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.

Angel Pagan lands on the 15-day disabled list with a strained hamstring

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 28:  Angel Pagan #16 of the San Francisco Giants poses for a portrait during spring training photo day at Scottsdale Stadium on February 28, 2016 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Giants outfielder Angel Pagan has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, the club announced on Tuesday. He has a strained left hamstring. Outfielder Jarret Parker has been recalled from Triple-A Sacramento.

Pagan strained his hamstring earlier this month and missed nearly two weeks while avoiding a trip to the DL. The club decided to play it safe this time around. Pagan aggravated the injury during Monday’s game against the Padres, exiting in the ninth inning.

Pagan is hitting .275/.338/.383 with a pair of home runs and 13 RBI on the year.

Odubel Herrera was benched for a lack of hustle last night

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 12:  Centerfielder Odubel Herrera #37 of the Philadelphia Phillies runs to third for a triple in the tenth inning during the game against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on May 12, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
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Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera has been described by Kevin Cooney of Calkins Media as “the straw that stirs the Phillies.” He has drawn comparisons to former Phillie Shane Victorino for his high-energy style of play that can motivate a team and give it momentum. So it was a bit shocking to hear that Herrera had been removed from Monday’s game against the Tigers for a lack of hustle.

Herrera started the game with a 14-pitch at-bat against Mike Pelfrey and wound up singling in each of his first three at-bats. In the seventh, Herrera faced lefty reliever Justin Wilson with a runner on second base and no outs. He hit a tapper back to Wilson, who looked Peter Bourjos back to second base, then lobbed to first base for the out. Wilson wasn’t quick to get the ball to first base, but Herrera was only lightly jogging so it didn’t matter. Manager Pete Mackanin removed him from the game and put David Lough in center field.

Here’s video of Herrera’s jog:

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Matt Breen confirmed the reason for Herrera exiting the game. Herrera said after the Phillies’ 5-4 loss, “I know I did wrong,” per CSN Philly’s John Clark. Herrera said, “I was frustrated,” and added, “It won’t happen again.”

After the benching, while the game was still going on, I was also told by several of my Twitter followers who were watching the game that the CSN broadcast showed Herrera pointing to his back while speaking with the team trainer. He did not play on May 18 against the Marlins due to back discomfort, as Matt Gelb of the Inquirer reported.

Making a point to your team about hustle is understandable, particularly for a young team like the Phillies. Jumping on a player with a bad back is not the best way to make that point, however. Herrera might have been slow up the line because his back was bothering him and he might not have said anything about it because baseball culture (and masculinity in general) tells players to play through pain. He might not have wanted to argue with Mackanin about it either, since he is only in his second season as a major leaguer. Mackanin is then essentially telling his team to play through injuries and give max effort even when it might be a detriment.

I’ve argued before about how it’s actually a bad idea to run full throttle on weak pop-ups and ground outs. They’re outs 99 percent of the time. Yes, if you run hard, you might get a single or a double that one time, but it’s also a way to get injured. That’s especially true if a player already has a nagging injury like a bad back.

Work smarter, not harder.

San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus asks for fired DJ to be reinstated

SAN DIEGO - APRIL 06:  The grounds crew works on the field before the start of the game between the Colorado Rockies and the San Diego Padres during Opening Night at Petco Park on April 6, 2007 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
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OK, I lied. Earlier I said we had the final word on the National Anthem dustup in San Diego from over the weekend. The final word, it seemed, was the Padres apologizing, the revelation that the screwed up Anthem thing was a mistake by a DJ hired to run the music and the DJ then being fired. Oh, and then the DJ apologizing.

Now a new twist! The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus said today that they’d like to see the DJ rehired by the Padres! Their statement, in relevant part:

We also would like to publicly accept the sincere apology of DJ ARTFORM and recognize his support for the LGBT community and equality for all people. We do not wish to see him lose his job with the San Diego Padres and kindly ask the Padres to reinstate him. Everyone deserves a second chance.”

That’s quite a shift in the past few days, as all of this was came into the public eye via a Facebook post by a Gay Men’s Chorus official saying that this whole thing was part of a pattern of troublesome homophobia. Now we’ve come full circle. Or maybe around the circle a few times and back again. I don’t know. I’m dizzy.

Whatever the case: everyone’s all happy now, and that’s way better than everyone being all mad.

Great Moments in Dealing with Hecklers: Bartolo Colon edition

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 7:  Bartolo Colon #40 of the New York Mets pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on May 7, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
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Last week the news broke that a lawsuit was filed against Bartolo Colon for back child support for two children he apparently fathered out of wedlock. As we noted repeatedly at the time, the case was sealed and the facts were mostly unknown. Still, the possibility at least exists that Colon has been a deadbeat dad to some degree. And the underlying facts are no doubt a sensitive matter to his family, right? I hope we can all agree on that.

As we’ve all seen in the past, this sort of stuff is what hecklers thrive on. Ask Chipper Jones or any other athlete who have been caught up in scandal, especially sexual scandal, in the past. Fans of the opposition are going to pounce on it. And the fans in Washington for the Mets-Nationals series are no different in that regard:

I wish fans didn’t use stuff about the personal lives of ballplayers like this, especially when it involves their families, but I suppose it’s inevitable. And hey, Colon got him back right? Quickly showed the heckler that he couldn’t be gotten to. The first impulse in reading this is to laugh for just that reason. Indeed, the first impulse in reading a lot of things dealing with Colon these days is to laugh because he’s become a pretty popular and affable figure.

But I also wish Colon, even if this was meant flippantly in order to deflect a jerk, didn’t respond this way in this situation. Why? Because it seems to diminish what, for his family and the woman with whom he fathered a couple of children out of wedlock, is a pretty serious and personal situation. And possibly one with some negative legal consequences in the offing. At the very least Colon’s comment will bring him an extra question or two at a deposition from the lawyer for the mother of his children, putatively to probe him for any other similar situations but, in reality, just to get under his skin. For that reason it was kind of a dumb comment.

More broadly, however, it just doesn’t look great to treat this whole situation flippantly. Maybe Bartolo Colon gets away with this way easier than someone else might because of his current popularity, but how would we feel if another, less popular player were accused of something unseemly and he treated it as a joke like this? I feel like the knives would be out for him in ways they’ll likely never be out for Bartolo Colon based solely on how we feel about the player in question.

It all goes back to what I wrote about all of this last week: we have a sliding scale for behavior for certain athletes and public figures based on their preexisting popularity. We shouldn’t have such a sliding scale. Personally, I think we should be far more hands-off and lenient when it comes to judging these men than we currently are because there is so little we truly know and so little of it is truly the business of fans. But if we do get in the business of judging these guys, we need to be fair about it.

I don’t think we should have the knives out for Colon over this, especially given how little is known about his case and his situation. But I feel like we’d treat someone who was not Bartolo Colon very differently under the same exact facts and that it would do us well to contend with that some.