Flight Delays

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Yankees 12, White Sox 3:  Well, I was supposed to be at this one.  Instead, my 9:30 AM flight to New York turned into a 12:08 PM flight which then turned into a 3:30 PM flight through Philly, which then turned into a 5:17 PM flight through Philly that was highly unlikely to allow me to make the connection to New York at all last night, let alone in time to see the ballgame. So I made the decision any wise man would make: I called my mom, had her pick me up from the airport and drive me back home so I could at least sleep in my own bed rather than some Philadelphia Ramada Inn.  Not that I ever got too mad or complained too greatly. The same storm system that mildly inconvenienced me killed hundreds the day before so, no, complaining was not exactly the order of the day. OK, some very mild, perspective-laden complaining. But I felt guilty about it afterward.

As you’re reading this on Friday morning I am (cross my fingers!) en route to New York, this time for real. It’s a flight so early that — apologies — this edition of ATH is a slightly truncated one. I’ll be sure to refund your money at my earliest convenience.

As for the Yankees-Sox game: this was one of the more Edwin Jackson starts you’ll ever see. He had a no-hitter going for a while but was still down 2-0. Then it went downhill because Edwin Jackson basically has no idea where the ball is going. 91 pitches in four innings. Quite the trick.

Giants 5, Pirates 2: The species known as Ryan Vogelsongia displays a combination of long life cycles, a seven-year periodicity, and mass emergences. They are closely-related to locusts, but they are not locusts at all, as locusts belong to the order Orthoptera. The nymphs of Ryan Vogelsongia live underground at depths of 30 cm or more, feeding on the juices of plant roots. They stay immobile and go through five development stages before constructing an exit tunnel in the spring of their 7th year, at which time they give up two runs on four hits while striking out eight in five and two-thirds innings.

Rays 15, Twins 3; Rays 6, Twins 1: Ben Zobrist certainly ate his Wheaties yesterday. Eight RBI in the first game and another two in the nightcap.

Indians 8, Royals 2: The Royals sent the worst regular starting pitcher in the history of baseball out to face the first place Indians and achieved the expected results.

Blue Jays 5, Rangers 2: It was a 2-2 tie from the third inning on, but then Darren Oliver got knocked around in the ninth. If you can call having Corey Patterson lay down a bunt RBI single and having Adrian Beltre and Oliver combine for the most confusing and ugly-looking two-run, two-error play you’ll ever see “being knocked around.” The Jays take three of four from Texas.

Mariners 7, Tigers 2: I watched some of this on the laptop while hating life at the airport.  Michael Pineda has seriously nasty stuff. He’s going to throw a no-hitter someday. Or strike out 18 dudes or something.

Red Sox 6, Orioles 2: Jon Lester’s mastery of Baltimore continues. A 3 for 5, 2 RBI day for Adrian Gonzalez, who is starting to heat up.

Nationals 4, Mets 3: The Mets’ winning streak ends as Livan Hernandez hangs ’em out to dry for eight innings. Like he as some kind of launderer or something.

Cardinals 11, Astros 7: Five RBI for Lance Berkman against his old team. Take that, Milo Hamilton.

Diamondbacks 11, Cubs 2: Ryan Dempster lasted one-third on an inning. Gave up seven runs in that time.  Yikes.

Are the Cardinals about to go on a free agent binge?

John Mozeliak AP
Associated Press
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The Cardinals have always emphasized building from within. In the 2016-17 offseason, however, they may end up being one of the bigger free agent buyers. At least according to some informed speculation.

St. Louis is already in agreement with Dexter Fowler. But Derrick Goold and Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch write today that the Cardinals “could become more aggressive than previously believed,” with Mark Trumbo and Edwin Encarnacion as “possible pursuits.” Worth noting that separate reports alleged some interest on the part of the Cards front office in free agent third baseman Justin Turner.

The Cardinals are already losing their first round pick due to the Fowler signing, so any other top free agent won’t cost them more than the money he’s owed. And as far as money goes, the Cardinals have a great deal of it, despite being a small market team. They have a billion dollar TV deal coming online and Matt Holliday and Jaime Garcia are off the payroll now. Spending big on a free agent or three would not cripple them or anything.

Encarnacion or Trumbo would be first baseman, which wold fly in the face of the Cards’ move of Matt Carpenter to first base (and, at least as far as Encarnacion goes, would fly in the face of good defense). Getting either of them would push Carpenter back to second, displacing Kolten Wong, or over to third, displacing Jhonny Peralta. If you’re going to do that, I’d say that Turner would make more sense, but what do I know?

Either way, the Cardinals may be entering a pretty interesting phase of their offseason now. And an unfamiliar one as, quite possibly, the top free agent buyer on the market.

 

Bobby Valentine on short list to be U.S. Ambassador to Japan

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12:  Former MLB player Bobby Valentine attends Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC and GFI at BGC Partners, INC on September 12, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald)
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There is literally nothing you could tell me that the incoming administration is considering which would shock me anymore. As such, I saw this story when I woke up this morning, blinked once, took a sip of coffee, closed the browser window and just went on with my morning, as desensitized as a wisdom tooth about to be yanked.

Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that Former Red Sox, Mets and Rangers manager Bobby Valentine is on a short-list of candidates for the job of United States Ambassador to Japan:

The 66-year-old, who currently serves as Sacred Heart University’s athletics director, has engaged in preliminary discussions with President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team regarding the position.

When contacted Thursday night, Valentine refused comment.

Huh. Given his history, I’d have assumed Valentine would be a better choice for the CIA, but what do I know?

Valentine managed the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons, leading the team to a championship in 2005. He also knows the current prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, as both went to USC. Assuming championship teams meet the country’s leader in Japan like they do in the United States, Valentine has at least twice the amount of experience with top political leaders than does, say, Ned Yost, so that’s something.

The former manager, more importantly, is friends with Donald Trump’s brother, with the two of them going way back. Which, given how this transition is going, seems like a far more important set of qualifications than anything else on this list.