And That Happened: Tuesday's scores and highlights

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Orioles 11, Red Sox 10: John Smoltz pitched better (4 IP, 3 H, 1
ER) but had to leave when the rains came. I wouldn’t worry about the
short outing, however, because Francona may want him in the bullpen.
Why? Because Boston blew a 10-1 lead after their half of the
seventh. Among the big blows was an Oscar Salazar pinch-hit three run
homer and a Nick Markakis two-run double off of Papelbon after being
0-7 against him entering the game. It was the biggest comeback in
Baltimore Orioles history, and one that had to be particularly sweet
for Os fans who have had to put up with so many interlopers in their
ballpark for Sox games in recent years.

Pirates 3, Cubs 0: Ross Ohlendorf and Freddy Sanchez got to the
ballpark, realized that they were the only two Pirates not traded
yesterday, and went about their business, Bugs Bunny vs. Gashouse Gorillas-style:
Ohlendorf shut out the Cubs over seven innings (pasting those pathetic
palookas with his powerful, paralyzing, perfect pachydermous percussion
pitch) and Sanchez scored one run and drove in the other two for
Pittsburgh. Most people thought Sanchez would be out on that run he
scored in the fourth because Ted Lilly had the ball and was waiting for
him at home plate. Then again, most people probably didn’t count on
Sanchez having that 1940s pinup in his back pocket to distract Lilly
either.

Braves 5, Phillies 4: I told Bill at Crashburn Alley
that the Braves would take two out of three in this series. So far, so
good. I never would have bet on the Bravos coming back in extra innings
after coughing up two late homers like they did in this one, however,
because they just don’t do that. Martin Prado was 4-5 with four RBI,
including the game-winner in the 10th. My guess is that puts Kelly
Johnson on the bench until the day Bobby Cox is buried in the cold,
cold ground.

Rays 4, Blue Jays 1: I was gonna get all cute and quote some
song lyrics here, but I couldn’t decide if I should go with “Running to
Stand Still,” or “Hold On, I’m Comin’.” I suppose that all depends on
how the Red Sox and Yankees do. Either way I have this feeling that the
AL East is going to be redonkulously exciting in the second half.

Diamondbacks 6, Reds 2: Danny Haren’s teammates have failed to
show up for him so many times this season that he would have been
forgiven if he had picked up a bat and beat them silly. Lucky for
everyone involved Haren is a clearer thinking guy than I am and decided
to simply take the bat to the opposition, going 2 for 2 with a homer
and a double. Oh, and he pitched seven innings of one run ball while
striking out nine. He then drove the team bus back to the hotel,
watched game film, set the lineups for the next week, called Billy
Beane and asked what he’d want for Matt Holliday and started
spitballin’ ideas for next season’s promotional calendar.

Giants 6, Cardinals 3: You had to figure Chris Carpenter was
going to come back down to Earth eventually. You just didn’t figure on
it happening all at once (5 IP, 11 H, 6 ER), especially against an
offense like the Giants’. Despite the loss, Pujols had his requisite
two home runs.

Brewers 6, Mets 3: That’s five losses in a row for the
Metropolitans, capping off a lovely 9-18 June. Though that’s maybe not
as important as the fact that, on June 1st, they were 2.5 games out of
first and now, on July 1st, they’re only 3 games out. My God, the NL
East is horrifying this year.

White Sox 11, Indians 4: Crisco. Bardol. Vagisil. Any one of
them will give you another two to three inches drop on your curve ball.
Of course if the umps are watching me real close I’ll rub a little
jalapeno up my nose, get it runnin’, and if I need to load the ball up
I just [wipe] wipe my nose. Hey, I haven’t got an arm like you, kid. I
have to put anything on it I can find. Someday you will too. [note: all
Indians losses are going to get “Major League” quotes until Eric Wedge
is fired or they win three in a row, whichever comes first].

Twins 2, Royals 1: The game story breaks out the first “hapless”
I’ve seen in at least a year. It also notes that the Royals “are among
the AL’s worst in hitting, runs, slugging percentage and on-base
percentage.” Anyone ever make a movie about the Royals? Maybe I should
be quoting that instead.

Marlins 7, Nationals 5: I called the Cardinals a one man gang the other day. So too are Hanley’s Fish (2-4, 4 RBI).

Rangers 9, Angels 5: Marlon Byrd homered twice and drove in five runs. Let’s hear it for Victor Conte’s supplements, everyone!

Yankees 8, Mariners 5: Mariano Rivera threw out the game’s first
pitch, yet somehow came back in in the ninth to get the save. Don
Wakamatsu, showing lots of class, decided not to protest the game.

Tigers 5, A’s 3: Armando Galarraga walked six guys. It’s not
everyday that you can do that and win, but then again, it was the A’s
he was facing and they are notably poor at making anyone pay for
anything. The A’s have plugged in Gio Gonzalez into the rotation three
or four or maybe fifty times this season, but pretty soon that
experiment has to end, right? Because he’s, like, terrible. Yesterday
he gave up three runs on seven hits in five innings, and you can make
the argument that that’s his best start of the year.

Padres 4, Astros 3: Padres win, but Adrian Gonzalez got hurt.
Hard to tell if it’s major. Gonzalez doesn’t know himself: “Sometimes I
feel something and I wake up the next morning and I feel great. Then
sometimes I wake up and something aches that I didn’t feel the night
before.” I’m not sure why, but upon reading that I almost immediately
got a sonic image of that statement being sung by Kevin Cronin over
slowly ascending chords and making an almost perfect REO Speedwagon
song.

Rockies 3, Dodgers 0: Jason Marquis pitches the game of his life
(CG, SHO, 2 H, 3 K, 0 BB), and only needed 86 (!) pitches to do it. And
Jim Tracy is the best quote in baseball: “In the seven-plus years I’ve
sat behind a desk like this, that’s the first time I’ve seen a starting
pitcher throw a nine-inning, complete-game shutout and do it with less
than 90 pitches.” He watches games from his desk? I’ve heard of
hands-off managers before, but that’s ridiculous. In other news, I was
finally getting used to the idea that Manny coming back on Friday would
be anti-climatic because the Dodgers simply didn’t need him too bad.
This skid they’re on is changing my mind back again.

Ruben Amaro is workin’ out and gettin’ ready to coach first base

Ruben Amaro Jr.
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One of the weirder stories of the offseason was Ruben Amaro going from the Phillies front office to the Red Sox, where he’ll coach first base. That kind of transition is almost unheard of but it’s happening with old Rube.

Today Pete Abraham of the Globe has a story about how Amaro is preparing for the role. And how, while it may look weird on paper, the move actually makes a lot more sense than you might suspect given the Red Sox’ coaching staff and Amaro’s own background. It’s good stuff. Go check it out.

On a personal note, it serves as a signal to me to keep my eyes peeled for reports about Amaro from Fort Myers once camp gets started:

Amaro has been working out in recent weeks with his nephew Andrew, a Phillies prospect, to get ready for throwing batting practice and hitting fungoes.

Could we be so lucky as to get the first-ever Best Shape of His Life report for a coach? God, I hope so!

It’s pretty stupid that athletes can’t endorse beer

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner celebrates after pitching the Giants to a 8-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League wild card game in Pittsburgh Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) ORG XMIT: PAGP102
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One of the more amusing things to spin out of the Super Bowl were Peyton Manning’s little Budweiser endorsements in his postgame interviews. It was hilarious, really, to see him shoehorn in references to going and cracking a crisp cool Budweiser multiple times. It was more hilarious when a Budweiser representative tweeted that Manning was not paid to do that. Of course, Manning owns an interest in alcohol distributorships so talking about The King of Beers was in his best financial interest all the same.

After that happened people asked whether or not Manning would face discipline about this from the NFL, as players are not allowed to endorse alcoholic beverages. This seemed crazy to me. I had no idea that they were actually banned from doing so. Then I realized that, huh, I can’t for the life of me remember seeing beer commercials with active athletes, so I guess maybe it’s not so crazy. Ken Rosenthal later tweeted that Major League Baseball has a similar ban in place. No alcohol endorsements for ballplayers.

Why?

I mean, I can fully anticipate why the leagues would say athletes can’t do it. Think of the children! Role models! Messages about fitness! All that jazz. I suspect a more significant reason is that the leagues and their partners — mostly Anheuser-Busch/InBev — would prefer not to allow high-profile athletes to shill for a competitor. How bad would it look for Alex Rodriguez to do spots for Arrogant Bastard Ale when there are Budweiser signs hanging in 81% of the league’s ballparks? Actually, such ads would look WONDERFUL, but you know what I mean here.

That aside, it does strike me as crazy hypocritical that the leagues can rake in as much as they do from these companies while prohibiting players from getting in on the action. If it is kids they’re worried about, how can they deny that they endorse beer to children every bit as effectively and possibly more so than any one athlete can by virtue of putting it alongside the brands that are the NFL and MLB? Personally I don’t put much stock in a think-of-the-children argument when it comes to beer — it’s everywhere already and everyone does a good job of pushing the “drink responsibly” message — but if those are the leagues’ terms, they probably need to ask themselves how much of a distinction any one athlete and the entire league endorsing this stuff really is.

That aside, sports and beer — often sponsored by active players — have a long, long history together:

Musial

And the picture at the top of this post certainly shows us that Major League Baseball has no issues whatsoever in having its players endorse Budweiser in a practical sense.

Why can’t they get paid for doing it?

The Orioles signed Rafael Palmeiro’s son

Rafael Palmeiro
Getty Images
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Last summer we posted about Rafael Palmeiro coming out of retirement to play for the independent league Sugar Land Skeeters. The reason: to play a game with his boy Patrick. In that game the elder Palmeiro went 2-for-4 with an RBI, a walk, and a run scored. His son, who is now 26, went 2-for-4 with a grand slam.

Did that serve as an audition for Patrick? Possibly, as Jon Meloi of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles just signed him to a minor league deal.

As Meloi notes, it’s certainly just an organizational depth move, as Patrick is no prospect. And it’s actually likely something of a coincidence that it’s the Orioles who signed him, as Palmeiro doesn’t have any real contacts with the Orioles baseball operations people, all of whom are different folks now than back in his day.

This may not be the last of the Palmeiros, by the way. Peter Gammons tweeted this morning that Patrick’s younger brother, Preston, is a first baseman at North Carolina State who could be drafted this june. Gammons says he has a swing “remarkably similar to dad.”

Diamondbacks, A.J. Pollock avoid arbitration with two-year contract

Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock drives in two runs against the Cincinnati Reds during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
AP Photo/Gary Landers
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Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that the Diamondbacks and outfielder A.J. Pollock have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year extension. The deal is worth $10.25 million, per ESPN’s Buster Olney.

Pollock was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. The 28-year-old requested $3.9 million and was offered $3.65 million by the Diamondbacks when figures were exchanged on January 15. It wasn’t much of a gap, but the two sides were ultimately able to find common ground on a multi-year deal. Pollock will still be under team control for one more year after this new deal expires.

Pollock is coming off a breakout 2015 where he batted .315/.367/.498 with 20 home runs, 76 RBI, and 39 stolen bases over 157 games. He ranked sixth among position players with 7.4 WAR (Wins Above Replacement), according to Baseball Reference.