Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights


Angels 5, Rangers 4: Howie Kendrick with two homers, including the walkoff in the 11th. Kendrick after the game:

“It’s a great feeling to know that you can leave the other team on the field”

I hope someone brings the Rangers some food overnight. Maybe go back to their hotel, get guys a change of clothes or something.

Cardinals 2, Nationals 0: Adam Wainwright threw eight and a third scoreless innings striking out nine, and improved to 4-1 with a 1.93 ERA on the season. The Nats have lost eight of 11.

Pirates 2, Phillies 0: Jeff Locke and four relievers combine to shut out the Phillies. Michael Young kept his hitting streak alive — it’s now at four games — but an otherwise forgettable offensive night.

Twins 4, Marlins 3; Marlins 8, Twins 5: Oswaldo Arcia hit a massive homer in the first game. Right before he did it. Bert Blyleven speculated on-air as to whether Ron Gardenhire would have him bunt. Methinks that with that guy’s power that, no, Gardenhire is not gonna have him bunt. The Marlins take the nightcap with 16 hits. Which is probably their month’s supply of hits. Royals lead the division by a game with the Twins right on their tail. This is kinda fun while it’s lasting.

Athletics 13, Red Sox 0: Rain-shortened game or mercy rule invoked? NO MAN CAN SAY. Everyone will talk about how putrid Alfredo Aceves was — and after the game he had the nerve to ask why his teammates didn’t hit — but how about seven, three-hit shutout innings from Bartolo Colon?

Orioles 4, Blue Jays 3: It’s kinda early in the morning so my critical thinking skills aren’t totally sharp yet today, but when I see this in the game story:

It was the 100th consecutive game the Orioles have won when leading after seven innings

My b.s. detector starts to go off. Not because it’s not true — it is, in fact, a fact — but because it sounds too superficially impressive a feat for a team that, while good last year, hasn’t been dominant or anything. Someone can check it and tell me I’m wrong, but this smells like “a triple short of the cycle!” Meaning: a fact which sounds kind of impressive but which actually describes something which happens quite a lot.

Yankees 4, Rays 3: Ichiro had a two-run, RBI single in the ninth and, though he did not get the win, I think it’s fair to say that Phil Hughes out-dueled David Price. Has a lower ERA on the season than Price does too, if you care about such things (5.14 vs. 5.52).

Braves 4, Rockies 3; Braves 10, Rockies 2 : Atlanta takes the first chilly one thanks to homers from Justin Upton, Evan Gattis and Dan Uggla. They take the second one thanks to homers from Justin Upton, B.J. Upton and Juan Francisco. It’s almost like this team hits a lot of homers or something.

Cubs 4, Reds 2: Carlos Marmol blew the save but got the win. He now leads the Cubs in wins. That’s fun. I’m sure no one else on the team thinks that’s fun but him, but it is fun.

Dodgers 7, Mets 2: Two homers for Mark Ellis. Clayton Kershaw was no great shakes, but after Jon Niese left in the third with a leg contusion, it was too much to ask for five Mets relievers to hold on.

Brewers 6, Padres 3: Nine in a row. Clayton Richard was a disaster in the first two innings and after that it was academic.

Astros 3, Mariners 2: Astros and Marlins win on the same day. Bet that doesn’t happen a lot this summer. Sadly, what proved to be the winning run came at the expense of Justin Maxwell’s broken hand on a HBP in the third.

Diamondbacks 6, Giants 4: J.J. Putz blew a two-run lead in the ninth — and a four-run lead overall — but the Dbacks gritted this one out and won in 11, thanks to some heads-up base running by Didi Gregorius. He took second base on what should have only been a single after Andres Torres lollygaged his way to the ball, then scored the tying run on a wild pitch.  And if you think I’m beating this grit thing into the ground, well, I’ll stop when Diamondbacks players stop saying stuff like this after the game:

“That’s the spirit of this team,” [Brad] Ziegler said. “We’d prefer to jump out to a big lead early and kind of coast to the victory, but when that doesn’t happen, we know we have a lot of guys on this team that are going to fight to the last out.”

Indians vs. White Sox: POSTPONED: April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing  Memory and desire, stirring  Dull roots with spring rain.

Royals vs. Tigers: POSTPONED: For the seven lakes, and by no man these verses. Rain; empty river; a voyage. Fire from frozen cloud, heavy rain in the twilight. Under the cabin roof was one lantern. The reeds are heavy; bent; and the bamboos speak as if weeping.

Red Sox sign outfielder Chris Young

Chris Young Getty
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Veteran outfielder Chris Young thrived in a platoon role for the Yankees this past season and now he’s headed to the rival Red Sox to fill a similar role, signing a multi-year deal with Boston according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.

Young was once an everyday center fielder for the Diamondbacks, making the All-Star team in 2010 at age 26, but for the past 3-4 years he’s gotten 300-350 plate appearances in a part-time role facing mostly left-handed pitching. He hit .252 with 14 homers and a .773 OPS for the Yankees, but prior to that failed to top a .700 OPS in 2013 or 2014.

Given the Red Sox’s outfield depth–Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Brock Holt even with Hanley Ramirez back in the infield–Young is unlikely to work his way into everyday playing time at age 32, but he should get another 300 or so plate appearances while also providing a veteran fallback option. And it’s possible his arrival clears the way for a trade.

David Price said to care about more than just the money

David Price

Every year free agency brings with it its own set of politics and talking points and spin. Factors which are said to be more important to players than the money being offered.

And, to be fair, there is one big factor that is likely more important than money for many of them: winning. I truly believe players want to win. They say it all the time and there’s no reason to think they’re being disingenuous about that, especially the ones who have been around the game a long time.

I’ll note, however, that given how success cycles work in baseball (i.e. teams that aren’t close to being true contenders aren’t likely to be spending big in free agency anyway) that consideration often washes out of the system. Every year you hear of one or two losing teams making a big, competitive offer to a free agent, but it’s not that common.

What I’m talking about more here are the truly soft factors. Factors which often anchor hot stove rumors, but which rarely if ever truly stand out as determining factors when it comes to where a free agent ends up. Examples of these include geographic proximity to where the player grew up, his wife grew up, he went to college or what have you. Remember how CC Sabathia was going to play in California? And Mark Teixeira was going to play for Baltimore? Heck, I’m so old I remember when Brandon Webb was gonna break the bank playing for the Reds.

It’s pretty rare, though, for that to pan out. Sabathia and Teixeira went to New York. If Brandon Webb’s shoulder had cooperated it’s not likely he would’ve ended up in Cincinnati. Money talks for free agents, much louder than any of the soft considerations. Even when, like Mike Hampton and his Denver-public-school-loving self claimed that he signed with the Rockies for reasons other than the fact that they unloaded the money truck for him.

I think we’re seeing a new soft factor emerge. Today Peter Gammons reported this about David Price:

Cities are fairly strong as soft factors go, I reckon. Somewhere south of money and winning but north of “my wife’s family lives there.” Money can make up the difference between a fun city and a lame city, but if things are equal, going someplace you want to be likely is a factor.

But that second one — being able to hit — seems a bit suspect. This is not the first time I’ve heard that this offseason. Zack Greinke was said to prefer the NL because he likes to hit. I’ve heard this about other pitchers too. I question how important a factor that truly is — the actual hitting part actually affecting a free agent decision — as much as I suspect it’s a negotiating tool designed to get AL teams to pay a premium to get the guy to “give up” hitting. Or, more likely, that it’s code for “it’s WAY easier to pitch in the NL because I get to face a pitcher who can’t hit for crap 2-3 times a game.”

On some level I suppose this is all unknowable. I doubt David Price or some other free agent pitcher is ever going to hold a January press conference in which he says the following:

“Well, the money was absolutely equal between the final two suitors and, as you know, both made the playoffs last year and play in cities with copious cultural resources for my family and me. And, having plotted the two cities on Google Maps, I discovered that the two cities are each EXACTLY 347 miles from my Aunt Tilly’s house! What are the friggin’ odds?

Ultimately, though, I signed here so I could bat.”

Like I said, not likely. But wouldn’t it be something if that happened? If so, I’d probably cast a 12-inch statue of Mike Hampton and start giving out an annual award or something.

Player pool for MLB postseason shares is a record $69 million

television money

MLB just announced the postseason shares for this year and the players’ overall pool is a record total of $69.9 million. Nice.

That total gets divided among playoff participants, with Royals receiving $25,157,573.73 for winning the World Series and Mets getting $16,771,715.82 for finishing runner-up. That works out to $370,069.03 each for the Royals and $300,757.78 each for the Mets.

Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports that the Royals have issued full playoff shares to a total of 58 people, plus 8.37 partial shares and 50 “cash rewards.” In other words: There was a whole bunch of money to go around if you were in any way involved in the Royals’ championship run.

According to MLB public relations the previous high for the overall player pool was $65.4 million in 2012 and the Mets’ playoff share is the highest ever for a World Series-losing team, topping the Tigers’ share of $291,667.68 in 2006. Kansas City’s playoff share is slightly less than San Francisco received last year.

Here are the individual postseason share amounts by team:

Royals – $370,069.03
Mets – $300,757.78
Blue Jays – $141,834.40
Cubs – $122,327.59
Astros – $36,783.25
Cardinals – $34,223.65
Dodgers – $34,168.74
Rangers – $34,074.40
Pirates – $15,884.20
Yankees – $13,979.99

Marc Anthony gets into the agent business, signs Aroldis Chapman

Aroldis Chapman

There is a somewhat mixed history of entertainers and musicians getting into the sports agent business. Sometimes it works out (Jay-Z has done OK). Sometimes it doesn’t (Master P says “Hi”).

Add another one to the list. A pretty big one. Ken Rosenthal reports that Marc Anthony’s Magnus Media is getting into sports. And the company, Magnus Sports, just signed a new client: Reds closer Aroldis Chapman. From Rosenthal:

The company said in a news release that it will team with a baseball agency, Praver Shapiro Sports Management — and that the group’s first major client will be Reds closer Aroldis Chapman.

Praver Shapiro represents a number of Latin players, including Marlinsshortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, Cubs right fielder Jorge Soler, Reds pitcherRaisel Iglesias and free-agent third baseman Juan Uribe.

Chapman is on the trading block right now but 2016 is his walk year, and barring injury he’ll due for perhaps the biggest payday a closer has ever seen. Whether he’ll actually get it depends on the negotiating skills of the biggest salsa artist the world has ever seen.

Gentlemen: you have a year to get some song title pun/headlines ready.