And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights


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.”

Veteran’s Committee candidates for the Hall of Fame announced

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The Baseball Hall of Fame has announced the candidates for Veterans Committee consideration for the 2016 Hall induction class. The VC sorts its ballot by era, with each year’s candidates representing a different part of baseball history. Up for consideration: Pre-Integration Era candidates.

Here are the candidates, with short bios paraphrased from the Hall of Fame’s actual press release because, really, who alive who is not a baseball historian is super-familiar with many of these guys?

Doc Adams: a member of the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club in 1845 who helped standardize the game’s tools and contributed to the establishment of the shortstop position. May actually be the inventor of “grit.” I mean, I don’t know this for sure, but he is a white shortstop, so . . .

Sam Breadon: Owned the Cardinals from 1920 until 1947. Hired Branch Rickey and helped create the blueprint for the modern farm system with minor league clubs owned or controlled by the parent club. Which, to be fair, wasn’t necessarily the best deal for a lot of folks, even if it was a good deal for baseball owners.

Bill Dahlen: Shortstop from 1891-1911 for the Cubs, Dodgers, Giants and Braves. He was a power hitter for his era. Not that his era was known for power. When he retired he was the All-Time Home Run King. With . . . 84.

Wes Ferrell: Pitched for 15 seasons from 1927-1941, compiling a 193-128 record for a lot of teams, though doing his best work for Boston. A six-time 20-game winner, including winning 25 games twice. As far as wins/ERA politics go, he was Jack Morris before Jack Morris and was probably a good bit better than Jack Morris.

Garry Herrmann: President of the Cincinnati Reds from 1902 to 1927 and chairman of baseball’s ruling National Commission from 1903 to 1920. Gets credit for helping bring the AL and NL together and starting the World Series. Demerits for running a conflict-of-interest-riddled National Commission which was disbanded in favor of the Commissioner system following the Black Sox Scandal, maybe?

Marty Marion: Thirteen seasons in the majors, 1940-50, 1952-53, batting .263 with 36 home runs and 624 RBI at shortstop. Mostly with the Cardinals. Was named the 1944 N.L. MVP Award winner, twice also finishing in the top 10. Considered one of the best fielding shortstops of his era. His prime almost perfectly coincided with the war years, which may have taken the shine off of some of his offensive numbers during that stretch, but he was considered a top shortstop, at least with the glove, for a long time after the war too.

Frank McCormick: Eight-time All-Star and the 1940 National League Most Valuable Player with the Reds. A first baseman, his comps are Sean Casey-types.

Harry Stovey: An outfielder in the National League and the American Association in the 1880s and 1890s, leading his league in home runs five times and runs scored four times. His pic at the Hall of Fame site is of a wood engraving. Baseball is old, you guys.

Chris von der Ahe: Owned the original St. Louis Browns franchise – now the Cardinals – from 1881 through 1899 “and demonstrated his visionary qualities with entertainment options at games.” No word on whether he invented The Cardinal Way.

Bucky Walters: Pitched 19 seasons in the major leagues, from 1934-1950, compiling a 198-160 lifetime record. Mostly with the Reds. Won 27 games once. Was the MVP as a pitcher in 1939, which is pretty sweet.

As the Hall notes, Dahlen, Ferrell, Marion, McCormick, Stovey and Walters are included for their contributions as players, the other four are inclusions for their off-field careers.

The Pre-Integration Era ballot is determined this fall by the Historical Overview Committee of the Hall of Fame, which is comprised of several historians and journalists. They are: Dave Van Dyck (Chicago Tribune); Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun); Jim Henneman (formerlyBaltimore Sun); Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch); Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau); Bill Madden (formerly New York Daily News); Jack O’Connell (BBWAA secretary/treasurer); Jim Reeves (formerly Fort Worth Star-Telegram); Tracy Ringolsby (; Glenn Schwarz (formerly San Francisco Chronicle); and Mark Whicker (Los Angeles News Group).

The results of the voting will be announced at the Winter Meetings in early December.

Starts times of postseason games announced


Every year the playoff schedule is announced, every year people complain. And it’s understandable why they do. After six months of games starting at around 7pm — bam! — the playoffs come and you’re either staying up late or tuning in early to watch your local nine.

Of course, the reason for this is that Major League Baseball has two fundamental problems to deal with when the playoffs come around (a) the country is big; and (b) baseball is local and two-thirds and more of the fans don’t have a local team to root for in the playoffs. As such, baseball has to make a schedule that somehow deals with teams — like the Mets and Dodgers — who have big time differences between their home fan bases while trying to rope in as many national viewers as possible.

This means compromises and weirdness like, say, the first couple of Mets-Dodgers games starting after 9pm Eastern time on Friday and Saturday. Or the Texas Rangers starting a game at what, back home in Texas, will be 11:45AM. Which, admittedly, aren’t great start times, but do we expect Dodgers fans in L.A. to fight Friday rush hour traffic and be home in time to watch a game featuring the local team any earlier than 6pm? Seems like a tall order.

Anyway, the early round schedule was just released and you can see it below. If you are so inclined you can find all manner of inconveniences here. Sure, if you don’t have a job — or if being online and watching baseball all day is your job — Friday’s back-to-back-to-back-to-back playoff games are pretty sweet. But otherwise, just plan accordingly and do the best you can.

And remember: no one gives a rip about these schedule issues about ten minutes after the games start:

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