Detroit Tigers v Oakland Athletics

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

69 Comments

Tigers 10, Athletics 1: Austin Jackson was 4 for 6 with three RBI. Prince Fielder is now hitting .429/.527/.833. Once this team gets its bullpen figured out, man, watch out.

Diamondbacks 1, Dodgers 0: When Nick Swisher hit a walkoff homer single in a 1-0 game the other day I thought to myself, “man, you don’t see that happen all that often.” Then it happened again, this time with Paul Goldschmidt hitting a game-winning single to win a 1-0 game. If it happens one more time in the next week I’m going to take it as a sign of something important and meaningful and will use the experience to examine everything I thought I knew.

Braves 9, Nationals 0: Impressed yet, Danny Espinosa and Gio Gonzalez? No? What do you need to see, then?

Mariners 4, Rangers 3: Rookie Brandon Maurer was shellacked by the Astros in his last start but tamed the Rangers in this one. Mildly unexpected stuff like this, multiplied by the thousands upon thousands of times they occur during a baseball season, is why I spend most of my energy reacting to things rather than predicting things or acting like I have some key to understanding this game that no one else has. Stuff happens. In a couple thousand games a year. Anyone who ever claims that they know what’s gonna happen in any one, or really, any small handful of games is a liar or a fool.

Red Sox 5, Rays 0: Clay Buchholz took a no-hitter into the eighth. Pity the Rays broke it up, as it puts them behind their usual schedule of getting no-hit. They’re really gonna have to work to get back on pace.

Rockies 2, Padres 1: Todd Helton’s two-run, pinch-hit homer in the seventh would’ve fallen about ten feet in front of the wall a year ago. Hope you like the new dimensions at Petco Park, Padres. You asked for ’em.

Giants 10, Cubs 7: The Cubs threw five wild pitches while giving up four runs in the sixth. Then Shawn Camp balked in what would be the winning run in the tenth. Strong effort, fellas.

Angels 4, Astros 1: Josh Hamilton singled, tripled and homered. That and taking two out of three from Houston is a nice way to make up for Friday night’s embarrassing effort. Perchance that was the low point and now the ship is righted. Or perhaps anyone can take two of three from the Astros.

Brewers 4, Cardinals 3: This guy was probably happy after Jonathan Lucroy hit a homer in the tenth. All Brewers fans were probably happy to see Milwaukee’s 32-inning scoreless streak end in the eighth when Ryan Braun went deep.

Royals 3, Blue Jays 2: Kansas City avoids being swept with Alex Gordon’s walkoff RBI single. Ervin Santana pitched eight strong innings. Jays’ manager John Gibbons said this after the game: “They’re scrappy. They battle you.” If the Royals meet the Diamondbacks in the World Series the narrative-construction is going to be so thick and insufferable I’m probably just gonna give the whole thing a miss and take a vacation someplace instead.

Pirates 10, Reds 7: Michael McKenry hit two homers. The Pirates were down by five heading into the seventh and then scored ten runs in the seventh and eighth. I credit the sweet, sweet pullover jerseys and yellow caps they were wearing.

White Sox 3, Indians 1: Jake Peavy struck out 11 and gave up a lone run helping the pale hose break their five-game losing streak. In other news, I think after a couple years worth of using “Chisox” as this team’s third reference (following “the White Sox” and “Chicago,”) I’m now gonna try hard to use pale hose more often.

Phillies 2, Marlins 1: Roy Halladay gets his 200th career win. Assuming you count wins against minor league teams like Miami too.

Yankees 3, Orioles 0: Hiroki Kuroda shut ’em out on five hits without walking a soul. The Yankees continue not to be doomed somehow.

Mets vs. Twins: POSTPONED: The wind it was howling and the snow was outrageous. We chopped through the night and we chopped through the dawn. When he died I was hoping that it wasn’t contagious. But I made up my mind that I had to go on.

Bobby Valentine on short list to be U.S. Ambassador to Japan

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12:  Former MLB player Bobby Valentine attends Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC and GFI at BGC Partners, INC on September 12, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald)
Getty Images
21 Comments

There is literally nothing you could tell me that the incoming administration is considering which would shock me anymore. As such, I saw this story when I woke up this morning, blinked once, took a sip of coffee, closed the browser window and just went on with my morning, as desensitized as a wisdom tooth about to be yanked.

Rob Bradford of WEEI reports that Former Red Sox, Mets and Rangers manager Bobby Valentine is on a short-list of candidates for the job of United States Ambassador to Japan:

The 66-year-old, who currently serves as Sacred Heart University’s athletics director, has engaged in preliminary discussions with President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team regarding the position.

When contacted Thursday night, Valentine refused comment.

Huh. Given his history, I’d have assumed Valentine would be a better choice for the CIA, but what do I know?

Valentine managed the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons, leading the team to a championship in 2005. He also knows the current prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, as both went to USC. Assuming championship teams meet the country’s leader in Japan like they do in the United States, Valentine has at least twice the amount of experience with top political leaders than does, say, Ned Yost, so that’s something.

The former manager, more importantly, is friends with Donald Trump’s brother, with the two of them going way back. Which, given how this transition is going, seems like a far more important set of qualifications than anything else on this list.

Report: Dexter Fowler will take a physical in St. Louis on Friday

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after lining out during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
15 Comments

Update (8:51 PM EST): The deal is in place, according to Heyman.

*

Update (8:27 PM EST): Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals made an “over-the-top offer” to Fowler to ensure he’d sign.

*

Frank Cusumano of KSDK Sports reports that free agent outfielder will take a physical in St. Louis on Friday. Presumably, that means that Fowler and the Cardinals have gotten pretty far along in negotiations.

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports recently reported that Fowler was looking for $18 million per year. The Blue Jays reportedly made an offer to Fowler in the four-year, $16 million range several days ago. The Cardinals’ offer to Fowler, if there is indeed one, is likely somewhere between the two figures.

Fowler, 30, is coming off of a fantastic year in which he helped the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908. During the regular season, he hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI, 84 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 551 plate appearances.

Fowler rejected the Cubs’ $17.2 million qualifying offer last month. While the QO compensation negatively affected Fowler’s experience in free agency last offseason — he didn’t sign until late February with the Cubs — his strong season is expected to make QO compensation much less of an issue.