And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Nationals 7, Phillies 4: Heavy matchup. Both literally — Livan Hernandez vs. Joe Blanton — and figuratively as Jayson Werth faced the Phillies for the first time since he signed with the Nats. A signing that the Phillies fans who made the now-customary trek to Washington and decided to boo Werth throughout the game apparently wouldn’t have consummated if they were in Werth’s shoes because loyalty to some abstraction of what a Major League Baseball team is supposed to be is worth far more than the nearly $80 million that Werth would have sacrificed to stay in red pinstripes. Or something. Whatever the case, booing a guy who helped bring home what was only the second championship in the team’s 128 year existence and only left because it was clear that he’d be lowballed if he stayed makes no kind of freakin’ sense.  Oh, and Werth had a double and a home run. Booooo!!!!

Rays 3, Red Sox 2: And the Bosox are now 0-8 vs. non-Yankees teams and are now tied with the Rays for have the worst record in the AL.  When can we stop dropping the “it’s early, so …” before talking about the Red Sox?

Angels 2, Indians 0: Dan Haren put an end to the Indians winning streak with ath-or-i-tah, shutting them out on two one hit (sorry, I keep messin’ up today) and striking out eight. He and Jered Weaver are currently the most lethal one-two punch in baseball.

Braves 5, Marlins 0: Heyward and McCann homer and Tommy Hanson shuts the opposition down. Sort of the Platonic Ideal of a Braves game for fanboys like me.  And a lot of good defense from Alex Gonzalez and Dan Uggla, which is … like, whatever the opposite of the Platonic Ideal is. Platonic Gravy? Platonic Whatever, We’ll Take it?

Tigers 5, Rangers 4: The loss of the game is meaningless compared to the loss of Josh Hamilton, who will be out at least 6-8 weeks with a broken funny bone thanks to his head first slide into home. Well, maybe it was the slide. It’s possible that he broke his arm while throwing his third base coach under the bus when explaining how the play went down after the game.

Astros 11, Cubs 2: The James Russell: Starting Pitcher experiment did not achieve optimal results in its first cycle. Russell was tagged for five runs (four earned) on seven hits in less than two innings before making way for the pen to which he’ll likely be soon returning. After the bleeding stopped for a bit, Jeff Samardzija reminded us that he can’t really pitch and John Grabow got rocked too. For Houston, Angel Sanchez and Hunter Pence went nuts, combining to go 7 for 10 with six RBI.

Twins 4, Royals 3: Pop quiz, hot shot! You’re on the road, tied 3-3 in extra innings. After retiring the first batter in the 10th, you change pitchers. The new guy loads the bases with a walk and two singles, one of which was a freakin’ blast. You have arguably the second best closer in all of baseball in your pen, coming off an off-day. What do you do, hot shot? What do you do?!  Well, if you’re Ned Yost you leave Joakim Soria in the pen, let Robinson Tejada pitch and he gives up one more hit, losing the game. Which is not how I would have handled it, but what the hell do I know? I’m just speculatin’ on a hypothesis here.

White Sox 6, Athletics 5: Two homers and four RBI for Alexi Ramirez, including the game-winning bomb in the bottom of the 10th. This makes up for the error he made in the fifth that led to an Oakland run, I’d say.

Diamondbacks, 13, Cardinals 8: Three run homers from Justin Upton and Juan Miranda led the onslaught. Oh, and did Aaron not tell you yesterday that umpire Bob Davidson’s act was getting tired? Ask Kirk Gibson about that.

Giants 5, Dodgers 4: Check out the leather from Linceucm. Didn’t get the win, though, as Jeremy Affeldt vultured it from him when he allowed a game-tying homer in the seventh but then hung on as the pitcher of record in the bottom of the inning when the Giants took the lead for good. Brian Wilson gets his first save of the year.

Reds 8, Padres 2: Remember how awesome the Padres bullpen was last year? Yeah, well you sort of lose any claim to awesomeness when you give up six runs in the 11th inning. Not that it should have gotten that far. The Padres lost chances to win when they were met with a sick defensive play by Jay Bruce in the ninth and again when they squandered a one-out bases loaded situation in the 10th, again with help from the Cincinnati leather. Well, a Cincinnati misplay-but-recovery on a ball resulting in what at least looked like good leather if you didn’t see the initial misplay.

Mariners 3, Blue Jays 2: Michael Pineda wins his second major league start in impressive fashion, taking a shutout into the eighth inning while striking out seven.

Rockies vs. Mets, Orioles vs. Yankees and Brewers vs. Pirates: POSTPONED:  April is the cruelest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain.

Mike Trout has no interest in being a superstar

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At The Ringer, Michael Baumann published a terrific feature on Angels outfielder Mike Trout. Trout, 25, is a two-time American League MVP Award-winner and the 2012 AL Rookie of the Year Award winner. He’s already the greatest position player of his generation and is well on his way to becoming one of the greatest baseball players of all time.

Recently, I ruffled a few feathers here by calling Trout boring. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick said as much last year. And the simple truth is that, for reasons Baumann explains, he is boring by choice. Trout wants to be a role model for kids. His agent Craig Landis said, “I have Little League and high school coaches come up to me all the time and tell me that they tell their kids, ‘This is how you do it. Period. In all aspects. This is your role model.'” Trout is the only active big league client Landis has. If he wanted to, Trout could have super-agent Scott Boras on bended knee begging for him to sign.

Trout is friendly to everyone and doesn’t come close to controversy when he speaks to the media. The most controversial thing Trout has said, Baumann recalls, is that his go-to order at Wawa is chicken noodle soup. For the uninitiated, Wawa is a popular gas station-slash-convenience store in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey as well as Maryland, Virginia, and Florida. Wawa is known for its coffee and its hoagies, even starting “Hoagiefest” almost a decade ago offering discounts on hoagies to its patrons. To go to Wawa just to get chicken noodle soup is akin to sacrilege — just ask any Wawa devotee. There are lots of them.

Trout does not bark at other players for playing the game differently, more emotionally. He himself doesn’t celebrate wildly when he does something great on the field, which happens to be quite often. He has taken what is, for a player of his stature, the bare minimum in endorsement deals.

It is a shame for Major League Baseball, and for its fans, that Trout has no interest in becoming a superstar. As you’ve no doubt read here, baseball has had trouble reaching younger audiences. The only sports with a lower percentage of kids 17 years of age or younger watching are golf and NASCAR. 17 percent of those aged 18-34 watch baseball, a far cry from the NBA’s 32 percent and the NHL’s 28 percent. When I was a kid, Ken Griffey, Jr. was arguably the most popular athlete among my peers. We imitated his batting stance when we played backyard baseball and stepped into the batter’s box in Little League. MLB marketed him like no baseball player had ever been marketed before, bringing him into our households on a regular basis. Griffey was in countless commercials, put his face on video games, and was a pop culture personality. Today, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a kid who cares who Mike Trout is — or even Bryce Harper or Clayton Kershaw, for that matter — because they’re watching basketball, football, YouTube, Twitch and numerous other venues of entertainment. And MLB hasn’t made much of an effort to capture their attention.

Major League Baseball should be beating down our doors attempting to show us Trout’s otherworldly talent. Unfortunately, Trout has no interest in becoming the face of the sport the way Griffey did.

Rougned Odor received two horses as part of his contract extension with Rangers

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Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor reached an agreement with the Rangers on a six-year, $49.5 million contract extension. It was announced on Saturday and finalized on Thursday. The contract is pretty typical — a signing bonus, escalating salaries each year — except for one thing: Odor received two elite horses as well, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.

Here are those horses, per Jared Sandler of 1053 The Fan:

Players do sometimes get perks as part of their contracts. Usually it’s mundane stuff like extra game tickets for family and friends, use of a suite, limo rides, or plane tickets. Sometimes they can get rather specific. For example, in 2005, Troy Glaus got $250,000 per year in “personal business expenses” from the Diamondbacks, which was for his wife’s equestrian training. Hall of Famer George Brett got a 10 percent stake in an apartment complex in Memphis when he signed an extension with the Royals in the mid-1980’s. But as far as my research was able to go, no one received any horses, so that’s new.

Of course, the Rangers certainly think Odor is worth the perks. Last season, Odor hit .271/.296/.502 with 33 home runs, 88 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 632 plate appearances. And at just 23 years old, he has plenty of room to improve.