And That Happened: Wednesday's scores and recaps

Leave a comment

Marlins 5, Orioles 2: Ricky Nolasco has been a completely
different pitcher since his little jaunt to New Orleans to get his
pyloric valve opened or whatever the hell is was. In his four starts
since his return, he’s given up two earned runs, two earned runs, one
earned run and last night zero earned runs. Good thing too, for if he
did not find a job, he no doubt would have been arrested for vagrancy.

White Sox 10, Dodgers 7: Randy Wolf had nada and Cory Wade’s
“relief” pitching was anything but. By the time they were done it was a
9-3 game that was for all practical purpose over. But this loss is
morally justified. I mean, how dare the Dodgers be allowed to
play when Manny Ramirez should be suspended? It’s a slap in the face,
that’s what it is. If a kid gets suspended from school, do they not
burn the building down as a lesson to others? If a soldier is caught
hording rations, do the generals not summarily execute the whole
platoon? I know it’s in the rules that the Dodgers still get to play
ballgames, but it shouldn’t be. They should all have their contracts
voided and be forced to sell linoleum at Color Tile or something. Won’t
someone think of the children?

Mets 11, Cardinals 0: Let me get this straight: David Wright —
the guy who went 4 for 4 last night and is sitting at .356/.444/.510 is
a guy Mets’ fans have been complaining about for a good portion of the
season? I’ll never understand New York baseball. Cardinals pitchers, by
the way, combined to strike out exactly zero Mets.

Rays 7, Phillies 1: Pat Burrell’s two-run homer in the second
proved to be all of the offense the Rays needed, but he picked up an
another RBI anyway. I’m not sure what Phillies’ fans think of that, but
I’d kind of like to think that they’re happy that Matt Stairs is
getting some playing time now, which he wouldn’t be if Burrell had hung
around. Who doesn’t root for Matt Stairs?

Pirates 10, Indians 6: Workers on the “Carl Pavano for Comeback
Player of the Year” campaign feel today how the folks at the McCain
campaign felt the day after the Katie Couric-Sarah Palin interviews
aired.

Blue Jays 8, Reds 2: Aaron Hill, Adam Lind and Vernon Wells all
homered off of Bronson Arroyo in the first and Scott Richmond pitched
seven strong innings in what was never really a contest.

Red Sox 6, Nationals 4: Papi went 2-3 with a homer and 3 RBI —
including the 1000th of his career — as the Red Sox take the second
game in this home-away-from-home series (41,000+ once again, and most
of ’em weren’t Nats’ fans). Red Sox’ hitting coach Dave Magadan was
ejected for arguing balls and strikes. How does that even happen? If
you’re Francona, don’t you tell Magadan to sit down and shut up? Or was
it one of those deals where Magadan just called the ump that name
you’re not allowed to call umps from the dugout?

Brewers 4, Twins 3: Great moments in defensive decision-making:
The Twins are ahead 3-2 in the eighth when J.J. Hardy singles and Jason
Kendall hits a double scoring Hardy. Except the relay throw skipped by
Joe Mauer, so Kendall went to third. Nick Blackburn was backing up
Mauer, and rather than just eat the ball and face the pitcher’s slot in
the order, whips the ball back towards third to try and get the
advancing Kendall. Ball goes wide, Kendall goes home, and that’s
basically the ballgame.

Tigers 5, Cubs 3: That’s six straight for Detroit, as they
extend their lead to five games over the Twins. Contrary to what I said
yesterday, Magglio Ordonez did get the start, and before the game he pulled a Vlad, cutting off his hair. Result: 2-4. Screw science, I say causation, not mere correlation.

Yankees 8, Braves 4: Things were going smoothly for Atlanta
until Kawakami was nailed on a comebacker off the bat of Joba
Chamberlain. I missed it — I was reading “Tip-Tip, Dig-Dig” to
ShysterBoy at the time — and I’m kind of glad I did. He was hit on the
base of the neck, which as recent history has shown, is a pretty
dangerous place to be hit. Jeff Francoeur hit a homer for the Braves,
but don’t worry, he still sucks.

Royals 4, Astros 3: Miguel Olivo may be on pace for 168
strikeouts against six walks, but he hits a homer once in a while too,
and the one he hit in the 11th inning last night won the game.

Rangers 2, Diamondbacks 1: Danny Haren can’t buy a break, as he
once again pitches well with little run support. The Rangers snap their
losing streak at five and remain in first place by the skin of their
teeth.

Mariners 4, Padres 3: Brandon Morrow the starter had his longest
and best go of it yet (5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 4K). Yuniesky Betancourt
injured his hamstring and will be out for a while. The game story casts
this a negative. I have this feeling some Mariners fans may not feel
quite the same way.

Giants 6, A’s 3: The Unit, who gave up one run on six hits,
struck out six and walked one in seven innings, looks pretty good
sandwiched in between Lincecum and Cain these days. I don’t know that
the Giants have enough offense to get there, but they could be a
dangerous team to face in a short series should they sng the Wild Card.

Angels 11, Rockies 3: Just yesterday, Rob Neyer said that Jason
Marquis was about to turn into a pumpkin due to his poor strikeout
rate. Looks like it’s midnight (3.1 IP, 9 H, 8 R). Yeah, he struck out
four in those 3.1 innings, but it’s probably because the Angels were
coming out of the shows to swing at that hittable stuff. Vald-the-bald,
by the way: 2-5, 2B, HR, 3 RBI. Let’s hear it for short hair!

James McCann is in The Best Shape of His Life

Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann blows a bubble while warming up during a spring training baseball workout, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Lakeland, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.

We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.

James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:

Spring training is less than a month away, folks!

Bo Jackson is not gonna change kids’ minds

1989:  Bo Jackson #16 of the Kansas City Royals practices his swing as he prepares to bat during a game in the 1989 season.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Getty Images
7 Comments

Last week Bo Jackson said that, if he had it to do all over again, he would have never played professional football and that he would never let his kids play. The sport is too violent, he said. “I’d tell them, ‘Play baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, just anything but football.’”

Fair enough. Thom Loverro of the Washington Times, however, thinks that Bo could do more than simply give his opinion on the matter. He thinks Bo should become an official ambassador for Major League Baseball:

Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, pick up the phone right now and call Bo Jackson. Tell him you have a job for him — vice president of something, whatever you would call the man in charge of converting a generation of young athletes to baseball. And pay him what he wants.

You won’t find a better symbol of the differences between the two sports than Bo Jackson. After all, he was an All-Star in both. Bo knows football. Bo knows baseball.

Bo, tell the children — baseball over football.

The Children: “Who is Bo Jackson?”

Yeah, I’m being a bit flip here, but dude: Jackson is 54 years-old. He last played baseball 23 years ago. I’d personally run through a wall for Bo Jackson, but I’m 43. I was 12 when he won the Heisman trophy. While he may loom large to middle aged sports writers, a teenager contemplating what sport to play is not going to listen to someone a decade or more older than his parents.

This isn’t terribly important in the grand scheme of things, but it’s indicative of how most columnists process the world through their own experiences and assume they apply universally. It’s probably the biggest trap most sports opinion folks fall into.