Merle Haggard AP

Merle Haggard recorded an ode to Ron Washington

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From the “Why Would I Make This Up?” department, here’s this.

You may be familiar with the phrase, “That’s the Way Baseball Go.” It was uttered by Rangers manager Ron Washington last season and became something of a rallying cry for the team during their first-ever World Series run. Well, now it is forever immortalized in song.

That’s right, the Rangers unveiled a song before last night’s game called “That’s the Way Baseball Go,” performed by Merle Haggard. It is a play on Haggard’s 1983 hit “That’s the Way Love Goes.”

Here is the press release from the team:

That’s the Way Baseball Go, a new song dedicated to Rangers Manager Ron Washington, was introduced before Friday’s game at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

The song is a modification of the 1983 Merle Haggard Grammy Award-winning #1 hit That’s the Way Love Goes and was the idea of Texas Rangers Co-Chairman Bob R. Simpson. Mr. Simpson and his wife, Janice with the assistance of Jim Hodges and Jackson Yandell of Fort Worth, wrote the lyrics to That’s the Way Baseball Go. The song was recorded by Merle Haggard last month at his ranch in Redding, CA.

Mr. and Mrs. Simpson, who have been working on this project for the last several months, have provided all of the funding for the production ofThat’s the Way Baseball Go and undertook the project as a tribute to Ron Washington and all Rangers fans.

That’s the Way Baseball Go will be available for download in the near future. The Simpsons’ share of the proceeds from the downloads will go to the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation. Information can also be found on texasrangers.com/foundation.

The song, which is 2:59 in length, was introduced on the Rangers video boards prior to Friday’s game. Mr. and Mrs. Simpson also presented Washington with a framed copy of the original lyrics during a pre-game ceremony.

I haven’t listened to the song yet, but I imagine it is deliciously awkward. Haggard, though? That’s pretty cool. Any other interesting manager-songwriter combos you guys can come up with? I hear Tony La Russa can’t get enough Lady Gaga.

Marlins defeat the Mets, then pay their respects to Jose Fernandez on the pitcher’s mound

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: Miami Marlins players all wearing jerseys bearing the number 16 and name Fernandez honor the late Jose Fernandez before the game against the New York Mets at Marlins Park on September 26, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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The Marlins were somehow able to muster up the strength not only to play Monday night’s game against the Mets, but also win it convincingly one day after losing Jose Fernandez in a tragic boating accident. The Marlins and Mets helped pay tribute to Fernandez prior to the start of the game as outlined here.

When the game started, the Marlins came out of the gate with a bang. Dee Gordon homered in his first at-bat, then the club hung a four-spot in the second inning. They tacked on two more in the third inning to chase starter Bartolo Colon and take a commanding 7-0 lead. The Mets chipped away for two runs in the fifth on an Asdrubal Cabrera two-run homer and tacked on one more in the eighth, but ultimately fell short by a 7-3 margin.

Gordon finished 4-for-5 with the homer and two RBI. Justin Bour went 3-for-3 with a single, double, triple, and a walk along with an RBI and two runs scored.

A.J. Ramos, who closed out the win, placed the ball on the pitcher’s mound for Fernandez. The Marlins huddled around the mound and said a prayer. The players huddled closer to the rubber on the mound, then left their hats behind as they retreated to the clubhouse as fans at Marlins Park chanted, “Jose, Jose, Jose.”

In a post-game interview, Gordon called his first-inning home run “the best moment of my life,” as NBC 6 Sports reports.

Indians defeat Tigers, clinch AL Central for first division title since 2007

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 7: Roberto Perez #55 of the Cleveland Indians hits an RBI single during the second inning against the Houston Astros at Progressive Field on September 7, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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The Indians beat the Tigers 7-4 at Comerica Park on Monday night, clinching the AL Central for their first division title since 2007. Starter Corey Kluber lasted only four innings before exiting with right groin tightness, but the Indians were able to overcome the adversity.

Coco Crisp gave the Indians their first two runs with a two-run home run in the second inning off of starter Buck Farmer. The Tigers would promptly tie the game on a two-run homer by J.D. Martinez in the bottom half of the inning.

In the fifth, an RBI double by Jason Kipnis and a sacrifice fly by Mike Napoli put the Tribe back on top 4-2. The Tigers answered once again with a Miguel Cabrera RBI single in the bottom half to make it 4-3.

Roberto Perez homered for the Indians in the top of the top of the seventh, and Cabrera answered with another RBI single in the bottom half to keep it within one run at 5-4.

The Indians tacked on another insurance run in the eighth on three consecutive two-out singles by Crisp, Rajai Davis, and Perez. Carlos Santana then hit what should have been the final out of the eighth inning, but J.D. Martinez botched the catch, allowing the Indians’ seventh run to score.

Cody Allen shut the Tigers down in the bottom of the ninth, protecting the 7-4 lead for his 30th save of the season.

The last time the Indians won the AL Central, their starting lineup featured a 28-year-old Victor Martinez, a 25-year-old Jhonny Peralta, a 24-year-old Grady Sizemore, and a 26-year-old CC Sabathia. It’s been a long time.

The American League playoff picture still isn’t set yet, so the Indians will be intently watching the final week of the season to see who will be their playoff opponent.