Elvis Andrus,Robbie Ross,Adrian Beltre,Michael Young,Joe Nathan

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Rangers 11, Angels 10: Holy schnikes! The Angels jumped out to a 6-0 lead and the fans were booing Yu Darvish and the local nine. Then the comeback. Make that the comebacks. Four runs in the fifth and then single runs in the eighth and ninth to force extras. Then, down by three in the tenth, they put up four, capped by a Nelson Cruz homer and Elvis Andrus’ walkoff two-run single. Two homers for Albert Pujols, but in a losing effort. Just when the Angels think they have Texas’ number — bam!

Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 0: The sweep.  Patrick Corbin was called up and allowed two hits and goose eggs for six innings. Mere days after the Dodgers drubbed the Giants 19-3 in a three game series, the Dbacks drop a 19-4 on the Dodgers. The NL West is gonna be exciting for the next two months.

Yankees 12, Orioles 3: The Yanks avoid a sweep by beating the O’s to a pulp with a seven-run third inning. And Joba Chamberlain came back. Which is freaky, because last I checked he had died from trampoline poisoning or something. And my best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Joba pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I had thought it was pretty serious, but guess not.

Tigers 7, Red Sox 5:  Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder homered on consecutive pitches during a five-run fifth inning. The Tigers avoid the sweep. Now a day off for Detroit. And a day on which I travel up to my ancestral homeland of Detroit, Michigan to take in all three games against the Indians in what will be my first ever trip to Comerica Park. Crazy, I know. I suppose more than a decade-old grudge against them for tearing down Tiger Stadium is enough. Oh, and about that ancestral homeland stuff: don’t anybody tell my extended family up there that I’m coming. They’re all still mad that I went to Ohio State and drive a Japanese car. All of which goes into why, despite my roots, I tell everyone I’m from West Virginia. It’s just easier that way.

Pirates 8, Cubs 4: The Pirates were leading 2-1 going into the eighth and then put up a five spot on seven straight hits. Two of three from the Cubbies and now a weekend series against the first place Reds.

Rays 4, Athletics 1: The Rays have allowed 0 or 1 run in four of their last five games. They’re only one and a half back of Oakland now for the second wild card.

Brewers 13, Astros 4: Ryan Braun hit his 29th and the Astros threw the ball all over the field for their 28th loss in 31 games. The Brewers scored 31 runs in the three-game series.

White Sox 3, Twins 2: Danks is down and Sale has a dead arm but Peavy keeps humming: 8 IP, 5 H 1 ER, 8K.

Marlins 4, Braves 2: Ben Sheets had the longest outing on his comeback so far, but also his least effective. He gave up 11 hits in six and two-thirds. How only four runs scored is a mystery, but four was enough. Carlos Zambrano got the win in relief. Which is weird.

Reds 6, Padres 4: Ryan Ludwick was 3 for 4 with four driven in. Marshall, Broxton and Chapman each pitched a scoreless inning. That’s the pattern Dusty is gonna try to ride all the way through October. A friend of mine was at this game and she moved from upper deck seats to seats behind the dugout early in the game. With kids in tow, while photographing it and posting it to Facebook. Pretty ninja stuff right there.

Phillies 3, Nationals 2: Two homers for Jimmy Rollins and one for newbie Nate Schierholtz, who is probably gonna like playing away from AT&T Park a lot.

Royals 5, Indians 2: Luis Mendoza with seven and a third innings of 2-run ball. I mentioned that my kids watched Tuesday’s game in this series. Thinking about it now, I’m sorta wondering if anyone else was. And if so, why.

Mets 2, Giants 1: Jon Niese gave up one run over seven. Hunter Pence in his Giants debut: 0 for 4 and two strikeouts.

Cardinals 9, Rockies 6: Matt Holliday has another huge night: 3 for 5, two homers and five driven in.

Mariners 5, Blue Jays 3: That’s seven wins in a row for Seattle. And 13 of 17. They have a positive run differential on the year too and are closer to first place than the Brewers, Phillies and Marlins are.

There will be Under Armour logos on the front of baseball uniforms

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Yesterday’s announcement that Under Armour will be taking over the MLB uniform business brought with it an added bit of news: for the first time, beginning in 2020, baseball uniforms will feature the maker’s logo on the front of the jersey. From Paul Lukas of UniWatch:

While the Majestic logo has appeared on MLB sleeves, the Under Armour logo will be appearing on the upper-right chest area.

Lukas has a bunch of Photoshopped images of MLB players wearing uniforms with UA logos on it to give us a sense of how it will likely look.

It’s certainly weird and in some cases even a bit jarring. It would be my preference not to see baseball uniforms go this route as I think they’re aesthetically pleasing parts of the game in and of themselves. But it’s inevitable. If there is a chance for leagues and sponsors to make money and if it doesn’t cause them to lose fans (i.e. lose money) they will take it. You can say you’ll give up baseball if they put corporate logos — including paid advertisements, not just the logos of the companies which make the gear — but you’re lying to yourself about that. You and I will complain and grumble and then we’ll get used to it. At some point, after a couple of years, we’ll start talking about which ads look better and which ones look worse and applaud particularly savvy and pleasing looking logos.

As I wrote back in April when the NBA approved ads on uniforms, there may even be a bright side to all of this.

Sports teams have had it both ways for a long time. They’ve worked to make a buck off of anything that isn’t nailed down all the while pretending to be something greater than any other business. They play on our nostalgia and our loyalty in order to portray themselves as something akin to a public trust or institution, entitling themselves to perks no other businesses get and the avoidance of regulation. By turning players into walking billboards, perhaps the four major North American sports will inadvertently make some folks realize that they are just businesses and that they aren’t deserving of such special treatment.

I’m not holding my breath about that, but anything that takes away even a bit of the faux public trust luster that sports leagues and teams use to manipulate their fans is a good thing. Maybe it’ll make, say, the Yankees or the Dodgers look less venerable and sharp. But maybe it’ll remind people that they’re just business units of a $10 billion industry, not some fourth branch of government or whatever.

Bud Selig is still, laughably, pleading ignorance about the Steroid Era

COOPERSTOWN, NY - JULY 27:  Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig speaks at Clark Sports Center during the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony on July 27, 2014 in Cooperstown, New York.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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Yesterday I raked Bud Selig and the Hall of Fame over the coals. Selig for his considerable responsibility for the prevalence of performing enhancing drugs in baseball during his tenure and his failure to take responsibility for it, the Hall of Fame for inducting Selig while continuing to bar the door to players who used PEDs.

Later in the day yesterday a remarkable story was written by Jayson Stark of ESPN. It was based on a one-on-one with Selig in which his legacy with respect to steroids was discussed. It was framed by Selig talking about how the students in the baseball in history seminar he teaches at The University of Wisconsin recently grilled him about what he knew and when he knew it with respect to PEDs and what could have been done to stop the proliferation of the stuff in the game.

What makes it remarkable is that, until yesterday’s interview, Selig believed that he had done everything he possibly could have done to deal with PEDs. It took Jayson Stark telling him that, maybe, he could’ve done more:

“Now let me ask you a question,” he said. “And I’m being serious. If you had been me then, what would you have done?”

Frankly, I was amazed that he asked . . . So that, I told him, was what I thought he could have done. He was the commissioner. So the one thing he could have done, without needing a bargaining table to do it, was raise this issue, speak about it more, admit to it earlier and bring it to the forefront.

And Selig, as if he had never considered the notion, agreed:

“That’s fair,” Selig replied. “That’s very fair.”

A moment later, he looked me right in the eye again. “Maybe you’re right,” he said. “Maybe I should have said more.”

It’s incredible that a man as honored and lauded as Selig has been — a man who has been praised for his savvy and effectiveness as a leader and, eventually, a negotiator — had never considered using the bully pulpit to deal with what he has claimed to be his most vexing problem as commissioner before yesterday. And when I say “incredible” I do not mean “amazing.” I mean “literally not credible.” As in, I believe he is simply lying when he implies that the thought never occurred to him.

Rather, I believe that he had little if any interest in speaking out about steroids until, years later, he had no choice but to thanks to Jose Canseco and BALCO and all of the rest. Steroids served baseball admirably. They increased offense and made big stars out of marketable men and helped everyone forget that, just a few years before, Selig and his fellow owners drove baseball off a cliff and cancelled a World Series because of it. The men who employed Bud Selig, baseball’s owners, made a lot of money off of that juice and, as such, Bud Selig standing up in, say, 1998 and saying that Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were cheaters and that PEDs were a scourge that must be addressed was simply never going to happen. Not because Selig was in the dark or at a loss, but because, as it was with the players who used the drugs, it was in Bud Selig’s own self-interest not to speak.

Selig’s mendacity in that interview yesterday was even more remarkable than that, actually. Indeed, in addition to claiming he had no idea how to act back then, he claimed that, back in 1998, he was totally in the dark about why Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were shattering Roger Maris’ home run record:

“I talked to the Cubs about Sammy,” Selig recalled. “The Cardinals were thrilled with McGwire. It was a big civic celebration.”

And no one on either team mentioned a word, he said, about what was really driving those two men toward the threshold of history. So Selig said he turned to his “baseball people” in the commissioner’s office.

He says he asked, “What’s causing this?” And they reeled off what we would now describe as the usual, everything-but-the-elephant-in-the-room, theories: Expansion. The dilution of pitching. Questions about whether there was something different about the baseball.

“They gave me a whole bunch of reasons,” Selig said. “And I kept asking about steroids.”

Why Selig was asking people about steroid use in 1998 is a mystery, because Selig knew damn well that Mark McGwire was using PEDS as early as 1993, several months after he took over from Fay Vincent and became acting commissioner.

We know this thanks to an interview with former FBI agent Greg Stejskal, who was extensively quoted about his investigations into steroids in the early 1990s. Investigations which revealed Mark McGwire’s drug use dating back to 1989, which Stejskal told Major League Baseball about:

Stejskal said federal authorities, through their undercover operation, learned of McGwire’s steroid usage by 1993. A year later, Stejskal recalled that he shared information from the investigation related to baseball players with Major League Baseball’s then security boss, Kevin Hallinan, though the sport had no drug testing program at the time.

That story was written nearly seven years ago, by the way. No one associated with Major League Baseball has ever explained how the league did not know that McGwire was using PEDs in 1998 as a result. They clearly knew for five years by then. Unless you think that an MLB security chief, when informed of player being caught up in an FBI drug probe, wasn’t going to tell anyone about it.

Despite all of this, Bud Selig is walking around the Winter Meetings this week, getting his attaboys for his Hall of Fame induction and spinning unadulterated bull crap about what he knew and when he knew it with respect to PEDs in baseball. He’s gotten away with doing so for so long, so why should he change course now?