And That Happened: Sunday's scores and recaps

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Red Sox 6, Braves 5: First time I got to watch the Braves on TBS in like forever,
and they just stink up the joint. All of that bad defense combined with
weather imported from Scotland made this game about the only bad thing
that happened to me on Father’s Day. If it wasn’t for home plate umpire Bill Hohn’s AMAZING mustache, this game would have been a total loss for me.

Cardinals 12, Royals 5:
Albert Pujols (4-5, 2 HR, 2B, 6 RBI) can’t be bargained with. He can’t
be reasoned with, He doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And he
absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

Padres 4, A’s 1:
According to the game story, the fathers of Brian Giles, Edgar and
Adrian Gonzalez, Luke Gregorson, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Cla Meredith, Edward
Mujica, Joe Thatcher, Tony Gwynn and Kevin Correia threw out the first
pitch to their respective sons before the game in honor of Father’s
Day. Then, in the true spirit of baseball fathers everywhere, they all
got drunk and paced behind the backstop while angrily yelling at the
coach to put their boys in.

Marlins 6, Yankees 5:
Sabathia left the game early with tightness in his left bicep. He says
it’s not serious, and given that (a) it was 95 degrees and humid; and
(b) Sabathia sweats barbecue sauce, you have to figure it was some kind
of heat-induced cramping or something. According to the game story Alex
Rodriguez — playing in his hometown of Miami — said he reserved about
100 tickets for family and friends. I’m dubious. I read a book last
month that said he had no friends, and they couldn’t have printed such
a thing if it weren’t true, right? In other news, the Yankees dropped
four of six to the Nats and Marlins in the past week, though I suppose
if Girardi’s protest succeeds there’s a chance to improve that to three of six (note: protests never, ever succeed).

Rockies 5, Pirates 4:
The Rockies begin to rip off another winning streak, winning this one
behind Clint Barmes (2-3, 2B, HR, 2 RBI). All of this winning has them
doing things like taking one of their more marketable commodities off the market.
I still say it’s ultimately in vain — Colorado will be watching the
playoffs on TBS and FOX just like you and me — but in the meantime,
mazel tov for the Rockies fans.

White Sox 4, Reds 1:
Mark Buehrle just went out and acted all Mark Buehrle-y: seven strong
innings, very little b.s. He looked good, but nowhere near as good as
the Sox looked on Saturday night in those blue roadies.

Tigers 3, Brewers 2: Justin Verlander likes pitching against Milwaukee. The first time he faced them he threw a no-hitter. The second time — yesterday — he struck out eight and gave up two runs in seven and two-thirds.

Rays 10, Mets 6:
Upton, Crawford and Longoria went 11 for 16 with seven RBIs, and the
Rays have now won eight of eleven. The Mets, on the other hand, are in
a one-step-forward-two-steps-back kind of rut, having dropped an awful
lot of series lately.

Blue Jays 9, Nationals 4:
Someone finally douses the red-hot Nats. Well, relatively speaking
anyway. It was Ricky Romero stepping up for Toronto, giving up two over
seven innings on a day when the bullpen needed a rest following a
couple of extra innings games.

Orioles 2, Phillies 1:
Man, has Cole Hamels pitched in some bad luck lately. Last time out he
got the no-decision after giving up only two runs in six innings, and
yesterday it was two runs in eight innings with ten strikeouts. The
Phillies lineup — minus Ryan Howard, who didn’t play for the first
time in 343 games because he has some nasty sinus infection — just
couldn’t do a thing against Jeremy Guthrie, mustering only four hits on
the day. Hamels after the game: “I think the key is we’re in first
place. We’re fortunate everyone in the NL East is playing really bad.”
Man, the Nats can’t any props even when things are going good for them.

Cubs 6, Indians 2:
You know, if Jeremy Sowers could figure out a way to fix that little
hitch in his delivery, the only thing keeping him from stardom would be
his complete and utter inability to get anyone out.

Astros 4, Twins 1:
Despite his teammates’ best efforts to kill him — Darin Erstad lined a
ball off Rodriguez’s left side during batting practice on Saturday —
Wandy Rodriguez was pretty spectacular yesterday (7 IP, 2H, 1 ER). “We
need to keep playing good baseball. That’s the biggest key for us,”
manager Cecil Cooper said after the game. Astute observations like that
are why Cooper makes the big bucks.

Mariners 3, Diamondbacks 2:
The game ended when, with two outs and the score tied, first basemen
Tony Clark simply dropped a routine throw from the third baseman,
turning what would have been out number three into the game-losing
error. I’ve been watching baseball for over 30 years, and I can’t
recall ever seeing a game end like that.

Dodgers 5, Angels 3:
I can’t tell if Clayton Kershaw is trying to grow mutton chops or if he
simply has the most pathetic mustache in the history of baseball. He’s
certainly no Bill Hohn, that’s for sure. He can pitch, however,
shutting out the Angels over seven innings. Juan Pierre keeps up the
good work two, hitting a couple of RBI doubles. At first I thought that
Pierre’s 50 games in the sun would allow him to rest contently, knowing
that he proved a lot of naysayers wrong about his ability to start on a
winning team. Now I’m wondering if he’ll overplay his hand and demand
all kinds of playing time based on his track record once Manny returns.

Giants 3, Rangers 2:
Barry Zito had a no-hitter going until he gave up a two-run homer to
Andruw Jones in the seventh, but an RBI single by Randy Winn in the
bottom of the inning preserved the win for Zito and the Giants.
Watching Zito face Jones in 2009 has to be a lot like watching Flair
face Steamboat in 1995. Something that you would have once paid a lot
to see, but now you just hope no one gets too terribly injured.

Claire Smith becomes the first woman to win the BBWAA’s Spink Award

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ESPN
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The Baseball Writers Association of America has elected Claire Smith the winner of the 2017 J.G. Taylor Spink Award. She becomes the first woman to be given baseball writing’s highest honor. She will be honored with the award that is presented annually to a sportswriter “for meritorious contributions to baseball writing” during Hall of Fame inductions in Cooperstown on July 30.

Smith, 62, covered the New York Yankees for five years beginning in 1983 for the Hartford Courant before becoming a columnist with the New York Times. She later served as an editor and columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1998-2007. She is now ESPN’s news editor of remote productions, responsible for the integration of news and analysis in live game broadcasts and the Baseball Tonight and Sports Center studio programs. She is a two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee and winner of three New York Times Publishers’ Awards.

Smith was named Sports Journalist of the Year from the National Association of Black Journalists in 1997, received the Mary Garber Pioneer Award from the Association of Women in Sports Media in 2000 and the Sam Lacy Award at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and Hall of Fame in 2010. She has served on the Baseball Hall of Fame Veterans Committee and was the chair of the New York chapter of the BBWAA in 1995 and 1996.

There will be Under Armour logos on the front of baseball uniforms

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Under Armour
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Yesterday’s announcement that Under Armour will be taking over the MLB uniform business brought with it an added bit of news: for the first time, beginning in 2020, baseball uniforms will feature the maker’s logo on the front of the jersey. From Paul Lukas of UniWatch:

While the Majestic logo has appeared on MLB sleeves, the Under Armour logo will be appearing on the upper-right chest area.

Lukas has a bunch of Photoshopped images of MLB players wearing uniforms with UA logos on it to give us a sense of how it will likely look.

It’s certainly weird and in some cases even a bit jarring. It would be my preference not to see baseball uniforms go this route as I think they’re aesthetically pleasing parts of the game in and of themselves. But it’s inevitable. If there is a chance for leagues and sponsors to make money and if it doesn’t cause them to lose fans (i.e. lose money) they will take it. You can say you’ll give up baseball if they put corporate logos — including paid advertisements, not just the logos of the companies which make the gear — but you’re lying to yourself about that. You and I will complain and grumble and then we’ll get used to it. At some point, after a couple of years, we’ll start talking about which ads look better and which ones look worse and applaud particularly savvy and pleasing looking logos.

As I wrote back in April when the NBA approved ads on uniforms, there may even be a bright side to all of this.

Sports teams have had it both ways for a long time. They’ve worked to make a buck off of anything that isn’t nailed down all the while pretending to be something greater than any other business. They play on our nostalgia and our loyalty in order to portray themselves as something akin to a public trust or institution, entitling themselves to perks no other businesses get and the avoidance of regulation. By turning players into walking billboards, perhaps the four major North American sports will inadvertently make some folks realize that they are just businesses and that they aren’t deserving of such special treatment.

I’m not holding my breath about that, but anything that takes away even a bit of the faux public trust luster that sports leagues and teams use to manipulate their fans is a good thing. Maybe it’ll make, say, the Yankees or the Dodgers look less venerable and sharp. But maybe it’ll remind people that they’re just business units of a $10 billion industry, not some fourth branch of government or whatever.