And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Dodgers 3, Brewers 1: After the last scene of Don Mattingly’s managerial life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that at many times along the path of his time in Los Angeles, especially at the very lowest and saddest times, there was only one set of footprints. Clayton Kershaw then whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you. Never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.” (9 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 5K).

Diamondbacks 5, Rockies 1: Patrick Corbin continues to roll on, and this time he added some strikeouts to skew dominant. He allowed one run on three hits, striking out ten.

Marlins 5, Phillies 1: The Marlins have 13 wins this season, four of which have come against Philly. That’s gotta make the Phillies angry. Cole Hamels was certainly angry, as he left the clubhouse in something of a huff. Maybe it’s because Charlie Manuel pulled him early for a pinch hitter in an effort to get a run? Maybe it was because the Phillies have only scored 20 runs for him all season? Maybe because he saw Alex Sanabia throwing a spitball?

Indians 10, Mariners 8: Two homers for Yan Gomes as the Indians continue to roll. Winners of 18 of 22 and a team that doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere.

Braves 5, Twins 1: Sometimes I wish Gleeman and I were competitive rah-rah fans so when stuff like our teams meeting happens we could talk trash and all that. But we’re not. I suppose if I sent him some “in your face” kind of message after this one he’d respond back with “oh well.” Which is way better for the blood pressure, frankly. A three-run homer for Dan Uggla and a nice outing from Julio Teheran.

Reds 4, Mets 3: Jay Bruce hit a tie-breaking homer in the sixth. Arolids Chapman, who blew his previous two saves, locked this one down. Dusty Baker on his closer:

“Got to get back on the horse, right away,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Otherwise it festers and grows.”

The horse? So confused.

Blue Jays 7, Rays 5: R.A. Dickey is slowly righting the ship, winning his second in a row. You have to right the ship or else it gets all infected and oozes. Or something. Sorry, that Dusty Baker quote is still bugging me.

Yankees 6, Orioles 4: The Orioles are in a flat spin, losers of six straight. People usually say “tailspin” but I liked “Top Gun” a lot when I was a kid and flat spins are far more ominous and scary for me, Goose. With the Yankees down 4-3 in the ninth, Travis Hafner homered off Jim Johnson, who has now blown three straight saves. Vernon Wells and Hafner added RBIs in the 10th to seal the win. Mariano Rivera did not, in contrast, blow the save. Because he is Mariano Rivera.

Athletics 9, Rangers 2: It feels like these two teams have played 15 games against one another in the past couple of weeks. Oh well, too busy to check. Gonna assume that’s right. Anyway, Seth Smith homered and scored three times and Bartolo Colon pitched seven strong innings.

White Sox 6, Reds Sox 4: Sox win.

Padres 4, Cardinals 2: Jason Marquis has won five straight starts and I can’t even. He said after the game that he’s “making better pitches.” Bud Black said after the game that Marquis is “a guy that continues to make pitches when he needs to.”  I guess he’s just making pitches, eh?

Astros 6, Royals 5: Matt Dominguez hit a three-run homer. Jason Castro hit a solo shot. Miguel Tejada hit a homer too. It was his first bomb since 2011. Jeremy Guthrie was shelled and has allowed 19 runs and 11 hits in his past two outings. The Royals are now a sub-.500 team.

Giants 8, Nationals 0: Ryan Vogelsong was cruising — tossing five shutout innings — until he broke his throwing hand while fouling off a pitch in the bottom of the fifth. Enter the DH people. Meanwhile, after the game Davey Johnson announced that Ryan Mattheus broke his pitching hand punching a locker in frustration Sunday. Jesus, people.

What in the heck is Derek Jeter doing with the Marlins?

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Last night we linked the Miami Herald story about the Marlins firing special assistants Jeff Conine, Andre Dawson, Tony Perez and Jack McKeon. Let’s talk about that a little bit.

The firings themselves are eyebrow-raising inasmuch as “special assistants” like that are rarely key front office personnel. Former players, Hall of Famers and former managers like those guys are really ambassadors for the team and, particularly in the case of Jeff Conine, who is known as “Mr. Marlin,” why would new ownership want to kick its ambassadors to the curb? It’s not like you can just hire a bunch of new franchise legends for he role. Who ya gonna call? Dan Uggla?

Sure, I can see an argument for changing their responsibilities. If they actually had say in baseball operations, I can see new ownership wanting to relieve them of those duties. It’s also possible that Jeff Loria paid them too much money for guys who are only team ambassadors. So, sure, if the job is too cushy by the standards of the gig, I could see Jeter cutting their pay or their duties to make it conform to what other clubs do with their former stars. Maybe that makes them want to quit. If so, that’s OK I suppose.

Beyond that, however, it’s hard to see why you would NOT want guys like Conine, Dawson, Perez and McKeon to represent your club in the community and in the service of impressing prospective season ticket holders. The franchise’s first star player, a Hall of Famer who ended his career with the club, another Hall of Famer who is from Cuba (which is kind of a big deal in a place like Miami) and the manager who brought the club its last World Series championship are exactly who you want to represent your team. Especially when nearly everything else about your team has, for so very long, alienated the very public you want supporting it.

But let’s say, for the moment, that there was a good reason to fire those guys. Let’s say they’re all flaming jackwagons who have secretly poisoned the franchise from within. Let’s say that, despite his grandfatherly charm, Jack McKeon is a ruthless Machiavellian. Let’s say that Conine, Dawson and Perez beat up copy boys in the stairwells and microwave leftover fish in the break room every day. Even if that’s the case, how does this happen?

And here’s the twist: Jeter asked Marlins president David Samson to fire those four Marlins luminaries for him, because Jeter didn’t want to do it.

Even more strange, Jeter made the request after telling Samson what he already knew: that Samson would not be returning as team president.

It seems that Samson did carry out the firings. Unless some handsome severance package was being held hostage over it, I’m not sure how Samson doesn’t tell Jeter, “Hey Captain RE2PECT, know what? Up yours, you do it yourself.” Of course, one can only project one’s own sensibility on a guy like David Samson so much, so let’s cut him a bit of slack here. We don’t know how the conversation went. Maybe Samson was happy to tell those guys to hit the bricks.

But really, how doesn’t Jeter man-up and handle this himself? It’s not because he’s not yet officially the owner, because if he has the power to fire Samson, he has the power to fire Conine and his friends. Maybe there is more to this than the Herald story lets on, but as it stands now, it comes off as cowardice on Jeter’s part. It’s a really bad look.

I’ll be curious to see how this plays in the baseball establishment over the next couple of days. Everyone — particularly the press — loves Derek Jeter an credits him with a class, smoothness and media savvy matched by few others. This, though, was either (a) a failure of class and an act of disrespect to baseball luminaries; or (b) a complete bungling of public relations, serving to make what was, in reality, a reasonable move appear classless. It has to be one or the other.

Derek Jeter has been a teflon star for more than two decades, but two of the few things the media loves more than Derek Jeter are (a) old Baseball Men like McKeon, Dawson, Perez and Conine; and (b) “classiness.” It’ll be interesting to see if, for the first time in his professional life, the media gets its knives out for Derek Jeter for seeming content to dispense with both.

Dodgers top Giants, clinch fifth straight NL West title

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The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.

Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.

The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.

After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.