Settling the Score: Friday’s results

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The Yankees are all alone again in first place in the American League East. At least for now. After giving up six home runs on Thursday to fall back into a tie for the division lead, the Yankees topped the Orioles 8-5 last night at Camden Yards.

The Yankees hit three home runs in the victory, including Alex Rodriguez’s 300th as a member of the Yankees and the 645th of his career. Wei-Yin Chen tied a career-high by giving up seven runs over 4 2/3 innings. He allowed five runs in the fourth inning, including a three-run homer by Russell Martin and a two-run shot by Steve Pearce.

Phil Hughes yielded three runs (two earned) over six innings for his 14th victory of the season. Things got a little interesting when Adam Jones hit a three-run homer in the sixth, but the Yankees were able to avoid the disaster inning this time around. Robert Andino and Manny Machado later added solo homers, but it wasn’t enough. Oh, and Yankee-killer Mark Reynolds was finally held in check. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

The two teams will meet again tonight when C.C. Sabathia opposes Joe Saunders.

Your Friday box scores:

Cubs 12, Pirates 2

Rockies 2, Phillies 3

Rangers 1, Rays 3 (11 innings)

Marlins 9, Nationals 7 (10 innings)

Braves 3, Mets 0

Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 5

Royals 7, White Sox 5

Astros 5, Reds 3

Indians 7, Twins 6

Tigers 2, Angels 3

Brewers 5, Cardinals 4 (13 innings)

Diamondbacks 5, Padres 6

Athletics 6, Mariners 1

Dodgers 2, Giants 5

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.