Royals Braves Basaeball

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Braves 6, Royals 3: I suppose the Braves will lose again at some point. I just don’t know when that point is. The team has 25 homers in 13 games.

Yankees 4, Diamondbacks 2: I wasn’t watching this, but as I was going to bed people on Twitter were noting that Mariano Rivera was coming into the game and saying stuff about the 2001 World Series. Which, sure, I guess I understand. But holy mother of heck, that was nearly 12 years ago. Think about your life 12 years ago and ask yourself how relevant anything that was happening to you then is now. Then ask yourself whether you honestly think someone like Rivera is really affected by the 2001 World Series in April 2013.

Rangers 4, Cubs 2: Craig Gentry made a diving catch with two outs in the ninth inning and the bases loaded on a Darwin Barney shot to left that would have at least tied it if it weren’t caught and would have likely won it if Gentry had dived and totally missed. Craigs are pretty clutch, though, so he had it the whole way.

Orioles 5, Rays 4: It wasn’t pretty but Jake Arrieta got his first win since last June. Tampa Bay has lost four in a row and seven of eight.

Rockies 8, Mets 4; Rockies 9, Mets 8: A freezing, snowy doubleheader? Mmm, sounds like a total blast. David Wright had two blasts in the opener in a losing cause. Jordan Pacheco had the game-winning hit in the 10th in the night cap. I’m going to guess that this is the most miserable pair of games the Mets have endured in ages, simply because of weather and crap.

Red Sox 7, Indians 2: Ubaldo Jimenez was, like, 15-1 to start the season a couple of years ago. It’s true. I remember it. If the Indians were smart he’d end this year 0-2, having never thrown another pitch. Because something ain’t right with this guy (1.2 IP, 2 H, 7 ER, 5 BB).

White Sox 4, Blue Jays 3: The White Sox rallied for two in the ninth then held off as the Jays tried to claw back in the bottom of the inning. After the game Paul Konerko said “It was a gritty win.” After which he was sued for copyright infringement by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Marlins 8, Nationals 2: Ryan Zimmerman’s defensive problems continue, as his throwing error in the fourth led to four unearned Marlins runs. Those four runs were more than the Marlins had scored in all but one of their previous 13 games. Zimmerman has had four errors in the past five games.

Twins 8, Angels 6: Joe Mauer is 8 for 10 in this series so far after going 4 for 5 with three RBI in this one. Talk to some random Twins fans, though, and they’ll still say he’s a problem for some reason that eludes me entirely.

Brewers 10, Giants 8: Just when we finally get the Barry Zito bandwagon all booked up with passengers, gassed up and onto the on-ramp, it throws an engine rod. Two and two-thirds inning, eight hits, nine runs for Barry, including a grand slam to Yunieskey Betancourt for cryin’ out loud.

Athletics 4, Astros 3: Remember that stuff about how the NL Central teams are gonna miss having the Astros to kick around this season? The A’s here are the other side of that coin, as they’ve beaten Houston five times already. Meanwhile, AL East and AL Central teams have to face real baseball teams as they compete with AL West teams for the wild card. Because the unbalanced schedule is so fair.

Tigers 6, Mariners 2: Miguel Cabrera drove in four and Doug Fister gave the Mariners another reminder that, welp, maybe they shouldn’t have traded him away (7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER).

Padres 9, Dodger 2: Alexi Amarista drove in four and Jason Marquis tied the Dodgers up. Look, when you face that kind of star power, you’re just not gonna win often, Dodgers fans. On the bright side I suppose there’s a decent chance that Vin Scully got to fill time with more legends and tales from the ancient and classical canon, so there’s that.

Phillies 0, Reds 0: SUSPENDED: This game will be picked up where it left off, scoreless in the ninth inning. They should make all the players stay in uniform on the field in the exact positions they were sitting/standing when the game was called. That would be bitchin’.

Cardinals vs. Pirates: POSTPONED: Nothing that happened in the two innings they got in will actually count. It’s like it never happened. For example, if Andrew McCutchen had murdered Yadier Molina in the first inning, he would do no jail time for it and Molina would have been resurrected. THAT’S how this rule works.

Yordano Ventura represented the best and worst of baseball’s culture

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 28:  Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers in the first inning during a game against the Boston Red Sox on August 28, 2016 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images
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It was reported this morning that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. Former prospect Andy Marte was also killed in a separate car accident. Along with Jose Fernandez and Oscar Taveras, the baseball world has lost a lot of young, exciting talent in a very short amount of time.

Ventura was, like all of us, a complex human being. At his best, he was an exciting, talented, emotive pitcher who featured an electric fastball which sat in the mid-90’s and occasionally touched 100 MPH. At his worst, he was an immature, impressionable kid trying to fit in by exacting revenge against batters he felt had wronged him by slinging those electric fastballs at vulnerable areas of their bodies.

Baseball needed Ventura when he was at his best. It is players like him and Fernandez, not Mike Trout, that bring in new fans to the sport. To baseball die-hards, Angels outfielder Mike Trout is the pinnacle of entertainment because we know he’s an otherworldly talent. But to the average fan, Trout is just another player who hits a couple of homers and doesn’t do anything particularly interesting otherwise. Trout is milquetoast. Ventura was never an All-Star, but fans knew who he was because he made his presence felt every time he made a start. He was fun, if sometimes vengeful.

Ventura’s baseball rap sheet is rather lengthy for someone who only pitched parts of four seasons in the big leagues. Early in the 2015 season, Ventura found himself in a handful of benches-clearing incidents in quick succession. On April 12, he jawed with Trout, apparently misunderstanding the motivation behind Trout yelling, “Let’s go!” Though catcher Salvador Perez intervened, Trout’s teammate Albert Pujols ran in from second base and the benches cleared shortly thereafter. On the 18th, some drama between the Athletics and Royals continued. Ventura fired a 99 MPH fastball at Brett Lawrie, resulting in his immediate ejection from the game. More beanball wars ensued in the series finale the following day. Finally, on the 23rd, Ventura hit White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu with a 99 MPH fastball in the fourth inning. Ventura was not ejected… until after the completion of the seventh inning. Walking back to the dugout, Ventura barked at White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton and — you guessed it — the benches cleared. All told, Ventura was fined for his behavior with the Athletics and suspended seven games for the White Sox incident.

In August 2015, Ventura called Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista a “nobody” and accused him of stealing signs. He apologized shortly thereafter. Two months later, during his start in Game 6 of the ALCS against the Blue Jays, Ventura got into it with Jays first base coach Tim Leiper. Nothing happened beyond that, but apparently it was part of the Jays’ plan to try to put Ventura “on tilt.”

Most recently, in June this past season, Ventura hit Orioles third baseman Manny Machado with a pitch. Machado charged the mound and got in at least one punch before the players spilled out onto the field in a blob of royal blue and orange. Ventura was suspended for eight games.

Ventura was by no means a model of civility, but he was a product of baseball’s intransigent culture forcing players to assimilate or be ostracized. The old culture taught players to never show emotion. Hit a home run? Put your head down and circle the bases in a timely fashion or risk taking a fastball to the ribs. Players like Fernandez and Bautista — typically players from Latin countries — challenged those old cultural norms and are, as a result, the vanguard of the new culture. Ventura displayed aspects of each, the worst of the old culture and the best of the new. He was not a one-dimensional person; he was strikingly complex. At one moment willing to use a fastball as a weapon, the next stopping by some kids’ lemonade stand and giving out fist bumps. Baseball is made more entertaining and more interesting by its personalities and Ventura’s was a behemoth, for better or worse. His absence from the sport will be felt.

MLB remembers Yordano Ventura and Andy Marte

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 28:  Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers in the first inning during a game against the Boston Red Sox on August 28, 2016 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Getty Images
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Following the tragic passing of 25-year-old Yordano Ventura and 33-year-old Andy Marte, both of whom were killed in separate car crashes on Sunday morning, players and executives from around Major League Baseball expressed an outpouring of grief and support for the players’ families and former teams.

Fans have gathered at Kauffman Stadium in memory of the former pitcher.