And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights

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Jim Joyce looks on.jpgTigers 3, Indians 0: So, did anything notable happen in this game?

Mariners 2, Twins 1: Between a tornado warning (see the Cubs-Pirates recap at the bottom) and the Armando Galarraga stuff I was unable to pay any attention to Ken Griffey’s retirement before this game.  I will remedy that later today.

Dodgers 1, Diamondbacks 0: I watched way more of this game than I should have. Guess it was morbid fascination combined with being lulled into a state of happy by Vin Scully’s voice. It totally screwed with my judgment too. In the 14th inning, Scully, after the second out, said something to the effect of “hope you don’t have any plans everybody . . .” before catching himself and saying ” . . . because unless Garret Anderson can do something here we’ll be heading to the 15th.”  My comment on Twitter at the time wasIt’s possible that Vin thought there were already
three outs there, but more likely that he’s just realistic about Garret
Anderson’s chances
.” Of course Anderson then singled in Matt Kemp, ending the game.

Braves 2, Phillies 1: Hit this one up yesterday afternoon.  Atlanta now goes to face a Dodgers pitching staff that (a) hasn’t given up a run in forever, but (b) has to be tired after consecutive extra-inning performances.

Yankees 9, Orioles 1: The whole Yankees starting lineup was back for the first time in forever last night. Now that they’re done with that practice squad in the orange, black and gray uniforms they get to see how they play against real teams. UPDATE:  Oops, sorry about that. They have one more game against the practice squad. Forgive me, but my brain is a bit fried this morning.

Rays 7, Blue Jays 3: Lord Almighty, the Rays like the late-inning drama, no? Carl Crawford’s ninth-inning grand slam didn’t put the Rays ahead, but it certainly put the game out of reach, as Tampa Bay puts up a six spot in the final frame for a come-from-behind victory.

Padres 5, Mets 1: At some point, just before I went to bed early, early this morning (yeah, I’m functioning on almost no sleep right now) I suffered this moment of panic, wondering if, between the Armando Galarraga thing, Griffey’s retirement, the Braves sweep of the Phillies and all of the amazing late-night action, if there was just too much baseball drama to handle. This one may have put me over the edge. Adrian Gonzalez 11th inning grand slam. Just an unreal day of baseball yesterday.

Red Sox 6, Athletics 4: Big Papi — we can call him that now that he’s hitting like Big Papi again — hit the go-ahead two-run homer in the fifth. He was 2 for 2 with a double, that homer and two walks. Can a guy win Comeback Player of the Year for coming back from adversity that occurred in the same season?

Brewers 7, Marlins 4: Where would the Brewers be without Yovani Gallardo? In addition to giving up two runs in seven innings with four strikeouts, he hit a dinger.

Rangers 9, White Sox 5: Vlad Guerrero was scratched after getting popped in the eye by a ball at the batting cage during BP (the practice kind of BP, not the kind that spilled all that oil). He was not needed, however, as Matt Treanor homered and drove in four and Michael Young had three hits.

Astros 5, Nationals 1: Back-to-back wins for the Astros for the first time in nearly a month. Three errors for Ian Desmond, who now has 14 on the year.

Angels 7, Royals 2: Torii Hunter homered, doubled, singled and drove in three runs as the Angels take their sixth win in eight games.

Cardinals 4, Reds 1: Chris Carpenter allows only one run on four hits over eight innings to bring the Cards back into a tie for first place. Big boo-boo here: runner on first and third in the seventh, and Scott Rolen — the guy on first — got smacked by a ground ball. Just one of them things.

Giants 4, Rockies 1: A two-run double for the slumping Aaron Rowand and one run on four hits over eight innings for Chris Carpenter Matt Cain helps the Giants avoid the sweep.

Cubs vs. Pirates: Postponed. I’m assuming this was the same weather system that blew threw my town a few hours earlier. We had tornado warnings and all kinds of fun stuff. My wife and kids and I were the basement for a while. While down there, my son found an old wooden Louisville Slugger I’ve had since I was a kid. My daughter looked at the name on it and asked “Daddy, who’s Gorman Thomas?”  My answer: “He was one of Harvey’s Wallbangers, dear.”  The my wife made me explain a little more thoroughly.

Drew Smyly brings youth and experience to Mariners rotation

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PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) Trades don’t surprise Drew Smyly anymore.

At age 27, the Seattle Mariners left-hander has been dealt twice. The first swap sent him from the team that drafted and developed Smyly, the Detroit Tigers, to the Tampa Bay Rays in midseason 2014. That trade landed star pitcher David Price in Detroit.

“I was surprised by that one,” Smyly said.

The most recent trade involving him came in January, when the Rays shipped Smyly to Seattle for three prospects in one of many moves by Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto. Smyly immediately joined the Mariners’ projected starting rotation, and is having fun getting to know his new teammates at spring training by way of manager Scott Servais’ clubhouse icebreakers.

Servais thinks Smyly is a solid fit as a still young yet experienced pitcher.

“One, being where he’s at in his career age-wise and service time, he’s kind of at the point where, put him in the right environment … very good defensive outfield, he’s a fly ball guy, maybe he does step up and take the next step,” Servais said. “Getting out of the American League East certainly should help him, but there’s no guarantees. Our division’s pretty tough.”

Servais suggested that another Arkansas native, ex-big leaguer Cliff Lee, might have helped sell Seattle on Smyly. Lee is a former Mariner and the two share an agent.

Smyly went 7-12 in a career-high 30 starts last season in Tampa, but won five games from July 30 to the end of the season after starting out 2-11. From May 21 to July 18, he lost seven straight starts.

“Pitching’s tough, you know,” Smyly said. “To manipulate the ball, to make it do different things, to put it in the strike zone with hitters that know what they’re doing. … I just had a rough stretch but I show up at the field every day, play catch and work on my craft and you know, that’s going to turn around one day.”

The 32 home runs Smyly surrendered in 2016 figure to be reduced in Seattle’s pitcher-friendly Safeco Field.

“It can only help,” he said. “But it’s still going to be up to me to execute pitches and pitch well.”

Smyly is set to join the U.S. World Baseball Classic team shortly. Before that, he’ll make his first spring training start in the middle of next week.

“It’s an honor to be able to put your country on your chest and play with some of the guys on that team,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it big time.”

NOTES: Servais plans to roll out what figures to be Seattle’s opening day lineup in the spring training opener Saturday against San Diego. It’s OF Jarrod Dyson, SS Jean Segura, 2B Robinson Cano, DH Nelson Cruz, 3B Kyle Seager, OF Mitch Haniger, 1B Dan Vogelbach, C Mike Zunino and OF Leonys Martin. … Servais said Cano and Cruz will play a little more than is typical for early spring games, as the two will depart for the World Baseball Classic in early March. … LHP Ariel Miranda will start Saturday, then RHP Chris Heston Sunday, RHP Yovani Gallardo on Monday and ace Felix Hernandez on Tuesday.

Mitt Romney’s sons are trying to buy a stake in the Yankees

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 30:  Tagg Romney son of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gives an interview during the final day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 30, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate during the RNC which will conclude today.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Mitt Romney built his professional life in Massachusetts and was once the governor of the state. As such, it is not surprising that he has long identified as a Red Sox fan. So this has to be troubling to him from a fan’s perspective. From Jon Heyman:

The Romney family is bidding to buy a small stake in the Yankees months after their try for the Marlins stalled. If the deal goes through, it is expected to be $25 million to $30 million per percentage point and thought to be interested in one or two percentage points. The Yankees are valued around $3 billion or more.

The effort is being led by Mitt’s son Tagg, one of his brothers and their business partners. Mitt’s spokesman tells Jon Heyman that he has nothing to do with it personally. Tagg Romney is reported to have been planning a bid for controlling interest in the Marlins, but that has fallen through.

I find this interesting insofar as the M.O. for the Steinbrenners has, for years, been to buy out minority shareholders in the Yankees, not seek more. Indeed, when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees back in 1973 he held just a bare controlling interest and there were a ton of silent partners, most of which were back in Ohio and knew Steinbrenner from his shipping business. I’ve personally gotten to know some of them over the years as there are a handful of them in Columbus and I crossed paths with them in my legal career. They have almost all been bought out in the past couple of decades. They still get season tickets and World Series rings and stuff. You can tell them by their personalized Yankees plates and the fact that, within the first ten minutes of meeting them, they will tell you that they once owned a piece of the Yankees but got pushed out.

In light of all of that it’s interesting that the Steinbrenners are once again accepting bids for small stakes in the team. Especially from someone whose interest in controlling the Marlins suggests that they do not consider it to be a mere vanity investment. Makes me wonder what the Steinbrenners’ long term plans are.