New York Yankees v Cincinnati Reds - Game Two

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Yankees 4, Reds 2; Reds 10, Yankees 2: A twin bill thanks to Tuesday night’s rain. We start with the second one because that has the coolest thing in it: Chris Heisey hitting three homers and driving in five. Like a boss. New York takes the first one with an effective outing from Freddy Garcia and a two-run homer from Jorge Posada, his first since April 23rd.

Nationals 2, Mariners 1: Look who’s sittin’ at .500. Danny Espinosa drove in the first run and scored the second while five Nats pitchers combined to stifle the M’s bats. Erik Bedard struck out 10 and didn’t allow any earned runs over six innings, so he really deserved a better fate. At least from a baseball perspective. I mean, we don’t know for sure that he didn’t kill a hobo on a dare when he was in high school and thus everything bad that happens to him isn’t something he totally has coming to him. We don’t really know any of these guys that well, do we?

Astros 5, Rangers 3: Whoa. Neftali Feliz blew a 3-1 lead in the ninth inning, with the capper coming on a pinch-hit two-run homer by Matt Downs.  Maybe the fact that he had a 35-pitch outing in the Texas heat the night before had something to do with it?

Pirates 5, Orioles 4: Blake Davis, 27-year-old rookie makes his major league debut and his error — a Josh Harrison grounder through the wickets — ends up costing the O’s the game.  George Burns was right: baseball is a horrible bitch goddess.

Rays 6, Brewers 3: David Price pitched well — struck out ten — but his game was more notable for a nasty slide into second that drew blood and the fact that he wore his shinguard on the wrong shin during one of his at bats. Kelly Shoppach’s assessment after the game: “There’s a lot of baseball purists out there that love the pitchers hitting, but oh my gosh.”  Well, yeah.

Tigers 7, Dodgers 5: Homers from Casper Wells,  Miguel Cabrera, Don Kelly and Magglio Ordonez and a nifty game-ending catch from Austin Jackson with the bases jacked in the bottom of the ninth. Observed: the Dodgers both look bad and play bad in their baby blue throwback uniforms.

Braves 5, Blue Jays 1: Brandon Beachy returned from the DL and struck out 11 over six innings. The only blemish was a homer allowed to Jose Bautista. Of course. he’s not alone in allowing that particular blemish. And if you missed it, Bautista made a helluva catch, robbing Jordan Schafer of a homer.

Padres 5, Red Sox 1: A wise man once said: “sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains so damn much that you have four rain delays and then the game ends up being called after seven and a half innings anyway.” Clayton Richard stuck it out through two of the delays, giving up one run and eight hits over five innings. Four hits for Adrian Gonzalez, who is more machine than man.

Indians 4, Rockies 3: For the second night in a row a Rockies player hits two homers off the Indians. This time it’s Ty Wigginton. Unlike the night before, however, this time it’s in a losing effort, as Josh Tomlin beats Jason Hammel. One of the Tribe’s runs scored on a Hammel balk, so that’s special.

Phillies 4, Cardinals 0: A six-hit shutout for Cliff Lee, who has been absolutely incredible in June. One earned run in 33 innings.

Giants 5, Twins 1: Ryan Vogelsong has been damn spiffy too, and threw yet another gem: one run on three hits in seven inning, lowering his ERA to 1.86. Eli Whiteside had a triple, single and three RBI.

Angels 6, Marlins 5: As has been the case throughout this series, the Angels had a ton of chances. And they failed to capitalize on them early. As the game wore on, however, things started to fall for them. The most important being a Mark Trumbo RBI single in the 10th. Torii Hunter left the game after slamming into the right field wall, though x-rays were negative. Which is a positive thing.

Diamondbacks 3, Royals 2: Ian Kennedy keeps on keeping on, winning his eighth game and lowering his ERA to 2.90.

Mets 3, Athletics 2: Last week the Mets lost on a walkoff balk. Last night they won on a walkoff plunk. Justin Turner on the pitch that hit him:

“I’m staying in and holding my ground. Unless it’s at my face or around my ankle or something, I’ll stay in there and take the bruise and get that game over with.”

Dude: at least pretend that you tried to get out of the way but couldn’t, as is your obligation as a hitter.

White Sox 4, Cubs 3: Jake Peavy and his catcher A.J. Pierzynski exchanged some words when Peavy was pulled from the game and the dispute spilled into the dugout a bit after the inning was over. I’m having a hard time processing the fact that, from what I can tell, it was Peavy being the jerk in this thing, not Pierzynski.  Oh well, they made nice afterwards and they won the game, so it doesn’t matter.

Catching up with Professor Ben Cherington

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 12:  Ben Cherington, general manager of the Boston Red Sox, leaves the field before a game with the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park on June 12, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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There is a general consensus that the bad free agent signings of the later Ben Cherington years in Boston were ownership diktats, not things that were Ben Cherington’s idea. Whether that consensus is accurate is hard to say, but that’s how it sort of felt to most outside observers. The reality was probably messier. Where ideas start and where they end up in organizations involve a lot of weird passive-aggressive dancing, with power being exercised in some cases and merely anticipated in others, causing people to do things in such a way that blame is a nebulous matter. I’m sure baseball teams are no different.

Whatever actually happened in Boston will likely always be somewhat murky, but Cherington is the one who took the fall. Where he ended up after all of it went down, however, is an interesting story. The place: on the faculty of the sports management program at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies. The story about it is told by Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. It’s an interesting one.

Cherington is still a young man with a lot of undisputed accomplishments under his belt. It would not surprise me at all to see him have a second act as the head of a baseball operations department some day. For now, though, he’s doing his own interesting thing.

It’s OK to not like someone on the team you root for

St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina celebrates as he arrives home after hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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There were a series of interesting comments to the Yadier Molina story this morning. The first commenter, a Cardinals fan, said he’s never really cared for Molina. Other Cardinals fans took issue with that, wondering how on Earth a Cardinals fan could not like Yadi.

While I’ll grant that Molina is a particularly popular member of the Cardinals, while I personally like his game and his overall persona, and while I can’t recall ever meeting a Cards fan who didn’t like him, why is it inconceivable that someone may not?

Whether you “like” a player is an inherently subjective thing. You can like players who aren’t good at baseball. You can dislike ones who are. You can like a player’s game who, as a person, seems like a not great guy. You can dislike a player’s game or his personality for any reason as well. It’s no different than liking a type of music or food or a type of clothing. Baseball players, to the fans anyway, are something of an aesthetic package. They can please us or not. We can choose to separate the art from the artist, as it were, and ignore off-the-field stuff or give extra credit for the off-the-field stuff. Dowhatchalike.

No matter what the basis is, “liking” a player on your favorite team is up to one person: you. And, as I’ve written elsewhere recently, someone not liking something you like does not give you license to be a jackass about it.

A-Rod’s mansion is featured in Architectural Digest

Alex Rodriguez
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For a couple of years people worried if A-Rod would sully the Yankees Superior Brand. Given how they’re playing these days I wonder if A-Rod should be more worried about the Yankees sullying his brand.

He resurrected his baseball career last year. He’s cultivated a successful corporate identity. He’s in a relationship with a leading Silicon Valley figure. It’s all aces. And now it’s total class, as his home is featured in the latest issue of Architectural Digest:

Erected over the course of a year, the 11,000-square-foot retreat is a showstopper, with sleek forms and striking overhangs that riff on midcentury modernism, in particular the iconic villas found at Trousdale Estates in Beverly Hills. Unlike Rodriguez’s previous Florida home, the Coral Gables house is laid out on just one story so the interiors would connect directly to the grounds. Says Choeff, “Alex wanted to accentuate the indoor-outdoor feel.”

There are a lot of photos there.

I don’t think I have much in common with Alex Rodriguez on any conceivable level, but I do like his taste in architecture and design. I’m all about the midcentury modernism. Just wish I had the paycheck to be more about it like my man A-Rod here.

Video: Yadier Molina does pushups after being brushed back, gets hit

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 9.21.21 AM
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The best part of this sequence is not that Molina successfully evaded an inside pitch or that, in doing so, he hit the dirt and did some pushups. It’s not even the part where, after that, het got back up and knocked a single to left field.

No, the best part is the applause from the crowd. Very respectful fan base in St. Louis. They’d even applaud an opposing player who showed such a great work ethic. Or so I’m told.