Detroit Tigers v Chicago White Sox

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Tigers 6, White Sox 5: Detroit continues to be ridiculous. Alex Avila was a hero, tying it up at five with a big fly. Carlos Guillen won it with an RBI single in extras. I know there are people who want to pretend that Justin Verlander is single-handedly carrying the Tigers into the playoffs, but it really ain’t so.  They’ve had so many contribute this seasons, especially in the second half.

Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 4: Daniel Bard had a meltdown and the Red Sox lose again.  The tension from up Boston way is palpable.

Orioles 6, Rays 2:  It would be way more palpable if the Rays hadn’t lost a couple in a row to freakin’ Baltimore.

Cardinals 3, Pirates 2; Braves 4, Marlins 1:  Again the Braves and Cardinals stay in lockstep. Advantage: Braves. Pittsburgh clinches its 19th-straight losing season. I know some Pirates fans. Good people. Their plight is evidence that, if God indeed exists, He does not care a lick about professional sports.

Phillies 1, Astros 0: Roy Halladay stifles the Astros as Philly clinches a playoff birth in a two hours, six minute game. Does this put Halladay a step closer to the Cy Young Award? Just watch: Cliff Lee will have a nearly identical start the next time out muddling it all up again.

Angels 4, Athletics 1: Jered Weaver wins his 17th. It took him 115 pitches to do it, however, which is a bit troubling given that Mike Scioscia is thinking about running him out on short rest next time out.

Giants 3, Padres 1: Two homers for Carlos Beltran, giving him 300 for his career. The Giants sweep the Padres.

Royals 7, Twins 3: The Royals have a four-game winning streak on their hands. We’re checking with the judges to see if the fact that multiple wins came against the Twins means that they get to count it as a full four. No, I’m not picking on the Twins unfairly. Luke Hochevar had the freaking flu and he still tamed Minnesota’s bats.

Rangers 9, Indians 1: Josh Hamilton hit a grand slam that gave a bunch of people free carpet and flooring. God, I love America.

Nationals 2, Mets 0: Just looking at the box score, I’m getting the sense that this loss disgusted Mets fans way more than your usual, run-of-the-mill loss. The Mets were eliminated from the postseason, by the way. Not that I think that added to the frustration, what with its inevitability and all.

Reds 7, Cubs 2: Johnny Cueto left early, but the Reds had plenty of firepower to carry through it.  Ramon Hernandez hit a three-run bomb.

Rockies 6, Brewers 2: The Brewers can secure themselves with the knowledge that a team’s record in September does not correlate with playoff success. It’s OK to skid a bit. It’s not ideal, but it’s OK.

Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 2: Clayton Kershaw had a one-hitter going in the sixth when he was tossed for throwing at Gerardo Parra intentionally even though he said it wasn’t intentional. You know, the Cy Young race is so close between Kershaw, Hallady and Lee, I am inclined to think that a five inning start, however effective it was, is enough to drop Kershaw down a bit.

Mariners 2, Yankees 1: Rodriguez with a walkoff homer lifts the M’s over New York in 12. If that was the story 12 years ago, it would have meant something else entirely. This time: Luis.

Yasiel Puig visits the Statue of Liberty, meets a Yasiel Puig fan

Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig reacts in dugout after hitting a RBI sacrifice fly against the San Francisco Giants during fifth inning of a spring baseball game in Scottsdale, Ariz., Sunday, March 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
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Yasiel Puig is in New York to face the Mets this weekend. Yesterday was a day off so he got to explore New York. You can tell he’s not a New Yorker because he actually went to visit the Statue of Liberty.

I likewise assume that Puig made it to where the boat leaves for Liberty Island with plenty of time to spare, because God knows he’s had a week in which him hustling to make it just in time wasn’t gonna happen.

In other news, Puig made a friend on the boat:

Wade Boggs did not wear his Yankees ring to his number retiring ceremony last night

BOSTON, MA - MAY 26:  Wade Boggs acknowledges the crowd during the retirement of his jersey #26 prior to the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Colorado Rockies at Fenway Park on May 26, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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The other day we had the non-controversy of Wade Boggs wearing his 1996 World Series ring, which he won with the Yankees, to a ceremony honoring the 1986 Red Sox. Last night, however, Boggs was feted as an individual, with his number 26 being retired at Fenway Park.

It was an emotional night for him. He was visibly choked up and said all sorts of things which clearly showed how much more, at heart, he is a Boston Red Sox legend than he is a legend of either of the other teams for which he played. And he made a comment about the Yankees ring thing too:

He wore his Hall of Fame ring on Thursday.

“I’m proud of it,” Boggs said of the ’96 Yankees’ ring. “But I didn’t feel like it was appropriate today being that it’s my day, it’s my number and everything like that. So I left it off.”

The dude hit .328 for his career and had 3,010 hits despite not even playing a full season until he was 25. He could wear a Little Orphan Annie decoder ring out there and no one would have the right to say boo to him.

Must-Click Link: Big Brother is Watching Ballplayers

Big Brother
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Over at Vice Rian Watt has a great story about how technology is changing baseball. No, it’s not about sabermetrics or statistical analysis. At least not as you all know and understand those things. It’s about how the players themselves are now becoming the data. About how wearables — little devices which monitor everything about an athlete’s behavior — and analysis of that behavior is changing clubs’ understanding of what makes baseball players excel.

Which is fine if you approach it solely from a technological standpoint and do that usual “gee, what a world we live in” stuff that such articles typically inspire. Watt, however, talks about the larger implications of turning players into data: the blurring of their professional and personal lives:

Welcome to the next frontier in baseball’s analytic revolution. Many of this revolution’s tenets will be familiar to anyone who works for a living—the ever-growing digitization and quantification of things never-before measured and tracked, for instance, or the ever-expanding workplace, the blurring distinction between the professional and the personal, and the cult of self-improvement for self-improvement’s sake. These broader trends are colliding with baseball tradition on backfields and in training facilities around the major leagues, and those collisions have raised questions about privacy, security, and what employees owe their employers.

Players already accept drug testing and rules about personal behavior. But can a club, armed with knowledge about how it affects a player’s performance, make rules about how he sleeps? What kind of shoes he wears off the field? Everything he eats?

I’m the last person to fall for slippery slope fallacies. In most instances there are lines that can be drawn when it comes to regulating the behavior of others and making new rules. But in order to draw those lines you have to ask questions about what is and what is not acceptable. You also have to acknowledge that it’s really easy for technology to get ahead of our ability to comprehend its ethical implications.

Vin Scully recites the “People will come” speech from “Field of Dreams”

James
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You all probably know my thing about “Field of Dreams.” Specifically, that I hate it. Maybe my least favorite baseball movie ever. And I have sat through “The Slugger’s Wife” at least twice. That’s really saying something. At some point I’ll watch it again and liveblog the experience to explain my position on this — I know all of you think I’m nuts for not liking it — but just accept that I don’t like it for now, OK?

But just because a movie stinks doesn’t mean every aspect of it is bad. I loved Burt Lancaster in everything he did and he did an excellent job in “Field of Dreams.” Same with James Earl Jones for the most part. I thought he did a great job playing a character which, at times, didn’t have as much to work with as he could’ve had. No, there are good elements of “Field of Dreams.” If there weren’t — if it were just a total turkey — it wouldn’t inspire the feelings I have about it. If it were an unmitigated disaster, I’d occasionally re-watch it on a so-bad-it’s-good theory.

The “People will come” speech is good. Not necessarily for its content — there’s some hokeyness to it — but because James Earl Jones does a great job delivering it. He could read the dang phone book and make it compelling

Yesterday Major League Baseball launched a partnership thingie with the Field of Dreams site in Iowa. Part of that effort involved having Vin Scully recite the “People will come” speech over some baseball footage. Watch and listen:

Personally, I’d prefer Vin to tell some kooky story about an opposing player actually being a part time flautist or what have you. He’s had many monumental moments, but Scully is Scully for the way he makes the workaday and the mundane sound poetic, not because he takes the already poetic and elevates it further.

Still, this is good. Even to a hater like me. And I’m sure a lot of you will love it.