And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Red Sox 9, Yankees 5: I was watching this game until Curt Schilling and Nomar Garciaparra started talking about intangibles and how so-and-so has them “off the charts.” Which, given that they’re INTANGIBLE, what freaking chart could possibly measure them?  And another thing: Schilling talked about the game changing, saying that Dustin Pedroia never would have been drafter 15, 25 years ago. Of course he wouldn’t have! Baseball teams HATED good players back then and they never, ever, ever drafted short middle infielders. They were all talent-free giants! That was the style at the time! So yeah, this is why I didn’t watch the rest of the game. Rage issues. Sorry. Red Sox won. Whoop-dee-doo.

Rays 4, Rangers 1: Joe Maddon didn’t let James Shields get the complete game — he was at 110 pitches after eight — but I got this feeling that he coulda pulled it off. Fantastic season for Shields.

Giants 4, Cubs 0: I guess the Giants will always have enough offense if their pitchers shut out the other team. Madison Bumgarner allowed two hits and struck out 11 in eight innings.

Twins 7, White Sox 6: “All it takes is one bad inning to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That’s how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad inning. You had a bad inning once. Am I right? I know I am. I can tell. You had a bad inning and everything changed.” — Jake Peavy.

Indians 4, Athletics 3: Jack Hannahan hit an RBI single with one out in the 16th inning to win it. Cleveland is back in second place, having won three in a row.

Dodgers 4, Padres 2: A two-run homer for Rod Barajas helps the Dodgers to their eighth win in nine games. Insane: the Dodgers could theoretically finish at .500. Didn’t see that coming a couple of months ago.

Tigers 5, Royals 4: A three-run eighth inning brought the Tigers back from behind. Austin Jackson went 4 for 4 and scored three times.

Braves 3, Nationals 1: Chipper Jones hit his 450th career home run.  Derek Lowe hit his first career home run, however, ensuring that Chipper gained no additional ground. Craig Kimbrel breaks the rookie saves record.

Blue Jays 13, Orioles 0: Damn.  The four homers were bad, but getting shut the hell out for eight innings by Henderson Alvarez just adds insult to, well, insult. For the third or fourth time this year I must write that this is a low point for the Orioles. This time I really do think I mean it.

Mets 3, Marlins 2: Jason Bay had three hits, including an RBI single that tied the game. He’s just excited about all of that center field talk, I’m sure.

Phillies 3, Reds 0: Cliff Lee shut out the Reds for eight and two-thirds but loaded the bases in the ninth. Three Ryan Madson pitchers later, the game was over.  Dude totally has a closer’s mentality. Amirite?

Astros 2, Pirates 0: Seven shutout innings for J.A. Happ? Sure. Why not?

Diamondbacks 4, Rockies 2: Nine straight for Arizona. Miguel Montero was 2 for 4 with a homer and three driven in.

Cardinals 8, Brewers 3: Jake Westbrook hit his first career homer — a grand slam no less — to help the Cards take their second straight from division-leading Milwaukee. Solo shots from Rafael Furcal and Albert Pujols too.  This isn’t yet critical for Milwaukee — they could drop two of three in both this series and next week’s series and will still have only lost two games’ ground on the Cards — but they really don’t need to be swept by them.

Mariners 2, Angels 1: A great pitching matchup between Felix Hernandez and Dan Haren that makes me wish I could stay up late and sleep in the next morning in order to catch it. But alas, such is not my lot nor my geography in life. Hernandez goes the distance allowing one run on five hits while striking out nine.

Evan Longoria: ‘I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base’

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The Rays were busy over the weekend, trading starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, designating All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment, and then picking up C.J. Cron in a deal with the Angels. The Rays saved about $4 million — Odorizzi’s $6.3 million less Cron’s $2.3 million salary — and picked up a prospect. They’re still on the hook for Dickerson’s $5.95 million salary until they can find a trade partner, which seems likely.

Those are some head-scratching moves if you’re a Rays fan or a member of the Rays. Dickerson hit .282/.325/.490 with 27 home runs, 62 RBI, and 84 runs scored in 629 plate appearances last season, part of which resulted in his first trip to the All-Star Game. Designating him for assignment is strictly a financial move, assuming he can be traded. The Rays are currently operating with a payroll below $70 million. This comes just a week and a half after Rays ownership proposed the public footing most of the bill for the club’s new stadium. And the Rays had traded third baseman Evan Longoria — then the face of the franchise — to the Giants earlier this offseason.

Longoria expressed sympathy for Rays fans for having to put up with this. Via Andrew Baggarly, Longoria said of the curious Dickerson move, “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base. … I’m not going to take too many shots but it’s pretty obvious that guy is a valuable player and didn’t deserve to be DFAd. Corey was our best player last year.”

Longoria isn’t quite on the money there. By WAR, Dickerson ranked fifth among position players on the team, according to Baseball Reference. FanGraphs is also in agreement. Still, it’s indisputable that Dickerson, who turns 29 years old this May, more than pulled his weight. The Rays do not have a surfeit of starting outfielders, so it wasn’t like they were making room for other capable players. Mallex Smith, who put up a .684 OPS in 282 PA last year, is slated to start in left field at the moment. Designating Dickerson for assignment, as well as trading Longoria and Odorizzi, were simply cost-cutting decisions.

The Rays’ M.O. has been part of the problem leading to the current stagnant free agent market (sans Eric Hosmer‘s eight-year deal on Saturday). Teams like the Rays, Phillies, Reds, and Tigers have been explicitly putting out non-competitive teams in order to facilitate a rebuilding process. Longoria is right to express sympathy for Rays fans, who see their favorite team worsening a roster that went 80-82 last year. The Rays haven’t finished at .500 or above since 2013 and doesn’t figure to halt the streak this year.