Tim Hudson

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Braves 8, Brewers 3; Braves 8, Brewers 0: A day the Brewers would like to forget. The Braves scoring eight runs is rare enough, but doing it — in the first game at least — with no homers is even more rare for this station-to-station team. Tim Hudson threw a 102-pitch one-hitter in the nightcap, spoiling Zack Greinke’s Brewers’ debut.  Tim Hudson may be one of the more overlooked awesome pitchers in baseball.  It’s like everyone forgot about him when he went down for Tommy John surgery a few years ago. But since he’s been back: quiet excellence.

Blue Jays 3, Rays 2: Joe West and his crew are a joke.  They tossed Joe Maddon after the ump got together and reversed West’s safe call on a tag play at first by Adam Lind on Sam Fuld, calling him out. Except they had it right the first time. The rest of the game was characterized by a crappy strike zone and multiple ejections when people complained about it. Joe Maddon on Twitter after the game:  “If ever a play screamed for instant replay we saw it at first base in the 7th inning tonight. I think Joe West got it right the first time.” Watch Maddon get fined now while West gets … nothing.  But not everything sucked in this game. Check out this relay throw by Yunel Escobar and plate block by Jose Molina. Mercy.

Giants 2, Mets 0: The Giants discover that you don’t have to fix your offensive woes when Tim Lincecum takes the hill and shuts out the opposition for seven innings while striking out 12. If there was any doubt that Bruce Bochy wanted this one badly it was put to rest when he used four relievers to pitch the final two innings, with three of them getting to retire one batter each and Brian Wilson taking the entire ninth.

Phillies 7, Nationals 4: Vance Worley: the fifth ace. In his second start, Worley allows one over six innings, brining his total to one run allowed in 12 innings on the year.

Pirates 7, Padres 4: Kevin Correia sat in the lotus position and vowed revenge before this game. “For what, Kevin?” asked Clint Hurdle before the game. “You left them via free agency. It’s not like they did you dirty or anything.”  Correia trained an intense look on his manager and then slowly walked away, a lonely pan flute playing in the distance. He knew what he must do (6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER).  As far as revenge goes it was rather mediocre, but a win is a win. Or so said Correia’s sensei before their final battle, which each knew had to end in the death of the vanquished.

For the uninitiated in the ways of And That Happened, now would be a good time to let you know that as the season wears on I find it harder and harder to find interesting things to say about kind of blah teams like the Pirates and Padres, so I go off on these sorts of flights of fancy. Which is to say that, no, I have no real proof that Kevin Corriea killed his sensei. It’s just what a lot of people are saying is all.

Tigers 4, Yankees 0: Max Scherzer blanks the Yankees for eight innings and someone woke Magglio Ordonez up to hit a two-run homer. Derek Jeter leaves with a sore hip. If I were in the situation Jeter’s in I’d probably be happy to have a sore hip right now.

Orioles 3, Royals 2: Luke Scott went two for three with two walks. So he says.

Twins 3, White Sox 2:  The White Sox have lost 17 of 21 games. And I picked them to win the Central. Good thing I’m not a betting man.

Cubs 5, Dodgers 1: Carlos Zambrano gave up one run on five hits over eight innings. And boy, did the Cubs look spiffy in their throwbacks doing it. Check out those socks.  An off-day for Andre Ethier as his elbow is wonky, so the hitting streak counter remains at 29.

Reds 3, Astros 2: I hit this one up yesterday. If the Astros’ closer continues to be Lyon, Astros fans will be dyin’.

Angels 5, Red Sox 3: Two and a half hours of rain delays plus a five hour, thirteen inning game that ended at 2:45 AM? That ended with Daisuke Matsuzaka pitching in relief and giving up a two-run RBI single to Bobby Abreu? Plus a 1:35 PM start today?  Oh yeah!

Rockies 6, Diamondbacks 4: Chris Ianetta had a two-run homer. His line on the year is weird: .188/.388/.453.  Not many hits — 12 — but he has made the most of them, with eight going for extra bases.

Marlins 8, Cardinals 7: A two-run homer from Mike Stanton in the ninth broke a 6-6 tie. He hit it off an Eduardo Sanchez fastball. This a night after Sanchez dusted Stanton with sliders in a key ninth inning matchup. Hey Eduardo: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Rangers 5, Mariners 2: C.J. Wilson totally handcuffed Seattle, pitching a complete game and striking out 12.

Athletics 3, Indians 1: David DeJesus hadn’t hit any homers all year. In this one he hit two. Overall the A’s only had four hits, but it was enough to stand up for Trevor Cahill, who gave up one run on five hits over seven innings.

Adams homers in 16th to lift Cardinals over Dodgers 4-3

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ST. LOUIS — Matt Adams homered in the 16th inning to lead the Cardinals to a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night for St. Louis’ season-best fifth straight victory.

It was the second consecutive game that the Cardinals won in their final at-bat. They beat the Padres on Thursday after scoring a run in the ninth inning.

Adams homer came with one out off Bud Norris (5-9), who gave up six runs as a starter in an 8-1 loss at Washington on Wednesday.

Seth Maness (1-2) picked up the win with a scoreless inning of relief for St. Louis, which was playing its longest game of the season.

Jedd Gyorko hit a two-out homer off closer Kenley Jansen in the ninth to tie the game 3-3.

Justin Turner and Howie Kendrick homered for the Dodgers. Los Angeles has lost four of six. The red-hot Turner has seven homers and 17 RBI this month. He hit two homers in a 6-3 win over Washington on Thursday.

Turner blasted his career-high 18th homer of the season off Seung Hwan Oh in the ninth to break a 2-2 tie.

Corey Seager had four hits and drove in the first run of the game. He had hit in seven successive at-bats before flying out in the ninth.

Kendrick’s solo shot in the sixth tied the game 2-2. He has hit in 14 successive games trying Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon for the longest current streak in the majors.

Los Angeles starter Brandon McCarthy allowed one hit and two runs over 6 1-3 innings, the longest of his four starts this season. He left with leg cramps. McCarthy struck out four and walked three.

St. Louis starter Michael Wacha allowed two runs on 10 hits in six innings. He struck out four and walked one.

Dodgers reliever Adam Liberatore recorded his 28th successive scoreless outing by retiring two of four batters in the seventh. He has not allowed a run in 41 of 42 appearances this season.

Minor League Players’ Wage Suit against Major League Baseball suffers a huge setback

The judge's gavel is seen in court room 422 of the New York Supreme Court at 60 Centre Street February 3, 2012. REUTERS/Chip East
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A judge handed minor leaguers looking to hold Major League Baseball liable for underpaying and exploiting them a huge setback today, ruling that the case cannot go forward as a class action. Minor leaguers who want to sue over their pay and treatment still can, but they’ll have to do it individually. The ruling saps the minor leaguers of their leverage, as Major League Baseball would likely be able to fend off individual cases which, by themselves, might only amount to several thousand dollars per claim.

The background: in 2014, former Miami Marlins player Aaron Senne sued Major League Baseball, Bud Selig, and three major league clubs claiming that minor leaguers are underpaid and exploited in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. He was later joined by former Royals minor leaguer Michael Liberto and Giants farmhand Oliver Odle. Eventually others joined and the suit had been expanded to 22 teams as defendants.

The upshot of the case is that, while the minor league season lasts only part of the year, players are required to do all sorts of things outside of merely playing games for which they are not compensated. Training, meetings, appearances and the like. When all of that time is added up, the players claim, their already low salaries are effectively far below minimum wage in violation of the law. Major League Baseball has countered this by claiming that minor leaguers are basically part time seasonal workers — like landscapers and pool boys — who are not subject to federal labor laws.

Last year the judge gave the case conditional certification, allowing the players to try to establish that it should go forward as a class action. This would streamline the case from the plaintiffs’ perspective and give them the power of collective action by asserting hundreds or more similar cases into one proceeding. The judge’s ruling today, however, was that the cases really weren’t factually similar and thus collective action was not appropriate because figuring out how many hours each player worked and what was required of him varied too greatly among the players.

From his order:

“The difficulties associated with determining what activities constitute ‘work’ in the context of winter training are compounded by the fact that there appear to be no official records documenting these activities. Because it may be impossible to determine from official records the types of conditioning activities in which the players engaged, membership in the state classes based on winter training would depend largely upon the players’ ability to remember, with a reasonable amount of detail, what they did during the off-season (often for multiple years and for many, several years in the past) to stay fit.”

The judge said that, in light of this, each case would be unique and would require “individualized inquiries” to find damages and liability. That phrase –“individualized inquiries” — constitutes magic words which sink would-be class actions. If a company overcharges all of its customers by $8 due to an error repeated a million times, it’s easy to look at one set of facts and judge them together. If you had to look at a million different wrongs, that’s no class action. And so it is not a class action for the players.

As many courts who have dealt with these sorts of cases have noted, for many plaintiffs, a class action is the only practical method of adjudicating Fair Labor Standards Act cases because individual plaintiffs are frequently unable to bear the costs of separate trials. They are, by definition, (allegedly) exploited workers. They’re not going to be able to pay legal costs and fight off a multi-billion dollar business in order to collect the few thousand dollars they were underpaid. At the same time, however, the defendants have rights too and, if the facts of each players’ treatment truly differ (e.g. the Yankees make their minor leaguers do more than the Brewers do) it’s not fair to bind one defendant’s defense to the acts of another.

So, where does this leave the players? Not dead. Not yet, at least. Their claims have not been dismissed on the merits. They have only been denied the right to act collectively. The individual plaintiffs can now file separate lawsuits against their former employers and Major League Baseball under the same theories. It would be harder to land a big blow in such a scenario, but if enough do, it could end up being death by a thousand cuts for the clubs and the league. Their legal fees might go up and, eventually, if they lose enough of these cases, more might be filed. There are a lot of former minor leaguers, after all, and once there’s some blood in the water, more of them — and their lawyers — may enter the frenzy. Decertification is certainly a win for the league right now, but it’s not necessarily a permanent win.

There are likewise some other quasi-collective forms this case could take such as multi-district litigation in which the cases, while individual, are coordinated in a loose fashion. That could lead to some efficiencies for suing players even if it’s not as robust as a class action.

We’ve written quite a bit about minor league pay and treatment in this space by now, so you probably know where we stand on it. We believe that minor leaguers are exploited and underpaid and we believe that Major League Baseball has been happy to exploit and underpay them for some time. Ultimately we believe that this state of affairs cannot and will not persist and that eventually, somehow, baseball will either see fit to pay its workers fairly or, more likely, will be forced to do so by a court or by collective bargaining of some fashion.

Today, however, was a big setback for the minor leaguers. Today’s ruling will give Major League Baseball and its clubs more time and more comfort in which to underpay them. There’s no doubt about it.