Chicago Cubs v Colorado Rockies

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Rockies 7, Phillies 1: In yesterday morning’s recaps I slammed Jason Giambi and declared him dead. Last night he hit three homers and drove in seven.  I see my little foray into reverse psychology worked. Don’t thank me now, Jason. Just let me know where to send my bill.

Mets 1, Nationals 0: Sucks to be Livan Hernandez. Oh, wait, Livan Hernandez pitched in this game? Huh. I was just writing basic declarative sentences about the immutable facts of the universe. What a coincidence. Dillon Gee with the two-hit short shutout. Short shutout? Yes, short shutout.

Red Sox 4, Tigers 3: Carl Crawford comes through with a bases loaded single in a tie-game in the bottom of the ninth to give the Sox the win. It’s his third walkoff hit this month.  What, did you think he’d be totally unworthy of his contract forever?

Blue Jays 3, Rays 2: Two solo homers for the Rays vs. a solo and a two-run homer for the Jays. That’s how all game stories would read if we focused less on the individual and more on the collective. Indeed, I intend to present a paper on this very subject in Vienna this fall. It proposes a view of extending expected utility calculations to both individual and group contexts, using several related cases to illustrate the problems inherent in applying expected utility to group choices. It’s all pretty complicated really, what with Prisoner’s Dilemmas and whatnot, so I won’t bore you with it.

Mariners 2, Angels 1: Since the beginning of time man has yearned to destroy the sun. Torii Hunter now more so.

Cardinals 4, Astros 2: Kyle McClellan did not throw a ball three to any of the batters he faced and picked up his sixth win. The whole shebang took 2:15.

Twins 11, Athletics 1: Break up the Twins, winners of three in a row. Two-run homer for Justin Morneau. A big mess of a day for the A’s staff, who lost Tyson Ross after seven measly pitches due to an oblique attack, which is the name I’m giving oblique injuries from here on out so that people will take them more seriously, awareness can be raised and someday — hopefully — a cure can be found.

Pirates 5, Reds 3: The Buccos have taken five of six from Cincinnati. James McDonald gave up one run in six and two-thirds.

Yankees 13, Orioles 2: Brad Bergesen was foolin’ no one, but even if he did manage to fool a few it wouldn’t have mattered because CC Sabathia was on point.

Cubs 5, Marlins 1: A Mike Stanton homer in the eighth was all the Feesh could muster against the Cubs. Starlin Castro had a two-run double in the top of the ninth to give Chicago some breathing room.

White Sox 8, Indians 2: The Chisox jumped all over Fausto Carmona like it was Opening Day or something, scoring six in the first two innings and eight through five.

Royals 2, Rangers 1: This was like an alternate outcome for that Yankees-Orioles game on Wednesday night. Ron Washington sent Derek Holland out to finish the game in the ninth with a 1-0 lead, but he allowed the first hitter he faced to reach so Washington yanked him for Neftali Feliz. Feliz got a couple outs but allowed a single, then uncorked a wild pitch (note: the word “uncorked” can only be used in connection with wild pitches in much the same way “ensuing” can only be used with kickoffs) and then a game-tying single to Mike Aviles. Into extras we go where Jeff Francoeur was the hero, hitting the game-winning RBI in the bottom of the 10th.

Diamondbacks 2, Braves 1: Josh Collmenter has thrown 21 consecutive scoreless innings. And holy moley, if you haven’t seen him pitch, check out his motion. The Braves, of course, couldn’t hit pitches thrown by a Meatball3000-model pitching machine set to “pansy” right now.

Padres 1, Brewers 0: The signature game of 2011 so far: a 1-0 contest decided by a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth.

Giants 3, D0dgers 1: Madison Bumgarner finally wins a game, pitching a shutout until two outs in the ninth. Brian Wilson came in to get the last out of the game, but he made it interesting, walking two guys first.

Jake Peavy is having a bad go of things right now

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 25: Jake Peavy #22 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at AT&T Park on May 25, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Veteran hurler Jake Peavy has not signed with a team. It’s not because he’s not still capable of being a useful pitcher — he’s well-regarded and someone would likely take a late-career chance on him — and it’s not because he no longer wishes to play. Rather, it’s because a bunch of bad things have happened in his personal life lately.

As Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports, last year Peavy lost millions in an investment scam and spent much of the 2016 season distracted, dealing with investigations and depositions and all of the awfulness that accompanied it. Then, when the season ended, Peavy went home and was greeted with divorce papers. He has spent the offseason trying to find a new normal for himself and for his four sons.

Pitching is taking a backseat now, but Peavy plans to pitch again. Here’s hoping that things get sorted to the point where he can carry through with those plans.

The AT&T Park mortgage is paid off

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This is fun: The San Francisco Giants recently made their last payment on the $170 million, 20-year loan they obtained to finance the construction of AT&T Park. The joint is now officially paid for.

The Giants, unlike most other teams which moved into new stadiums in the past 25 years or so, did not rely on direct public financing. They tried to get it for years, of course, but when the voters, the city of San Francisco and the State of California said no, they decided to pay for it themselves. They ended up with one of baseball’s best-loved and most beautiful parks and, contrary to what the owners who desperately seek public funds will have you believe, they were not harmed competitively speaking. Indeed, rumor has it that they have won three World Series, four pennants and have made the playoffs seven times since moving into the place in 2000. They sell out routinely now too and the Giants are one of the richest teams in the sport.

Now, to be clear, the Giants are not — contrary to what some people will tell you — some Randian example of self-reliance. They did not receive direct public money to build the park, but they did get a lot of breaks. The park sits on city-owned property in what has become some of the most valuable real estate in the country. If the city had held on to that land and realized its appreciation, they could flip it to developers for far more than the revenue generated by baseball. Or, heaven forfend, use it for some other public good. The Giants likewise received some heavy tax abatements, got some extraordinarily beneficial infrastructure upgrades and require some heavy city services to operate their business. All sports stadiums, even the ones privately constructed, represent tradeoffs for the public.

Still, AT&T Park represents a better model than most sports facilities do. I mean, ask how St. Louis feels about still paying for the place the Rams used to call home before taking off for California. Ask how taxpayers in Atlanta and Arlington, Texas feel about paying for their second stadium in roughly the same time the Giants have paid off their first.