And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Rays 4, Yankees 3: Mark Teixeira committed his first error of the season, which allowed in the go ahead run. Hey, he’s allowed one bad day, right? All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That’s how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day. You had a bad day once, am I right? I know I am. I can tell. You had a bad day and everything changed. Why else would you dress up as a flying rat?

Cubs 4, Braves 1: The Braves case of the Mondays continues. They are 0-11 on Monday games in 2012. This is important. This means something. Or maybe it doesn’t. Last night it was merely a function of Jeff Samardzija striking out 11 Bravos in seven innings and Anthony Rizzo homering again.

Twins 6, Tigers 4: Four straight wins for the Twinkies. This one was Ron Gardenhire’s 900th. If they had won this one the Tigers would have gotten back up to .500, but they can’t seem to get any momentum. Jim Leyland closed the clubhouse after the game. I assume that this was so that he could murder some of the underperforming Tigers as a lesson to the survivors.

Royals 11, Blue Jays 3: Mike Moustakas hit a grand slam and drove in five as Ricky Romero got walloped. Joey Bats hit his league-leading 27th, but the Jays dropped their fifth game in the past seven tries.

Pirates 11, Astros 2: The Pirates stay hot. Garrett Jones had four hits and four RBI including a homer. His was back-to-back with a Neil Walker shot. Both of them hit the foul pole. That apparently hasn’t happened on back-to-back homers since they started keeping track of such things in 2000. I’m sure there’s some old guy someplace who will swear he saw it happen in Forbes Field or something, though.

Angels 3, Indians 0: Jered Weaver threw seven shutout innings. Mike Trout didn’t start due to a jammed pinkie finger, but he did pinch run.

Brewers 6, Marlins 5: The entire Internet spends 24 hours talking about the Zack Greinke snub so Greinke goes out and pitches kinda poorly (6 IP, 6 H, 5 ER). Now today all the La Russa defenders will act like this one game justified the snub. Can’t wait until All-Star season is over. Eh, Greinke probably doesn’t care. Brewers won.

Cardinals 9, Rockies 2:  Josh Outman? More like Josh Walkman, amirite, people? Ahem, sorry.  Anyway, Kyle Lohse pitched well and Allen Craig hit two homers.

Reds 8, Dodgers 2: Scary moment as Zack Cozart was hit in the head with a Chad Billingsley pitch. In these days of, thankfully, much greater awareness of the seriousness of concussions, someone square these two statements from me:

Zack Cozart: “I think it just got away from him. I don’t even really remember, to be honest. I just remember hearing a pretty loud bang, then I had some ringing in my ears, and that’s why I was on the ground holding my ears”; and

Dusty Baker: “”They gave him all the tests and said that Zack should be OK tomorrow. We took him out more for precautionary reasons. He was a little glossy-eyed, so we decided to get him out of there because he got hit pretty good.”

Instead of “he’ll be alright tomorrow, how about putting him on the 7-day DL just to be sure?

Mariners 6, Orioles 3: Six runs for the M’s at Safeco Field is the equivalent of 22 runs for a normal team in a normal park. Seriously. You can look it up.

Padres 6, Diamondbacks 2: Cameron Maybin hit a 485-foot home run. Clayton Richard continues a nice string of starts. Indeed, he is 4-1 with a 1.70 ERA over his last five.

Athletics 6, Red Sox 1: Daisuke Matsuzaka lasted one inning in which he gave up five runs on four hits while walking two. Nope, not what the Sox needed. Josh Reddick and Brandon Moss homered for the A’s and Jarrod Parker pitched well again, allowing one run over six and two-thirds. Kid has a 2.46 ERA on the year.

The umps have dropped their Ian Kinsler protest

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Over the weekend the World Umpires Association — the umpire’s union —  launched a protest in response to what it feels is Major League Baseball’s failure to adequately address the “escalating attacks” on the men in blue. They were specifically upset that Ian Kinsler didn’t get suspended for his remarks in which he said that Angel Hernandez should get out of the umpiring business because he’s terrible. Apparently to umpires truth is no defense. In any event, they wore white wristbands Saturday night as a sign of solidarity or whatever.

Now that’s over, it seems. At least for the time being. The Association released this statement yesterday afternoon:

“Today, WUA members agreed to the Commissioner’s proposal to meet with the Union’s Governing Board to discuss the concerns on which our white wristband protest is based. We appreciate the Commissioner’s willingness to engage seriously on verbal attacks and other important issues that must be addressed. To demonstrate our good faith, MLB Umpires will remove the protest white wristbands pending the requested meeting.”

As many noted over the weekend — most notably Emma Span of Sports Illustrated — this protest was, at best, tone deaf. While officials are, obviously, due proper respect, a player jawing at an umpire is neither unprecedented nor very serious compared to, well, almost anything that goes on in the game or in society. At a time when people are literally taking to the streets to protest white supremacy, Neo-Nazis and the KKK, asking folks to spare thoughts for some people who sometimes have to take guff over ball and strike calls is not exactly a cause that is going to draw a ton of sympathy. And that’s before you address the fact that the umpires are not innocent when it comes to stoking the animosity between themselves and the players.

I wouldn’t expect to hear too much more out of this other than, perhaps, a relatively non-committal statement from Major League Baseball and a relatively detail-free declaration of victory by the umpires after their meeting.

 

Minor league teams prepare for a “total eclipse of the park”

Salem Volcanoes
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The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes are a class-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. Today, the path of totality of the big solar eclipse we’re not supposed to look at will pass right through the ballpark in which they play. What’s better: the Volcanoes are playing a game against the Hillsboro Hops as it happens.

This was by design: the team’s owner requested this home game when the schedule was made up two years ago specifically to market the heck out of the eclipse. They’re starting the game at 9:30 this morning, Pacific time, in order to maximize the fun. Spectators will receive commemorative eclipse safety glasses to wear. The game will be delayed when the eclipse hits and a NASA scientist named Noah Petro, who is from the area, will talk to the crowd about what is going on.

Salem-Keizer isn’t the only minor league game affected, by the way. There are six games in all which will feature a “total eclipse of the park.” Turn around, bright eyes.

There are no home MLB games going on in the path of totality, but MLB has put together a helpful guide in order to maximize your baseball and eclipse pleasure. If you line up some good beer with that you’l have your very own national pastime syzygy.