Miguel Cabrera

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Tigers 10, Indians 8: I was at this game, and I gotta tell ya, until the 9th inning it was one of the more lame, butt-dragging tie games you’ll ever see. Omar Infante and Austin Jackson kept hitting, but apart from that the highlight until then was Joe West getting all ejecty for no good reason. But then a runner on third, no-out situation in the bottom of the ninth led to no runs for Detroit and the Indians’ three-run tenth inning rally was trumped by the Tigers’ five-run tenth inning rally, capped with a Miguel Cabrera walkoff homer. That sent the Tribe to their ninth straight loss and ended what had to have been one of the more dispiriting weekends that team has had in some time. With the exception of a couple of moments late in this one, the Indians spent the entire three-game series applying postage to the 2012 season and preparing to drop it at the nearest mailbox.

Pirates 6, Reds 2: The Pirates salvage one behind A.J. Burnett’s 14th win. Actual Clint Hurdle quote following the game: “I’ve never had an ace before.”  I wonder if anyone asked Burnett if he’d ever been one.

Orioles 1, Rays 0: How do you find yourself in second place in the AL East despite having -57 run differential? You win 10 consecutive one-run games while getting blown out whenever you lose. Ladies and gentlemen, your 2012 Baltimore Orioles!

Dodgers 7, Cubs 6: Hanley Ramirez knocked in the game winner in the bottom of the ninth to help L. sweep Chicago. Nice bounceback for the Dodgers after getting themselves swept by Arizona earlier in the week. And a nice way to keep pace after the Giants …

Giants 8, Rockies 3: … swept the Rockies. Actually this was less of a sweep and more of a shop-vac kind of job. Except it was the Rockies doing the sucking. Like, all weekend along. Tim Lincecum won two in a row for the first time since April.

Padres 7, Mets 3: After his first outing, Terry Collins compared Matt Harvey to Justin Verlander and Stephen Strasburg. After Harvey gave up five runs on eight hits in five innings to one of the leagues least impressive offenses, I’m thinking that Collins needs to think of some different comps.

Nationals 4, Marlins 1: Meanwhile, the real Stephen Strasburg threw six shutout innings against Miami. He also singled in two runs. He was kinda like a one man force eh, like Charlton Heston in Omega Man. Did ya see it, it was beauty, eh.

Royals 7, Rangers 6: In the tenth inning, Alberto Gonzalez made an error on one play and Mike Olt made one on the next, giving the Royals the game. I’m guessing that, come playoff time, those balls will be hit to Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre.

White Sox 4, Angels 2: A.J. Pierzynski homered in his fifth consecutive game. The White Sox have won nine of 12 and still have a 1.5 game lead over the Tigers who have taken four straight. Chicago was my top candidate for a second half letdown, but so far it hasn’t happened.

Cardinals 3, Brewers 0: Der Sweep. Kyle Lohse and three relievers combine for the shutout.

Blue Jays 6, Athletics 5: Two RBI a piece for Edwin Encarnacion and Yunel Escobar and Rajai Davis scored from second base on a sacrifice bunt, which is kind of nifty. The Jays split the series.

Phillies 5, Diamondbacks 4: Ryan Howard has been slumping like crazy, but he singled in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth to seal the comeback win. Cue the Phillies people calling him underrated again.

Red Sox 6, Twins 4: The good news: the Red Sox averted the sweep by the Twins. The bad news: they were in a position to where they had to avert a sweep by the Twins. Adrian Gonzalez hit a two run homer. Carl Crawford had three hits and a leaping catch. The drawing board, for one game at least, was validated.

Braves 6, Astros 1: Chipper Jones continues to impress in his final season. He was 2 for 4 with an RBI double and scored the winning run on a wild pitch. This is a lot of fun now, but it’s gonna be kind of a bummer when Satan comes back and claims Jones’ soul in exchange for the four months of good health and 1990s-era production he was granted.

Yankees 6, Mariners 2: Until I read the game story it had not dawned on me that Freddy Garcia and Raul Ibanez each played for the 1999 Seattle Mariners. And that Ichiro was Garcia’s teammate in 2001. And now these three gray-hairs are all part of a 2012 Yankees team that has just as good a chance as anyone to win it all. And that’s before you shuffle-in Seattle-era A-Rod. There’s gotta be some sort of “Mariners of a dozen or so years ago are the new inefficiency” theory afoot here.

Catching up with Professor Ben Cherington

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 12:  Ben Cherington, general manager of the Boston Red Sox, leaves the field before a game with the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park on June 12, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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There is a general consensus that the bad free agent signings of the later Ben Cherington years in Boston were ownership diktats, not things that were Ben Cherington’s idea. Whether that consensus is accurate is hard to say, but that’s how it sort of felt to most outside observers. The reality was probably messier. Where ideas start and where they end up in organizations involve a lot of weird passive-aggressive dancing, with power being exercised in some cases and merely anticipated in others, causing people to do things in such a way that blame is a nebulous matter. I’m sure baseball teams are no different.

Whatever actually happened in Boston will likely always be somewhat murky, but Cherington is the one who took the fall. Where he ended up after all of it went down, however, is an interesting story. The place: on the faculty of the sports management program at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies. The story about it is told by Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. It’s an interesting one.

Cherington is still a young man with a lot of undisputed accomplishments under his belt. It would not surprise me at all to see him have a second act as the head of a baseball operations department some day. For now, though, he’s doing his own interesting thing.

It’s OK to not like someone on the team you root for

St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina celebrates as he arrives home after hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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There were a series of interesting comments to the Yadier Molina story this morning. The first commenter, a Cardinals fan, said he’s never really cared for Molina. Other Cardinals fans took issue with that, wondering how on Earth a Cardinals fan could not like Yadi.

While I’ll grant that Molina is a particularly popular member of the Cardinals, while I personally like his game and his overall persona, and while I can’t recall ever meeting a Cards fan who didn’t like him, why is it inconceivable that someone may not?

Whether you “like” a player is an inherently subjective thing. You can like players who aren’t good at baseball. You can dislike ones who are. You can like a player’s game who, as a person, seems like a not great guy. You can dislike a player’s game or his personality for any reason as well. It’s no different than liking a type of music or food or a type of clothing. Baseball players, to the fans anyway, are something of an aesthetic package. They can please us or not. We can choose to separate the art from the artist, as it were, and ignore off-the-field stuff or give extra credit for the off-the-field stuff. Dowhatchalike.

No matter what the basis is, “liking” a player on your favorite team is up to one person: you. And, as I’ve written elsewhere recently, someone not liking something you like does not give you license to be a jackass about it.

A-Rod’s mansion is featured in Architectural Digest

Alex Rodriguez
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For a couple of years people worried if A-Rod would sully the Yankees Superior Brand. Given how they’re playing these days I wonder if A-Rod should be more worried about the Yankees sullying his brand.

He resurrected his baseball career last year. He’s cultivated a successful corporate identity. He’s in a relationship with a leading Silicon Valley figure. It’s all aces. And now it’s total class, as his home is featured in the latest issue of Architectural Digest:

Erected over the course of a year, the 11,000-square-foot retreat is a showstopper, with sleek forms and striking overhangs that riff on midcentury modernism, in particular the iconic villas found at Trousdale Estates in Beverly Hills. Unlike Rodriguez’s previous Florida home, the Coral Gables house is laid out on just one story so the interiors would connect directly to the grounds. Says Choeff, “Alex wanted to accentuate the indoor-outdoor feel.”

There are a lot of photos there.

I don’t think I have much in common with Alex Rodriguez on any conceivable level, but I do like his taste in architecture and design. I’m all about the midcentury modernism. Just wish I had the paycheck to be more about it like my man A-Rod here.

Video: Yadier Molina does pushups after being brushed back, gets hit

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 9.21.21 AM
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The best part of this sequence is not that Molina successfully evaded an inside pitch or that, in doing so, he hit the dirt and did some pushups. It’s not even the part where, after that, het got back up and knocked a single to left field.

No, the best part is the applause from the crowd. Very respectful fan base in St. Louis. They’d even applaud an opposing player who showed such a great work ethic. Or so I’m told.