And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Angels 4, White Sox 1: Did you know that if you win the AL Central that you contract a horrible disease? If you answered yes, you must be either the Tigers or the White Sox. That’s five straight losses for Chicago. Jered Weaver wins his 19th, allowing one run over six and a third. Kendrys Morales homers and Pujols drives in two.

Twins 10, Tigers 4; Twins 2, Tigers 1: Joe Mauer drove in four in the opener, handing Max Scherzer a rare second half loss. In the nightcap the Tigers couldn’t muster a lick of offense and blew a chance to gain ground on the Sox.  This is just getting pathetic.

Cardinals 6, Cubs 3: St. Louis wins its sixth game in the past seven and continues to hold off the horde.Pete Kozma and Allen Craig each drive in a pair.

Brewers 6, Nationals 2: Milwaukee keeps pace with the Cards. Ryan Braun doubled, singled and hit a sac fly. I can’t wait until no one gives him any MVP votes out of spite.

Dodgers 5, Reds 3: L.A. keeps pace as well, beating the regular-resting Reds. Two homers for Adrian Gonzalez.

Braves 2, Phillies 1: A pretty sweet pitcher’s duel. It’s a shame someone had to lose. But I suppose Cliff Lee has gotten used to that this season. The Braves have won 14 of their last 20 and are on the verge of clinching the wild card. Philly, in contrast, could not afford dropping two of three. The patient is not yet dead, but his next of kin have been told to hang around a phone.

Athletics 5, Yankees 4: The Yankees’ seven game win streak is snapped and the A’s get a much needed win to hold off the Angels. Cliff Pennington homered and drove in three.

Red Sox 2, Orioles 1: The O’s win-streak is snapped as well. And in a one-run game, no less. Quite unusual!  What’s next? Republicans admitting that Obama inherited, rather than created, a bad economy and has done a pretty decent job managing the recovery? Ok, now I’ve seen everything.

Pirates 8, Astros 1: A.J. Burnett was sharp, allowing one run over eight innings while striking out 11, picking up his 16th win and stopping the Pirates’ five game skid.

Rays 3, Blue Jays 0: Your standard six-pitcher shutout for Tampa Bay. B.J. Upton with a solo shot in the first and Evan Longoria with a two-run double in the eighth.

Indians 15, Royals 4: The Tribe outscored the Browns yesterday. I bet that’s happened on more than one Sunday in recent years. Carlos Santana was 3 for 6 with two homers and five driven in.

Mets 3, Marlins 2: Ruben Tejada singled in the winning run with two out in the bottom of the ninth. The Mets season may be a disappointing one, but the straight own the Marlins lately. Seven straight, in fact.

Padres 6, Giants 4: Most of the Giants got a day off the day after clinching the division and the results followed.

Rangers 3, Mariners 2: Texas avoids the sweep thanks to homers from Mike Napoli and Geovany Soto. They had the good sense to lose when the A’s were losing, however, thereby keeping their four game lead in the west.

Diamondbacks 10, Rockies 7: Aaron Hill broke the 4-4 tie in the top of the eighth. The Dbacks are four and a half games back of the Cardinals for the second wild card, but unlike Philly and the Dodgers, no one talks about them really being in it. Wonder why that is?

The Marlins made an empty threat. Giancarlo Stanton made an empty promise.

Associated Press
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I covered the main press conference about Giancarlo Stanton earlier, but afterward he and his agents fanned out to various TV shows, radio shows and reporter scrums from which some new, fun things have spun out. Part of what they’ve talked about is silly and meaningless, part of it just meaningless.

Here’s the silly and meaningless, from a Marlins official, apparently, trying to bully Stanton into accepting either the Giants or the Cardinals trades despite the fact that he told them beforehand that he was not willing to go to either of those teams:

This is silly because it comes off like a threat. Like the worst possible thing that can happen to a guy is to stay with the very team that is making the threat. It’s like telling your wife that if she does not leave you, she’s stuck with you forever.

It’s meaningless too, in that Stanton has an opt-out clause after 2020. If the Marlins could not make a trade Stanton would approve, he’d simply collect close to $90 million and then leave at age 30. Oooh, don’t throw me into that briar patch, Mr. Jeter!

Not that Stanton’s people are offering statements of serious gravitas. His agent was asked about Stanton’s opt-out rights, which he retains even though he’s now with the Yankees:

That may very well be true! He just got here and everything is going great so far. It’s totally empty, of course, because anything can happen between now and the fall of 2020. If the big time free agents of the next two years sign for the sort of money that makes Stanton look underpaid, he’ll certainly opt-out, even if he wants to stay with the Yankees. Ask Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia how that works. The opt-out clause is pure, unadulterated leverage for a player and unless he totally craters over the next three seasons he’ll most certainly use it, regardless of present desires.

Which, hey, that’s how things work when a big trade or free agent signing happens. Everyone who has lost looks bad and everyone who won sounds happy. Then, later, the baseball happens.