And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights


Rockies 6, Mets 2: Two outs, runners on second and third, a base open
and Troy Tulowitzski at the plate. I hate intentional walks, but I
understand that a lot of managers would walk Tulowtizki in that spot.
Especially to bring up Melvin Mora. Boy did that ever bite Jerry Manuel
in the ass! Grand slam for Mora, game basically over.

Padres 8, Pirates 5:
Sometimes I wonder if, on a road trip, Pirates players ever consider
walking away from the team hotel and defecting like they were Soviet
ballet dancers or something. I’m pretty sure there’s a U.N. resolution
somewhere that covers the dire situation in which they find themselves
and would counsel that the home team provide them asylum.

Diamondbacks 8, Brewers 2:
Adam LaRoche, Miguel Montero, Mark Reynolds and Stephen Drew went back
to back to back to back in the fourth inning.  All four came off Dave
Bush, by the way, who apparently is unaware of certain settled concepts.

Phillies 2, Dodgers 0: Matt Kemp was on the bench again because, according to Joe
Torre, he wanted to run out the lineup that had scored 15 runs the night
before. Maybe he would have been better off somehow finding a way to bench Roy Oswalt, because I think the opposing pitcher had a lot more to do with it.

Yankees 7, Rangers 6:
The Yankees got to Cliff Lee enough to keep it close, but then they
really got to Frank Francisco and Neftali Feliz to secure a comeback win
after being down 6-1. Good to see Mariano Rivera close it down a day
after a blown save. Fragile young closers like him need to get right
back on that horse after falling off, you know, lest they get all
erratic and nervous.

Marlins 9, Nationals 5:
Mike Stanton went 5 for 5 with two doubles a homer and four RBI.  OK,
now that that’s out of the way, allow me to observe that between
Washington, Miami and Atlanta, the NL East has to be the most humid
and disgusting division in baseball, weather-wise. I can’t think of any division that — in the
aggregate — plays in more oppressive, swampy heat. Baltimore gets ugly,
of course, but they’re offset by a couple of domes and northern teams in their
division. Same with Kansas City. Texas sucks, but lovely Anaheim,
Oakland and Seattle temperatures more than offset it. Philly and New
York don’t nearly outweigh the awfulness of D.C.-to-Miami weather. These are the things I think about when I’m on the 1,356th straight day of sitting in air conditioning.

Braves 8, Astros 2: My Mets and Phillies friends told me “beware of late-season Billy Wagner!” They kinda have a point. Still, the Braves gotta score more than two runs in regulation before they can really start worrying about their closer blowing one here or there. And hey, if Wagner had locked this one down then Brian McCann wouldn’t have had that grand slam, and the grand slam was great fun.

Cardinals 6, Reds 1: Hit this one up as it ended yesterday. The Reds, ironically, were the ones who ended up gettin’ told.

Athletics 5, Mariners 1: Dallas Braden turns in his second best performance of the year, going the distance and allowing a single run. Three doubles and three RBI for Mark Ellis, who hit into a triple play on Monday. This is important. This means something.

White Sox 6, Twins 1: John Danks has been pretty incredible lately. Last night: 8 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 7K. The dogfight in the AL Central continues.

Red Sox 10, Blue Jays 1: Two homers for Bill Hall and bombs from J.D. Drew and Adrian Beltre as well.

Orioles 3, Indians 1: Buck Showalter is The Doormat Whisperer. Brad Bergesen with a complete game two-hitter.  Only complaint: with thirteen hits and three walks, the O’s really should have scored more than three runs.

Angels 2, Royals 1: Bobby Abreu walks off with a bomb off Jesse Chavez who, for reasons known only to Ned Yost, was pitching in a critical situation. Great starts by both Zack Greinke and Jered Weaver, each allowing only one run on six hits in eight innings.

Tigers 3, Rays 2: Detroit salvages one as Matt Garza, sadly, does not no-hit the Tigers again.

Giants 5, Cubs 4: Pat Burrell had a couple of big hits and a nice defensive play on a relay throw from left field. At this point he should probably petition to have his time in Tampa Bay just expunged from his record, no?

Programming Note: I’m going to be gone tomorrow for what is, as far as you know, some important business. As such, there won’t be any “And That Happened.” Please try to find a way to muddle through the day . . . somehow.

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.