And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Braves 10, Cubs 3: Chipper Jones was named to the All-Star team and then went out and put up a 5-for-5, 4 RBI night. Dude even stole a base. Which is nuts considering he was rejected from the leg transplant list as an unsuitable recipient at least five years ago. Of course I talk about him like he’s an doddering old man when he’s just over a year older than me. Either way, glad to see him leaving this game with something still left in the tank, even if the body is rusting a fair amount.

Brewers 13, Marlins 12: Wildness. The Marlins were down 9-2 entering the seventh, came back to tie it at 11 in the eighth and  took a one-run lead in the 10th. Then Aramis Ramirez tore their guts out with a two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the tenth to walk it off. Of course the game took four hours and twenty-eight minutes, so Rick Reilly probably missed his dinner reservation. Pity.

White Sox 19, Rangers 2: Um, yeah. Let us not dwell only on Roy Oswalt being drawn and quartered to the tune of 11 runs on 13 hits in four and two-thirds. Let us also note that Chris Sale won his 10th game and lowered his ERA to 2.19. Didn’t need 16 runs of that support he got.

Mets 11, Phillies 1: Daniel Murphy and David Wright each drove in four and Jon Niese outdueld Vance Worley. What? I can use the word “outdueled” even if Worley got rocked. Just think of it as a duel between a master swordsman and a fat kid holding a piece of licorice

Rays 7, Yankees 4: Yankees had a 3-0 lead, blew it and lost. But they are in Tropicana Field, and it’s their own personal Hell, so I understand.

Pirates 8, Astros 7: Walkoff for Drew Sutton. The Pirates are eight games over .500 for the first time since 1992. Some of you probably weren’t born in 1992.

Blue Jays 6, Royals 3: Lots of blown leads/big comebacks last night. This one by the Jays, who were down 3-0 and then scored six unanswered runs. Well, unanswered by other runs. I suppose the Royals answered it with a lot of profanity and stuff.

Nationals 9, Giants 3: Remember last time out when we thought Tim Lincecum had finally figured it out? Yeah, turns out that was merely a function of the Dodgers sucking. Last night he was beat up again, allowing eight runs and nine hits in three and a third for one of the worst starts of his career. We gotta ask: is the dude hurt or what? Because this is not natural.

Dodgers 3, Reds 1: Luis Cruz doubled home the go-ahead run in the seventh, took third on the relay throw and then on a squeeze play that wasn’t — Johnny Cueto threw the ball too high for the hitter to make contact — Cruz was credited with a steal of home. Never mind that the throw went skipping to the backstop and could have been a wild pitch, it’s a steal of home because Cruz was running first. I’d say 75% of all steals of home plate don’t really look like we imagine what a steal of home looks like.

Padres 9, Diamondbacks 5: Young Trevor Bauer is highly touted, but if you get beat around by the Padres, you need a little more seasoning. Not that it was all good news for the Padres: Andrew Cashner had to leave after two innings due to a strained side.

Orioles 5, Mariners 4: Robert Andino homered in the top of the ninth to put the O’s over. Wei-Yin Chen was perfect for six and a third innings.

Rockies 3, Cardinals 2: Tyler Colvin is one of the few recent bright spots for Colorado. He’s 24 for 67 his last 18 games with seven homers and 22 RBIs. Last night his three-run blast was all the offense the Rockies needed.

Athletics 3, Red Sox 2: Alfredo Aceves blew a 2-1 lead in the ninth by allowing three singles and a sac fly. The Sox had a chance to pad that lead in the top of the inning but ran their way out of it when Nick Punto popped up a bunt which caused Mike Aviles to get doubled off first and then Ryan Kalish was caught stealing third base. Viva small ball.

Indians 9, Angels 5: Zach McAllister, who I got to see in Columbus earlier this year, so I’m gonna like him, showed some moxie. He was staked to a 4-0 lead, blew it in the fifth and was down 5-4, but regrouped and held on as his teammates scored some more and saved him. Lots of rookies would crumble in that situation.

Twins 8, Tigers 6: Trevor Plouffe and Josh Willingham each hit homers. Those two have been the freakin’ Bash Brothers for Minnesota this year. Good story for the Tigers though: Darin Downs pitched a scoress ninth inning. Downs fractured his skull and suffered brain swelling after getting hit by a line drive while pitching for Tampa Bay’s Double-A team in 2009. Guy could have died, and here he is now in the majors. Pretty incredible.

Alabama man arrested for stealing a Braves golf cart from SunTrust Park

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Last Tuesday night, the Braves hosted the San Francisco Giants at SunTrust Park. They lost 6-3. An Alabama man named Marcus Stephens almost came away a winner, however. At least if stealing a $4,500 golf cart that belongs to the Braves makes you a winner, which in some circles I suppose it would.

Stephens lost, however, when he crashed the cart into a metal pole, attempted to flee on foot and was apprehended by Cobb County Sheriff’s deputies. This all went down at 1:40AM Wednesday morning. The report doesn’t mention anything about alcohol being involved but I’ve read enough stories like this to make educated guesses about such things.

That being said, Stephens seems relatively composed in his mugshot:

I mean, yeah, the eyes look a bit red and puffy and the overall vibe he gives off is “I came to the game as part of the Sigma Nu reunion (Auburn University class of ’06, GO TIGERS!),” but I expected much worse after reading the headline.

 

Anyway, dude is out on bail. Somewhere, someone is really super proud of him, I’m sure.

Report: The Yankee Stadium charity is a secretive, self-dealing boondoggle

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The New York Times has a blistering report on the New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund. The Fund is the charity the Yankees created in 2006 as a means of making up for the negative impact the construction New Yankee Stadium had on the surrounding community, primarily via its taking over 25 acres of parkland.

The idea of the Fund was a good one: to distribute $40 million in cash grants and sports equipment, and 600,000 free baseball tickets to community organizations in the Bronx over four decades. And it has been distributing funds and tickets. As the Times reports, however, the manner in which it has done so raises some red flags. Such as:

  • Charitable donations have, in an amazing coincidence, often gone to other charities which share common board members with the New Yankee Stadium Fund;
  • Funds have gone to many wealthy groups in affluent parts of the Bronx far away from the Stadium while the area around the stadium remains one of the most impoverished in the nation. For example, a private school in a wealthy part of the borough and a rec center in a gated community have gotten a lot money that, one would think anyway, could be and should be devoted to organizations closer to the ballpark that are in greater need; and
  • There has been almost no transparency or oversight of the Fund. Reports which were supposed to have been submitted have not been. And no one, apart from the Times anyway, seems to care. The Yankees certainly don’t seem to. Indeed, as the article notes, the team has worked hard to keep the Fund’s operations out of its hands. They just got their new ballpark and write the checks and hand out the tickets. Everything else is someone else’s problem.

Cronyism in private philanthropy is not uncommon. As is a lack of oversight. Often it’s the best connected people who receive the benefit of such funds, not the people most in need. This is especially true in charities whose creation was not born of a philanthropic impulse as much as it was born of a need to put a good face on some not-so-good business dealings.

If the Times’ report is correct — and the lack of anyone coming forward to dispute it on the record despite the Times’ requests that they do suggests it is — it appears as if the New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund is one of those sorts of charities.