And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights

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Phillies 3, Braves 1: I was momentarily angry when Derek Lowe gave up the homer to Greg Dobbs in the sixth, but then I acknowledged to myself that it didn’t matter. Lowe wasn’t likely to pitch a shutout anyway, and with Roy Halladay dealing like he was dealing, that’s what would have been required. So I said “screw it,” poured myself a drink and enjoyed watching arguably the best pitcher in baseball carve my dudes up. It’s far more enjoyable, truth be told, to see someone like Halladay do it than to have some tomato can shut you down. Halladay only needed 93 pitches to throw the complete game for cryin’ out loud. Game was over fast enough for me to read a couple of chapters in this pretty spiffy book I just got before I moved on to the box scores. Hey, I want to win, but if you have to lose, that’s the way to do it.

Reds 8, Mets 6: Also, if your team has to lose, best that they do it on a night when their closest competitors lose too. The one got wild in the fifth with the teams combining to score 11 runs off of starters who just lost it. Jerry Manuel got ejected when a bases loaded strikeout of Scott Rolen was overruled and changed to a HBP, bringing in what was then the go-ahead run.  For what it’s worth I think it was the right call — the ball looked like it hit Rolen — but calls are overturned so rarely that you can see why Manuel got hot.  Oddest thing: this may have been a cross-league makeup call by the umpiring crew.  Same four dudes had a similar play in the Yankees-Blue Jays game on Sunday, but the umps refused to call it a HBP.  Oh, and two homers for Joey Votto. Now that he came up big against New York, maybe Colin Cowherd will finally figure out who he is.

Tigers 12, Orioles 9: I hit this one up yesterday afternoon.  Kevin Millwood might not be able to get traded for a Donruss Duke Snider Diamond Kings puzzle and a pack of those K-Mart MVP cards from the mid-80s right now.

White Sox 9, Angels 2: Two homers for Carlos Quentin, and seven strong innings from Gavin Floyd.  Whatever happened to Scott Kazmir anyway (6.1 IP, 6 H, 7 ER)?

Cubs 9, Diamondbacks 4: Tom Gorzelanny somehow survived walking six guys in five innings. If he makes a habit of that we’ll start calling him Teflon Tom (no we won’t). I think the Diamondbacks had early dinner reservations or something, because they struck out eight times in the final three and a third innings.

Rays 6, Red Sox 5: Daisuke Matsuzaka and Boston blew a 5-1 lead.  Seriously: how can anyone watch Matsuzaka pitch? The guy walked four, gave up eight hits and threw 112 pitches in five innings. It’s bad enough when he wins, but when he’s frittering a game away like that he’s an affront to all that is good and decent in the world.  Terry Francona must like it though. I mean, he had ample opportunity to yank him before the Rays actually came all the way back, but didn’t.

Giants 6, Brewers 1: Bases loaded, game tied at 1 in the seventh inning, one out. Freddy Sanchez grounder to Alcides Escobar looks to be a double play ball — but no — Escobar drops it, everyone’s safe and the floodgates open four four runs, effectively ending the game.  Hey, at least the postgame tailgating at Miller Park is fun and takes the edge off and everything, right?

Royals 6, Mariners 4: King Felix left with a 4-2 lead but the bullpen couldn’t hold on to it when he left after the seventh. Yuniesky Bentancourt hit the go-ahead single in the 10th.

Yankees 3, Athletics 1: Javy Vazquez gave up on run over seven innings. Most interesting stat of the game, however: It was just 58 degrees at first pitch. It’s one of the few times that New Yorkers trying to make it through this sweltering week will ever be envious of people who live in Oakland.

Marlins 6, Dodgers 5: John Ely gave up six runs and nine hits in less than three innings and has now lost four of his last five starts for the Dodgers. Wait, that’s a strange way to put it. It’s not like he’s had starts for other teams during that time.

Indians 9, Rangers 3: Matt LaPorta hit yet another homer for Cleveland — his fifth since his callup. That’s good. Not so good: he was smacked in the back of the head with Elvis Andrus’ elbow during a play at first base and was knocked out of the game. He was taken to the hospital for a CT scan and, according to Manny Acta, he threw up a bit after coming out of the game.  It was a bruising game all around for Cleveland, as Austin Kearns was plunked three times too.

Indians sign Brandon Guyer to a two-year extension

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Brandon Guyer #6 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates Rajai Davis #20 two-run home run during the eighth inning to tie the game 6-6 against the Chicago Cubs in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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The Cleveland Indians and outfielder Brandon Guyer avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year contract with a club option for 2019.

The Indians acquired Guyer from the Rays at last year’s trade deadline. After coming to Cleveland he posted a line of .333/.438/.469 in 38 games. He’s a .262/.349/.402 hitter over 344 games in five seasons in the bigs. He has led the league in being hit by pitches for the past two seasons, getting plunked 24 times in 2015 and 31 times in 2016. He went 6-for-18 with four walks and two HBPs in the playoffs for Cleveland. The man will work to get on base, my friends. And he can play all three outfield positions.

Nice signing.

Sarasota County to build the Braves a new spring training facility

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The Braves have trained at Walt Disney World for several years. The lease is up, however, and they’ve been on the hunt for a new facility for some time. Disney is just too geographically remote from most of the Grapefruit League facilities so they’ve looked on both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts for some time.

Their search appears to be over, however, as they have reached an agreement to move to Sarasota:

The Atlanta Braves formally plan to move the team’s spring training home to North Port in 2019, the team and Sarasota County announced Tuesday afternoon.

The announcement set the stage for final negotiations this spring on a contract to bring the Major League Baseball team to a new complex in the West Villages district just south of West Villages Parkway and U.S. 41, near the State College of Florida campus in North Port.

It’ll be a $75-$80 million complex on 70 acres. The story says it’s envisioned to anchor a “town center” commercial and residential district. If anyone has ever been to a spring training facility, however, one knows how ridiculous such an idea is. There is nothing more geographically un-centered and dispersed than a spring training facility. It’s a sea of open fields which private citizens generally cannot access and large parking lots. These facilities typically require major arteries, not quaint town streets, for reasonable access. The best any facilities do to integrate with surrounding communities can be seen in Fort Myers with the Twins and in Surprise, Arizona with the Rangers and Royals, where the facilities are part of larger community parks and recreation centers. That’s OK, and certainly better than nothing, but they’re not the anchors of the vibrant live/work/shop developments like the Braves and Sarasota are describing here.

But of course everyone involved has to say that, because selling such facilities as the engine of pie-in-the-sky development is a key part of making the large expenditure of public funds seem more palatable. And yes, there will be a big expenditure of public funds here: the Braves will be getting $56 million in taxpayer subsidies for the new place, some from the state, some from the county. The amount from the county, by the way, is calculated to fall just below the threshold required for a public vote on the expenditure. The Braves have always been blessed with the ability to avoid public votes for their corporate welfare, of course.

One wonders how many other wealthy private businesses owned by multinational corporations get tens of millions in tax dollars to build employee training centers. Not many, I’m sure. The Braves always seem to luck out in this regard, however.