And That Happened: Tuesday's Scores and Highlights

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Yankees 8, Rays 7: There won’t be complaints about the bullpen management this morning. After Ivan Nova got beat up through four and two-thirds (and Boone Logan gave up a homer), Chamberlain, Wood, Robertson and Rivera held the Rays scoreless. The Rays pen was a bit more porous, allowing the Yankees to tie it in the sixth and surrendering the game-winning homer to Jorge Posada in the 10th. Oh, and Carl Crawford got thrown out at third to end the game, trying to advance on a fly out to right. Why would the Yankees want to sign that palooka this winter when they have Greg Golson?

Twins 9, White Sox 3: The White Sox have not yet been pronounced, but they see a bright white light and an almost unnatural feeling of calm is washing over them. Wait! Who’s that? Why, it’s the White Sox’ beloved dead grandma, beckoning for them to join her! Run toward the light, Chicago! Run towards the light!

Padres 7, Rockies 6: That sound you hear is Colorado blowing a great opportunity. The Padres take another from them, thanks in part to a Matt Stairs two-run homer in the eighth, and now have a three and a half game lead over the Rockies. I’m not gonna lie: I thought the Padres would crumble in this series, but they’re showing some serious fortitude.

Dodgers 1, Giants 0: The Dodgers were one-hit — really, just one hit — but scored on a Juan Uribe error in the sixth. Clayton Kershaw allowed four hits, but nothing but blanks on the scoreboard, for his first career complete game shutout. The Giants get pushed a game and a half back in the West.

Nationals 6, Braves 0: I guess that means the Braves still lead the wild card race, but it’s a fact: you are not deserving of a playoff spot if you go out and get shut the hell down by Livan freakin’ Hernandez in mid-September. You’re just not. Dude has been a nemesis since 1997, but I can’t muster any ill-will towards him. The Braves are just not good enough to see this thing out, and I and anyone who roots for them are just going to have to get cool with that.

Phillies 2, Marlins 1: The Phillies, on the other hand, are good enough. Cole Hamels struck out 13 in six and two-thirds. The Phillies, by the way, have set their rotation up so that Hamels, Halladay and Oswalt all face the Braves next week. Way things are going, they could throw Matt Beech, Danny Cox and Shane Rawley at Atlanta and they’d be just fine.

Mets 9, Pirates 1: R.A. Dickey was spectacular (CG, 5 H, 1 ER). Zach Duke got shelled, with Angel Pagan and Carlos Beltran combining to drive in six. I just started reading “Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging 70s.” I know they had their problems and everything, but the 1970s Pirates were way more interesting than this crew.

Cubs 7, Cardinals 2: Randy Wells pitched eight strong innings against a Pujolsless lineup and the Cubbies denied Adam Wainwright his 19th win. The Cardinals season is ending on about as lousy a note as it can for a contender, yet they still draw 40,000 fans a game.

Royals 11, Athletics 3: Anyone wanna tell me where Wilson Betemit’s .313/.394/.537 season came from? Because, really, this is nuts. Not a ton of plate appearances, I realize, but someone is going to pay this dude too much money based on this partial season of near-brilliance. Yeah, it’ll probably be the Royals, but still. A two-run homer and two RBI singles in this one.

Astros 3, Brewers 2: Houston has won 11 of 15. They’re 70-75. It may be a long shot, but if the Braves continue crumbling, my official rooting interest for the last two weeks of the season may have to be Houston to finish at .500.

Diamondbacks 3, Reds 1: Daniel Hudson was pretty darn awesome against the National League’s best offense (8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 8K). Bet the White Sox woulda liked having him around these past few weeks, no? I won’t even speculate about these next few years lest a bunch of south siders put their heads in ovens.

Indians 4, Angels 3: Shelley Duncan hit two home runs. This will make my daughter extremely happy when I tell her this over her pancakes later this morning. He’ll forever be her Joe Shlabotnik.

And speaking of my kids: I do almost all of my writing in my den. My den is directly below my son’s room. A couple of minutes ago, something large slammed into the floor of his room above my head. I ran up the stairs and found the boy crawling back into bed. He managed to whisper “fell . . . out” before he put his head down and started snoring again. Anyway.

Orioles 11, Blue Jays 3: Six runs in the seventh inning and six shutout innings from Jake Arrieta. The Orioles need now only go 6-11 in their final 17 to finish with fewer with 100 losses.

Rangers 11, Tigers 4: Texas was down 4-1 in the fourth and then scored ten unanswered runs. Well, they weren’t totally unanswered. They were just answered by a ton of creative profanity from Jim Leyland rather than any other runs.

Red Sox 9, Mariners 6: The Bosox trailed 5-4 before David Ortiz hit a three-run eighth inning homer off Brandon League to take the lead. Why M’s manager Daren Brown even let League — a righty — pitch to Ortiz when he had a lefty ready in the pen is a mystery. But hey, I suppose there’s value in hastening the Mariners season to as quick an end as possible at this point.

Ruben Amaro is workin’ out and gettin’ ready to coach first base

Ruben Amaro Jr.
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One of the weirder stories of the offseason was Ruben Amaro going from the Phillies front office to the Red Sox, where he’ll coach first base. That kind of transition is almost unheard of but it’s happening with old Rube.

Today Pete Abraham of the Globe has a story about how Amaro is preparing for the role. And how, while it may look weird on paper, the move actually makes a lot more sense than you might suspect given the Red Sox’ coaching staff and Amaro’s own background. It’s good stuff. Go check it out.

On a personal note, it serves as a signal to me to keep my eyes peeled for reports about Amaro from Fort Myers once camp gets started:

Amaro has been working out in recent weeks with his nephew Andrew, a Phillies prospect, to get ready for throwing batting practice and hitting fungoes.

Could we be so lucky as to get the first-ever Best Shape of His Life report for a coach? God, I hope so!

It’s pretty stupid that athletes can’t endorse beer

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner celebrates after pitching the Giants to a 8-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League wild card game in Pittsburgh Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) ORG XMIT: PAGP102
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One of the more amusing things to spin out of the Super Bowl were Peyton Manning’s little Budweiser endorsements in his postgame interviews. It was hilarious, really, to see him shoehorn in references to going and cracking a crisp cool Budweiser multiple times. It was more hilarious when a Budweiser representative tweeted that Manning was not paid to do that. Of course, Manning owns an interest in alcohol distributorships so talking about The King of Beers was in his best financial interest all the same.

After that happened people asked whether or not Manning would face discipline about this from the NFL, as players are not allowed to endorse alcoholic beverages. This seemed crazy to me. I had no idea that they were actually banned from doing so. Then I realized that, huh, I can’t for the life of me remember seeing beer commercials with active athletes, so I guess maybe it’s not so crazy. Ken Rosenthal later tweeted that Major League Baseball has a similar ban in place. No alcohol endorsements for ballplayers.

Why?

I mean, I can fully anticipate why the leagues would say athletes can’t do it. Think of the children! Role models! Messages about fitness! All that jazz. I suspect a more significant reason is that the leagues and their partners — mostly Anheuser-Busch/InBev — would prefer not to allow high-profile athletes to shill for a competitor. How bad would it look for Alex Rodriguez to do spots for Arrogant Bastard Ale when there are Budweiser signs hanging in 81% of the league’s ballparks? Actually, such ads would look WONDERFUL, but you know what I mean here.

That aside, it does strike me as crazy hypocritical that the leagues can rake in as much as they do from these companies while prohibiting players from getting in on the action. If it is kids they’re worried about, how can they deny that they endorse beer to children every bit as effectively and possibly more so than any one athlete can by virtue of putting it alongside the brands that are the NFL and MLB? Personally I don’t put much stock in a think-of-the-children argument when it comes to beer — it’s everywhere already and everyone does a good job of pushing the “drink responsibly” message — but if those are the leagues’ terms, they probably need to ask themselves how much of a distinction any one athlete and the entire league endorsing this stuff really is.

That aside, sports and beer — often sponsored by active players — have a long, long history together:

Musial

And the picture at the top of this post certainly shows us that Major League Baseball has no issues whatsoever in having its players endorse Budweiser in a practical sense.

Why can’t they get paid for doing it?

The Orioles signed Rafael Palmeiro’s son

Rafael Palmeiro
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Last summer we posted about Rafael Palmeiro coming out of retirement to play for the independent league Sugar Land Skeeters. The reason: to play a game with his boy Patrick. In that game the elder Palmeiro went 2-for-4 with an RBI, a walk, and a run scored. His son, who is now 26, went 2-for-4 with a grand slam.

Did that serve as an audition for Patrick? Possibly, as Jon Meloi of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles just signed him to a minor league deal.

As Meloi notes, it’s certainly just an organizational depth move, as Patrick is no prospect. And it’s actually likely something of a coincidence that it’s the Orioles who signed him, as Palmeiro doesn’t have any real contacts with the Orioles baseball operations people, all of whom are different folks now than back in his day.

This may not be the last of the Palmeiros, by the way. Peter Gammons tweeted this morning that Patrick’s younger brother, Preston, is a first baseman at North Carolina State who could be drafted this june. Gammons says he has a swing “remarkably similar to dad.”

Diamondbacks, A.J. Pollock avoid arbitration with two-year contract

Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock drives in two runs against the Cincinnati Reds during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
AP Photo/Gary Landers
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Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that the Diamondbacks and outfielder A.J. Pollock have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year extension. The deal is worth $10.25 million, per ESPN’s Buster Olney.

Pollock was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. The 28-year-old requested $3.9 million and was offered $3.65 million by the Diamondbacks when figures were exchanged on January 15. It wasn’t much of a gap, but the two sides were ultimately able to find common ground on a multi-year deal. Pollock will still be under team control for one more year after this new deal expires.

Pollock is coming off a breakout 2015 where he batted .315/.367/.498 with 20 home runs, 76 RBI, and 39 stolen bases over 157 games. He ranked sixth among position players with 7.4 WAR (Wins Above Replacement), according to Baseball Reference.