Clayton Kershaw

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Braves 2, Blue Jays 0: Tim Hudson allowed only two hits in eight innings and provided all of the Braves’ offense with a two-run homer. That’s not helping one’s own cause, that’s being a one man force eh, like Charlton Heston in Omega Man. You ever see it? Beauty.

Dodgers 4, Tigers 0: Clayton Kershaw made the Tigers feel like their opponents usually feel when Justin Verlander is pitching (CG, SHO, 2 H, 11K). And like Tim Hudson, he had two RBI of his own.  Which is great, because I got into a little “the DH is awful” argument on Twitter yesterday, and every response back consisted of “yeah, because it’s soooo wonderful to watch pitchers strike out all the time” rebop.  Tell me that Hudson and Kershaw driving in runs on nights where they dominated hitters wasn’t nifty as all get-out. And if your response is “well, that rarely happens,” I’ll direct you to books which set forth arguments about how value is inherently a function of an item’s rarity.

Yankees 5, Reds 3: Given that the Yankees jumped out for four runs in the first off Travis Wood, it was not much of a contest. Until the ninth anyway, when Joe Girardi had to use three pitchers — including Mariano Rivera — to nail down what began as a 5-1 lead. Well, he went with three pitchers. Whether he really had to use three is doubtful, given that he pulled Luis Ayala after he faced one batter and gave up a single and then pulled Boone Logan after he faced one batter and hit him.  Neither of those guys could have rallied to protect a four-run lead? You had to use Mo there? Whatever, Joe.

Orioles 8, Pirates 3:  Nick Markakis had three hits and Jake Arrieta won his ninth. Arrieta got a hit too, so viva interleague play.  His counterpart, Charlie Morton, gave up six runs on eight hits in two innings (plus an unearned run). For the month of June he’s 2-2 with an 8.50 ERA, so yeah, I think we can drop those Roy Halladay comparisons any time now.

Rockies 8, Indians 7:  Jason Giambi just killed a ball off Fausto Carmona in the sixth inning. Reader Brandon Fischer tweeted me this during the game: “Is there a number one starting pitcher worst than Fausto Carmona in the Majors right now?”  Hurm. Hard to limit it to merely “number one starting pitchers,” as Fausto has the worst ERA among all qualifying starters in baseball at the moment.

Cubs 6, White Sox 3: Starlin Castro brought the Cubs back from a 3-0 deficit via an RBI single and a homer and then Carlos Pena iced it with a three run homer. Strong outing for Carlos Zambrano who was shaky in the first inning but then sucked it up and threw 115 pitches over eight innings.

Red Sox 14, Padres 5: Boston is just toying with people right now. It was tied 3-3 before the Sox broke out for a a ten run inning in the seventh. Adrian Gonzalez now has 67 RBI, knocking in three against his old mates. And he’s hitting .353. If you’re the Padres it’s like going to a party, seeing your ex-girlfriend there, noticing that she looks amazingly hot and then watching as she does a freakin’ poll dance in front of everyone, and then tells you that you need to leave the room now.

Rangers 8, Astros 3: It was 7-0 by the end of three and, with all due respect, this isn’t exactly a dangerous Astros team that will shut you down and then strike for the comeback, so that was that. Josh Hamilton hit a two-run triple and Adrian Beltre had two RBI singles. The Astros are 20 games under .500. At least that’s how we commonly refer to it. Fact is, though, that if the results of ten of their games were reversed, they’d be at .500, so how can they be “20 games under .500?”  Hmm. I’ll have to ponder that one a bit.

Rays 8, Brewers 4: Six scoreless innings for Jeff Niemann, who was later aided by a four-run seventh inning and an Evan Longoria three-run homer in the eighth.  It probably ended up not mattering, but Nyjer Morgan was hit by a pitch when it was a 1-0 game, but ordered back to the box by umpire Bob Davidson who claimed he stuck his elbow out, trying to force the contact. Which was total baloney-fueled God-complex stuff on Davidson’s part and which led to manager Ron Roenicke and hitting coach Dale Sveum getting ejected.

Angels 2, Marlins 1: The Jack McKeon era — Mark II — begins dubiously. Jered Weaver gave up the lone run in seven innings. So too did Anibal Sanchez, but his pen allowed a second run to score in the eighth. The benched Hanley Ramirez did manage a pinch hitting appearance. This was the 11th straight loss in a one-run game for the Feesh.

Ichiro was happy to see Pete Rose get defensive about his hits record

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 14:  Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Miami Marlins warms-up during batting practice before a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on June 14, 2016 in San Diego, California.   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
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You’ll recall the little controversy last month when Ichiro Suzuki passed Pete Rose’s hit total. Specifically, when Ichiro’s Japanese and American hit total reached Rose’s American total of 4,256 and a lot of people talked about Ichiro being the new “Hit King.” You’ll also recall that Rose himself got snippy about it, wondering if people would now think of him as “the Hit Queen,” which he took to be disrespect.

There’s a profile of Ichiro over at ESPN the Magazine and reporter Marly Rivera asked Ichiro about that. Ichiro’s comments were interesting and quite insightful about how ego and public perception work in the United States:

I was actually happy to see the Hit King get defensive. I kind of felt I was accepted. I heard that about five years ago Pete Rose did an interview, and he said that he wished that I could break that record. Obviously, this time around it was a different vibe. In the 16 years that I have been here, what I’ve noticed is that in America, when people feel like a person is below them, not just in numbers but in general, they will kind of talk you up. But then when you get up to the same level or maybe even higher, they get in attack mode; they are maybe not as supportive. I kind of felt that this time.

There’s a hell of a lot of truth to that. Whatever professional environment you’re in, you’ll see this play out. If you want to know how you’re doing, look at who your enemies and critics are. If they’re senior to you or better-established in your field, you’re probably doing something right. And they’re probably pretty insecure and maybe even a little afraid of you.

The rest of the article is well worth your time. Ichiro seems like a fascinating, insightful and intelligent dude.

There will be no criminal charges arising out of Curt Schilling’s video game debacle

Curt Schilling
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In 2012 Curt Schilling’s video game company, 38 Studios, delivered the fantasy role-playing game it had spent millions of dollars and countless man hours trying to deliver. And then the company folded, leaving both its employees and Rhode Island taxpayers, who underwrote much of the company’s operations via $75 million in loans, holding the bag.

The fallout to 38 Studios’ demise was more than what you see in your average business debacle. Rhode Island accused Schilling and his company of acts tantamount to fraud, claiming that it accepted tax dollars while withholding information about the true state of the company’s finances. Former employees, meanwhile, claimed — quite credibly, according to reports of the matter — that they too were lured to Rhode Island believing that their jobs were far more secure than they were. Many found themselves in extreme states of crisis when Schilling abruptly closed the company’s doors. For his part, Schilling has assailed Rhode Island politicians for using him as a scapegoat and a political punching bag in order to distract the public from their own misdeeds. There seems to be truth to everyone’s claims to some degree.

As a result of all of this, there have been several investigations and lawsuits into 38 Studios’ collapse. In 2012 the feds investigated the company and declined to bring charges. There is currently a civil lawsuit afoot and, alongside it, the State of Rhode Island has investigated for four years to see if anyone could be charged with a crime. Today there was an unexpected press conference in which it was revealed that, no, no one associated with 38 Studios will be charged with anything:

An eight-page explanation of the decision concluded by saying that “the quantity and qualify of the evidence of any criminal activity fell short of what would be necessary to prove any allegation beyond a reasonable doubt and as such the Rules of Professional Conduct precluded even offering a criminal charge for grand jury consideration.”

Schilling will likely crow about this on his various social media platforms, claiming it totally vindicates him. But, as he is a close watcher of any and all events related to Hillary Clinton, he no doubt knows that a long investigation resulting in a declination to file charges due to lack of evidence is not the same thing as a vindication. Bad judgment and poor management are still bad things, even if they’re not criminal matters.

Someone let me know if Schilling’s head explodes if and when someone points that out to him.