Do the Collapse

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Orioles 6, Red Sox 3; Rays 5, Yankees 2:  Tied. The details sort of don’t matter anymore. All you need to know is that the City of Boston now has permission to vomit. Continuously. Through Wednesday.

Phillies 4, Braves 2: The Braves are just a lousy team right now in every facet of the game. And you know what? I’ve gotten to the point where my love of chaos has overtaken my devotion to the Braves. On one level this sucks. On another level, this is kind of fantastic in some sick and twisted way.

Astros 5, Cardinals 4: But even if the Braves are lousy, the Cardinals still have to capitalize on their lousiness. And they didn’t. Depending on Octavio Dotel to give you two quality innings is the sort of thing that leads to that. Dotel gave up a leadoff double to Brian Bogusevic and then committed an error on Jason Bourgeois‘ sacrifice attempt and couldn’t field a subsequent bunt from Angel Sanchez.

Rangers 4, Angels 3: A lot of people gave me crap yesterday for not including the Angels in posts about the AL wild card. Well, sorry. Now they’re eliminated, however, so I guess it didn’t matter.

Tigers 14, Indians 0: Doug Fister vs. Ubaldo Jimenez in the battle of the mid-season pickups. Advantage: Fister. Eight shutout innings with nine strikeouts. Oh, and the 14 runs on 18 hits didn’t hurt.

Reds 6, Mets 5: I’m not gonna say this game was an exercise in going through the motions, but the Reds and Mets combined to use 34 players.

White Sox 4, Blues Jays 3: Ozzie Guillen was released from his contract as soon as this game ended. When reached for comment, Guillen said “#$&%!” Glad to see he stayed true to form until the end.

Royals 7, Twins 3: Melky Cabrera notched his 200th hit of the season in this one. In other news, the word has gone completely and utterly insane and we’ll all be lucky to survive the damn week.

Giants 3, Rockies 1: Seven shutout innings for Ryan Vogelsong, capping off a pretty doggone good year for him. He went 13-7 with a 2.71 ERA and absolutely no one, except maybe Vogelsong himself, expected it.

Padres 2, Cubs 0: My brother and his co-workers were at this game. The tickets were a reward from their manager at In-N-Out Burger for meeting some summer sales goal. He called me from the ballpark before the game and read the Cubs’ lineup to me.  I told him you get what you pay for. Mat Latos wasn’t impressed with them either (7 IP, 2 H, o ER, 9K).

Mariners 4, Athletics 2: Justin Smoak’s three-run homer broke the tie in the sixth and held up.

Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 2: Matt Kemp hit a three-run homer which kept him in the lead in that category and extended his RBI lead, but an overall 1 for 4 night pretty much ends his triple crown hopes.

Pirates 9, Brewers 8: And though it was in a loss, Ryan Braun’s pinch hit RBI double allows him to keep whatever small buffer he has over Kemp in the MVP race. I’m a Kemp man, but my sense of it is that more people lean Braun anyway.

Nationals 6, Marlins 4: And we’re one more game closer to the end of them playing games in whatever it is the heck they call that monstrosity of a ballpark in Miami.

Yordano Ventura’s remaining contract hinges on the results of his toxicology report

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
Duane Burleson/Getty Images
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.

What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.

The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.

Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.

Spring training will be slightly shortened in 2018

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 15:  General view of action between the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants during the spring training game at Scottsdale Stadium on March 15, 2014 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The A's defeated the Giants 8-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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The Associated Press is reporting that the spring training schedule will be shortened by two days starting in 2018. That change comes as part of the new collective bargaining agreement, which was agreed to last month.

Specifically, the voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers, and injured players has been changed to 43 days before the start of the regular season, down from 45. For the rest of the players, the reporting date is 38 days before the start of the regular season, down from 40.

The change goes hand-in-hand with allowing teams 187 days, rather than 183, to complete their 162-game regular season schedule.

While just about everyone seems to be in agreement that the spring training exhibition schedule is too long, team owners are likely very hesitant to shorten that part of the spring schedule because it would cost them money. So they’re just allowing players to arrive to camp a couple of days later.