TMZ Sports seems to be dying

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Darren Rovell passes along word that the efforts of TMZ to expand its salacious paparazzi empire into the world of sports have “fizzled.”  The problem: there aren’t enough athletes acting like jackasses in public.  And people acting like jackasses in public is basically the whole TMZ business model.

And that’s the real dirty underbelly of sports: athletes, for the most part, are kind of boring.  Sure, there are a couple of outliers, but those guys don’t remain athletes long due to the fact that being drunk and acting ridiculous in public generally ends sports careers quickly, thereby rendering TMZ’s would-be targets irrelevant to their enterprise the moment they become subjects of it.  I mean, beyond Miguel Cabrera, who gets third chances in the world of sports?

Now, if someone could make a media empire that focuses on getting paparazzi video of athletes exercising, getting a good night’s sleep, messing with their cell phones, playing golf, hunting and living in bland, gated planned suburban communities they’d really be on to something. Because that’s what the vast majority of them do.

Astros’ bullpen throws combined one-hitter for MLB-best 30th win

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The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.

Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.

The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.

After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.

Brandon Phillips hit his 200th career home run

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Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.

Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.