And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights

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Rays 4, Yankees 3: Dan Johnson hit two homers off Phil Hughes. But really, the fun story here was Derek Jeter acting his way onto first base with a phantom HBP in the seventh. He grimaced and called the trainer out and everything, even though replays clearly showed that the ball hit the end of his bat (which Jeter admitted after the game). Joe Maddon got ejected arguing the HBP call, even though he was right. I wonder if Jeter will send him flowers or something?  Anyway, I’ll have more on this later this morning, because (a) it was kind of a fun play when you think about it; and (b) it has me thinking about some larger issues about the media and Jeter and stuff.

Phillies 10, Marlins 5: Look! A contending NL East team winning the games it’s supposed to win. How novel. Halladay gets his 19th win. The point will get muddled because in this case the NL wins leader also happens to be the best overall pitcher, but he’s not doing anything to hurt his Cy Young chances. He probably has three more starts left, two against Atlanta — whom he owns — and one against the Mets. Dude could have 22 wins by the time it’s over.

Nationals 4, Braves 2. Blah. Didn’t you hear me? I said Blah!

Rockies 9, Padres 6: Troy Tulowitzki (2 HR, 7 RBI) cannot be bargained with. He cannot be reasoned with. He cannot feel remorse, or pity or fear. And he will not stop until you are dead. But if Tulowitzki is the Arnold version of the Terminator, let’s be sure to note that Adrian Gonzalez was the liquid metal version from T2 (i.e. almost as good, but not victorious): 2 HR and 5 RBI for him. Shame that they both got lowered into that molten lava at the end of the game.

Giants 2, Dodgers 1: The Giants have allowed four runs in their past five games. Sure, two of those games were losses because they themselves were shut out, but that’s life in the NL West. Bruce Bochy: “It’s good for these guys because you can’t lose your concentration or focus out there when you’re in games like this.” Yeah, winning one 7-2 or something wouldn’t be nearly as good.

Cubs 7, Cardinals 3: The Cubs sweep the Cards in St. Louis for the first time 22 years.

Reds 7, Diamondbacks 5: The Reds’ magic number is now 10. A great catch by Jay Bruce won this one. My guess is that he won’t get the gold glove because it’s a reputation thing and it takes a couple of years for a guy’s defense to capture the zeitgeist of the voters, but people I know who watch the Reds everyday think Bruce is deserving of the honor (as did Thom Brennaman announcing the Bruce highlight, but hey, Thom Brennaman).

Twins 9, White Sox 3: Another day, another 9-3 loss for the White Sox. Theirs is one of only six games tonight. If it’s a Sox loss, look for the ugliness and finger pointing to begin in Chicago first thing tomorrow morning.

Mets 8, Pirates 7: Pittsburgh jumped out to a 5-0 lead but lost it damn quickly, as the Mets put up a seven spot in the fourth thanks in large part to the Pirates crappy defense. If the Pirates were a computer game, I would have set the computer to “auto manage” about a month ago, set the schedule in motion and gone off to get a sandwich. When I got back, it would all be over and I could start over.

Rangers 11, Tigers 7: The Rangers are the first team to get their magic number under 10.

Angels 7, Indians 0: Jered Weaver one-hits the Tribe over seven innings with 7Ks and no walks.

Brewers 8, Astros 6: The Brewers blew a 5-0 lead, but tied it up in the ninth and then took the game on a Mat Gamel ground rule double in the tenth and tacked on an insurance run for good measure. “I just feel good that the guys played all the way to the end,” Ken Macha said after the game. That’s what I’d say too if I was pretty certain that a meeting was going to take place soon in which my termination would be discussed. Every manager in Macha’s position — flawed but talented team that didn’t overcome any of its weaknesses — has to hang his hat on the “we never quit” card.

Orioles 3, Blue Jays 1: Orioles get the sweep. Jose Bautista hits his 47th, tying George Bell for the franchise record. To truly match Bell’s 1987 feat, however, Bautista will have to somehow manage to steal the MVP from someone more deserving. Ahem.

Red Sox 5, Mariners 1: The Sox sweep the M’s and are now six games back of the Yankees in the wild card race. I know it’s close to impossible — the Yankees could play .500 ball and the Sox would have to go 14-2 just to tie — but catching New York and snagging the wild card would be a bigger coup than the 2004 ALCS, wouldn’t it?

Royals 6, Athletics 3: Bruce Chen won his 10th and Wilson Betemit hit a grand slam to add to his fantastic season at the plate. “What are, ‘things Braves fans figured would happen circa 2002?'”  Correct! Pick again! “OK, I’ll take ‘Potent Potables for $500, Alex.”

Tim Lincecum to hold long-awaited showcase on Friday

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 16:  Tim Lincecum #55 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the game at AT&T Park on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Brad Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images
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At long last, the Tim Lincecum showcase has an official date: this Friday, May 6 in Scottsdale, according to CSN Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic (citing a report from MLB Network’s Jon Heyman). Lincecum, still a free agent, has been allowed to throw at the Giants’ facility in Arizona.

Lincecum, 31, has reportedly still drawn the interest in at least half the league. San Francisco remains Lincecum’s preferred landing spot, however, per Pavlovic.

The right-hander showed better results in 15 starts last season after three consecutive tough campaigns. He finished the 2015 season with a 4.13 ERA and a 60/38 K/BB ratio in 76 1/3 innings. Given how starting pitching is always in demand, Lincecum should walk away with a handful of offers.

Video: J.J. Hardy collects carom off Manny Machado’s glove, converts the out

A ball hit by Chicago White Sox' Todd Frazier gets by Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, May 1, 2016, in Baltimore. Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy, not seen, was able to get the ball and throw it to first to get out Frazier on the play. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
AP Photo/Nick Wass
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Some great defensive plays leave you saying, “Wow!” This one will leave you saying that, and, “How the heck did that happen?”

In the top of the fourth inning at Camden Yards, White Sox slugger Todd Frazier lined a Ubaldo Jimenez offering right at third baseman Manny Machado. The ball skipped and caromed off of Machado’s glove, creating what seemed to be an easy single for Frazier. Shortstop J.J. Hardy, however, was ranging to his right and used his cat-like reflexes to snag the redirected ball. He planted and threw a one-hopper to Chris Davis at first base to convert the out.

The replay at about 21 seconds really does the play justice. Outstanding stuff by Hardy. The Orioles, however, wound up losing 7-1 to the White Sox.

Clayton Kershaw K’s 14 in three-hit shutout, provides Dodgers’ only run

National League pitcher Clayton Kershaw, of the Los Angeles Dodgers, throws during the second inning of the MLB All-Star baseball game, Tuesday, July 15, 2014, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
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You could say Clayton Kershaw had a pretty good day. The Dodgers’ lefty limited the Padres to three hits over nine scoreless innings, striking out 14 while walking none. The Dodgers won 1-0, and Kershaw provided that lone run with a single up the middle in the third inning off of Drew Pomeranz.

Kershaw amassed a game score of 95 with the effort — the third game of his career with a game score of 95 or better. The others: a 97 game score against the Giants on September 29 last year, and 102 against the Rockies on June 18, 2014.

Kershaw improves to 3-1 on the year with a 1.96 ERA and a 54/3 K/BB ratio in 46 innings. He’s had double-digit strikeouts in each of his last four starts and he’s yet to go fewer than seven innings in all six starts this season.

Wanna work as a baseball broadcaster for free?

Two drake Mallard ducks fly over Lake Erie near the Cleveland shoreline, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, in Cleveland. Warming temperatures have brought a variety of waterfowl to the area as they stage for the northern migration. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
AP Photo/Mark Duncan
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(Hat tip to @ItsTonyNow on Twitter for pointing this story out.)

The Madison Mallards are a collegiate summer baseball team in Wisconsin. College players join the league to have an opportunity to showcase their talents for scouts. Though they’re not exactly the New York Yankees, the Mallards do relatively well for themselves. In 2013, they had the highest average attendance among amateur teams, per The Capital Times.

That makes one of their latest job postings seem rather curious. The Mallards are looking for someone to handle both play-by-play broadcasting duties as well as media relations, as seen in this post. Only one problem: the position is unpaid. Here’s the full description (emphasis mine):

The Madison Mallards are looking for an enthusiastic and ambitious individual to join the front office as the Radio Broadcaster.

This position will manage all day-to-day media relations duties and act as the traveling secretary on all road trips. This is a seasonal position, beginning in May 2016 and ending in mid-August. This position is unpaid. The candidate will serve as the full-time radio broadcaster, traveling with the team during the season.

Duties and responsibilities include but are not limited to:
* Write press releases promoting team initiatives including post-game recaps for the team website.
* Coordinate all aspects of team travel including notifying restaurants, hotels, and other teams, getting team orders, room assignments, etc.
* Broadcast all 72 Northwoods League games on 1670 The Zone including pre- and post-game shows, during the regular season (and playoffs if necessary).
* Ability to work long hours, including weekends, as business indicates.
* Strong written and verbal communication skills
* Produce radio commercials for the Mallards and business partners
* Work closely with GM and Corporate Service team to include all sponsor and promotional live reads each gameUpdate the Mallards website daily
* Other duties as assigned by GM

The habit of baseball teams looking for free labor isn’t exactly new. The U.S. Department of Labor investigated the Giants and Marlins in 2013 for possible wage law violations. That included the Giants being investigated for “possible improper use of unpaid interns.” The Giants ended up paying $544,715 in back wages. In a memo that year issued by Rob Manfred, he cited the Department of Labor believing that MLB’s habit of taking advantage of unpaid interns was “endemic to our industry.”

According to U.S. law, a for-profit company can hire an unpaid intern by meeting each of six criteria, according to FindLaw:

  • The internship is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment
  • The experience is for the benefit of the intern
  • The intern does not displace regular employees but works under close supervision of existing staff
  • The employer providing the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded
  • There is no guarantee of a job at the conclusion of the internship
  • Both parties understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the internship

It would seem that the third and fourth criteria wouldn’t be met.

The Mallards are almost certainly looking for a college student — not a well-credentialed media veteran — looking to add to his or her resume. They are also very clearly looking to take advantage of that student given the plethora of job responsibilities with no pay. Current college students are part of the millennial generation which has increasingly been taken advantage of through unpaid internships. Steven Greenhouse wrote for the New York Times in 2012:

No one keeps statistics on the number of college graduates taking unpaid internships, but there is widespread agreement that the number has significantly increased, not least because the jobless rate for college graduates age 24 and under has risen to 9.4 percent, the highest level since the government began keeping records in 1985. (Employment experts estimate that undergraduates work in more than one million internships a year, with Intern Bridge, a research firm, finding almost half unpaid.)

In a capitalist society, businesses are always going to search for the cheapest source of labor. Considering how bad the economy is and has been for millennials, they’ve had a pretty good time finding it. It’s hard to fault college students jumping at the opportunity to work in an industry they like in the hopes of one day landing a dream job. But as much as those businesses might loathe admitting it, that labor is worth something whether it’s for an amateur baseball team or a major league team.