Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Had tickets to the Columbus Clippers-Indianapolis Indians game. Daisuke Matsuzaka was scheduled to start. Then it rained and they canceled the game. I have mixed feelings about it all because, on the one hand, baseball. On the other hand I dodged the Matsuzaka bullet. Oh well.

Dodgers 3, Padres 2: FISTICUFFSMANSHIP!  Zack Greinke hit Carlos Quentin who then charged mound and broke Greinke’s collarbone (video at the link). It was his non-pitching arm, but still, that’s going to have him out for months, I’ll bet. Oh, and then it spilled over into the parking lot, so that’s fun. Expect suspensions. But expect Greinke to miss way more time than Quentin ever will. Throwing balls at people is dumb. Charging the mound is dumb. This is all dumb. Simply play baseball and this never happens.

Athletics 8, Angels 1: “Tell us a story, grandpa Craig!” “Well, OK, kiddos. Have a seat. Have I ever told you about the time when the Oakland A’s went 160-2 and the Angels went 2-160? The damndest year! The best part of it was when the manager of the A’s, fella named Melvin, said after one of their games ‘They have a heck of a team, but sometimes you catch a team when they’re down and we were lucky to do that.’  As if he thought they’d ever lose! Hahaha!”  “Craig, stop messing with the grandkids like that, come here and eat your oatmeal.”

Nationals 7, White Sox 4: The Nats sweep the Sox. Fourth inning: a runner on base, Bryce Harper at the plate. Robin Ventura decides to walk Harper. Up comes Ryan Zimmerman who doubles in two. Whoops.

Giants 7, Cubs 6: Even when you spot the Cubs five runs they can’t win. The Giants’ four-run fourth was helped by Starlin Castro’s throwing error.

Tigers 11, Blue Jays 1: And here I thought the revamped Blue Jays’ rotation was gonna make things different this year. Josh Johnson got rocked, Doug Fister was great and Prince Fielder drove in four. All on a day not fit for man or beast.

Orioles 3, Red Sox 2: Chris Davis hit another homer, Adam Jones drove in two and the bullpen held a one-run lead. Welcome to 2012.

Rangers 4, Mariners 3:  Felix Hernandez will have to wait a few days for his 100th career victory as the Rangers touched him for ten hits in six and two thirds.

Yankees vs. Indians: POSTPONED: Along in the sun and the rain. Along in the sun and the rain. Long oh long oh long oh long. Along in the sun and the rain. Hey, boys, I’ve come a long ways. Well, boys, I’ve come a long ways. Oh boys, I’ve come a long lonesome ways. Along in the sun and the rain

Jose Bautista: “I haven’t had to” pay for a meal in Toronto since famous bat flip

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista flips his bat after hitting a three-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the seventh inning in Game 5 of baseball's American League Division Series, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015 in Toronto. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP
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Arguably the most memorable moment of the 2015 season came in the seventh inning of Game 5 of the ALDS between the Blue Jays and Rangers. The game was tied 3-3, but the Jays were threatening with runners on the corners and two outs. Jose Bautista launched a 1-1 Sam Dyson fastball for a no-doubt tie-breaking three-run home run that would send the Jays into the ALCS to face the eventual world champion Royals.

Bautista didn’t immediately run to first base after hitting the home run. He admired it, looked at Dyson, and then flipped his bat triumphantly. As far as bat flips go, it was a 10 out of 10. Yasiel Puig was proud.

The six-time All-Star admitted “I haven’t had to” pay for a meal in Toronto since that moment in the ALDS, as Jonah Birenbaum notes for The Score. Bautista also served as the assistant coach for musician Drake at the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. As Drew noted earlier, Bautista had a pretty nice view at the NBA Slam Dunk Contest as well.

The Jays are hopeful to sign Bautista, 35, to a multi-year extension. In six seasons since breaking out with the club in 2010, he has hit .268/.390/.555 with 227 home runs and 582 RBI in 3,604 plate appearances. No one has hit more home runs since the start of the 2010 season, as Miguel Cabrera is the closest at 199. And only Cabrera, Adrian Gonzalez, Robinson Cano, and Albert Pujols have driven in more runs in that span of time. It’s easy to see why, despite his age, the Jays want to keep Bautista around a little while longer.

Dallas Keuchel, Astros did talk long-term contract

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Dallas Keuchel‘s agent Darek Braunecker told MLB Network Radio in early January that he had not engaged in any long-term contract negotiations with the Astros’ front office. Two weeks later, the sides reached a one-year, $7.25 million agreement, avoiding a salary arbitration hearing. So was a bigger financial commitment ever discussed?

Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle has the answer, writing in his offseason review that the “Astros and Keuchel have had substantial talks about extensions [this winter] … but to no avail.”

Keuchel carries all the leverage in the world after winning the 2015 American League Cy Young Award with a 2.48 ERA, 1.017 WHIP, and 216/51 K/BB ratio in 232 innings. He also made three appearances in the postseason to a 2.57 ERA in 14 frames.

Keuchel’s $7.25 million salary for 2016 will be a record for a player in his first year of arbitration eligibility. Locking up some of his free agent years (2019, 2020, 2021, etc.) would likely take a commitment of $120 million or more.

Houston has the 28-year-old left-hander under contractual control through 2018, and it sounds like the plan is to go season-to-season with his salaries.

He’ll remain a huge value to a good-looking Astros team.

Yadier Molina gets cast removed from surgically-repaired thumb

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Yadier Molina underwent surgery to repair a ligament tear in his right thumb shortly after the Cardinals were eliminated from the NLDS by the Cubs, and then he needed a followup procedure two months later.

It’s been an offseason of rest and rehab for the seven-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glover, though he’s about ready to ramp up the intensity of workouts with the beginning of spring training approaching …

Brayan Pena was signed to a two-year, $5 million free agent contract this winter to provide more reliable depth behind the plate. He’ll be the Cardinals’ starter at catcher come Opening Day if Yadi isn’t quite ready.

Molina started a whopping 131 games behind the plate in 2015.

Jose Fernandez wants $30 million a year, Marlins don’t plan on paying

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You’ve heard the stories by now. Jose Fernandez does not get along with Marlins management and is doubtful to sign a long-term contract with the team.

There’s still time for those relationships to be repaired — Fernandez can’t become a free agent until after the 2018 season — but we also have a monetary issue at play.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes Sunday that the Marlins are “under the impression” Fernandez and his representatives want $30 million per year on a long-term deal, a figure the Marlins “have no plans to meet.”

If the Marlins won’t pay, Fernandez and his reps will seek that number when the ace right-hander reaches free agency. That could be the same offseason Bryce Harper tries for $500 million.

A friend of Fernandez told Jackson that the 23-year-old native of Cuba was upset about some of the trades the Marlins made last summer and the removal of pitching coach Chuck Hernandez. You probably heard talk of Miami shopping Fernandez this winter, but the asking price was predictably sky-high.

Fernandez has been limited to 19 starts over the last two years because of Tommy John surgery and a biceps injury, but he boasts a stellar 2.40 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 10.5 K/9 in 289 career major league frames. He will make $2.8 million in 2016 and carries two more years of arbitration eligibility.

If he can put together a run of 30-start, 200-inning seasons, Fernandez will get that $30 million per year and probably much more.