Giancarlo Stanton

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

26 Comments

Marlins 7, Rockies 4: Jamie Moyer pitched in his 50th different major league park. But he may have given up his longest most hellacious homer ever. Giancarlo Stanton hit a grand slam that went 438 feet in basically a straight line and broke the friggin’ scoreboard. Roy Hobbs stuff, there. Gave the Marlins the lead and, eventually, the game.

Nationals 2, Phillies 1: Ian Desmond drove in both Washington runs, one on a homer, and Gio Gonzalez pitched six scoreless for his sixth win. Bryce Harper had two hits, a stolen base and scored a run. No word on whether he was hit with any batteries.

Pirates 5, Mets 4: Michael McKenry hit a two-run homer in the seventh to tie it up and to chase Johan Santana. A Clint Barmes sac fly was the game winner. In other news, Clint Barmes still draws a major league paycheck. Who knew?

Reds 4, Braves 1: Mike Leake pitched eight strong innings and hit a homer. Drew Stubbs didn’t pitch at all but had two of his own. Cincinnati takes their third in a row and keeps the pressure on the Cardinals. Oh, and about that Aroldis Chapman arrest? It happened in Grove City, Ohio. Which is a Columbus suburb, 100 miles from Cincinnati. This on the morning after the Reds got back from a road trip and before a home game. I’m struggling to think what’s so appealing about my fair city for Chapman that he had to make a 200-mile+ road trip in such a short amount of time. But hey, at the speeds he was driving, I guess it’s a short trip.

Cardinals 4, Padres 3: St. Louis needed this one to avoid falling behind the Reds in the Central. They got it via a two-run Tyler Greene home run in the eighth. Clayton Richard pitched seven and a third, Jaime Garcia pitched seven, but they each gave up two runs on seven hit with one walk. Garcia struck out more. I wonder how often two starters have had the same exact pitching line. Had to have happened a few times before, right?

Astros 8, Cubs 3: A laugher. Matt Garza turned in his worst start of the year (3 IP, 5 H, 7 ER) and was countered by Bud Norris’ seven innings of shutout ball. Norris left with an 8-0 lead.

Blue Jays 6, Rays 2: I’ll let the box score speak for this one and instead note something that caught my eye in the scoring summary. Second inning: “E Thames singled to center, J Arencibia scored, E Thames out stretching at second.”  I read that and I pictured this for some reason. Just put Eric Thames’ head on the body.

Royals 6, Yankees 0: I’m not saying it would be nice for Royals fans to make “contract the Yankees” jokes like so many Yankees fans have done to them over the years, but I understand it if they do. The Yankees offensive impotence — 0 for 13 with runners in scoring position — hits bottom, they hope. I have this feeling today is gonna be super crazy in the tabloids.

Red Sox 8, Orioles 6: And part of that super crazy tabloid thing is gonna be based on the fact that the Yankees now have the same 21-21 record as do the Boston Red Sox who, as we’ve all been told to believe, are in utter chaos and whatnot. Not that we should be glib about that. They fell behind early before a six-run rally put them ahead and they still weren’t comfortable here.

Mariners 6, Rangers 1: The M’s are not impressed with Yu Darvish, who issued six walks. Felix Hernandez, in the meantime, allowed one run over eight. Ichiro tripled in a run and singled in two. I’m guessing that, in light of all of this, my friends in the Japanese media have a lot to write about today.

Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 1: Matt Treanor, Andre Ethier and James Loney all homered. Chris Capuano is now 6-1. When people ask later why no one thought the Dodgers would contend, folks like me in the analysis business will say things like “we didn’t expect Chris Capuano to post an ERA more than two runs lower than his career norms.”

Giants 4, Brewers 3: Ryan Braun hit a two-run homer in the eighth to tie things up, but Hector Sanchez with a 14th inning homer to win it.  Lost in no-decision land was Madison Bumgarner who struck out 10 over seven and a third.

Athletics 2, Angels 1: The A’s have now won 5 of 7 matchups against the Angels. And we’re running out words to describe the Angels offense. Just perusing the thesaurus, I got: anemic, debilitated, decrepit, delicate, effete,enervated, exhausted, faint, feeble, flaccid,flimsy, forceless, fragile, frail, hesitant,impuissant, infirm, insubstantial, irresolute,lackadaisical, languid, languorous, limp,makeshift, out of gas, powerless, prostrate,puny, rickety, rocky, rotten, senile, shaky, sickly,sluggish, spent, spindly, supine, tender, torpid,uncertain, undependable, unsound, unsteady,unsubstantial, wasted, wavering, weakened,weakly, wobbly.

Pick a winner.

James McCann is in The Best Shape of His Life

Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann blows a bubble while warming up during a spring training baseball workout, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Lakeland, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.

We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.

James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:

Spring training is less than a month away, folks!

Bo Jackson is not gonna change kids’ minds

1989:  Bo Jackson #16 of the Kansas City Royals practices his swing as he prepares to bat during a game in the 1989 season.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Getty Images
7 Comments

Last week Bo Jackson said that, if he had it to do all over again, he would have never played professional football and that he would never let his kids play. The sport is too violent, he said. “I’d tell them, ‘Play baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, just anything but football.’”

Fair enough. Thom Loverro of the Washington Times, however, thinks that Bo could do more than simply give his opinion on the matter. He thinks Bo should become an official ambassador for Major League Baseball:

Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, pick up the phone right now and call Bo Jackson. Tell him you have a job for him — vice president of something, whatever you would call the man in charge of converting a generation of young athletes to baseball. And pay him what he wants.

You won’t find a better symbol of the differences between the two sports than Bo Jackson. After all, he was an All-Star in both. Bo knows football. Bo knows baseball.

Bo, tell the children — baseball over football.

The Children: “Who is Bo Jackson?”

Yeah, I’m being a bit flip here, but dude: Jackson is 54 years-old. He last played baseball 23 years ago. I’d personally run through a wall for Bo Jackson, but I’m 43. I was 12 when he won the Heisman trophy. While he may loom large to middle aged sports writers, a teenager contemplating what sport to play is not going to listen to someone a decade or more older than his parents.

This isn’t terribly important in the grand scheme of things, but it’s indicative of how most columnists process the world through their own experiences and assume they apply universally. It’s probably the biggest trap most sports opinion folks fall into.