And That Happened: Monday's scores and highlights

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Pirates 8, Brewers 5: Pittsburgh snaps their 17-game skid
against Milwaukee, and the Brewers look pretty damn immature in defeat,
plunking Jeff Karstens in what I guess was retaliation for him hitting
Ryan Braun back in April. This despite the fact that they hit three
Pirates the day after the Braun thing, and had an opportunity to hit
Karstens if they wanted to the same day he hit Braun (why John Russell
so frequently has his relief pitcher hitting is a topic for another
day). Jason Kendall had to be restrained from, it appeared anyway,
going after Pirates’ pitching coach Joe Kerrigan, and then after the
game kept calling him “Dave Kurwin,” even after being corrected. So
apparently Kendall is 6 years-old.

Athletics 14, Twins 13: You don’t win a lot of games when your
starter gives up 11 runs on 10 hits in 2.2 innings, but the A’s did.
Yep, the Twins led this game 12-2 at one point, but after Matt
Holliday’s grand slam in the seventh, followed immediately by a Jack
Cust solo shot, the lead was history. Largest blown lead for the Twins
in 25 years. Largest comeback for the A’s in 84 years.

Dodgers 7, Reds 5: Jason Schmidt threw his first pitches in
anger in over two years, and got the win to boot. Oh, and Manny Ramirez
hit his 537th home run to pass Mickey Mantle into 15th place on the
all-time list, which should inspire about 125 rage-filled,
single-sentence paragraphs from Bill Plaschke or someone like him.
Mantle was pure, you see. At least once you took away the booze and the
speed and the painkillers.

Mets 6, Nationals 2: Jeff Francoeur! Livan Hernandez! Now if
those two just keep on producing like we know they can, well, then, um
. . . crap, this was a fluke, wasn’t it?

Phillies 10, Cubs 1: Now that is seems the Phillies have figured
out how to win at home, there seems to be nothing that can stop them.
Jack Nicholson was at the game, and according to the game story, the
Phanatic wore a Batman suit. That’s kind of cool, but it would have
been way cooler if he had dressed up like Nurse Ratched or the waitress
who wouldn’t hold the chicken. I mean, I love Batman as much as the
next guy, but Nicholson has had better foils.

Braves 11, Giants 3: The Braves hit Jonathan Sanchez and then
continued hitting Segio Romo. Tommy Hanson, on the other hand, was much
harder to hit (7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 11K). And as Mac notes, not all of those earned runs were really “earned.”

Astros 3, Cardinals 2: Carlos Lee hits a three-run homer, receives “stingy kisses.”

White Sox 4, Rays 3: Carl Crawford hit an inside the park home
run, but as is the case with so many of those things, it was the
product of a bad defensive play. In this case, a crappy jump by Scott
Podsednik. Sox won, anyhow, and are only a game and a half behind
Detroit.

Rangers 6, Red Sox 3: There are a lot of smart people working
for the Red Sox, so surely someone will soon realize that John Smoltz
only pitches effectively for a few innings and then falls apart. If
only there were some place he could pitch where his outings would be shorter, and maybe more frequent as opposed to longer and more sucky (5.2 IP, 9 H, 6 ER).

Yankees 2, Orioles 1: Eric Hinske has started off with a bang in
New York, hitting four homers in his first five games. Jose Molina
turned in two sweet plays behind the plate late in the game. No need to
congratulate him, though. He’s a Molina and that is what they do.
Walkoff for Matsui, and after the game he was hit in the face with a
cream pie. Those zany, zany Yankees.

Marlins 3, Padres 2: The Padres have lost 15 of 19. I’m assuming that will all turn around once Oscar Salazar gets a chance to play more.

Rockies 10, Diamondbacks 6: With Colorado’s win and the Giants’
loss, the Rockies take a half-game lead in the wild card standings. And
no, I don’t think it’s too early to talk about it. There isn’t a ton
going on right now, so I’m totally cool with getting an early start on
pennant race stuff.

Angels vs. Royals: Postponed: The fitful alternations of the
rain/ When the chill wind, languid as with pain/ Of its own heavy
moisture, here and there/ Drives through the gray and beamless
atmosphere.

Pitchers to receive new visor-like protective headgear

Headgear
MLB/MLBPA
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For the past few years MLB, the MLBPA and cap and helmet manufacturers have been working on various models of protective headgear for pitchers. Some of the models have been unworkable, some of them have not met the satisfaction of pitchers and others have, well, looked a little odd. At present the only pitcher who routinely wears any headgear is Alex Torres, who wears the bulky isoBLOX helmet.

Now, however, there is a new option. And, as you can see above it’s a bit different than what we’ve seen before. It’s more or less like a visor, which will have a nylon top on them to give a full cap-like appearance. The ear flaps will be lefty and righty-specific, given that righties are more likely to be hit on the right and lefties on the left given their follow-throughs.

The new caps will be given out to players this spring and, like the old ones, will be used or not used at the choice of the players. You can read more about the new helmet at ESPN’s Outside the Lines report.

Brewers sign reliever Blaine Boyer

Blaine Boyer
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Right-hander Blaine Boyer, who spent last season with the Twins, has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Brewers that includes an invitation to spring training.

Boyer was also on a minor-league deal last spring when he snagged a spot in the Twins’ season-opening bullpen and he stayed there all year, posting a 2.49 ERA in 65 innings. His secondary numbers weren’t quite so impressive, particularly his managing just 33 strikeouts compared to 19 walks, but the 34-year-old journeyman is a decent middle relief option.

Boyer has a 4.22 career ERA, including a 2.91 ERA in 105 innings since returning from injuries in 2014.

The Padres have been shopping Matt Kemp

Matt Kemp
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Robert Murray of BaseballEssential.com reports that the Padres have tried to trade Matt Kemp.

Shocker given that he’s 31 and is owed $21.75 million over each of the next four seasons. Still, if the Padres eat some cash someone may bite. Kemp started slowly in 2015 but was solid in the second half. He finished with a line of .265/.312/.443, 23 home runs, and 100 RBI in 648 plate appearances. That last number is key because the once-fraglie Kemp has been healthy for two years now. Someone could use that level of production.

Just not at those prices.

The Braves and Fulton County are fighting over a Hank Aaron statue

FILE- In this Nov. 12, 2013 file photo, a statue of Hall of Fame baseball player Hank Aaron stands outside Turner Field, the home of the Atlanta Braves in Atlanta. The Atlanta Braves pulled perhaps the most surprising move of the year. They announced after months of secret talks with Cobb County leaders plans to move to a suburban stadium and leave downtown where they’ve played since moving from Milwaukee in 1966. The impending Braves’ departure aside, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed managed to keep the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons happy. He agreed for the city to cover part of the construction costs for a new retractable-roof stadium to replace the Georgia Dome downtown. Both new stadiums are projected to open in 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
Associated Press
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Divorce is hard. It’s hard on the kids and hard on your own emotions. Then, of course, there’s the fighting over money. Eventually you sort that stuff out too, but at some point you’ll come across something that cannot be divided between you and for which visitation schedules simply aren’t suitable.

Maybe it’s the family photo album. Maybe it’s that 60-year-old cast iron skillet which you got at that estate sale and which is perfectly seasoned and, oh God, you can’t imagine making fried chicken in anything else YOU GOT THE HOUSE, JENNY, MY GOD I GET TO KEEP THE SKILLET!!!

Um. Sorry. Got carried away there for a second. Where was I? Oh yes. Maybe it’s that statue you and your ex both love. You know, that one of the guy who hit 755 home runs and who has served as the face of your franchise for over 60 years:

For about three hours Wednesday, it looked like the statue of baseball hall of famer Hank Aaron would be staying in Atlanta.

The agency that owns Turner Field proudly announced it holds documents showing “the people of Atlanta and Fulton County” own the bronze, and that a deal had been struck with the Braves to keep the statue at Turner Field.

Then came a statement from the Braves saying, in effect: nuh huh. The statue, the team said, should go wherever the Hammer wants it.

And with those dueling press statements, the fate over one of Atlanta’s treasured sports landmarks remained in limbo, just as it has been since the day the Braves announced plans in late 2013 to move from downtown to Cobb County after the 2016 season.

The latest: Hank Aaron says he wants no part of the dispute and that the club and the city should solve it themselves. Which is absolutely the right move. And, frankly, kind of crappy of the Braves to throw it in Aaron’s lap in the first place. They’re the ones who, figuratively speaking, broke up the marriage by messing around with that younger, richer suitor after all. Now they’re trying to make Aaron either be a bad guy to Braves fans who attend games after 2016 and don’t get to see the statue or the city of Atlanta who would have yet another piece of their baseball history transplanted to the burbs? Forget that.

If I were Aaron I’d propose that we saw the thing in half. Then we’d see who values it more. I heard that approach has worked before.