a good argument that a shopping mall would benefit the community, Mr. Developer and the government can force you to sell them their house.

This led to a HUGE backlash, with property rights people freaking out about what seemed like a pretty clear abuse of governmental power serving the interests of developers. Some 44 states have since passed laws outlawing the use of Eminent Domain for purely economic development. Some of that backlash has gone too far in the other direction, with some laws getting passed which not only required compensation to landowners if land was taken, but merely if land was diminished in value.  Like, if the government passes an environmental regulation which makes your private, for-profit toxic waste dump less lucrative than it was, the government has to pay you. It’s crazy stuff, really. And all of those laws notwithstanding, the topic continues to be a controversial one, with battles over what, exactly, is “public” what is a “public good” and all of that raging on. It’s rather fascinating. At least for boring nerfherders like me.

In the recent GOP presidential debate Donald Trump and Jeb Bush got into it on the topic, with Trump — a real estate developer, or course — defending the use of Eminent Domain to take land for economic development and Bush — a really desperate dude who at this point will take ANY position he can if it’ll give him traction — opposing it. In the days since they’ve continued to fight about it, with Trump charging Bush with hypocrisy since his brother, George W., was an owner of the Texas Rangers when they built their new ballpark with the help of Eminent Domain.

Ahh, yes. We finally get to baseball.

Today Nathaniel Rakich of Baseballot digs into that project and looks at how it all played out against the Eminent Domain debate. It touches on stuff we talk about a lot around here: are ballparks engines of economic development or merely for the enrichment of ballclubs? If they are built by a municipality, are they public goods? Wait, how can they be public goods if you can’t just walk into them for free? And the arguments go on.

It’s fascinating stuff showing, once again, that the real world and baseball intersect all the dang time and it’s handy to have a handle on just how, exactly, it does so.