And That Happened: Tuesday's Scores and Highlights

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Yankees 9, Athletics 3: I suppose it’s inevitable that the Yankees will soon start getting burned by their starters only going four or five innings, but right now it’s working. And hey: they’re all alone in first place. Why?

Blue Jays 13, Rays 5: Because the Rays got annihilated when the Jays put up a 10-spot in the sixth inning. I was going to make that “Gashouse Gorillas doing a conga line around the bases” joke I do a few times a year here, but I did it just a month ago!  And it involved the Blue Jays then too!  I’m starting to worry that I’m not as clever and original as I like to think I am.

Astros 3, Cardinals 0: Land sakes, this is getting ugly. That’s four straight in the crapper for St. Louis, seven of eight and, of course, two straight listless shutouts in a row to the Astros, who are the spoilingest spoilers this side of Spoilsburg.

Reds 8, Brewers 4: And that makes for a seven game lead for the Redlegs. Aroldis Chapman made his major league debut. And see, I told you that 105 miles per hour business was totally fraudulent. He only hit [gulp] 102. Joey Votto got “MVP!” chants. I think those Cincy fans got a point.

Marlins 1, Nationals 0:  I didn’t see any highlights from this as I was convinced by the missus that I needed to watch “True Blood.” I dunno. Ask me after I’ve seen more than the first two episodes.  Anyway, it seems that Nyjer Morgan could have scored a run for the Nats in the 10th inning, but he decided he’d rather try to plow over catcher Brett Hayes than slide like a normal human being.

Pirates 14, Cubs 7: The Pirates were cruising and then Sean Gallagher came in and allowed five quick runs. The outcome was never really in doubt, but the Pirates can’t even rest when they’re up 14-2.

Twins 4, Tigers 3: Detroit clung to a 3-2 lead into the seventh but then Phil Coke walked one dude and then plunked two more to load the bases. Ryan Perry came in and walked in a run, and then he gave up an RBI single to Delmon Young. That’s teamwork!

White Sox 4, Indians 3: Manny’s White Sox debut will wait another day. He was on deck, though, waiting to pinch hit in the ninth when A.J. Pierzynski hit a three-run homer to break the 1-1 tie. I just hope that trip to the on deck circle didn’t gas poor Manny, thus making him unavailable for this afternoon’s game.

Braves 9, Mets 2: Luis Castillo bobbled what could have been a double play ball in the fifth and after that the floodgates opened. I’m guessing there will be a lot of folks who want to kill Castillo over that, but (a) there still would have only been two outs in the inning, and the Braves scored a couple of runs before what would have been out number three; and (b) Jon Niese still had to serve up that fat pitch David Ross deposited in the seats for a grand slam.

Orioles 5, Red Sox 2: The O’s just keep rolling along. Baltimore went 17-11 in August (17-10) with Buck Showalter. This season is always going to look ugly in the standings, but there is some serious hope for 2011 being built here.

Phillies 8, Dodgers 4: Ryan Howard and Brian Schneider each had three-run homers as the Phillies find some of that long lost offense. Carlos Monasterios, the Dodgers starter, said this through his translator after the game: “I was trying to pitch my game, but they were able to read all my pitches.” Gentlemen: there’s a spy among us. Sitting in this very room!

Diamondbacks 7, Padres 4: Six straight losses for the Padres. The losses to Philly I get. These to the Dbacks I don’t.

Giants 5, Rockies 2: Andres Torres led off the eighth inning with what proved to be the winning home run. Only four back of San Diego now.

Mariners 3, Angels 1: KIng Felix allowed only three hits and no runs through seven while striking out eight. No decision, though, because he got no run support while he was in the game. That’s the story of his season.

Royals 10, Rangers 9: Ties 9-9 in the ninth, Willie Bloomquist stole third with one out and then came home with the winning run when Alexi Ogando threw a wild pitch. Wait . . . what’s that? Um, I’m sorry everyone. The guild just informed me that I am obligated to say that Ogando “uncorked” a wild pitch. If you have any questions about this please consult the rulebook you’ve all been provided. The wild pitch stuff comes right after the chapter on “ensuing kickoffs.”

Red Sox reliever Carson Smith to have Tommy John surgery

BOSTON, MA - MAY 09:  Carson Smith #39 of the Boston Red Sox looks on in the seventh inning during the game against the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park on May 9, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
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Last season Carson Smith was an effective and durable relief pitcher for the Seattle Mariners, appearing in 70 games. In the offseason the Red Sox traded for him and Roenis Elias in exchange for Jonathan Aro and Wade Miley. This year Smith has appeared in just three games. And he will appear in no more as the Red Sox just announced that he will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery today.

Smith last appeared in a game ten days ago and, until today, it was believed that his injury was minor, like the flexor strain injury he sustained in spring training. Sadly, the news was much worse.

Bill “Spaceman” Lee is running for governor of Vermont

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Bill Lee pitched for the Boston Red Sox from 1969 through 1978 and for the Montreal Expos from 1979 through 1982. He’s far better known, however, for being a weirdo, in the best sense of the term. He was outspoken and controversial and funny and aggravating and above all else his own dude.

His most famous comment as a player was when he said that he sprinkled marijuana on his pancakes in order to immunize him from Boston bus fumes as he jogged to Fenway Park. Which is patently silly, as everyone knowns you can’t just sprinkle it. You gotta make butter out of the stuff and spread it on the pancakes. Or so I’m told.

In recent years Lee has alternated gimmicky and celebrity baseball appearances with political aspirations. His political aspirations, of course, have never been conventional either. In 1987, for example, he had announced plans to run for President of the United States for the Rhinoceros Party. Which would’ve been a neat trick as it was a Canadian political party. Still, we could’ve used it here, as its platform was fairly intriguing. The Rhinoceroses advocated, among other things, repealing the law of gravity, legalizing all drugs, privatizing Tim Hortons and giving a rhinoceros for every Canadian Citizen.

That campaign didn’t work out for Lee, sadly, but he is undeterred. And now he plans to run for office again. Governor of Vermont, to be specific. And he plans to soak the rich:

Now, he’s throwing his hat into the race to be Vermont’s next governor shaking off campaign contributions and decrying wealth inequality.

“You get what you pay for, if you want change, you vote for Sanders or me. I’m Bernie-heavy, I’m not Bernie-lite. My ideas were before Bernie,” said Lee. “If you want to see money come down from the 2 percent, we’re going to need umbrellas when I’m elected, because it’s going to be raining dollars,” he said.

This is no Rhinoceros Party joke, though. He’s a member of the Liberty Union party, which is where Bernie Sanders got his start. And his platform — legalization and taxation of pot in Vermont, single-payer health care, paid family leave — are all things which have no small constituency in a liberal state like Vermont.

Oh, he has one other platform plank: bringing the Expos back to Montreal. That may be a bit tougher for the governor of Vermont to do, but we’ll probably see some form of New Expos in Montreal in the next decade or so, and Lee will be proven to be on the right side of history. And that’s better than a lot of our politicians can say, right?

The Marlins have sued at least nine season ticket holders and vendors

MIAMI, FL - MAY 04: Miami Marlins owner Jeffery Loria looks on during the game between the Miami Marlins and the Arizona Diamondbacks at Marlins Park on May 4, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images
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Earlier this month we reported that the Miami Marlins had sued a season ticket holder, Mickey Axelband, alleging that he reneged on the second year of a two-year season ticket agreement. Axelband, who had been a season ticket holder with the Marlins since their inaugural season in 1993, claimed that the Marlins reneged first, eliminating amenities which they promised upon the move to Marlins Park and failing to deliver on others.

In that post we observed that it is uncommon for teams to sue ticket holders. It’s bad form to begin with as season ticket holders are a club’s most valuable and dedicated customers. But it’s also dumb in that there are virtually limitless options available to a club to resolve disputes with ticket holders short of litigation. Why would the Marlins sue in this situation? Maybe there was more to it than we knew? Maybe this was just an extreme outlier of a case?

Nope. The Miami New Times reports today that this seems to be pretty par for the course for Jeff Loria’s Marlins. The Marlins, in fact, have sued at least nine season ticketholders and luxury suite owners since 2013. They are also locked in litigation with two stadium vendors. The concessioners claim that the Marlins induced them to pay big rights fees in order to set up business inside Marlins Park by promising big, big crowds, only to fail to deliver on those promises and to see the vendors go out of business or be unable or unwilling to pay what the Marlins demanded.

The story goes deep on Axelband’s dispute with Miami and that of a pizza vendor. Overall it paints a portrait of a Marlins club which doesn’t seem to give a crap about fans or its business partners, only the bottom line. Unless, of course, it’s trying to pose as a civic institution so it can get tax dollars to pay for its big stadium and rights fees from potential vendors. Now that they have the stadium, however, and now that the ink is dry on those deals, they’re portraying themselves like any other company, entitled to enforce their business deals in any way necessary.

And, legally speaking, they are. But they’re certainly approaching things differently than most ball clubs do. And in a way that puts lie to the notion that sports teams should be given any extra leeway when it comes to giving them all of the things they ask for.

Clint Barmes retires

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 29:  Shortstop Clint Barmes #12 of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws to first to complete a double play to end the seventh inning after forcing out Chone Figgins #18 of the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 29, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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Veteran infielder Clint Barmes has announced his retirement.

Barmes was playing for Triple-A Omaha in the Royals system and he simply came to the decision to hang it up during a recent game when he was replaced late in the game to make way for a younger player. He tells Jessica Kleinschmidt of FanDuel that it was a cold night, he was stiffening up and, in a rather matter-of-fact tone, says he just decided that he had played enough.

Barmes, 37, played eight years with the Rockies, three with the Pirates and one each with San Diego and Houston. He was one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball for several years but one 23-homer season in 2009 notwithstanding, he never really hit and once the range started to go so too did his justification for being on a big league roster. Last season he hit just .232 with a .633 OPS in 98 games for the Padres. He hadn’t topped a .700 OPS since 2009. His hope to snag a utility infielder role on the Royals this spring didn’t pan out but the club signed him to a minor league deal after releasing him and it’s not crazy to think that he would’ve gotten a chance to play in Kansas City at some point this season.

Still, he sounds pretty fulfilled and content with his decision to hang ’em up. And, unlike a lot of guys, he got the chance to make the decision himself rather than have someone else make it for him.