Royals Braves Basaeball

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights


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.

Rob Manfred wants a new, unnecessary rule to protect middle infielders


Commissioner Rob Manfred is at the Cards-Cubs game this afternoon and the sporting press just spoke with him about the fallout from the Chase Utley/Ruben Tejada play from the other night. Not surprising.

Also not surprising? Manfred’s desire to implement a new rule in an effort to prevent such a play from happening again. Or, at the very least, to allow for clear-cut punishment for someone who breaks it:

Which is ridiculous, as we already have Rule 6.05(m) on the books. That rule — which is as clear as Crystal Pepsi — says a baserunner is out when . . .

(m)A preceding runner shall, in the umpire’s judgment, intentionally interfere with a fielder who is attempting to catch a thrown ball or to throw a ball in an attempt to complete any play:

Rule 6.05(m) Comment: The objective of this rule is to penalize the offensive team for deliberate, unwarranted, unsportsmanlike action by the runner in leaving the baseline for the obvious purpose of crashing the pivot man on a double play, rather than trying to reach the base. Obviously this is an umpire’s judgment play.

That rule totally and completely covers the Utley-Tejada situation. The umpires were wrong for not enforcing it both then and in the past, but that’s the rule, just as good as any other rule in that book and in no way in need of replacement.

Why not just enforce that rule? What rule would “better protect” infielders than that one? What would do so in a more straightforward a manner? What could baseball possibly add to it which would make plays at second base less confusing rather than more so?

I suspect what Manfred is interested in here is some means to change this from a judgment call to a clear-cut rule. It was that impulse that led to the implementation of clocks for pitchers and batters and innings breaks rather than giving umpires the discretion to enforce existing pace-of-play rules. It was that impulse which led to a tripartite (or is it quadpartite?) means of determining whether a catcher impermissibly blocks the plate or a runner barrels him over rather than simply enforce existing base-blocking rules.

But taking rules out of the subjective realm and into the objective is difficult or downright impossible in many cases, both in law and in baseball. It’s almost totally impossible when intent is an element of the thing, as it is here. It’s likewise the case that, were there a clear and easy bright line to be established in service of a judgment-free rule on this matter, someone may have stumbled upon it once in the past, oh, 150 years. And maybe even tried to implement it. They haven’t, of course. Probably because there was no need, what with Rule 6.05(m) sitting up there all nice and tidy and an army of judgment-armed umpires standing ready to enforce it should they be asked to.

Unfortunately, Major League Baseball has decided that eschewing set rules in favor of new ones is better. Rules about the time batters and pitchers should take. Rules about blocking bases. Rules about how long someone should be suspended for a first time drug offense. Late Selig and Manfred-era Major League Baseball has decided, it seems, that anything 150 years of baseball can do, it can do better. Or at least newer and without the input of people in the judgment-passing business like umpires and arbitrators and the like.

Why can’t baseball send a memo to the umpires and the players over the winter saying the following:

Listen up:

That rule about running into fielders that you all have already agreed to abide by in your respective Collective Bargaining Agreements? We’re serious about it now and WILL be enforcing it. If you break it, players, you’re going to be in trouble. If you refuse to enforce it, umpires, you’re going to be in trouble. Understood? Good.


Bobby M.

If players complain, they complain. They don’t have a say about established rules. If, on the other hand, your process of making new rules is easier than your process of simply enforcing rules you already have, your system is messed up and we should be having a whole other conversation.

Anti-Chase Utley signs at Citi Field were brutal and hilarious

Chase Utley sign

Obviously Chase Utley was not the most popular figure in Citi Field last night. The fans booed him like crazy and chanted for him to make an appearance after the game got underway.

They made signs too. Lots and lots of signs. The one at the top of this article is the only one the Associated Press saw fit to grab a photo of, it seems. But there were more and, unlike that one, they were less than tame.

My favorite one was this one, held by a girl about my daughter’s age. It’s direct. It’s totally unequivocal. It gets the point across:

There’s no arguing with that. Utley could show up with a team of lawyers and after five minutes in front of this girl he’d be forced to admit, both orally and in writing, that, yes, he Buttley.

The New York Post categorizes many more of them here. Including one that didn’t make it into the park which said “Chase Utley [hearts] ISIS.” It was confiscated by Citi Field personnel. Why?

The sign, which actually used a “heart” drawing for loves, was confiscated by Citi Field security after she got inside Monday night. Culpepper was annoyed but gave a frank explanation.

“My guess is Isis doesn’t want to be associated with Chase Utley,” she said, calling him, “my least favorite player ever.”

Somebody call the burn unit.

NLDS, Game 4: Dodgers vs. Mets lineups

Clayton Kershaw

Here are the Dodgers and Mets lineups for Game 4 of the NLDS in New York:

CF Kike Hernandez
2B Howie Kendrick
1B Adrian Gonzalez
3B Justin Turner
SS Corey Seager
RF Yasiel Puig
C A.J. Ellis
LF Justin Ruggiano
SP Clayton Kershaw

With a left-hander on the mound for New York the Dodgers are stacking the lineup with right-handed bats, using an outfield of Yasiel Puig, Justin Ruggiano, and Kike Hernandez rather than Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, and Joc Pederson. Adrian Gonzalez and Corey Seager are the only lefty bats in the lineup. A.J. Ellis gets the start over Yasmani Grandal by virtue of being the personal catcher for Clayton Kershaw, who’s pitching on short rest.

RF Curtis Granderson
3B David Wright
2B Daniel Murphy
LF Yoenis Cespedes
C Travis d'Arnaud
1B Lucas Duda
SS Wilmer Flores
CF Juan Lagares
SP Steven Matz

Obviously facing Clayton Kershaw is much different than facing Brett Anderson, but they’re both lefties and manager Terry Collins is using the same lineup as Game 3 with one slight change: Travis d’Arnaud and Lucas Duda flipped in the batting order.