Angels beat the Red Sox in the stupidest game of 2012

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Craziest? Wildest? No, I’m sticking with stupidest.

The Angels edged the Red Sox 14-13 in 10 innings Thursday. Some highlights:

– Boston blew a six-run lead by giving up eight runs in the top of the third

– The Angels put together said eight-run inning without the benefit of an extra-base hit. They did, however, benefit from two bases-loaded walks by two different pitchers, a Pedro Ciriaco error and a dropped ball on a botched rundown.

– The Red Sox took the lead in the eighth and scored in both the ninth and 10th innings, yet lost the game.

– There were four blown saves, two from the current closers (Alfredo Aceves and Ernesto Frieri) and two from past closers (Andrew Bailey and Jason Isringhausen).

– Both closers came out for another inning after blowing their saves and gave up more runs. Aceves was horrible in allowing three runs in the ninth, yet was allowed to come back out and give up two more runs in the 10th. Frieri allowed a run in the ninth and a run in the 10th. The Red Sox may well have re-tied or won the game against Frieri in the 10th if Mike Trout hadn’t had Jacoby Ellsbury played perfectly on Ellsbury’s shot to the left-center gap.

– Vernon Wells hit a homer in the ninth that probably wasn’t a homer, except the Red Sox didn’t bother arguing it (the ball hit off the red line at the top of the Green Monster and bounced back into the field of play)

The Wells homer-double debacle probably didn’t matter, since the Angels followed his homer with three singles and two more runs anyway. Bobby Valentine deserves a whole lot of blame for being asleep at the wheel, though, not only for not arguing that play but for leaving Aceves in.

Some totals from the game:

Of the 18 starters tonight, seven players had at least three hits, 13 drove in at least one run and 15 scored at least once. Ciriaco had four hits and four runs scored for Boston, while Dustin Pedroia had four hits and five RBI. Trout went 3-for-6 with two RBI and two steals.

15 pitchers were used. Five of the seven Angels hurlers allowed at least a run, while only four of the Red Sox’s eight pitches gave up runs. Of course, the difference there was that Boston’s closer allowed five runs.

Derek Norris signing with the Rays

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Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.

Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.

The Braves are banning outside food. And they’re probably lying about why they’re doing it.

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Here’s a thing a lot of people don’t realize: there are a lot of ballparks that allow you to bring in outside food.

Not all of them, but a lot do. They don’t publicize it, obviously, because they want you to buy their expensive food, but if you go to the concessions policy page on most team’s websites, you can get the scoop. It often lists “soft-sided coolers” under “permitted items,” which is code for “yes, you can bring your own food in.” Some may specifically limit THAT to sealed plastic water bottles, but for the most part, if you can bring soft-sided coolers into the park, that means it’s OK to bring in grandma’s potato salad and a few sandwiches. They may check your coolers, of course, to make sure you’re not bringing in alcohol or whatever.

The Atlanta Braves have always allowed food into the ballpark. But thats going to change in shiny new Sun Trust Park. The AJC reports that the Braves have announced a new policy via which ticket holders will not be allowed to bring in outside food. Exceptions will be made for infant food and for special dietary restriction items.

Which, OK, it’s their park and their rules. If they want to cut out the PB&J for junior and force you to buy him a $9 “kids pack” — or if they want you to forego grandma’s potato salad to buy that pork chop sandwich we mentioned yesterday — that’s their choice. Everything else about the Braves new stadium has been about extracting money from fans, so why not the concessions policy too?

My beef with this is less about the policy. It’s about their stated reason for it:

The changes are a result of tighter security being put into place this season throughout the league, said the Braves spokesperson.

This, as the French say, is horses**t.

We know it is because not all teams are prohibiting outside food. If there are tighter security measures across the board, other teams are implementing them without the food restriction. Even the Yankees, who take security theater to extreme heights as it is, are still allowing fans to bring in their own food.

The Braves, I strongly suspect, are using these measures as an excuse to cut down on competition for their concessions. Which, like I said, go for it. Just be honest about what you’re doing and stop blaming “tightened security” for your cash grab.