And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights

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Rays 1, Yankees 0: Zeros through ten innings, eight a piece for CC Sabathia and David Price. Then the bullpens took over. Joe Girardi had everyone scratching their heads with his choice of relievers for the ninth and extras: Kerry Wood, Boone Logan, Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre. Girardi said after the game that Joba needed more rest, which is strange, given that he hasn’t pitched since Friday. Same with Robertson, though that’s a bit more understandable given that he threw 36 pitches on Saturday and he usually gets a couple of days off after games like that. Rivera? Being held out in case a save situation arose. Whatever, Joe, it’s not like this was a series that’ll decide the division or anything . . . Still, Wood, Logan and Gaudin got it done, more or less. Mitre was a palooka too far, though, and he gave up the walkoff homer to Reid Brignac.

Mets 1, Pirates 0: This one was 0-0 through nine as well. Then Joe Girardi telepathically willed John Russell to put in Chan Ho Park for the tenth, allowing Tejada to double and Evans to single him home. Dillion Gee went six and three relievers combined for the other four shutout innings for the Mets.

Padres 6, Rockies 4: A big win for San Diego keeps the Rockies at bay and pushes the Padres ahead of the Giants by a half game. Miguel Tejada drove in four. It’s the first time the Padres have scored five runs or more in weeks. Colorado’s winning streak ends at ten.

Phillies 11, Marlins 4: Four RBI for Chooch Ruiz and homers from Werth, Utley and Dobbs (one of these things/is not like the others/one of these things/just isn’t the same).

Braves 4, Nationals 0: My reverse-jinx/whatever from HBT Daily continues, as yesterday I said Derek Lowe wasn’t very good and last night he threw eight shutout innings with 12 strikeouts. I also said that Jair Jurrjens was running out of gas, so I fully expect him to throw 13 shutout innings tonight.

Athletics 3, Royals 1: Bobby Cramer made his MLB debut and got the win,
allowing one run on four hits in five and a third. According to the game
story, Cramer was out of baseball in 2005-06 and during that time was a
substitute high school teacher and worked on oil pipelines. Then
he played in the independent leagues and then on to the Mexican League. I
haven’t seen a picture of the guy yet, but are we sure Cramer isn’t
really Kenny Powers?

Astros 4, Brewers 2: Houston is 29-16 since trading Roy Oswalt away, which is not exactly what I would have expected. Going all-in with Brett Myers is definitely paying off as he has yet another damn fine start (7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 10K). Prince Fielder sat this one out with flu-like symptoms. It’s the first action he’s missed in 327 games.

Reds 7, Diamondbacks 2: Two bombs for Jay Bruce in his first game back in two weeks. With this win the Reds (a) clinch a winning season; and (b) eliminate the Cubs from the playoff hunt. It’s a math thing. I know the Cubs didn’t think they were hunting anymore.

Cubs 5, Cardinals 1: The Cards have been thinking they were hunting, but they’re pretty much out of ammo at this point. How they got blanked by Jeff Samardzija is a friggin’ mystery.

Orioles 4, Blue Jays 3: Another extra innings affair, this one with some actual runs scored in regulation. Luke Scott hits the walkoff RBI single. The Orioles bat the Jays for the first time in 13 tries this season. All of those were back in the Trembley/Samuel dark ages, though.

Red Sox 5, Mariners 1: Jon Lester was tough: he struck out 12 Mariners and surrendered only three hits over eight innings. The start put him over 200 Ks for the year for the second straight year.

Report: The Yankee Stadium charity is a secretive, self-dealing boondoggle

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The New York Times has a blistering report on the New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund. The Fund is the charity the Yankees created in 2006 as a means of making up for the negative impact the construction New Yankee Stadium had on the surrounding community, primarily via its taking over 25 acres of parkland.

The idea of the Fund was a good one: to distribute $40 million in cash grants and sports equipment, and 600,000 free baseball tickets to community organizations in the Bronx over four decades. And it has been distributing funds and tickets. As the Times reports, however, the manner in which it has done so raises some red flags. Such as:

  • Charitable donations have, in an amazing coincidence, often gone to other charities which share common board members with the New Yankee Stadium Fund;
  • Funds have gone to many wealthy groups in affluent parts of the Bronx far away from the Stadium while the area around the stadium remains one of the most impoverished in the nation. For example, a private school in a wealthy part of the borough and a rec center in a gated community have gotten a lot money that, one would think anyway, could be and should be devoted to organizations closer to the ballpark that are in greater need; and
  • There has been almost no transparency or oversight of the Fund. Reports which were supposed to have been submitted have not been. And no one, apart from the Times anyway, seems to care. The Yankees certainly don’t seem to. Indeed, as the article notes, the team has worked hard to keep the Fund’s operations out of its hands. They just got their new ballpark and write the checks and hand out the tickets. Everything else is someone else’s problem.

Cronyism in private philanthropy is not uncommon. As is a lack of oversight. Often it’s the best connected people who receive the benefit of such funds, not the people most in need. This is especially true in charities whose creation was not born of a philanthropic impulse as much as it was born of a need to put a good face on some not-so-good business dealings.

If the Times’ report is correct — and the lack of anyone coming forward to dispute it on the record despite the Times’ requests that they do suggests it is — it appears as if the New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund is one of those sorts of charities.

Who is the fastest sprinter in baseball?

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We’re not talking the 100 meters here. We’re talking practical baseball sprinting. That’s defined by the StatCast folks at MLB as “feet per second in a player’s fastest one-second window,” while sprinting for the purposes of, you know, winning a baseball game.

StatCast ranked all players who have at least 10 “max effort” runs this year. I won’t give away who is at the top of this list, but given that baseball’s speedsters tend to get a lot of press you will not be at all surprised. As for the bottom of the list, well, the Angels don’t pay Albert Pujols to run even when he’s not suffering from late career chronic foot problems, so they’ll probably let that one go. I will say, however, that I am amused that the third slowest dude in baseball is named “Jett,” however.

Lately people have noticed some odd things about home run distances on StatCast, suggesting that maybe their metrics are wacko. And, of course, their means of gauging this stuff is proprietary and opaque, so we have no way of knowing if their numbers are off the reservation or not. As such, take all of the StatCast stuff you see with a grain of salt.

That said, even if the feet-per-second stuff is wrong here, knowing that Smith is faster than Jones by a factor of X is still interesting.