And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Angels 10, Rockies 8: Mark Trumbo hit two three-run homers to help the Angels complete what was nothing short of an annihilation of the Rockies’ pitching staff. Trumbo is at .326/.380/.632. It would have been optimistic to predict those numbers from Pujols before the season started.

Nationals 4, Red Sox 3: Bryce Harper had the day off until the ninth inning when he was inserted as a pinch hitter. Drew a walk and then hauled it all the way home from first on a Roger Bernadina double that proved to be the game-winner. Washington swept Boston.

Yankees 5, Mets 4: Russell Martin hit two homers including the walkoff as the Yankees sweep the Mets after finding themselves down 3-0 in the seventh. All of the blown saves, bad defense and late-inning heroics obscured the fact that Andy Pettitte and Jon Niese both pitched really well. Especially good news for Niese after the rapid heartbeat stuff from last week.

Rangers 5, Giants 0: Tim Lincecum’s nightmare season continues. Five runs on nine hits in five and two-thirds. Bad game for the Rangers’ starter too: Alexi Ogando strained a groin running the bases. All the anti-DH people like me are sitting over in the corner, hat pulled low, trying to be inconspicuous.

Astros 11, White Sox 9: Four homers from Astros hitters. Apropos of nothing, I went to Huntington Park and watched the Columbus Clippers play the Charlotte Knights — Chicago’s Triple-A team — on Saturday night. Thing I did not know:  Pete Rose, Jr. is the first base coach of the Knights. He wears number 14, natch. Also, their manager is Joel Skinner and he got ejected in hilarious fashion. A really fun, arms waving in the air rant. Oh, and there’s a place in that park where there are paintings of all of the Columbus Clippers teams from the time they were a Yankees affiliate. This one is my favorite. My second favorite is the one with Hideki Irabu.

Dodgers 8, Mariners 2: A six-run second inning capped by an Andre Ethier grand slam. Remember when the M’s no-hit the Dodgers on Friday? Nah, me neither.

Brewers 6, Padres 5: Ryan Braun homered and drove in three. Martin Maldonado drove in three more with a homer as Milwaukee takes two of three from the lowly Padres.

Diamondbacks 4, Athletics 3: Five in a row for the Snakes and seven of eight overall. Paul Goldschmidt’s hitting streak is at 17 games.

Indians 4, Cardinals 1: Jason Kipnis — who most people don’t know but who is all kinds of awesome and you should get to know him a bit — hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the ninth. Chris Perez got the save despite basically barfing between pitches in the ninth. He blamed it on drinking warm water that “just didn’t settle well.” Maybe go with the cold next time, big guy.

Cubs 8, Twins 2: Ryan Dempster throws eight shutout innings. The other Cubs look at him like the inmates look at the inmate who’s gonna be released soon.

Pirates 3, Royals 2: Andrew McCutchen homered and drove in three runs. A.J. Burnett won his fifth straight. He’s 6-2 with a 3.61 ERA on the year and is really making it hard for those of us who think that “some guys just can’t pitch in New York” thing is baloney. Four in a row for Pittsburgh and eight of ten. Oh, and the Pirates are tied for first place now.

Blue Jays 12, Braves 4: Brett Lawrie and Colby Rasmus combined for six RBI at the top of the order. Atlanta had a 4-0 lead at one point in this one but nope. Braves relievers Livan Hernandez and Cristhian Martinez got whupped up on in particularly fierce fashion.

Orioles 5, Phillies 4: Baltimore beats Philly in extra innings. This is not a rerun from Saturday night. Instead of an Adam Jones homer it was a Matt Weiters double that drove home the game-winner.

Rays 4, Marlins 2: The Rays outscored the Marlins 22-7. At one point the bullpen phone didn’t work. Probably some new crazy phone technology for the new park. They should go old school like Commander Adama and insist on old school land lines.

Tigers 7, Reds 6: Aroldis Chapman came in with two men on in the eighth and the Reds up 6-3, allowed both runners to score and allowed two of his own to score in what was easily his worst appearance of the year. In other news, Angel Hernandez was behind the plate and decided that it was “mess with Ryan Ludwick” night. I’ve never seen a batter get messed with by an ump like Hernandez did with Ludwick. Everything was a strike. Like, Tigers pitchers could throw it to Newport, Kentucky and it would be a strike.

Derek Jeter calls Bryant Gumbel “mentally weak”

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Derek Jeter has not covered himself in glory since taking over the Miami Marlins. His reign atop the team’s baseball operations department has been characterized by the slashing of payroll in order to help his new ownership group make more money amid some pretty crushing debt service by virtue of what was, in effect, the leveraged buyout of the club. A club which is now 5-16 and seems destined for five months more and change of some pretty miserable baseball.

Jeter has nonetheless cast the moves the Marlins have made as good for fans in the long run. And, yes, I suppose it’s likely that things will be better in the long run, if for no other reason than they cannot be much worse. Still, such reasoning, while often accepted when a lesser light like, say, White Sox GM Rick Hahn employs it, isn’t accepted as easily when a guy who has been defined by his hand full of championship rings offers it. How can Derek Jeter, of all people, accept losing?

That’s the question HBO’s Bryant Gumbel asked of Jeter in an interview that aired over the weekend (see the video at the end of the post). How can he accept — and why should fans accept — a subpar baseball product which is not intended to win? Jeter’s response? To claim that the 2018 Marlins are totally expected to win and that Gumbel himself is “mentally weak” for not understanding it:

JETER: “We’re trying to win ball games every day.”

GUMBEL: “If you trade your best players in exchange for prospects it’s unlikely you’re going to win more games in the immediate future–”

JETER: “When you take the field, you have an opportunity to win each and every day. Each and every day. You never tell your team that they’re expected to lose. Never.”

GUMBEL: “Not in so–”

JETER: “Now, you can think — now– now, I can’t tell you how you think. Like, I see your mind. I see that’s how you think. I don’t think like that. That’s your mind working like that.”

. . .

DEREK JETER: “You don’t. We have two different mi– I can’t wait to get you on the golf course, man. We got– I mean, I can’t wait for this one.”

BRYANT GUMBEL: “No, I mean–”

DEREK JETER: “You’re mentally weak.”

I sort of get what Jeter was trying to do here. He was trying to take this out the realm of second guessing among people who know some stuff about sports and subtly make it an appeal to authority, implying that he was an athlete and that only he, unlike Gumbel, can understand that mindset and competitiveness of the athlete. That’s what the “get you on the golf course” jazz was about. Probably worth noting at this point that that tack has never worked for Michael Jordan as a basketball executive, even if his singular competitiveness made him the legend he was on the court. An executive makes decisions which can and should be second-guessed, and it seems Jeter cannot handle that.

That being said, Gumbel did sort of open the door for Jeter to do that. Suggesting that baseball players on the 2018 Marlins don’t expect to win is not the best angle for him here because, I am certain, if you ask those players, they would say much the same thing Jeter said. That’s what makes them athletes.

No, what Gumbel should have asked Jeter was “of COURSE you tell your players to win and of COURSE they try their hardest and think they can win every night. My question to you is this: did YOU try YOUR hardest to get the BEST players? And if not, why not?”

Question him like you’d question Rick Hahn. Not like you’d question Future Hall of Fame Shortstop, Derek Jeter.