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.

Javier Baez: “This is a game. It’s not as serious as a lot of people take it.”

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Infielder Javier Baez is back in camp with the Cubs after helping Puerto Rico to a second-place finish in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. He was the focal point of what was, to many, the most memorable play of the entire tournament: Baez pointed at catcher Yadier Molina, who was attempting to throw out a would-be base-stealer, before applying the tag for the final out of the eighth inning.

While Baez didn’t receive much criticism for his theatrics, aside from an insignificant handful of spoilsports, he is one of the players who most exemplifies the emotional, celebratory culture that foreign players bring to Major League Baseball. U.S. (and Tigers) second baseman Ian Kinsler is on the other side of that spectrum, as he said prior to the WBC final that he hopes kids mimic the solemn way U.S. players play the game rather than the emotional, passionate way players from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic play the game.

Baez isn’t about to apologize for the way he and his teammates play the game. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney, Baez said, “We do a great job playing and having fun out there. That’s what it’s all about. This is a game. It’s not as serious as a lot of people take it. but, you know, everybody’s got their style and their talent. I have a lot of fun.”

He continued, “It’s their choice to look at how we play, how excited we get. To us, it’s really huge what we did, even though we didn’t win. All of Puerto Rico got really together. We were going through a hard time over there and everything got fixed up for at least three weeks. Hopefully, they keep it like that.”

Mike Trout proposes change to spring training umpiring

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Angels outfielder Mike Trout came up with an idea that would allow less experienced umpires an opportunity to call some major league spring training action. As ESPN’s Buster Olney reports, Trout thinks the veteran umpires should only call five or six innings as they get back into regular season shape. The rest of the innings could be called by minor league umpires.

According to Olney, baseball officials loved Trout’s idea when they heard about it last week. One official said, “It makes a lot of sense for a lot of different reasons.” Another said, “That’s Trout — he’s always paying attention to stuff beyond what he’s doing.”

Of course, I have to agree that the suggestion is a great one. As Olney notes, the turnover rate for umpires every year is relatively low, so younger, less-experienced umpires have few opportunities to get a feel for what it’s like calling major league action. Even beyond the actual interpretation of the rules, interacting with big league personalities would also be helpful for minor league umpires.