Star Trek into Darkness

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Phillies 3, Marlins 0: Cliff Lee shuts out the Marlins on three hits. Granted, it doesn’t take anyone as good as Lee to shut out the Marlins, but that’s nothing that Lee could help. He was dominant. Just like Benedict Cumberbatch in that scene when he killed all those [alien race redacted to avoid spoilers] in the Star Trek movie, which I went to go see last night rather than watch baseball.

Braves 8, Twins 3: Evan Gattis broke it open with a grand slam but the Braves were on their way to tattooing the Twins as it was. Starter Vance Worley was demoted to Triple-A after this one. Know who else should be demoted? Whichever screenwriter or script supervisor didn’t notice that within the space of about three minutes of the Star Trek movie that they (a) had someone get transported with the shields up; and then (b) had a plot point where no one could be transported because the shields are up. Look, the bar for tech continuity in Star Trek is really, really low after all of these years. But I would hope they could keep it internally consistent for more than five minutes. Too much to ask?

Rangers 3, Athletics 1: David Murphy and Adrian Beltre homered in the three-run first inning, giving Texas everything it needed early. Know what else all got taken care of early? The plot to the new Star Trek, which was essentially written in [year redacted to avoid spoilers] for the [earlier Star Trek movie to avoid spoilers]. That’s OK, I suppose, because it was still solid, well done and it was territory worth revisiting again. But wow, it was a little on the nose, I think, and makes me feel like it was phoned in.

Dodgers 9, Brewers 2: Don Mattingly spent his time before the game saying things which seemed like they were calculated to get him fired. But Hyun-Jin Ryu had a nice game and the bats built up a seven-run lead early which allowed them to cruise safely. Apparently, based on what I saw in Star Trek last night, a ship can totally cruise safely if they’re in warp, given how surprised Kirk was when the Enterprise was overtaken in a chase/fight scene. So apparently the decades of scenes filmed for the TV shows in which ships chased each other and were overtaken while in warp never occurred.

Reds 7, Mets 4: Matt Harvey proves mortal. Zack Cozart is apparently his kryptonite, as he got four hits off the Mets’ ace. Speaking of kryptonite, I saw the last Superman trailer last night. Not gonna lie: kinda stoked. I mean, it’s Superman, not Batman, so it’s gonna have inherent limitations. But it does look pretty good. Of course, like Trek, it’s going back to an old well — General Zod is in this one, which I can reveal because it’s in the trailers — but also like Trek it’s a pretty deep well, so I think I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.

Blue Jays 4, Rays 3: Two homers and four RBI for Jose Bautista. Who began the first inning showing bunt just to mess with us, apparently. I feel like J.J. Abrams is messing with the Star Trek franchise a bit too. The movies are good, don’t get me wrong. Better and more entertaining than anything which came out of the franchise from Star Trek VI-on. But you just feel like he’s throwing out scenes and touchstones for fans like red meat without truly taking the universe seriously. Which is mildly concerning given that he has just been handed the keys to the Star Wars franchise. He can’t be worse than George Lucas — who took all of our red meat away in the prequels and demanded that we eat this new weird tofu dish he created — but I sort of hope Abrams feels more invested in the Star Wars universe than he does in the Trek universe and doesn’t feel like it’s just something to play with.

Rockies 4, Diamondbacks 1: The Rockies finish their latest homestand 5-2 and find themselves tied with Arizona and San Francisco for the NL West lead. Which is somewhat surprising as I figured they were playing way over their heads and would swoon come May. I guess there’s still time for that swoon, but in the meantime they’re having fun.  OK, I think I’ve exhausted the Star Trek thoughts which don’t discuss plot points which will spoil it for those who haven’t seen it yet. Please: if you go all Trekkie in the comments, try to give spoiler warnings.

Angels 7, Mariners 1: Four in a row for the Angels as C.J. Wilson strikes out 10. The Angels’ next 14 games come against the reeling Royals, the underachieving Dodgers, the awful Astros and the nearly as bad Cubs. This could be where the season turns around for them. Or the part of the season where they can be officially written off. But they have to make their move now.

Nationals 2, Giants 1: Bryce Harper hit a home run. No word if Rafael Soriano’s four year-old could do it better.

Orioles 6, Yankees 3: Chris Davis went 4 for 4 with his 14th homer. Homers from Matt Wieters and Nick Markakis too. Baltimore takes two of three from the Yanks.

Pirates 1, Cubs 0: Francisco Liriano has liked his change of scenery. After this gem — two hits and no runs over seven — he’s now 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 18 innings. All of the scoring in this game came on an RBI single in the first. Somehow still took 2:45 to play.

Tigers 11, Indians 7: 62 and 48 minute rain delays in this one, but they got it in. Justin Verlander actually came back after the longer delay to get two more outs and qualify for the W. Miguel Cabrera hit a home that bounced off Michael Bourn’s glove and into the stands. So I guess that’s an assist for him. We should totally keep track of offensive assists in baseball.

Red Sox 6, White Sox 2: Sox lose.

Astros 3, Royals 1: Jordan Lyles pitched six solid innings and J.D. Martinez hit a two-run homer. James Shields pitched well but didn’t get the run support. In other news, don’t eat the snow cones at Minute Maid Park.

Cardinals 5, Padres 3: Tyler Lyons won his major league debut. Got a hit too. Guess he can do everything. Know who else can apparently do everything? Ensign Chekov, who was promoted from ops to acting Chief Engineer in the movie last night because the plot needed him to. How many ensigns are getting that promotion? There is probably some Lt. Commander down in engineering who has spent a decade busting his butt since leaving the academy, only to see him passed over for the Chief’s job because some wet-behind-the-ears ensign happens to be the captain’s friend. Every Trek movie is like this though. Hundreds of crew members who apparently only exist to get tossed around when the ship is hit by enemy fire, or to die in spectacular set pieces with nary a thought given about them. Meanwhile, every law of Man, Nature and the United Federation of Planets is broken in order to save the life of one of the handful of superstar golden boys. Typical. Know what I’d like to see? A movie made in the vein of the “Lower Decks” episode of “Next Generation” in which we see what it’s like to be canon fodder for Starfleet.

OK, sorry. Just kinda preoccupied this morning. Promise tomorrow’s ATH will not be about Star Trek. I think.

MLB may introduce “tacky” baseballs in 2018

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 25: Baseballs sit in the St. Louis Cardinals dugout prior to a game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on April 25, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by David Welker/Getty Images)
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Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.

They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.

As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.

Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.

Here we go: Tim Tebow reports to Mets camp

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - SEPTEMBER 20: Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Mets speaks at a press conference after a work out at an instructional league day at Tradition Field on September 20, 2016 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.

Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.

The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.

In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: