April

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Angels/Giants 22, Tigers/Braves 0: So, I’m a Braves fan and my girlfriend is a Tigers fans and each of our teams got the crap beat out of them last night. So we agreed that baseball sucks and decided to watch downloaded “Parks and Recreation” episodes instead. Good call, yes? I mean, Mike Trout and Buster Posey are good, but they’re not as good as Aubrey Plaza representing the moon in a model U.N.

Reds 4, Diamondbacks 0: We don’t know any Diamondbacks fans or else we would have let them watch TV with us too. I mean, if your team got shutout last night, you probably should have been watching different TV instead.

Rays 4, Indians 2: Matt Moore labored — he threw 90 pitches and walked five dudes in five innings, but the bullpen bailed him out and the Indians failed to capitalize.

Nationals 5, Mets 4: The Mets bullpen can do it all. If you need them to blow leads in the ninth inning: they got you covered. Tenth? Hey, they can do that for you too. They can give up RBI singles and triples. They can throw wild pitches with the bases loaded. Really, there’s no job too small for the New York relief corps

White Sox 7, Red Sox 5: Three run home run for Kevin Youkilis in Fenway. Drops mic, walks off stage.

Yankees 6, Blue Jays 1: CC Sabathia returns and pitches six shutout innings. So, all that happened with the big man gone was that the Yankees built the biggest lead in all of baseball and they got their ace rested some for late in the season.

Brewers 3, Cardinals 2: The stars were dropping like flies. Lance Berkman was ejected, Ryan Braun and Matt Holliday left due to injures.  K-Rod, taking over for John Axford, got the shaky save.

Marlins 9, Cubs 5: The Ozzie returns to Chicago. This was fun: Cubs fans booed him during a pitching change in the eighth inning. So Guillen pointed toward his ring finger, telling the Wrigley faithful that unlike the Cubbies, he has a World Series ring. God, I love Ozzie sometimes. Carlos Lee had a grand slam in a five-run fifth inning for the Fish.

Mariners 9, Royals 6: Ryan Verdugo didn’t scare anyone. He was lit up for six runs on eight hits in an inning and two-thirds in his major league debut. I mean, Vin Mazzaro came in and mopped up for the guy. And he’s sort of like a harbinger of death.

Phillies 3, Dodgers 2: Halladay returns. He only went five innings and didn’t figure in the decision, but he struck out six. It took five relievers to go the final four innings, but dadgummit, they held on.

Padres 8, Astros 2: Yonder Alonso had a homer and drove in three. Alexi Amarista and Cameron Maybin each had three hits. The Padres have been scoring a lot of runs lately. Weird.

Rangers 6, Athletics 1: Roy Oswalt vs. Bartolo Colon. Nice matchup if it were, say, 2005. But Oswalt did look like his old self, allowing one run in six and a third innings in the win.

Twins 6, Orioles 4: Three hits and an RBI for Joe Mauer, as the Twins knock off the fading Orioles. Zach Britton walked six guys. The Orioles got lucky with starting pitching in the early part of the season. Now it’s freefall city.

Pirates 6, Rockies 2: Andrew McCutchen homered. The Pirates notch their 50th win. I still don’t buy them as winning the central, but I think they can do better than 31-41 the rest of the way and get that sub-.500 monkey off their back.

Yoenis Cespedes says he does not plan to opt out of his contract

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: Yoenis Cespedes #52 of the New York Mets reacts after he hit a two run double in the eighth inning inning against the Miami Marlins during a game at Citi Field on July 4, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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Yoenis Cespedes is in the first year of a three-year, $75 million deal with the Mets that includes an opt-out clause leading into 2017. It’s a great situation for him. If he was hurt or ineffective this year, hey, he still gets $75 million. If he rakes he can go back out on the free agent market this November and see if he can’t do better than the two years and $50 million he’ll have left.

Cespedes said today, however, that he does not plan to exercise his opt-out this winter:

Speaking through an interpreter, Cespedes stayed on message, saying his focus is on “helping the team win so we can hopefully make it to the playoffs.”

When asked by The Record’s Matt Ehalt if he intended to honor all three years of his current $75 million contract, without opting out, Cespedes flatly said, “Yes.”

The beautiful thing about baseball contracts is that the Bergen Record is not a party to them and thus statements made to them about the contract are not legally binding. Cespedes can most certainly change his mind on the matter — or just lie to the press even if he fully intends to opt-out — and nothing can be done to him. At least nothing apart from having someone write bad things about him, but that’s gonna happen anyway. The guy can’t play golf without someone who has no idea how to Cespedes’ job say that he “just doesn’t get it.”

So, will Cespedes opt-out? He’s certainly making a case that it’d be a wise thing to do purely on financial terms. He’s hitting .295/.365/.570 with 25 homers in 98 games. And those numbers are dragged down a bit by the fact that the Mets kept playing him through an injury for the second half of July.

Maybe Cespedes just likes New York and maybe he’s happy with his two-year, $50 million guarantee and won’t opt out. Maybe he doesn’t want to deal with the drama and uncertainty of free agency again, even if he would have no trouble finding a job. Maybe he thinks that he’ll fall short of the $25 million average annual value he’s looking at for 2017 and 2018 if he opts out, even if he does get a longer deal as a result.

We have no idea and we have no say. But it’s not hard to imagine that, if he keeps hitting and especially if he helps the Mets get into the playoffs, he’d be leaving a ton of money on the table if he doesn’t test the market once again.

Oakland A’s officials taking a tour of a possible waterfront ballpark site

OAKLAND, CA - FEBRUARY 19:  A Maersk Line container ship sits docked in a berth  at the Port of Oakland on February 19, 2015 in Oakland, California. International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) longshoremen at the Port of Oakland took the day shift off today to attend a union meeting amidst ongoing contract negotiations between dockworkers and terminal operators at west coast ports. The port closure, the seventh one this month, has left 12 container ships stuck at the dock with no workers to load and unload them. The ILWU members at 29 West Coast ports have been without a contract for 9 months. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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The Oakland Athletics’ ballpark saga has gone on for years now, with false starts in Fremont and San Jose, lawsuits and seemingly interminable talks with the City of Oakland over a new place on the current Coliseum site. That’s all complicated, of course, by the presence of the Raiders, on whose address — be it Oakland, Las Vegas or someplace else — the A’s future is still largely contingent.

The city has tried to get the A’s interested in a waterfront site for several years now. There are a lot of problems with that due mostly to zoning and regulatory matters, as well as proximity to transit and other practical concerns. The artist’s renderings are often pretty, but it takes more than artist’s renderings to make a good ballpark plan.

But no one is giving up on that and, it seems, even the A’s are willing to at least listen to such proposals now:

Oakland A’s co-owner John Fisher is expected to join officials Thursday for a hush-hush tour of the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal, a cargo-loading area near Jack London Square that Mayor Libby Schaaf tirelessly promotes as “a fantastic site for a ballpark.”

Guess it ain’t so “hush-hush” anymore. As with all Oakland ballpark stories, however, feel free to continue snoozing until someone gives us a real reason to wake up.

Note: The above photo is from the Port of Oakland. I have no idea what the proximity of the working part of the city’s port is to where they’d build a ballpark, but I used this picture because I love the story about how George Lucas spotted those things from an airplane as he was leaving Oakland or San Francisco or whatever and used them as inspiration for the AT-AT Imperial Walkers in “Empire Strikes Back.” Which may be a totally aprocyphal story, but one I love so much that I told it to my kids when we flew in to Oakland back in June and will choose to believe despite whatever evidence you provide.