Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman wipes sweat from his forehead during the first inning of the Orioles' MLB baseball game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Twins 19, Orioles 7: This was a multifaceted butt-whupping, but it got started with Chris Tillman’s butt. Which is a shame considering that five short months ago he was in the Best Shape of His Life. All of those runs for the Twins despite hitting only one homer. It was a Gashouse Gorillas-style conga line around the base paths. I wish Ron Gardehire had kept Anthony Swarzak in the game for a third inning of relief, however, because this game really needed a save.

Red Sox 5, White Sox 1: Did you know that Kevin Youkilis was the first player who was ever traded by a team to then face his old team in a baseball game?  It’s true! At least if you read the stuff in the Boston papers over the past couple of days. Youk was good enough — he went 3 for 4 — but Adrian Gonzalez drove in four, including a three-run homer. Aaron Cook allowed zero earned runs over seven innings.

Marlins 5, Nationals 3: Well, we missed out on any Ozzie Guillen-Bryce Harper fights, so it sort of feels like a letdown. But Hanley Ramirez hit a two-run homer and Carlos Lee drove in two.

Indians 3, Rays 2: 11 pitchers were used in a nine inning game. A ball that was initially called a homer was changed to a double after a replay review revealed the initial call to be incorrect. If Bud Selig had his way the latter would never happen because it screws up the pace of the game. Sometimes you just have to laugh so you don’t cry.

Diamondbacks 5, Reds 3: The Reds announce that Joey Votto is going to have surgery and then they go out and find themselves down 4-0 in the first inning, effectively ending things before they start.  There have been better nights in Cincinnati.

Mariners 9, Royals 4: Gonna go out on a limb and say that the Royals did not win the Jonathan Sanchez-Melky Cabrera trade. Sanchez: 1.1 IP, 7 H, 7 R. His ERA balloons to 7.76. Casper Wells drove in five with a three-run homer and a two-run triple.

Yankees 6, Blues Jays 3: Raul Ibanez hit a grand slam, but that was the least of the Blue Jays worries last night, as they lost Jose Bautista for what will likely be an extended period. Tendon problems on power hitters = potential ugliness.

Tigers 8, Angels 6: Quintin Berry had three hits, two stolen bases and scored twice. Brennan Boesch had a two-run homer. Detroit has won 11 of 15 and are now two and a half behind the White Sox. I called them a sleeping giant before the All-Star break. The giant stirs.

Cardinals 3, Brewers 2: A nice duel between Lance Lynn and Mike Fiers, but neither figured in the decision thanks to Jonathan Axford giving up three runs on three hits and two walks while blowing a 2-0 lead in the ninth.

Phillies 3, Dodgers 2: Ryan Howard hit his first homer and, in doing so, picked up his first RBI of 2012. And tonight: Roy Halladay comes back. Slowly but surely the Phillies are becoming the Phillies again. But I strongly suspect it’s too late.

Astros 2, Padres 0: The Astros vs. the Padres had an official attendance of 26,000+. I assume the promotion was “free money night” or something.  Houston finally wins one on the road.

Rockies 5, Pirates 4: This one went into a rain delay in the top of the ninth with the Rockies up by three. I was tempted, before I went to sleep, to simply write it up, figuring that it was over. Then I thought “eh, Coors Field, anything can happen.” Wise choice, as the Pirates tied it up after the grounds crew dried it up when Pedro Alvarez hit a three-run bomb. Dexter Fowler won it on a sac fly in the bottom of the ninth. I wonder how many actually stuck around for that.

Ruben Amaro is workin’ out and gettin’ ready to coach first base

Ruben Amaro Jr.
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One of the weirder stories of the offseason was Ruben Amaro going from the Phillies front office to the Red Sox, where he’ll coach first base. That kind of transition is almost unheard of but it’s happening with old Rube.

Today Pete Abraham of the Globe has a story about how Amaro is preparing for the role. And how, while it may look weird on paper, the move actually makes a lot more sense than you might suspect given the Red Sox’ coaching staff and Amaro’s own background. It’s good stuff. Go check it out.

On a personal note, it serves as a signal to me to keep my eyes peeled for reports about Amaro from Fort Myers once camp gets started:

Amaro has been working out in recent weeks with his nephew Andrew, a Phillies prospect, to get ready for throwing batting practice and hitting fungoes.

Could we be so lucky as to get the first-ever Best Shape of His Life report for a coach? God, I hope so!

It’s pretty stupid that athletes can’t endorse beer

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner celebrates after pitching the Giants to a 8-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League wild card game in Pittsburgh Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) ORG XMIT: PAGP102
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One of the more amusing things to spin out of the Super Bowl were Peyton Manning’s little Budweiser endorsements in his postgame interviews. It was hilarious, really, to see him shoehorn in references to going and cracking a crisp cool Budweiser multiple times. It was more hilarious when a Budweiser representative tweeted that Manning was not paid to do that. Of course, Manning owns an interest in alcohol distributorships so talking about The King of Beers was in his best financial interest all the same.

After that happened people asked whether or not Manning would face discipline about this from the NFL, as players are not allowed to endorse alcoholic beverages. This seemed crazy to me. I had no idea that they were actually banned from doing so. Then I realized that, huh, I can’t for the life of me remember seeing beer commercials with active athletes, so I guess maybe it’s not so crazy. Ken Rosenthal later tweeted that Major League Baseball has a similar ban in place. No alcohol endorsements for ballplayers.

Why?

I mean, I can fully anticipate why the leagues would say athletes can’t do it. Think of the children! Role models! Messages about fitness! All that jazz. I suspect a more significant reason is that the leagues and their partners — mostly Anheuser-Busch/InBev — would prefer not to allow high-profile athletes to shill for a competitor. How bad would it look for Alex Rodriguez to do spots for Arrogant Bastard Ale when there are Budweiser signs hanging in 81% of the league’s ballparks? Actually, such ads would look WONDERFUL, but you know what I mean here.

That aside, it does strike me as crazy hypocritical that the leagues can rake in as much as they do from these companies while prohibiting players from getting in on the action. If it is kids they’re worried about, how can they deny that they endorse beer to children every bit as effectively and possibly more so than any one athlete can by virtue of putting it alongside the brands that are the NFL and MLB? Personally I don’t put much stock in a think-of-the-children argument when it comes to beer — it’s everywhere already and everyone does a good job of pushing the “drink responsibly” message — but if those are the leagues’ terms, they probably need to ask themselves how much of a distinction any one athlete and the entire league endorsing this stuff really is.

That aside, sports and beer — often sponsored by active players — have a long, long history together:

Musial

And the picture at the top of this post certainly shows us that Major League Baseball has no issues whatsoever in having its players endorse Budweiser in a practical sense.

Why can’t they get paid for doing it?

The Orioles signed Rafael Palmeiro’s son

Rafael Palmeiro
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Last summer we posted about Rafael Palmeiro coming out of retirement to play for the independent league Sugar Land Skeeters. The reason: to play a game with his boy Patrick. In that game the elder Palmeiro went 2-for-4 with an RBI, a walk, and a run scored. His son, who is now 26, went 2-for-4 with a grand slam.

Did that serve as an audition for Patrick? Possibly, as Jon Meloi of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles just signed him to a minor league deal.

As Meloi notes, it’s certainly just an organizational depth move, as Patrick is no prospect. And it’s actually likely something of a coincidence that it’s the Orioles who signed him, as Palmeiro doesn’t have any real contacts with the Orioles baseball operations people, all of whom are different folks now than back in his day.

This may not be the last of the Palmeiros, by the way. Peter Gammons tweeted this morning that Patrick’s younger brother, Preston, is a first baseman at North Carolina State who could be drafted this june. Gammons says he has a swing “remarkably similar to dad.”

Diamondbacks, A.J. Pollock avoid arbitration with two-year contract

Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock drives in two runs against the Cincinnati Reds during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
AP Photo/Gary Landers
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Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that the Diamondbacks and outfielder A.J. Pollock have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year extension. The deal is worth $10.25 million, per ESPN’s Buster Olney.

Pollock was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. The 28-year-old requested $3.9 million and was offered $3.65 million by the Diamondbacks when figures were exchanged on January 15. It wasn’t much of a gap, but the two sides were ultimately able to find common ground on a multi-year deal. Pollock will still be under team control for one more year after this new deal expires.

Pollock is coming off a breakout 2015 where he batted .315/.367/.498 with 20 home runs, 76 RBI, and 39 stolen bases over 157 games. He ranked sixth among position players with 7.4 WAR (Wins Above Replacement), according to Baseball Reference.