Texas Rangers v Toronto Blue Jays

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

39 Comments

Blue Jays 8, Rangers 7:  We hear a lot about Bryce Harper, but Brett Lawrie is a more fully formed version of “young, confident dude who can be a difference maker.”  Toronto fought back from an early 5-0 deficit, took the lead, then blew the lead before Lawrie hit a leadoff homer that just barely cleared the wall to walk things off in the bottom of the 9th.

Phillies 4, Braves 2: It’s not often that Jonny Venters is going to give up two runs on four hits in a given outing, but when he does, you know the Braves are sunk. Venters gave up a double, a single, struck a dude out but threw strike three wild and then gave up a couple more hits in the eighth inning and that was all she wrote.

Rays 3, Mariners 1: On a day when all of the off-the-field news was miserable for Tampa Bay at least the on-the-field part went OK.  The Rays had only three hits, but Matt Joyce’s homer and RBI triple were two of them. The Rays have won nine of ten.

Diamondbacks 5, Nationals 1: Bryce Harper’s home debut didn’t go well for him — he was 0 for 3 — or the Nationals, who have lost five straight. Trevor Cahill allowed one run over seven and a third.

Orioles 7, Yankees 1: Phil Hughes was largely ineffective again. Brian Matusz: not so much.  Matusz allowed only one run in six and a third, giving him his first win since last June and Buck Showalter his 1000th win of all time.

Tigers 9, Royals 3: Detroit scores five in the first inning, which while it took all of the drama out of this one, meant that the Tigers finally won one. Austin Jackson was four for five two batted in. He’s at .314/.398/.523 on the year, which is a bright spot indeed.

Marlins 2, Giants 1: Maybe the Marlins just needed to get out of town. They break their losing streak behind seven string innings from Ricky Nolasco and a Giancarlo Stanton homer. Matt Cain, who has pitched so brilliantly this season, is now only 1-2 on the year, putting him in the early lead for the King Felix Award, which goes to starters whose records stink because they get totally boned by their teammates all the time.

Angels 4, Twins 0: Minnesota is either doing a wonderful service in giving confidence to struggling teams this season or else they have officially become jobbers. If I were Gregg Easterbrook and gave every team putatively clever nicknames and never let go of them, I’d consider calling the Twins the Iron Mike Sharpes or the Randy Mulkeys or something like that. Jerome Williams with a three-hit shutout.

Padres 2, Brewers 0: Shaun Marcum shut out the Padres for seven innings but Edinson Volquez did the same to the Brewers and he didn’t have K-Rod giving up a two-run pinch hit homer to Mark Kotsay in the eighth. By the way, if you told me before I looked at the box score that Mark Kotsay hit the game-winning homer in this one, I would have assumed the Brewers won.  Kotsay is one of those guys who, gun to my head, I could never tell you who he played for in a given season until he did something that forced me to take notice.

White Sox 7, Indians 2: Gordon Beckham went 3 for 4 with a homer. Easily the best Beckham-related news of the day yesterday. This one had an extended rain delay and then fog. This is why they’ll never expand to Scotland.

Dodgers 7, Rockies 6: Dee Gordon hit his first homer and A.J. and Mark Ellis each had a bunch of hits. I wish those two were good. If they consistently helped the Dodgers win I’d consider some fun Ellis-related nickname for them or some clever pro wrestling reference or something. But, nah, I don’t think it’s gonna come up much.

Cardinals 10, Pirates 7, Adam Wainwright gets his first win since 2010. David Freese remains hot with another homer. Matt Holliday had a homer among his three hits and drove in two.

Astros 6, Mets 3: The difference between good teams and bad teams this year: good teams go into Houston on their way out west and take care of business against the Astros. The Mets aren’t doin’ it. Chris Snyder hit a three-run homer, Jed Lowrie had a two-run bomb.

Athletics 5, Red Sox 3: Jarrod Parker allowed only one run in six and two-thirds for his second straight strong start at the beginning of his career.

Cubs vs. Reds: POSTPONED: O Rain! that I lie listening to, You’re but a doleful sound at best: I owe you little thanks,’tis true, For breaking thus my needful rest! Yet if, as soon as it is light, O Rain! you will but take your flight, I’ll neither rail, nor malice keep,
Though sick and sore for want of sleep. But only now, for this one day, Do go, dear Rain! do go away!

Jake Peavy is having a bad go of things right now

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 25: Jake Peavy #22 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at AT&T Park on May 25, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Getty Images
1 Comment

Veteran hurler Jake Peavy has not signed with a team. It’s not because he’s not still capable of being a useful pitcher — he’s well-regarded and someone would likely take a late-career chance on him — and it’s not because he no longer wishes to play. Rather, it’s because a bunch of bad things have happened in his personal life lately.

As Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports, last year Peavy lost millions in an investment scam and spent much of the 2016 season distracted, dealing with investigations and depositions and all of the awfulness that accompanied it. Then, when the season ended, Peavy went home and was greeted with divorce papers. He has spent the offseason trying to find a new normal for himself and for his four sons.

Pitching is taking a backseat now, but Peavy plans to pitch again. Here’s hoping that things get sorted to the point where he can carry through with those plans.

The AT&T Park mortgage is paid off

att park getty
Getty Images
7 Comments

This is fun: The San Francisco Giants recently made their last payment on the $170 million, 20-year loan they obtained to finance the construction of AT&T Park. The joint is now officially paid for.

The Giants, unlike most other teams which moved into new stadiums in the past 25 years or so, did not rely on direct public financing. They tried to get it for years, of course, but when the voters, the city of San Francisco and the State of California said no, they decided to pay for it themselves. They ended up with one of baseball’s best-loved and most beautiful parks and, contrary to what the owners who desperately seek public funds will have you believe, they were not harmed competitively speaking. Indeed, rumor has it that they have won three World Series, four pennants and have made the playoffs seven times since moving into the place in 2000. They sell out routinely now too and the Giants are one of the richest teams in the sport.

Now, to be clear, the Giants are not — contrary to what some people will tell you — some Randian example of self-reliance. They did not receive direct public money to build the park, but they did get a lot of breaks. The park sits on city-owned property in what has become some of the most valuable real estate in the country. If the city had held on to that land and realized its appreciation, they could flip it to developers for far more than the revenue generated by baseball. Or, heaven forfend, use it for some other public good. The Giants likewise received some heavy tax abatements, got some extraordinarily beneficial infrastructure upgrades and require some heavy city services to operate their business. All sports stadiums, even the ones privately constructed, represent tradeoffs for the public.

Still, AT&T Park represents a better model than most sports facilities do. I mean, ask how St. Louis feels about still paying for the place the Rams used to call home before taking off for California. Ask how taxpayers in Atlanta and Arlington, Texas feel about paying for their second stadium in roughly the same time the Giants have paid off their first.