Minnesota Twins v Texas Rangers

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Rangers 20, Twins 6:  A lot of people will probably make a football joke here like “heh, Texas missed the extra point and held Minnesota to two field goals!”  That’s hacky.  Try this: in the first five innings the Rangers scored like so:  3 3 3 5 4. Or, birdie, par, birdie, par, par! Lol! Hilarious, right!  Seriously, though, we done with that “watch out for Minnesota” talk yet?

Padres 5, Phillies 4: You don’t see a guy steal home very often. I guess that’s what you get when you lollygag the ball to first base. You don’t see the Padres beat the Phillies very often either, but Aaron Harang continued his nice run and that’s just what happened.

Indians 3, Angels 2: True story: if “Cowboys vs. Aliens” makes good money at the box office, they’re gonna greenlight its sequel, “Indians vs. Angels.”  Though I’m guessin’ people might protest that one based on the title alone. And Dan Haren should probably protest his offense and his bullpen after they combined to render his 10K, 1 ER performance moot.

Mets 4, Reds 2: Jason Isringhausen and the Mets defense made it a bit interesting in the ninth, but Brandon Phillips struck out with the bases loaded to end it.

Yankees 10, Mariners 3: Sixteen straight. How bad is it? They even allowed Derek Jeter to hit a homer and drive in three.

Pirates 3, Braves 1: I probably deserve this for calling Pittsburgh smoke and mirrors in yesterday’s Power Rankings. I still believe it, though, so don’t get too much satisfaction there, Cruel Fate.

White Sox 6, Tigers 3: Chicago, who at times has looked like a train wreck this year, is now only three and a half back of Detroit. Man the AL Central is nuts.

Cardinals 10, Astros 5: Yadier Molina is on fire. He homered for his third straight game and — though we’re not supposed to say it lest we reveal our ignorance of the commonality of the event — he was a triple short of the cycle.

Athletics 7, Rays 5: Oakland continues to score some runs and get some breaks. Here they come back from a 5-2 deficit to win it. Pity none of that happened earlier this season, because they’re back more than a dozen.

Royals 3, Red Sox 1: Tied at one in the 14th, the Royals pulled an accidental squeeze play when Eric Hosmer and Jeff Francoeur both broke on a Mike Aviles bunt attempt. Hey, whatever works. Tons of missed opportunities for the Red Sox who threatened often in extra innings but couldn’t cash anything in.

Dodgers 8, Rockies 5: L.A. took an 8-1 lead into the ninth and had thoughts of frittering it away. In the end, though, they only gave up four runs to the Rockies before closing it down. But hey, unexpected save for Jay Guerra. And that’s all that really matters.

Carlos Ruiz leaves a goodbye note for the Phillies

CLEARWATER, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Carlos Ruiz #51 of the Philadelphia Phillies poses for a portrait on February 26, 2016 at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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And then there was one. One player from the 2008 World Series champs, that is. Ryan Howard likely isn’t going anywhere so he’ll be the last one to turn the lights off, but today Carlo Ruiz bid adieu to the Phillies following his trade to Los Angeles.

Lost in all of the emotions the Dodgers are reported to be feeling about A.J. Ellis leaving is the fact that Ruiz was one of the most beloved Phillies players ever, by both his teammates and their fans. Yesterday Roy Halladay penned a heartfelt goodbye to Ruiz, suggesting that he was every bit as essential to his and the Phillies’ success as Ellis has been to Clayton Kershaw (and in pure baseball production, obviously, quite more).

Today Chooch left a message for his now former teammates:

A far-fetched sounding drug test scam

NES TSIONA, ISRAEL - JANUARY 22:  A laboratory technician checks human blood samples before placing the glass tubes on an automated testing line at the Maccabi Health Services HMO central laboratory January 22, 2006 in Nes Tsiona which is located in central Israel. The laboratory, which operates a fully automated system complete with advanced robotics, can test more than 50,000 blood samples a day. The lab is considered one of the most modern of its kind in the western world.  (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)
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Kevin Draper at Deadspin is passing along a story — and that’s not me editorializing; he’s admitting that it’s unconfirmed gossip at the moment — about a major league player paying a teammate $2.5 million to take the fall for him on a drug test. The story came via a tip from someone who, apparently, had a conversation about the drug test scam with a college baseball player who knew the players allegedly involved in the scam.

Here is how the conversation was recounted:

College Baseball Player: [MLB player’s star teammate] paid him to take his blood test. $2.5 million dollars.

Bar Patron: How does that even work?

College Baseball Player: [MLB player] and [MLB player’s star teammate] were getting tested the same day. They traded samples.

Deadspin says that the story is “probably bulls**t” but that some preliminary investigating they’ve done doesn’t disprove it and, to some extent corroborates it. How it’s been supported or not is left unclear and Deadspin couches all of this in a request for more information if anyone has any. Which, OK, fine.

I’ll offer that, on the surface, this seems like a bit more than mere “bulls**t.” It sounds structurally impossible. If it’s a blood test for HGH as the excerpt suggests, the samples are tested back in the lab to make sure they match up with previous samples. Meaning: the lab processing the sample knows if it’s your blood or not. If it’s a urine test, as Deadspin thinks it may have been, I’m not sure how samples could be switched given that urine tests are directly observed by testing officials. Yes, they watch you pee. They’d likely prevent you from peeing right next to your bro teammate, but even if you did, they’d see you exchange little plastic containers of urine with him.

I’m not going to say that this is 100% bull because we can’t really know for sure, but the scenario as described sounds highly unlikely, approaching the impossible. If someone had a story about bribing a sample taker with $2.5 million well, hey, maybe we’re getting somewhere, because that would get you over some procedural hurdles. For now, though, this all sounds like someone passing along a tall tale.

If it is true? Hoo boy, that’d be fun. At least for people like me who write about this stuff.