Jack McKeon

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Marlins 5, Angels 2: The Feesh win! How they did it while allowing 13 hits is something you’d have to ask the Angels, who went 1 for 15 with runners in scoring position. Mike Stanton was 3 for 4 with 2 RBI and Hanley Ramirez had a multi-hit game himself.

Brewers 5, Rays 1: Zack Greinke struck out ten dudes over seven innings and the Brewers are back in first place. Why? ….

Phillies 10, Cardinals 2: That’s why. Placido Polanco was hit by a pitch with the bases juiced to kick off a nine-run rally in the eighth inning. And get this: Philly didn’t have one extra base hit in the game. They walked nine times, however.

Athletics 7, Mets 3: Oakland is streaky. They take their sixth in a row, and they seem to credit their gold jerseys as good luck charms. But hey, winning ugly is still winning. Like the Cardinals, the Mets issued nine free passes.

Nationals 6, Mariners 5: Doug Fister threw eight innings of three-hit ball, but the M’s bullpen totally woofed it away. A three run homer for Wilson Ramos capped a five-run ninth inning rally. Oy.

Twins 9, Giants 2: An eight run first inning for Minnesota. It seems like we’ve had a lot of games with those kinds of early big innings lately, ending things before they start.

Dodgers 6, Tigers 1: Three wins in a row for L.A., who must be like vampires who feed off of negative vibes from the front office. Matt Kemp stole his 20th base, putting him the 20/20 club on June 21st, which is kind of cool.

Braves 5, Blues Jays 1: On Monday night, Ricky Romero sort of kind of called his offense out for not scoring runs. Then, before this game, manager John Farrell had Romero talk to the team about his comments behind closed doors. I presume there was some level of apology at play.  After this game, though, you think Romero can issue a retraction on that apology? Mike Minor tied the Jays’ bats up for seven innings, striking out eight.

Diamondbacks 7, Royals 2: Wily Mo Pena hit a home run that left Missouri air space and violated multiple international treaties during its flight. He also struck out twice, which is pretty much Wily Mo Pena in a nutshell. Joe Saunders pitched seven strong for the Dbacks.

White Sox 3, Cubs 2: Paul Konerko hits yet another homer, the fifth straight game in which he has done so.  In other news, the gods apparently did not approve of something going on in Chicago and brought down their wrath during the game.

Rangers 5, Astros 4: Mitch Moreland with a walkoff homer in the 11th, which came just before giant storms hit Arlington. Man, the gods were pissed off at something last night, huh?

Padres 5, Red Sox 4: Oh, and the devil must have been around too. My evidence: David Ortiz had to have made a deal with him to have stolen a base. Less devilishly, Anthony Rizzo — he who, among others, was traded for Adrian Gonzalez — hit a bases loaded groundout in the seventh that plated the go-ahead run. So that has to feel nice for Padres fans.

Pirates 9, Orioles 3: The Pirates’ win was pretty cool, but nowhere near as cool as their 1971 throwbacks. The Orioles’ ’71 duds were pretty cool too. I, for one, like and miss the cartoon bird.

Rockies 4, Indians 3: Cleveland was held hitless into the sixth but clawed back from a 3-0 hole. But two homers for Seth Smith, the second of which came in the ninth inning to snap the tie as a storm approached, carried the day.

Yankees vs. Reds: POSTPONED: Kentucky rain keeps pouring down. And up ahead’s another town that I’ll go walking through, with the rain in my shoes, searchin for you … In the cold Kentucky rain.  Well, Kentucky is right across the river from Cincinnati, so I guess it’s close enough.

Mike Scioscia and the Angels played yesterday’s game under protest

KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 27: Matt Shoemaker #52 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim throws to first as he tries to get the out on Raul Mondesi's #27 of the Kansas City Royals bunt in the seventh inning at Kauffman Stadium on July 27, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. Shoemaker's throwing error lead to Mondesi advancing to third and Alex Gordon and Paulo Orlando scoring.  (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
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The Royals beat the Angels last night, but Mike Scioscia is hoping Joe Torre and the Commissioner’s Office gives him a do-over.

The Angels played the game in protest following what they believe to be a rules misinterpretation following a base running incident in the seventh inning. That’s when Raul Mondesi reached on a bunt single which scored two runs following a throwing error from Angels pitcher Matt Shoemaker, whose attempt to put out Modesi sailed into right field. Watch the play:

Mike Scioscia came out claiming interference, arguing that Mondesi was not running within the baseline. The play was reviewed for over six minutes but the call — everyone’s safe and two runs scored — was upheld. After that Scioscia indicated tht he was playing under protest.

The thing about protests, though, is that they cannot be based on judgment calls. Rather, they have to be based on misapplication of rules by the umpires. Running outside of the baseline is a judgment call, though, right? So how can Scioscia protest it? Here’s his explanation:

“It’s not a judgement call. I would not have protested if I was not 100 percent correct on this. This is a misinterpretation of a rule. It was very clear. Phil Cuzzi, the home plate umpire, had Mondesi running inside the line in jeopardy the whole way, and stated that it’s okay because he was stepping back toward the bag, which is wrong.”

For his part, Royals manager Ned Yost believed it was a judgment call. For everyone’s part, protests are almost never upheld in baseball and, despite Scioscia’s comments, baseline calls are generally considered judgement calls.

If Scioscia is right, the game will be replayed, resuming with one out in the seventh inning and the runners where they started. But don’t hold your breath.

Politician behind the Braves new ballpark deal voted out of office

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Associated Press
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Tim Lee was the Cobb County commissioner who led the charge to build a new stadium for the Atlanta Braves in the northern suburbs. The operation, despite being taxpayer-funded, was not passed on by the voters beforehand and was cloaked in secrecy at every turn. Best of all, once Lee and his fellow commissioners started taking heat for it, he held his critics in contempt and shut down any effort to examine the deal in public meetings or to allow dissent to it by the people he claimed to represent.

That’s not a great look for a public official. Which is why Lee is now a former public official:

Incumbent Chairman Tim Lee lost his reelection bid Tuesday to challenger Mike Boyce, a retired marine colonel, in a runoff seen by many as a litmus test for support of the deal to bring the Atlanta Braves to Cobb.

Boyce beat Lee, winning 64 percent of the vote, with all precincts reporting.

If you read that linked article, you’ll be amused to see that Lee’s supporters blame his defeat on Donald Trump and general anti-incumbent sentiment. To the folks watching that race, however, it was obvious that this was a referendum on bringing the Braves to Cobb County in the manner that Lee did. His opponent, also a Republican, ran a grassroots campaign that was explicitly about Lee’s lack of transparency and, in many respects, total secrecy in spending hundreds of millions of public dollars on the sort of project which study after study has shown does not provide economic benefits to the public in any way approaching the degree to which it simply enriches the owners of professional sports teams. Lee’s opponent, Mike Boyce, said this after his victory:

“Cobb County is a very conservative county and people simply want the respect shown to them that if you’re going to use their money, you have to ask them,” Boyce said.

Doesn’t seem all that controversial, Trumpian or anti-incumbent to me. That just seems like good sense.

Not that Lee is going away quietly. After his defeat, he said this:

I wanted to make a positive difference for my community. Thirteen years later, I can safely say that I’ve done that. In my last term, Cobb County landed the biggest economic development deal in its modern history. That investment – however unfairly maligned and misrepresented – is already paying off and will enrich this community long after many of us are gone . . . The election is over; our friendship is not. How about we catch a ballgame together? I know a great place about to open up. It’s in the neighborhood.

I’m assuming Lee will have free Braves tickets for life after what he did for them so, yes, he’ll always be at the ballgame. And yes, I’m sure he’ll always consider the stadium to have been economically beneficial because he’ll just point to a ballpark full of fans and, eventually, a winning Braves ballclub and claim that makes everyone’s life better. If he chooses to measure the ballpark’s economic impact the way actual economists do, however, as opposed to the way professional sports teams and their crony politicians do, I’m guessing he’ll have to reassess that stuff about how great all of this has been.

Not that I ever expect him to measure it that way. No one in power ever does. They’re too busy hobnobbing with retired ballplayers and team executives in the luxury suites and explaining away their failure to fund true public works and services as either something wholly unavoidable or the fault of someone else.