And That Happened: Tuesday's Scores and Highlights


Giants 7, Dodgers 5: So the pitching matchup I was so looking forward to kind of fizzled out, but that didn’t keep this one from being interesting.  Clayton Kershaw hit Andres Torres in the first. Then Tim Lincecum smacked Matt Kemp and Denny Bautista threw some inside heat to Russell Martin. Kershaw then did the expected thing and hit Aaron Rowand. The upshot of all of that was Joe Torre, bench coach Bob Schaefer and Kershaw were all ejected.

Don Mattingly took over as the Dodgers’ manager and — just like he did the last time he had the reins — he screwed up. This time he accidentally turned one mound visit in the ninth into two when he turned around on his way back to the dugout, thereby losing Jonathan Broxton. George Sherrill had to come in — cold, because he wasn’t warming up — and he promptly gave up a two-run double to Torres, which ended up giving the Giants the game. Look, I love Mattingly, but is this really the guy everyone considers to be Torre’s heir apparent?

Rockies 10, Marlins 0: I was reading some Nate Robertson/trade deadline speculation yesterday afternoon. This ain’t gonna help it. The Rockies crush the rec-spectacled one, led by Melvin Mora’s five RBI. Melvin Mora had a big game? Quick! Someone call President Bush! It’s 2003 and we can still avoid blundering into the quagmire that is the Iraq war!

Rangers 8, Tigers 0: All Tommy Hunter does is win ballgames. That’s seven straight in the toilet for the Tigers. Armando Galarraga and Casey Fien combine to give up seven runs right after being called up from Toledo. All I can figure is that they both stopped in at some bar in Monroe on the way back up to the ballpark and weren’t 100% at go time.

Braves 4, Padres 1: The Padres threatened in the first inning, but a potential run was killed when David Eckstein was thrown out at the plate by Melky Cabrera to end the inning. You can’t win, Melky. If you strike Eckstein down, he shall become more
powerful than you could possibly imagine
. Braves now have the best record in the NL.

Angels 10, Yankees 2: As I write this particular entry it’s about 10:45 P.M. Eastern time last night, so I haven’t yet had the benefit of reading the New York tabloids yet, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess the day’s meme: Phil Hughes has now pitched 100 innings! His arm is going to fall off! Pettitte’s hurt! Burnett is a basket case! The Yankees must trade all warm bodies for Roy Oswalt, Ted Lilly and the corpse of Red Ruffing! Maybe that’s not it, but you know there will be a meme. See, the Yankees are expected to go 162-0, and if they lose, writers must search for the root cause. Every. Single. Time.

Cardinals 7, Phillies 1: Jamie Moyer had to leave after one inning due to an elbow strain. Overheard in the clubhouse after the game: Moyer arguing with the training staff about whether to treat the strain with some Lister’s Carbolic Unguent, a Balasam Specific or Smeckler’s Powder. And I’m not going to say that Phillies fans are starting to lose faith or anything, but last night one of the biggest Phillies partisans I know tweeted “I just took a dump. I named it Baez.”

Pirates 11, Brewers 9: It was 9-0 Pirates at the end of the first inning, but the Brewers had gotten within one run by the 6th. That and $8 gets you a domestic beer in a plastic cup, however, and the Brew Crew weren’t able to complete the comeback. Oh, and no one is paying attention because it’s the Pirates and everything, but Pedro Alvarez is having a hell of a July. Last night adds to it: 2 for 4, 2 HR, 5 RBI and a walk.

Indians 4, Twins 3: Travis Hafner doubles in Carlos Santana in the seventh to but the Tribe over the top. In case you haven’t noticed, and judging by the attendance you haven’t,
the Indians have managed to win a few here and there, and are
threatening to climb out of the cellar.

Blue Jays 13, Royals 1: Royals’ starter Anthony Larew left the game early when he was drilled by a comebacker. Just kind of set the tone for the beating the Royals took.

Cubs 14, Astros 7: Anyone else notice that Aramis Ramirez has basically been Ted Williams in July? Three for seven, three homers and seven RBI last night to add onto what has already been a stellar month.

Diamondbacks 3, Mets 2: Like I’ve always said: when Barry Enright takes
the hill, you probably should just pack it in and save your energy to
fight another day. OK, that’s not totally fair — Enright has been good
this year — but the Mets only getting one run off him in eight innings
doesn’t exactly bathe them in glory. Their best shot to break through in
this one came in the first when they had the bases loaded and only one
out, but both Ike Davis and Jason Bay whiffed and the threat was over. 1
for 6 with runners in scoring position overall last night. Just some
bad baseball from New York lately.

White Sox 4, Mariners 0: John Danks shuts down the punchless Mariners over seven and two-thirds and Chicago beats Seattle in a cool 2:11. One of the only really crisp games in all of baseball last night.

Athletics 5, Red Sox 4: Neither Tim Wakefield nor Dallas Braden were particularly sharp, but the bullpens kept things scoreless between the fourth and the ninth. Kevin Kouzmanoff won it with a walkoff single in the bottom of the tenth. His sac fly in the third had tied the game as well. I want to say that he did the tie-it-up, win-it thing a few weeks ago too, but I’m too lazy to look.

Reds 8, Nationals 7: The game itself lasted two hours and forty-eight
minutes. The rain delay in the middle was two hours, thirty-two minutes.
You had to be a brave and hearty soul to stay for that one. Mike Leake
got the win despite the Reds’ pen giving up six runs as soon as the
delay was over. He’s 7-1 now.

Orioles 11, Rays 10: Seven homers, 13 innings and four hours, thirty-eight minutes of baseball. I guess that’s some people’s idea of a good time. Carl Crawford left the game in the first inning and went to the hospital after getting hit in the groin on a pickoff throw from Jake Arrieta. The game was so long that Crawford came back to the ballpark before it was over and gave this choice quote regarding the throw: “You couldn’t hit it in a better spot.”  Really, Carl? I can think of a hundred places that would be preferable.

The international draft is all about MLB making money and the union selling out non-members

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - MARCH 13:  A fan flies the Dominican Republic flag during the game against Cuba during Round 2 of the World Baseball Classic on March 13, 2006 at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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On Monday we passed along a report that Major League Baseball and the MLBPA are negotiating over an international draft. That report — from ESPN’s Buster Olney — cited competitive balance and the well-being of international free agents as the reasons why they’re pushing for the draft.

We have long doubted those stated motivations and said so again in our post on Monday. But we’re just armchair skeptics when it comes to this. Ben Badler of Baseball America is an expert. Perhaps the foremost expert on international baseball, international signings and the like. Today he writes about a would-be international draft and he tears MLB, the MLBPA and their surrogates in the media to shreds with respect to their talking points.

Of course Badler is a nice guy so “tearing to shreds” is probably putting it too harshly. Maybe it’s better to say that he systematically dismantles the stated rationale for the international draft and makes plan what’s really going on: MLB is looking to save money and the players are looking to sell out non-union members to further their own bargaining position:

Major League Baseball has long wanted an international draft. The driving force behind implementing an international draft is for owners to control their labor costs by paying less money to international amateur players, allowing owners to keep more of that money . . . the players’ association doesn’t care about international amateur players as anything more than a bargaining chip. It’s nothing discriminatory against foreign players, it’s just that the union looks out for players on 40-man rosters. So international players, draft picks in the United States and minor leaguers who make less than $10,000 in annual salary get their rights sold out by the union, which in exchange can negotiate items like a higher major league minimum salary, adjustments to the Super 2 rules or modifying draft pick compensation attached to free agent signings.

Badler then walks through the process of how players are discovered, scouted and signed in Latin America and explains, quite convincingly, how MLB’s international draft and, indeed, its fundamental approach to amateurs in Latin America is lacking.

Read this. Then, every time a U.S.-based writer with MLB sources talks about the international draft, ask whether they know something Ben Badler doesn’t or, alternatively, whether they’re carrying water for either the league or the union.

President Bill Murray speaks about the Cubs from the White House

CHICAGO - APRIL 12:  Celebrity Bill Murray clowns around with Chicago media before the opening day game between the Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 12, 2004 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Pirates defeated the Cubs 13-2.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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I don’t know why Bill Murray is in Washington today. I don’t know why he’s at the White House. But I do know that he was there in Chicago Cubs gear, standing at the lectern in the press briefing room, voicing his full confidence in the Cubs prevailing in the NLCS, despite the fact that Clayton Kershaw is going for the Dodgers tomorrow night.

“Too many sticks,” president Murray said of the Cubs lineup. And something about better trees in Illinois.

Four. More. Years.