And That Happened: Sunday's scores and recaps

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Pirates 6, Tigers 3:
The Pirates ain’t the walkingest team you’re ever going to see — in
fact they’re one of the worst — so it’s not like Dontrelle Willis was
simply outworked by the opposition in giving up eight walks in three
and two-thirds. Pittsburgh Penguin forward Bill Guerin threw out the
first pitch and had better command than Dontrelle did. The Tigers are
three up on Minnesota in the Central. That’s great, but they don’t have
any room to experiment with Willis any longer. He simply can’t be
allowed to pitch for this team any more this season. In other news, the
1909 throwback uniforms these guys wore were sweet as hell.

Yankees 15, Mets 0:
Johan Santana was terrible. His fastball was at 89-90, and he couldn’t
locate anything anywhere close to where he wanted it. Jerry Manuel
continued to impress too. When David Wright was livid over a called
third-strike in the sixth, it took Manuel a minute to get out there,
and when he finally did, it seemed like he was arguing out of a sense
of obligation as opposed to passion or pique. How he got ejected during
such a low-wattage argument I’ll never know, but I’d like to think he
pulled one of those “Psst — throw me out. Really, I need to be run in
this game or I’m going to lose my team. C’mon, do me a solid, OK?”
things.

Orioles 11, Braves 2:
Brad Bergesen has only given up six runs in his last 32 innings. Not
that he needed to be that good against the Braves on Sunday, as Ty
Wigginton hit two home runs and Robert Andino drove in three runs and
freakin’ stole home. The steal was on a botched rundown play so it was
not some feat of derring-do. That botch caused Bobby Cox to pull Yunel
Escobar from the game. I can’t recall Jeff Francoeur ever getting
pulled out of a game for doing something stupid (and it’s certainly not
for a lack of opportunity) so why Escobar had to go I have no idea. I
can only guess that Francoeur has Bobby Cox’s grandchildren locked in a
tower someplace and vows not to release them unless he’s given 160
starts a year.

Phillies 11, Red Sox 6:
Dustin Pedroia, Jason Varitek, J.D. Drew and David Ortiz all sat, but
this loss isn’t attributable to a lack of bats for Boston. Josh Beckett
just came undone in the seventh, and got no real relief from Daniel
Bard, as everyone except Greg Dobbs smacked the ball around for the
Phillies.

Indians 3, Cardinals 0:
St. Louis must have had an early flight out of Cleveland. Cliff Lee
takes a no-hitter into the eighth — broken up by Molina Unit No.
1249BHG5 — and this one was brought home in a cool one hour,
fifty-eight minutes. Lee finished with a three-hit shutout, getting the
job done on a mere 93 pitches. Oh, and since I mentioned throwback
uniforms above, allow me to offer a few more words on the subject: on
Saturday, Cleveland and St. Louis wore some of the weakest throwbacks
you’ll ever see. Each team was wearing pullovers as opposed to their
usual button-downs, which appeared to come from the mid-to-late 80s.
Except they kind of didn’t. The Indians wore the specific pullover they
sported on Saturday from 1978-1985,
when they switched to a button-down model. Except they never wore the
Wahoo cap like they wore on Saturday during those years; they only had
the block C, meaning that this wasn’t really a throwback as much as it
was a mishmosh. The Cardinals were a little better — their gray road
pullover was actually worn by the club between 1971 and 1975, and again
from 1985-1991. But if they’re going to go with unfashionable 1970s and
80s throwbacks, why not go with the powder blues? Sure, they looked terrible on the Cardinals, but it least it was interesting.

Marlins 11, Blue Jays 3:
Yet another game in which one team scores at least 11 runs. Ronny
Paulino went 4 for 5 with a couple of homers and three RBI and the fish
rapped out 18 hits. Between the sweep and Halladay’s groin, the Jays couldn’t have imagined a worse series than this.

Angels 6, Padres 0: Jered Weaver was fantastic, pitching his first career shutout. Juan Rivera was pretty spiffy himself, hitting two homers.

Dodgers 6, Rangers 3:
For those who care about such things, Andruw Jones went 3-8 with a
couple of homers against the Dodgers over the weekend. Those who don’t
should just know that Chad Billingsley gave up three runs — only two
of them earned — over seven innings to notch his ninth victory on the
season.

Royals 7, Reds 1:
Johnny Cueto’s line shows zero earned runs and five unearned, and the
game story talks about how Jerry Hairston’s errors led to all of that
unearnedage, but the fact remains that after the first inning error,
Cueto still had to give up a run scoring double to Migiel Olivo, and
after the third inning error, Cueto still had to give up a walk, a
triple and a single for those runs to score, so it’s not like he was
totally boned by his defense. Sometimes you gotta suck it up and pitch
through an error or two, and Cueto didn’t necessarily do that.

Giants 7, A’s 1:
San Francisco Sweeps Oakland, allowing only three runs all weekend.
Matt Cain (CG, 4 H, 1 ER, 9K) was impressive: He allowed no hits after
the third inning, and retired 19 of the last 20 he faced. Nate
Schierholtz hit an inside the park home that bounced high off the base
of the wall and forced Jack Cust to wait for it come back down forever.
This is what I was talking about a couple of weeks ago when I said that
triples are more exciting than inside the park homers. Sure, this was
neat, but it was essentially a function of some quirk (i.e. the high
bounce), whereas triples are more often just flat out speed. There was
no play at the plate on Schierholtz here, so really, how exciting could
this really be?

Rays 5, Nats 4: If the rumors are to be believed,
this was Manny Acta’s last game as the Nationals’ manager. Acta didn’t
always get as much out of his teams as he could have, and a change is
probably needed, but it’s not like the manager was the difference
between winning and losing in Washington. Acta is by all accounts a
good guy, so here’s hoping he latches on someplace else quickly and
gets another, better shot to manage again someday.

Rockies 7, Mariners 1:
I guess Colorado isn’t going to lose again. Too bad they dug such a
hole for themselves beforehand, because L.A. is just too far ahead and
there are at least five other teams hanging around Wild Card land.

White Sox 5, Brewers 4: Mark Buehrle hit a home run (and Josh Beckett did in the Sox-Phils game). See, I told you it was fun to watch pitchers bat.

Cubs 3, Twins 2:
Clearly firing hitting coach Gerald Perry is what led to this offensive
outburst on the part of the Cubs. The new hitting coach is named Von
Joshua, which I’m pretty sure was the name of a bad guy in one of the
Lethal Weapon movies.

Astros 8, Diamondbacks 3: My arguments against interleague play are somewhat undercut by the fact that this matchup — the only intralegaue matchup — was by far the least interesting of the entire weekend’s slate. Sometimes it’s hard to be a purist.

A-Rod to host a reality show featuring broke ex-athletes

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 12: Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees answers question in a press conference after the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on August 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
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Alex Rodriguez’s transition into retirement has featured a serious move into the business world. He has gone back to school, worked seriously on investments and has started his own corporation. Yes, he’s set for life after making more money than any baseball player in history, but even if his bank account wasn’t fat, you get the sense that he’d be OK given what we’ve seen of his work ethic and savvy in recent years.

He’s going to be getting another paycheck soon, though. For hosting a reality show featuring athletes who are not in as good a financial shape as A-Rod is:

Interesting. Hopefully, like so many other reality shows featuring the formerly rich and famous, this one is not exploitative. Not gonna hold my breath because that’s what that genre is all about, unfortunately, but here’s hoping A-Rod can help some folks with this.

Great Moments in Not Understanding The Rules

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Bill Livingston of the Cleveland Plain Dealer is a Hall of Fame voter. In the past he has voted for players who used PEDs, but he’s never been totally happy with it, seeing the whole PED mess as a dilemma for voters.

On the one hand he doesn’t like voting for users and doesn’t like harming those who were clean by shifting votes away from them, but on the other hand, he doesn’t want to pretend history didn’t happen and that baseball hasn’t been filled with cheaters forever. What to do?

This year he decided to abstain altogether. A fair and noble act if one is as conflicted as Livingston happens to be. Except . . . he didn’t actually abstain:

Major league baseball will confer bronzed immortality on a few players Wednesday when the results of the national baseball writers’ balloting for the Hall of Fame will be announced.

I had a 2017 ballot. I returned it signed, but blank, with an explanatory note.

A blank ballot, signed and submitted, is not an abstention. It’s counted as a vote for no one. Each “no” vote increases the denominator in the calculation of whether or not a candidate has received 75% of the vote and has gained induction. An abstention, however, would not. So, in effect, Livingston has voted against all of the players on the ballot, both PED-tainted and clean, even though it appears that that was not his intention.

This is the second time in three years a Cleveland writer has had . . . issues with his Hall of Fame ballot. In the 2014-15 voting period, Paul Hoynes simply lost his ballot. Now Livingston misunderstood how to abstain.

I worry quite often that Ohio is gonna mess up a major election. I guess I’m just worrying about the wrong election.