And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights

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Pagan slides.jpgNationals 5, Mets 3: Triple plays and inside the park homers are pretty cool. Sadly, they only count for three outs and one run, respectively. Hats off to Angel Pagan all the same.

Royals 8, Indians 4: Kerry Wood came into a save situation in the ninth
and gave up a triple, a single, a double, two straight walks, and
another double before Manny Acta took him out of the game. By that time
the Tribe’s one-run lead had turned into a four-run deficit, whatever was
left of Kerry Wood’s trade value evaporated and the fates reserved Wood
a one-bedroom apartment next door to Trevor Hoffman’s new place in
Sunny Acres: An Active Community for Active Former Closers.

Pirates 6, Brewers 4: Nine straight losses for the Brew Crew. Ask not
for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for Ken Macha.

Cubs 4, Phillies 1: 20 year-old Starlin Castro hit a single off 47
year-old Jamie Moyer which I think means that Castro is now only one
degree removed from Cap Anson.

Angels 3, White Sox 2: Joe Saunders out-duels John Danks. Literally: they
chose main-gauche daggers and thrusted and parried until Danks lay
bloody and dead on the U.S. Cellular Field pitcher’s mound. It was a
harsh sight, but Danks died with his dignity and honor intact. Saunders
indicated after the game that, in light of his noble opponent’s display
of pluck and courage, he would wait the customary fortnight before
courting the Widow Danks.

Braves 5, Reds 4: The Reds have been the league’s biggest comeback artists all year and almost pulled it off again last night, but Jason Heyward wasn’t having it.  After blowing a four-run lead, Heyward doubled in Martin Prado with the winning run for Atlanta’s second walkoff win in a row.  Heyward was a beast — two doubles and a triple, two runs scored and an RBI — and the mind reels at where this team would be without him this year.

Red Sox 3, Twins 2: Clay Buchholz played stopper, giving the Sox their first decent starting pitching performance since the last time Clay Buchholz pitched (8 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 7K).  A two-run homer for Big Papi, who’s now up to .367/.407/.755 for the month of May.

Astros 7, Rockies 3: Clint Barmes threw away what should have been out number three in a tie ballagme in the eighth, opening the floodgates for four unearned runs. Jeff Keppinger had four RBI for the Astros, who plated the most runs they’ve had in a single game in a week.

Rays 10, Yankees 6: Not as close as the score suggests, as the Rays had a 10-2 lead entering the ninth after batting around in the fourth and eighth
innings.
While, sure, the Yankees made it kinda interesting with four runs in the final frame, it was just too big a deficit to cause anyone to get too worked up about it.  In other news, I could have sworn that putting Berman and Sutcliffe in the same booth was outlawed at the Third Geneva Convention, so how no one is on trial for it this morning is a mystery to me.

Marlins 5, Cardinals 1: Hanley Ramirez apologized, gets three hits and life goes on.

Rangers 4, Orioles 3: I guess you can still call it a “walkoff” if it’s a sacrifice fly, so hey: walkoff sac fly for Nelson Cruz. Dave Trembley used seven pitchers, six of which pitched in the final three innings. Maybe he has a personal quota of some kind and suspects that he won’t be around in July, August and September in order to fulfill it.

Padres 10, Dodgers 5: San Diego (a) snaps the Dodgers’ win streak; and (b) busts out some unheard of for them levels of offense.  Six RBI for Adrian Gonzalez on a homer and a couple of singles. And if this isn’t Ramon Ortiz’s last start in a Dodgers uniform, something is seriously wrong (3.1 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 3 BB).

Diamondbacks 13, Giants 1: I was totally unaware of who started this game for the Giants, but when I
saw the score I said “Wellemeyer.” Although to be fair, six of the Dbacks’ runs came in a nightmare eighth inning, and were the responsibility of Brian Medders.  That’s what you call takin’ one for the team. Adam LaRoche hit two of the Dbacks’ six homers.

Blue Jays 3, Mariners 2: Milton Bradley came back and had a couple of hits, but nothin’ else good happened here for Seattle, which lost its fifth in a row and seventh of ten.

Tigers 5, Athletics 1: Justin Verlander out-duels Dallas Braden. No knifes this time, just pitches. Complete game four-hitter for Verlander. Braden gave up two runs over six, but then left because he wasn’t feeling well and had to have an IV after the game. Except in the 209 they don’t use a syringe and a saline drip. They use a rusty nail and motor oil.

Ichiro was happy to see Pete Rose get defensive about his hits record

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 14:  Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Miami Marlins warms-up during batting practice before a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on June 14, 2016 in San Diego, California.   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
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You’ll recall the little controversy last month when Ichiro Suzuki passed Pete Rose’s hit total. Specifically, when Ichiro’s Japanese and American hit total reached Rose’s American total of 4,256 and a lot of people talked about Ichiro being the new “Hit King.” You’ll also recall that Rose himself got snippy about it, wondering if people would now think of him as “the Hit Queen,” which he took to be disrespect.

There’s a profile of Ichiro over at ESPN the Magazine and reporter Marly Rivera asked Ichiro about that. Ichiro’s comments were interesting and quite insightful about how ego and public perception work in the United States:

I was actually happy to see the Hit King get defensive. I kind of felt I was accepted. I heard that about five years ago Pete Rose did an interview, and he said that he wished that I could break that record. Obviously, this time around it was a different vibe. In the 16 years that I have been here, what I’ve noticed is that in America, when people feel like a person is below them, not just in numbers but in general, they will kind of talk you up. But then when you get up to the same level or maybe even higher, they get in attack mode; they are maybe not as supportive. I kind of felt that this time.

There’s a hell of a lot of truth to that. Whatever professional environment you’re in, you’ll see this play out. If you want to know how you’re doing, look at who your enemies and critics are. If they’re senior to you or better-established in your field, you’re probably doing something right. And they’re probably pretty insecure and maybe even a little afraid of you.

The rest of the article is well worth your time. Ichiro seems like a fascinating, insightful and intelligent dude.

There will be no criminal charges arising out of Curt Schilling’s video game debacle

Curt Schilling
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In 2012 Curt Schilling’s video game company, 38 Studios, delivered the fantasy role-playing game it had spent millions of dollars and countless man hours trying to deliver. And then the company folded, leaving both its employees and Rhode Island taxpayers, who underwrote much of the company’s operations via $75 million in loans, holding the bag.

The fallout to 38 Studios’ demise was more than what you see in your average business debacle. Rhode Island accused Schilling and his company of acts tantamount to fraud, claiming that it accepted tax dollars while withholding information about the true state of the company’s finances. Former employees, meanwhile, claimed — quite credibly, according to reports of the matter — that they too were lured to Rhode Island believing that their jobs were far more secure than they were. Many found themselves in extreme states of crisis when Schilling abruptly closed the company’s doors. For his part, Schilling has assailed Rhode Island politicians for using him as a scapegoat and a political punching bag in order to distract the public from their own misdeeds. There seems to be truth to everyone’s claims to some degree.

As a result of all of this, there have been several investigations and lawsuits into 38 Studios’ collapse. In 2012 the feds investigated the company and declined to bring charges. There is currently a civil lawsuit afoot and, alongside it, the State of Rhode Island has investigated for four years to see if anyone could be charged with a crime. Today there was an unexpected press conference in which it was revealed that, no, no one associated with 38 Studios will be charged with anything:

An eight-page explanation of the decision concluded by saying that “the quantity and qualify of the evidence of any criminal activity fell short of what would be necessary to prove any allegation beyond a reasonable doubt and as such the Rules of Professional Conduct precluded even offering a criminal charge for grand jury consideration.”

Schilling will likely crow about this on his various social media platforms, claiming it totally vindicates him. But, as he is a close watcher of any and all events related to Hillary Clinton, he no doubt knows that a long investigation resulting in a declination to file charges due to lack of evidence is not the same thing as a vindication. Bad judgment and poor management are still bad things, even if they’re not criminal matters.

Someone let me know if Schilling’s head explodes if and when someone points that out to him.