Alex Rodriguez

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Yankees 6, Rays 2: Wait, I thought the Yankees’ season was over and everything was doomed, so how does this happen? Two homers for A-Rod, and a two-for-three night for Jorge Posada, who will probably now stick in the seventh spot in the order for a while because, hey, no drama. But since apocalypses apparently aren’t proceeding as planned, I suppose I can make reservations for dinner Saturday night without worrying about anything crazy happening.

Cardinals 2, Phillies 1: Danys Baez loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth of a 1-1 game and was yanked for J.C. Romero who promptly gave up a walkoff RBI single to Lance Berkman. Fact is, though, that Charlie Manuel has nothing to work with in those situations. There’s no one there, short of using Halladay out of the pen, who you can really count on to get strikeouts in those kinds of situations. And of course, the fact that the Phillies are in those situations have an awful lot to do with the fact that their offense is in a coma, but that’s well-covered territory by now.

Braves 3, Astros 1: Hit it up yesterday. And I can’t wait to see if it’s Yadier Molina, Buster Posey or Geovany Soto who gets more votes for the All-Star Game than Brian McCann. The Brian McCann whose feats yesterday put him in pretty rare company.

Rockies 5, Giants 3: The AP game story calls the Rockies’ three best players the “Big Os — Ubaldo, CarGo and Tulo.”  We really doin’ that?  Anyway, those three all came up big and put the Rockies back on top in the NL West by a half game.

Reds 7, Cubs 5: All of the Reds runs were unearned. And you think Mike Quade was mad after Monday’s game? Here was his quote after this one: “If we haven’t hit rock bottom, we’re pretty damn close.”

White Sox 4, Rangers 3: Texas blew a 3-0 lead and then the winning run scored on a wild pitch.

Indians 7, Royals 3: Well, I guess compared to Monday night this was an improvement, but still, the second-to-worst pitching staff in the AL is not doing anything to stop the best offense in the AL.  Not that this should be a terrible surprise.

Dodgers 3, Brewers 0: Matt Kemp hit a two-run homer in the first and the rest of the game was mere detail.

Diamondbacks 6, Padres 1: “[Eric] Patterson was called out on appeal by third-base umpire Joe West for leaving the bag early, though replays appeared to show Patterson on the base when Upton caught the ball.”  Joe West screwed up a call? Now I’ve seen everything.

Atheltics 14, Angels 0: There was a brief time a couple of years ago in which I kept writing Gio Gonzalez’ name when I was referring to Vin Mazzaro and vice-versa.  I guess confusing that now would be rather silly. Gonzalez shut out the Angels on one hit over seven and the offense asploded. Four RBI for Mark Ellis.

Twins 2, Mariners 1: Francisco Liriano pitches his second best game of the year (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 9K), out dueling Felix Hernandez who had another one of his had-to-be-perfect-but-wasn’t losses.

Marlins vs. Mets; Orioles vs. Red Sox; Pirates vs. Nationals, Blue Jays vs. Tigers: POSTPONED: I’m a-goin’ back out ’fore the rain starts a-fallin’. I’ll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest. Where the people are many and their hands are all empty. Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters. Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison. Where the executioner’s face is always well hidden. Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten. Where black is the color, where none is the number. And I’ll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it. And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it. Then I’ll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin’. But I’ll know my song well before I start singin’. And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard … It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

Drew Smyly brings youth and experience to Mariners rotation

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PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) Trades don’t surprise Drew Smyly anymore.

At age 27, the Seattle Mariners left-hander has been dealt twice. The first swap sent him from the team that drafted and developed Smyly, the Detroit Tigers, to the Tampa Bay Rays in midseason 2014. That trade landed star pitcher David Price in Detroit.

“I was surprised by that one,” Smyly said.

The most recent trade involving him came in January, when the Rays shipped Smyly to Seattle for three prospects in one of many moves by Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto. Smyly immediately joined the Mariners’ projected starting rotation, and is having fun getting to know his new teammates at spring training by way of manager Scott Servais’ clubhouse icebreakers.

Servais thinks Smyly is a solid fit as a still young yet experienced pitcher.

“One, being where he’s at in his career age-wise and service time, he’s kind of at the point where, put him in the right environment … very good defensive outfield, he’s a fly ball guy, maybe he does step up and take the next step,” Servais said. “Getting out of the American League East certainly should help him, but there’s no guarantees. Our division’s pretty tough.”

Servais suggested that another Arkansas native, ex-big leaguer Cliff Lee, might have helped sell Seattle on Smyly. Lee is a former Mariner and the two share an agent.

Smyly went 7-12 in a career-high 30 starts last season in Tampa, but won five games from July 30 to the end of the season after starting out 2-11. From May 21 to July 18, he lost seven straight starts.

“Pitching’s tough, you know,” Smyly said. “To manipulate the ball, to make it do different things, to put it in the strike zone with hitters that know what they’re doing. … I just had a rough stretch but I show up at the field every day, play catch and work on my craft and you know, that’s going to turn around one day.”

The 32 home runs Smyly surrendered in 2016 figure to be reduced in Seattle’s pitcher-friendly Safeco Field.

“It can only help,” he said. “But it’s still going to be up to me to execute pitches and pitch well.”

Smyly is set to join the U.S. World Baseball Classic team shortly. Before that, he’ll make his first spring training start in the middle of next week.

“It’s an honor to be able to put your country on your chest and play with some of the guys on that team,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it big time.”

NOTES: Servais plans to roll out what figures to be Seattle’s opening day lineup in the spring training opener Saturday against San Diego. It’s OF Jarrod Dyson, SS Jean Segura, 2B Robinson Cano, DH Nelson Cruz, 3B Kyle Seager, OF Mitch Haniger, 1B Dan Vogelbach, C Mike Zunino and OF Leonys Martin. … Servais said Cano and Cruz will play a little more than is typical for early spring games, as the two will depart for the World Baseball Classic in early March. … LHP Ariel Miranda will start Saturday, then RHP Chris Heston Sunday, RHP Yovani Gallardo on Monday and ace Felix Hernandez on Tuesday.

Mitt Romney’s sons are trying to buy a stake in the Yankees

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 30:  Tagg Romney son of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gives an interview during the final day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 30, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate during the RNC which will conclude today.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Mitt Romney built his professional life in Massachusetts and was once the governor of the state. As such, it is not surprising that he has long identified as a Red Sox fan. So this has to be troubling to him from a fan’s perspective. From Jon Heyman:

The Romney family is bidding to buy a small stake in the Yankees months after their try for the Marlins stalled. If the deal goes through, it is expected to be $25 million to $30 million per percentage point and thought to be interested in one or two percentage points. The Yankees are valued around $3 billion or more.

The effort is being led by Mitt’s son Tagg, one of his brothers and their business partners. Mitt’s spokesman tells Jon Heyman that he has nothing to do with it personally. Tagg Romney is reported to have been planning a bid for controlling interest in the Marlins, but that has fallen through.

I find this interesting insofar as the M.O. for the Steinbrenners has, for years, been to buy out minority shareholders in the Yankees, not seek more. Indeed, when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees back in 1973 he held just a bare controlling interest and there were a ton of silent partners, most of which were back in Ohio and knew Steinbrenner from his shipping business. I’ve personally gotten to know some of them over the years as there are a handful of them in Columbus and I crossed paths with them in my legal career. They have almost all been bought out in the past couple of decades. They still get season tickets and World Series rings and stuff. You can tell them by their personalized Yankees plates and the fact that, within the first ten minutes of meeting them, they will tell you that they once owned a piece of the Yankees but got pushed out.

In light of all of that it’s interesting that the Steinbrenners are once again accepting bids for small stakes in the team. Especially from someone whose interest in controlling the Marlins suggests that they do not consider it to be a mere vanity investment. Makes me wonder what the Steinbrenners’ long term plans are.