And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Rangers 3, Tigers 2: If only there was some form of technology that could rectify bad calls. Some magical device that could allow officials to see what really happened on a baseball field when the umpires miss it. A bit of sorcery that could put right what was wrong and prevent a game from being decided on a blown call. Sadly, no such thing exists, despite all of the efforts of our men and women of science. So, alas, the Rangers win on a blown call.

Diamondbacks 6, Braves 4: Randall Delgado issued a bases loaded walk and then a grand slam to Gerardo Parra in the second inning and that would be all Arizona needed. The Dbacks snap their five-game skid and salvage one in what had been a ghastly series against the Braves.

Padres 6, Phillies 1: Nick Hundley tripled, homered and drove in four. I don’t have time to go run the numbers right now, but I assume that that alone is more offense than the Phillies have mustered since the season began.

White Sox 7, Mariners 4: Ichiro Suzuki singled in the first, so no perfect game in this one. Umpire Tim Mcclelland had to be restrained from saying Ichiro struck out on the single, though. And then no one showed the replay and no one talked about it. Huh.

Reds 4, Cubs 3: From the AP game story:

Aroldis Chapman came on to strike out Ian Stewart looking with a fastball that registered 99 miles per hour on the stadium scoreboard, preserving the lead.

I’ve only been there once and it was like 12 years ago, but I was kinda surprised that Wrigley had gun readings on a scoreboard somewhere. These sorts of things elude me.

Athletics 5, Indians 1: Justin Masterson, the Indians Opening Day starter, continues to struggle, giving up four runs on six hits in five innings. Seth Smith and Cliff Pennington each drove in a couple.

Rockies 4, Brewers 1: Ryan Braun got his MVP plaque awarded to him before the game. That and 50 cents gets you a pack of Certs,apparently, because a Michael Cuddyer RBI double in the eighth and a Carlos Gonzalez RBI single in the ninth put the Rockies over the top.

Orioles 3, Angels 2: Nick Markakis supplied all of the Orioles’ offense, in the eighth and the tenth innings. The O’s are at 9-6 tied with the Rays a half game back of New York and Toronto. Yeah, it’s too early for that kind of standings watching, but it’s kinda fun to say it, ain’t it?

Astros 12, Dodgers 0: L.A got whupped. Jordan Schafer hit a grand slam. Wandy Rodriguez threw seven three-hit shutout innings.

Blue Jays 5, Royals 3: Rickey Romero was solid (8 IP, 5 H 2 ER), Brett Lawrie stole home on a delayed double steal and Kansas City has lost ten in a row. Yikes.

Rays 6, Twins 2: First sentence of the AP recap:

The Minnesota Twins are becoming concerned with Francisco Liriano’s struggles.

This is not a repeat from any year since 2006.

Cardinals 5, Pirates 1: How is Kyle Lohse doing this year? Well, he gave up one run over seven innings and his ERA actually went up. From 0.89 to 0.99.

I will now sell five copies of The Three E.P.’s by The Beta Band:

Yankees vs. Red Sox: POSTPONED: I asked him time again …

Marlins vs. Nationals: POSTPONED: Take me in and dry the rain …

Giants vs. Mets: POSTPONED: Take me in and dry the rain, take me in and dry the rain, take me in and dry the rain, the rain the rain the rain now.

How long do you stay a fan of a team that left town?

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File this under “not a really deep thought, but there isn’t much going on this morning, so why not?”

I was catching up with the latest, and final, season of “The Americans” over the weekend. I will give no spoilers and ask that you do the same, but I want to talk about something that came up in the second episode.

The episode takes place in October 1987 and a character is listening to a Twins playoff game on the radio. He later talks about baseball and the Twins with some other characters. The context is not important, but the guy — probably in his mid-late 40s, living in the Washington D.C. area — makes a point to say that he has been a Twins fan since the beginning, and then says he was, in fact, a fan of the franchise back when they were still the Washington Senators.

In case you are unaware, the original Washington Senators moved to Minnesota following the 1960 season and became the Twins. At the same time an expansion team, also called the Senators, was placed in D.C. to replace them. That franchise would stay in D.C. for 11 seasons before moving to Texas in 1972 to become the Rangers.

In light if that, am I the only one who has a hard time buying that such a man actually existed? How would the character, who was a kid when the original Senators moved, be a Twins fan some 26 years later?

There were relatively few televised baseball games back then. Just a game of the week and some out of town coverage of local teams. There was obviously no internet. Outside of the 1965 World Series, it’d be a shock if more than a couple of Twins games were broadcast to the D.C. area during the rest of the guy’s childhood. Maybe he kept up with the Senators players like Harmon Killebrew and Bob Allison via box scores, baseball cards and The Sporting News, but I couldn’t imagine a D.C. guy raised on the Senators keeping up with the Twins through the 1970s and 1980s. Would he not become a new Senators fan or, eventually, a Rangers fan? Maybe, like so many people on the D.C. area, he picked up the Orioles as his team due to their 1960s-70s dominance? Any number of things could happen, but I’m struggling to imagine the existence of a Senators guy who becomes a hardcore Twins fans up to and including 1987.

All of that got me thinking about other relocated teams.

The Dodgers are the most famous example, of course, with the narrative being that Dodgers fans in Brooklyn felt betrayed by Walter O’Malley and thus turned their back on the club, later adopting the Mets as their rooting interest. The betrayal narrative is less pronounced with the Giants, but that’s the same general story with them too. I mean, there’s a reason the Mets picked orange and blue as their colors. They wanted to, and largely did, co-opt the old NL New York fans.

I’m sure a lot more Dodgers and Giants fans continued to follow their teams in California than would let on, given that many of the same players starred out there in the ensuing years, but that likely died out as those players retired. Bob Aspromonte was the last Brooklyn Dodger to play in the bigs, retiring after the 1971 season. Willie Mays played through 1973. I assume NL fans in New York kept some nice thoughts for them — particularly because the Mets picked both of them up for the tail end of their careers — but I can’t see those guys rooting for, say, Steve Garvey and John Montefusco in 1979.

Others:

  • There likely aren’t many St. Louis Browns fans left — they last played in Missouri 65 years ago — but even if the ones they had in 1953 felt like rooting for the Cardinals was impossible, I bet most of their kids and grandkids became Cards fans;
  • The A’s fans in Philly — and later Kansas City — probably have a similar story. I mean, there’s a reason that franchise skipped town twice, so to expect undying love over the decades, with the Phillies and Royals around, is a bit much. The Philadelphia A’s glory years were like 90s years ago now anyway, and all of those fans are dead. The A’s modern glory years have all come in Oakland. No one in Philadelphia or Kansas City is looking to the California with an aching in their heart;
  • I could imagine someone’s grandfather in Milwaukee still thinking that the Braves are his team, but not many other people. The Braves won a World Series and two pennants in Milwaukee, but that was an awful long time ago and they moved to Atlanta before the A’s moved to Oakland. Don’t even get me started about Boston Braves fans. They all have to either be dead or have long since moved on. Following a team to a new city is a big ask, but following them to two new cities over 66 years seems pathological. UPDATE: OK, there are some pathological people out there.
  • I have some Nationals fan friends and they tell me that there is a small, weird contingent of Expos fans who root for Washington now. I get that since it wasn’t terribly long ago, but was Brad Wilkerson really a good enough reason to carry a torch? I’d like to talk to some of those people and ask them about their value system;
  • The only other team to move was the Seattle Pilots. They played one season in Seattle and no one would remember that if it wasn’t for Jim Bouton’s book, “Ball Four.” If you find someone claiming to be a Pilots fan in Seattle, you’ve found yourself a hipster peddling revisionist b.s.

Anyway, that’s a lot of words wasted on a couple of lines from a TV show, but as always, your thoughts are appreciated.