Minnesota Twins v New York Yankees

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights


Yankees 7, Twins 6: Curtis Granderson hit three bombs and went 5 for 5. If you just followed this game on Twitter, though, you’d think the storyline of the game was Phil Hughes stinking. The Yankees fans I follow are a surprisingly neurotic bunch despite following the most dominant team in American sports history. But to be fair, Hughes did kind of stink and he actually needed all three of those Granderson bombs. Just keeping the slot warm for Andy Pettitte I guess.

Dodgers 4, Brewers 3: Matt Kemp hit another homer. Ho-hum. Meanwhile, jumping Jesus on a pogo stick, look at the play Jerry Hairston made.

Reds 6, Cardinals 3: Adam Wainwright still doesn’t have his mojo back. The Reds beat him up for four runs on seven hits in five innings. Which is saying something, because the Reds couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a damn boat before yesterday.

Orioles 5, White Sox 3: Jason Hammel struck out ten and Jim Johnson got out of a bases loaded jam in the ninth. Orioles are still in first place, people. I think that’s in Revelations. That child running on the field is in there someplace too, I’m sure of it (“and then cometh the young, who shall leadeth the …” and something or other).

Marlins 5, Cubs 3: And the Feesh sweep the Cubs. The Marlins are now 3-0 when being managed by a repentant Fidel Castro sympathizer.

Astros 11, Nationals 4: Houston raps out 17 hits. Every starter including the pitcher hit, and the team hit three triples in the first inning, sorta killing all of that “K Street” love I taped for today’s HBT Extra. When that part of the video airs later just pretend that this game didn’t happen, OK?

Rangers 10, Tigers 3: Yu Darvish had his best outing so far, giving up one run on two hits in six and a third. Of course, because he walked five and struck out five, his pitch count was pretty nutsy by the time he was yanked. Michael Young continues his hot hitting. Nelson Cruz continues his Tiger-destroying.

Rays 9, Blues Jays 4: Evan Longoria: 3 for 4 with a homer a double and four RBI. Another error too — five on the year for the guy who says “I will make my glove golden” in those MLB promos — but we’ll let that slide for today.

Indians 2, Mariners 1: The Tribe gets both of its runs on a ninth inning RBI single from Jack Hannahan. They rally — and lack of Seattle run support — squandered a fabulous Felix Hernandez performance: 8 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 12K.  As usual, King Felix just doesn’t know how to win.

Phillies 2, Padres 0: Another great west coast pitching performance, this once from Vance Worley (7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 11K). Phillies scored their runs on a sac fly and a passed ball, however, so the offensive worries are still there.

Athletics 4, Angels 2: The Angels continue to struggle, dropping their third in a row to Oakland. The A’s only mustered three hits total and only two off C.J. Wilson but still scored four runs, partially due to a Wilson throwing error.

Braves 10, Diamondbacks 2: Freddie Freeman went 3 for 5, hit two homers and drove in five. Mike Minor struck out nine and allowed only one earned run. His stuff was pretty filthy last night too. I was so impressed with it that while watching the game I tweeted about it. I accidentally called his curve his “braking ball.” I think I actually like that better, so I’m sticking with it. Minor throws a braking ball. It was taught to him by the braking ball guru. In other news, I also got this screencap from the game, that I will show you without comment. Well, one comment: “fisted.”

Rob Manfred wants a new, unnecessary rule to protect middle infielders


Commissioner Rob Manfred is at the Cards-Cubs game this afternoon and the sporting press just spoke with him about the fallout from the Chase Utley/Ruben Tejada play from the other night. Not surprising.

Also not surprising? Manfred’s desire to implement a new rule in an effort to prevent such a play from happening again. Or, at the very least, to allow for clear-cut punishment for someone who breaks it:

Which is ridiculous, as we already have Rule 6.05(m) on the books. That rule — which is as clear as Crystal Pepsi — says a baserunner is out when . . .

(m)A preceding runner shall, in the umpire’s judgment, intentionally interfere with a fielder who is attempting to catch a thrown ball or to throw a ball in an attempt to complete any play:

Rule 6.05(m) Comment: The objective of this rule is to penalize the offensive team for deliberate, unwarranted, unsportsmanlike action by the runner in leaving the baseline for the obvious purpose of crashing the pivot man on a double play, rather than trying to reach the base. Obviously this is an umpire’s judgment play.

That rule totally and completely covers the Utley-Tejada situation. The umpires were wrong for not enforcing it both then and in the past, but that’s the rule, just as good as any other rule in that book and in no way in need of replacement.

Why not just enforce that rule? What rule would “better protect” infielders than that one? What would do so in a more straightforward a manner? What could baseball possibly add to it which would make plays at second base less confusing rather than more so?

I suspect what Manfred is interested in here is some means to change this from a judgment call to a clear-cut rule. It was that impulse that led to the implementation of clocks for pitchers and batters and innings breaks rather than giving umpires the discretion to enforce existing pace-of-play rules. It was that impulse which led to a tripartite (or is it quadpartite?) means of determining whether a catcher impermissibly blocks the plate or a runner barrels him over rather than simply enforce existing base-blocking rules.

But taking rules out of the subjective realm and into the objective is difficult or downright impossible in many cases, both in law and in baseball. It’s almost totally impossible when intent is an element of the thing, as it is here. It’s likewise the case that, were there a clear and easy bright line to be established in service of a judgment-free rule on this matter, someone may have stumbled upon it once in the past, oh, 150 years. And maybe even tried to implement it. They haven’t, of course. Probably because there was no need, what with Rule 6.05(m) sitting up there all nice and tidy and an army of judgment-armed umpires standing ready to enforce it should they be asked to.

Unfortunately, Major League Baseball has decided that eschewing set rules in favor of new ones is better. Rules about the time batters and pitchers should take. Rules about blocking bases. Rules about how long someone should be suspended for a first time drug offense. Late Selig and Manfred-era Major League Baseball has decided, it seems, that anything 150 years of baseball can do, it can do better. Or at least newer and without the input of people in the judgment-passing business like umpires and arbitrators and the like.

Why can’t baseball send a memo to the umpires and the players over the winter saying the following:

Listen up:

That rule about running into fielders that you all have already agreed to abide by in your respective Collective Bargaining Agreements? We’re serious about it now and WILL be enforcing it. If you break it, players, you’re going to be in trouble. If you refuse to enforce it, umpires, you’re going to be in trouble. Understood? Good.


Bobby M.

If players complain, they complain. They don’t have a say about established rules. If, on the other hand, your process of making new rules is easier than your process of simply enforcing rules you already have, your system is messed up and we should be having a whole other conversation.

Anti-Chase Utley signs at Citi Field were brutal and hilarious

Chase Utley sign

Obviously Chase Utley was not the most popular figure in Citi Field last night. The fans booed him like crazy and chanted for him to make an appearance after the game got underway.

They made signs too. Lots and lots of signs. The one at the top of this article is the only one the Associated Press saw fit to grab a photo of, it seems. But there were more and, unlike that one, they were less than tame.

My favorite one was this one, held by a girl about my daughter’s age. It’s direct. It’s totally unequivocal. It gets the point across:

There’s no arguing with that. Utley could show up with a team of lawyers and after five minutes in front of this girl he’d be forced to admit, both orally and in writing, that, yes, he Buttley.

The New York Post categorizes many more of them here. Including one that didn’t make it into the park which said “Chase Utley [hearts] ISIS.” It was confiscated by Citi Field personnel. Why?

The sign, which actually used a “heart” drawing for loves, was confiscated by Citi Field security after she got inside Monday night. Culpepper was annoyed but gave a frank explanation.

“My guess is Isis doesn’t want to be associated with Chase Utley,” she said, calling him, “my least favorite player ever.”

Somebody call the burn unit.

NLDS, Game 4: Dodgers vs. Mets lineups

Clayton Kershaw

Here are the Dodgers and Mets lineups for Game 4 of the NLDS in New York:

CF Kike Hernandez
2B Howie Kendrick
1B Adrian Gonzalez
3B Justin Turner
SS Corey Seager
RF Yasiel Puig
C A.J. Ellis
LF Justin Ruggiano
SP Clayton Kershaw

With a left-hander on the mound for New York the Dodgers are stacking the lineup with right-handed bats, using an outfield of Yasiel Puig, Justin Ruggiano, and Kike Hernandez rather than Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, and Joc Pederson. Adrian Gonzalez and Corey Seager are the only lefty bats in the lineup. A.J. Ellis gets the start over Yasmani Grandal by virtue of being the personal catcher for Clayton Kershaw, who’s pitching on short rest.

RF Curtis Granderson
3B David Wright
2B Daniel Murphy
LF Yoenis Cespedes
C Travis d'Arnaud
1B Lucas Duda
SS Wilmer Flores
CF Juan Lagares
SP Steven Matz

Obviously facing Clayton Kershaw is much different than facing Brett Anderson, but they’re both lefties and manager Terry Collins is using the same lineup as Game 3 with one slight change: Travis d’Arnaud and Lucas Duda flipped in the batting order.