And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Cardinals 4, Marlins 1:  I wrote up a more thorough summary last night if you’re curious. For now, though, let us note that Angel Hernandez is in midseason form already, calling Omar Infante safe at first base when he was clearly out in the bottom of the eighth. That should have been out number three, but instead a run scored and the inning was extended.

That was pretty inconsequential, of course. Most was in this game compared to the ballpark (garish, but bold and I kind of like it); the pageantry (Dancing girls? Fireworks and flag-bearers? Really?); and the sad sight of Muhammad Ali on that golf cart at the beginning of the game which, man, I don’t know.

But no matter what you thought of any of those specifically, I hope we can agree that baseball doesn’t do spectacle well. I sort of wish they wouldn’t try.  I would prefer a simple “play ball.”

Maybe we’ll get a few more of those today and less sparkle.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.