Justin Turner, Jordany Valdespin

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Mets 5, Phillies 2: I had been agitating for Jonathan Papelbon to pitch more. Specifically in tie games.  Well, he did here and gave up a game-losing three-run homer to Jordany Valdespin. I suppose we’ll let Cholly run the team from here on out.

Marlins 4, Astros 0: Carlos Zambrano with the three-hit shutout pushes his ERA to 1.98 on the year. Guy can still pitch a little.

Reds 6, Brewers 1: Since when does Brandon Bronson Arroyo strike out nine guys in six and two thirds? I may have written this and the Angels recap before I had any coffee.

Indians 8, White Sox 6; Indians 3, White Sox 2:  I’m beginning to think that, perfecto notwithstanding, Phil Humber is not all that good (2.1 IP, 9 H, 8 ER). The second game ended in a bunch of rain. Which you play through when you’re already making up a rainout in a double header.

Angels 8, Twins 3: Alas, Jeff Jered Weaver did not pull a Johnny Vander Meer. But he could’ve. It’s the Twins we’re talking about here. He settled for one run on three hits in six innings, bringing his records to 5-0. And why I continue to write “Jeff Weaver” instead of Jered after all of these years is beyond me.

Cubs 5, Braves 1:  Bryan LaHair, Ian Stewart and Geovany Soto all homered off Braves pitching. Jeff Samardzija allowed only one homer, to Jason Heyward and was otherwise solid.  BTW: Samardzija hit Heyward with a pitch in the seventh. If that was intentional retaliation for the Heyward homer, it was bad, bad, bad. Then Eric O’Flaherty hit David Dejesus. If that was intentional it was bad, bad, bad too.  There: happy that I don’t simply think that Cole Hamels was in the wrong because he plays for the Phillies?

Red Sox 11, Royals 5: The Sox snap a five game losing streak behind two Will Middlebrooks home runs. Which is exactly how everyone imagined slumps would be busted in Boston this year.

Rangers 14, Orioles 3: Way to make me look bad with all of that “the O’s are getting great pitching” on the HBT Extra that will air later this morning but which was taped yesterday. Brandon Snyder homered and had six RBI.

Dodgers 9, Giants 1: Ted Lilly allowed one run on four hits and struck out six to run his record to 4-0.  L.A. scored five off the Giants pen in the eighth. I’d call the Giants pen a hot mess, but I don’t want to insult hot messes.

Mariners 3, Tigers 2: The wheels done fell off in the ninth for Detroit as Octavio Dotel — filling in for the unavailable Jose Valverde —  blew a 2-0 lead, wasting a great Doug Fister start. Dotel was all over the place, walking the first two hitters he faced, then throwing a wild pitch. Then a passed ball — which could have been ruled a wild pitch — scored a run. Then a double scored another. After Dotel was yanked a bunt and then a sac fly ended it.

Padres 3, Rockies 2: Yonder Alonso drove in two and Edinson Volquez got his first win. Let’s just give Cincinnati this victory, OK?  The Padres can have the Mat Latos win from Sunday.

Cardinals 9, Diamondbacks 6: Lance Lynn wins again after shutting out the Dbacks for five. If the season ended now he’s the NL Cy Young Award winner, right? God, I hope the season doesn’t end now. I like baseball.

Jackie Robinson: “I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag”

FILE - In this April 11, 1947 file photo, Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers poses at Ebbets Field in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Robinson's widow said Major League Baseball has yet to fully honor her husband's legacy. "There is a lot more that needs to be done and that can be done in terms of the hiring, the promotion" of minorities in the sport, Rachel Robinson said Monday, Jan. 18, 2016 during a Q&A session with TV critics about "Jackie Robinson," a two-part PBS documentary airing in April.  (AP Photo/John Rooney, File)
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One more bit of baseball via which we may reflect on the Colin Kaepernick controversy.

In 1972 Jackie Robinson wrote his autobiography. In it he reflected on how he felt about his historical legacy as a baseball player, a businessman and as a political activist. A political activism, it should be noted, which favored both sides of the aisle at various times. He supported Nixon in 1960, supported the war in Vietnam and worked for Nelson Rockefeller. He did not support Goldwater and did support the 1964 Civil Rights Act. He supported Humphrey against Nixon in 1968. He was no blind partisan or ideologue. When you find someone like that you can usually rest assured it’s because they’re thinking hard and thinking critically in a world where things aren’t always cut-and-dried.

As such, this statement from his autobiography, describing his memory of the first game of the 1947 World Series, is worth thinking about. Because it came from someone who spent a lot of time thinking:

There I was, the black grandson of a slave, the son of a black sharecropper, part of a historic occasion, a symbolic hero to my people. The air was sparkling. The sunlight was warm. The band struck up the national anthem. The flag billowed in the wind. It should have been a glorious moment for me as the stirring words of the national anthem poured from the stands. Perhaps, it was, but then again, perhaps, the anthem could be called the theme song for a drama called The Noble Experiment. Today, as I look back on that opening game of my first world series, I must tell you that it was Mr. Rickey’s drama and that I was only a principal actor. As I write this twenty years later, I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag; I know that I am a black man in a white world. In 1972, in 1947, at my birth in 1919, I know that I never had it made.

Colin Kaepernick is not Jackie Robinson and America in 2016 is not the same as America in 1919, 1947 or 1972. But it does not take one of Jackie Robinson’s stature or experience to see and take issue with injustice and inequality which manifestly still exists.

As I said in the earlier post, the First Amendment gives us just as much right to criticize Kaepernick as it gives him a right to protest in the manner in which he chooses. But if and when we do, we should not consider his case in a vacuum or criticize him as some singular or radical actor. Because some other people — people who have been elevated to a level which has largely immunized them from criticism — felt and feel the same way he does. It’s worth asking yourself, if you take issue, whether you take issue with the message or the messenger and why. Such inquiries might complicate one’s feelings on the matter, but they’re quite illuminative as well.

(thanks to Kokujin for the heads up)

Former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt is a sports owner once again

File photo of Frank McCourt leaving Stanley Mosk Courthouse after testifying during his divorce trial in Los Angeles
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There aren’t many major league ownership reigns which ended more ignominiously than Frank McCourt’s reign as Dodgers owner. He was granted access to one of business’ most exclusive clubs — one which being a convicted criminal or even a Nazi sympathizer cannot get you kicked out of — and somehow got kicked out. The clear lesson from his saga was that saddling your team with debt, using it as your own private piggy bank and exercising bad judgment at every possible turn will not get you drummed out of baseball but, by gum, having it all go public in a divorce case sure as heck will.

McCourt landed pretty safely, though. By sheer luck, his being kicked out of ownership coincided with the vast appreciation of major league franchise values and the expiration of the Dodgers cable television deal. He may have left in disgrace, but he also left with a couple of billion dollars thanks to the genius of capitalism. At the time it was assumed he’d ride off into the sunset, continuing to make a mint off of parking at Dodgers games (he retained a big piece of that pie) and not get his hands messy with sports ownership again.

Such assumptions were inoperative:

The soccer club has suffered from poor financial decisions in recent years. So I guess it was a match made in heaven.