Red Sox pitcher Lackey leaves the game in Toronto

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights


Blue Jays 9, Red Sox 3: Who is hated more in Boston right now: John Lackey or Lebron James? Probably Lackey. Dude even hates himself. His quote after the game — and I am not making this up — “Everything in my life sucks right now, to be honest with you.”  Man, way to take all of the fun out of going after a guy.

Nationals 7, Braves 3: Bullpen go boom and any momentum Atlanta had coming off that Philly series is gone. I’ve had the sneaking suspicion that Craig Kimbrel had been used too much lately (Eric O’Flaherty and Johnny Venters even more so), and perhaps it is catching up with him. Kimbrel was unable to hold a 3-1 lead in the ninth and then Scott Linebrick imploded in the 11th. The latter was far less surprising than the former. Anyway, earlier in the season I said some nice things about Fredi Gonzalez not having too quick a hook with some guys and not having too late a hook with others and that he generally had a good feel for his pitching staff. Yeah, I may be coming off that a bit.

Royals 4, Yankees 3: Things could have been worse. Jeff Francoeur was almost the hero here with a 10th inning RBI double.  If that had held up, you would have found me locking my doors to keep Kent Hrbek, Jim Leyritz and zombie Eric Gregg from breaking down my front door and barging into my house to tackle me, to hit an ill-advised slider over my fence and to call me out on extremely wide strikes, respectively.  As it was, Curtis Granderson hit a clutch two-out RBI single to tie it up again in the 10th and then Eric Hosmer won it with a sac fly in the 11th (he also homered earlier). Way, way more comfortable with Hosmer as the hero.

Rays 8, Indians 2: Cleveland had won 14 straight at home, but Cleveland did not rock for them last night. Detroit is only four and a half back now.

Dodgers 2, Pirates 0: Hiroki Kuroda shut the Pirates out over seven and the bullpen continued the job (Note: Vicente Padilla now has as many saves as Fernando Rodney and Ryan Franklin combined).  May I ask anyone who saw this game: how does a 2-0 contest in which there were nine total hits last over three hours?

Phillies 5, Marlins 3: A day after his error helped cost them the game, Jimmy Rollins hit a two-run single in the ninth inning to complete the Phillies comeback from a 3-0 deficit.  Ah, Jimmy. I suppose we’ll keep you.

Orioles 4, Mariners 2: Felix Pie went 1 for 3 against Felix Hernandez (1 for 4 overall), dropping his career average against pitchers named Felix to .500.  As far as I can tell, this leaves Felix Escalona alone at the top of the all-time Felix-on-Felix leader board, with his cool 1.000 average (a double off Felix Heredia).  For those of you wondering, Neither Felix Mantilla, Felix Fermin nor Junior Felix ever faced a Felix pitcher.  If anyone wants to look up who leads the Octavios or Guillermos, be my guest. UPDATE: it’s done. Check the comments. My readers are the best.

Tigers 9, Twins 7: All Victor Martinez does is get three hits and three RBI. Every game! OK, just the last three, but that’s pretty impressive anyway. I don’t think it’s too early to declare declare the Twins the first team that a non-trivial number of people picked to go to the playoffs dead.

Astros 4, Reds 3: Hunter Pence hit a walkoff double, helping the Astros avoid the sweep. The Reds walked nine Astros hitters. Three of them scored. Walks are bad, mmmkay?  Pence has a 15-game hitting streak, by the way.

Padres 13, Brewers 6: Twenty-three hits and thirteen runs for San Diego is a good way to make the season’s offensive numbers look better.  Jason Bartlett and Cameron Maybin each had four hits.  Chris Denorfia and Ryan Ludwick each had three, including a homer.

White Sox 6, Angels 4: Jake Peavy returns and allows four runs in six innings. Not great, but having him back is a positive. Once he left the Sox bullpen held up nicely and the Angels’ pen didn’t, allowing Chicago to come back from a 4-1 hole, with Omar Vizquel of all people driving in runs in the eighth and ninth.

Cubs 11, Cardinals 4: Chicago opens up a can of whoop-ass on Jake Westbrook and the Cardinals, getting 11 runs on 17 hits. The struggling Starlin Castro was 4 for 4 with three RBI.

Giants 4, Diamondbacks 3: Down 3-0, the Giants woke up and scored four unanswered runs. Miguel Tejada was 3 for 4.

Mets vs. Rockies: POSTPONED:  Coalescence occurs when water droplets in clouds fuse to create larger water droplets, which is known as the Bergeron process. Air resistance typically causes the water droplets in a cloud to remain stationary. When air turbulence occurs, water droplets collide, producing larger droplets. As these larger water droplets descend, coalescence continues, so that drops become heavy enough to overcome air resistance and fall as rain.

Athletics vs. Rangers: POSTPONED: Rain is an Edenian who bears witness to Shao Kahn’s invasion of his homeland Edenia as a youth. Many centuries later, he returns during the invasion of Earthrealm and is forced to join Kahn’s forces in order for him to betray his homeland. During the events of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, Quan Chi informs Rain that he is a direct descendant of Argus, the protector god of Edenia, making him a half-god.

The international draft is all about MLB making money and the union selling out non-members

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - MARCH 13:  A fan flies the Dominican Republic flag during the game against Cuba during Round 2 of the World Baseball Classic on March 13, 2006 at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Getty Images

On Monday we passed along a report that Major League Baseball and the MLBPA are negotiating over an international draft. That report — from ESPN’s Buster Olney — cited competitive balance and the well-being of international free agents as the reasons why they’re pushing for the draft.

We have long doubted those stated motivations and said so again in our post on Monday. But we’re just armchair skeptics when it comes to this. Ben Badler of Baseball America is an expert. Perhaps the foremost expert on international baseball, international signings and the like. Today he writes about a would-be international draft and he tears MLB, the MLBPA and their surrogates in the media to shreds with respect to their talking points.

Of course Badler is a nice guy so “tearing to shreds” is probably putting it too harshly. Maybe it’s better to say that he systematically dismantles the stated rationale for the international draft and makes plan what’s really going on: MLB is looking to save money and the players are looking to sell out non-union members to further their own bargaining position:

Major League Baseball has long wanted an international draft. The driving force behind implementing an international draft is for owners to control their labor costs by paying less money to international amateur players, allowing owners to keep more of that money . . . the players’ association doesn’t care about international amateur players as anything more than a bargaining chip. It’s nothing discriminatory against foreign players, it’s just that the union looks out for players on 40-man rosters. So international players, draft picks in the United States and minor leaguers who make less than $10,000 in annual salary get their rights sold out by the union, which in exchange can negotiate items like a higher major league minimum salary, adjustments to the Super 2 rules or modifying draft pick compensation attached to free agent signings.

Badler then walks through the process of how players are discovered, scouted and signed in Latin America and explains, quite convincingly, how MLB’s international draft and, indeed, its fundamental approach to amateurs in Latin America is lacking.

Read this. Then, every time a U.S.-based writer with MLB sources talks about the international draft, ask whether they know something Ben Badler doesn’t or, alternatively, whether they’re carrying water for either the league or the union.

President Bill Murray speaks about the Cubs from the White House

CHICAGO - APRIL 12:  Celebrity Bill Murray clowns around with Chicago media before the opening day game between the Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 12, 2004 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Pirates defeated the Cubs 13-2.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Getty Images

I don’t know why Bill Murray is in Washington today. I don’t know why he’s at the White House. But I do know that he was there in Chicago Cubs gear, standing at the lectern in the press briefing room, voicing his full confidence in the Cubs prevailing in the NLCS, despite the fact that Clayton Kershaw is going for the Dodgers tomorrow night.

“Too many sticks,” president Murray said of the Cubs lineup. And something about better trees in Illinois.

Four. More. Years.