New York Mets v Philadelphia Phillies

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights


Mets 8, Phillies 0: Matt Harvey blanks the Phillies on two hits for six innings and David Wright went 4 for 5 with two doubles, a triple and a homer. I know the Mets have problems, but man, when it goes right for them it’s really pretty. Something about the purity of an ace and a superstar doing what they’re supposed to do that makes a win all the more satisfying to see.

Rays 3, Yankees 1: Chris Archer gave up one run over six innings and James Loney hit a two-run single in the seventh. The two runs allowed in the seventh really were a team effort. Both of the runners who scored — Desmond Jennings and Ben Zobrist — reached when Ivan Nova hit them with pitches. Then Shawn Kelley walked Evan Longoria to move the runners up, then Boone Logan came in to give up the single. There’s no “I” in team. There’s no “I” in “meltdown” either.

Tigers 7, Red Sox 5: Kind of a mess of a game, with the Tigers down late and Justin Verlander not looking all that hot. But then Boston got sloppy, with Andrews Miller and Bailey combining to let a run in the seventh — with said run scoring on a hit-by-pitch — and then Miller and Daniel Nava got all errory in the eighth as three Tigers runs scored.

Blue Jays 13, Orioles 5: Call it 11 in a row for the Jays as Edwin Encarnacion drove in four and Jose Bautista knocked in three. The Jays now have a seven-game road trip which takes them through Tampa Bay and Boston. They begin the trip only five games back. The AL East is wild, man. Wild.

Twins 5, Indians 3: Emergency starter Pedro Hernandez — which is a lot like a name off-brand video games use when they don’t have the right to use actual ballplayers’ names — gave up two runs over five innings as the Twinkies avoid the sweep. Nick Swisher came back for the Indians and dropped an 0 for 5.

Rockies 7, Nationals 6: Michael Cuddyer homered and went 3 for 4 overall to extend his hitting streak to 21 games. He’s reached base in 40 straight games overall. The Rockies were staked to a 7-0 lead and held on.

Braves 7, Brewers 4: A first inning grand slam for Brian McCann wasn’t all the Braves would need to win, but it was all they needed to not lose. Does that make sense? I sorta feel like it makes sense. Then again, as I’m writing this it’s Sunday afternoon and it’s hot and my brain doesn’t function nearly as well when it’s hot as it does when it’s cooler. Anyway, we delivered the bomb.

Cubs 14, Astros 6: Ryan Sweeney drove in six, Anthony Rizzo drove in four and that was more run support than Jeff Samardzija truly needed. 20 runs and 29 hits in this one and it lasted three hours and fifteen minutes. I feel like that’s fast for a game with this much carnage.

Royals 7, White Sox 6: Kinda like the Tigers-Red Sox game as relief pitcher fecklessness/bad defense gave this to the other team. All three of the runs Jesse Crain allowed in the eighth were unearned — keeping his streak of innings without allowing any earned runs intact — but since Crain’s own error led the them being unearned he’s sorta, kinda definitely responsible.

Marlins 7, Giants 2: Two homers for Justin Ruggiano as the Marlins win their tenth in eleven games at AT&T Park. As the defending world champs — who have been better at home than on the road — drop three of four to the freakin’ fish. What is this world?

Dodgers 3, Padres 1: Back-to-back homers by Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez in the ninth break a 1-1 tie and then put the Dodgers up 3-1.

Reds 4, Diamondbacks 2: Mat Latos struck out 13 and allowed a run on six hits with one walk in seven and two-thirds, breaking the Dbacks’ four-game winning streak.

Mariners 6, Athletics 3: Kendrys Morales with a walkoff three-run homer in the 10th and he didn’t get hurt celebrating. Raul Ibanez had two homers of his own. Oakland has lost four of five.

Pirates 10, Angels 9: Oh man, Angels. Three in the ninth, four in the tenth for the Buccos in what can only be described as bullpencrapapalooza. Homers in four straight games for Pedro Alvarez.

Rangers 2, Cardinals 1: A three hour rain delay on a Sunday night because the unbalanced schedule makes it nearly impossible for teams to make up games when they don’t see each other in a given city any more. Just dumb. The Rangers are probably OK with it, though, as they get the sweep. It’s the first time anyone has swept the Cardinals this year.

The Days of Chief Wahoo are numbered

Fox Entertainment

One of the more common responses to what I’ve posted about Chief Wahoo lately is “it’s just a cartoon character! Nobody cares!”

Well, looking at that guy in the photo above and many others dressed like him at Progressive Field the past two days is evidence that it is not just a cartoon character. A certain swath of Indians fans think that, because of their team’s name and mascot, it’s totally acceptable to show up in public looking like this. Wahoo as an official trademark of a Major League Baseball club gives people license to dress up in redface — or in this case, red and blackface — with headdresses on, turning a real people and a real culture into a degrading caricature. It’s not just a cartoon character by a long shot. To many it’s a get-out-being-called-a-racist-free card.

As for “nobody cares,” well, yes, someone does. Go read this from Sterling HolyWhiteMountain over at ESPN, talking about both Chief Wahoo as a symbol and America’s treatment and conception of Native Americans as a whole. It’s moving stuff that puts lie to the idea that “nobody cares.” It likewise puts lie to the false choice so many Chief Wahoo defenders reference in which they argue that people should care more about actual injustices visited upon Native Americans and not mascots. One can and should care about those injustices. And one can do that while simultaneously finding Chief Wahoo to be an odious symbol that serves to dehumanize people. Once people are dehumanized, it’s far easier to treat them as something less-than-human, of course.

But it’s not just Native Americans or anti-Wahoo folks like me who care. While I have been critical of Major League Baseball for not taking its own stand against Wahoo publicly, it seems pretty clear at this point that the league is weary of Wahoo and is looking to pressure the Indians to eliminate it. Last night, at the Hank Aaron Award ceremony, Manfred spoke more expansively about Wahoo than he did the day before. Manfred is a lawyer and he does not choose his words carelessly. Read this and parse it carefully:

“I know that that particular logo is offensive to some people, and all of us at Major League Baseball understand why. Logos are, however, primarily a local matter. The local club makes decisions about its logos. Fans get attached to logos. They become part of a team’s history. So it’s not easy as coming to the conclusion and realizing that the logo is offensive to some segment.

“I’ve talked to Mr. [Indians owner and CEO Paul] Dolan about this issue. We’ve agreed away from the World Series at an appropriate time we will have a conversation about this. I want to understand fully what his view is, and we’ll go from there. At this point in this context, I’m just not prepared to say more.”

Yes, he’s still trying to be diplomatic, but note how he (a) acknowledges that Wahoo is offensive to some people; (b) that “all of us at Major League Baseball understand why” and (c) does not validate the views of those who do not find it offensive. He acknowledges that they feel that way due to history, but he does not say, as I inferred from his previous comments the day before, that both sides have merit. Indeed, he says he’d like to hear Paul Dolan’s side, suggesting that while he’ll listen to argument, he doesn’t buy the argument as it has yet to be put.

I still wish that MLB would come out hard and strong against Wahoo publicly, but the more I listen to Manfred on this and read between the lines, the more I suspect that Major League Baseball is finally fed up with Wahoo and that it wants to do something to get rid of it. That it’s not just the hobby horse of pinko liberals like me. I believe Manfred realizes that, in 2016, Chief Wahoo is an embarrassment to an organization like Major League Baseball. Maybe, because of p.r. and political considerations, he doesn’t want to stand on a soapbox about it at the World Series, but I believe he wants to put an end to it all the same.

You can call me names for being against Wahoo all you want. But you can’t say it’s a non-issue. You can’t say that it’s just a cartoon character and you can’t say that nobody cares. To do that is an exercise in denial. I have come to believe that Major League Baseball cares and that it’s going to push hard to make the 2016 World Series the last time it is embarrassed by anachronistic racism on its biggest stage ever again.

Game 2 is going to be the poster child for pace of play arguments this winter

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 26:  Zach McAllister #34 of the Cleveland Indians is relieved by manager Terry Francona during the fifth inning against the Chicago Cubs in Game Two of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on October 26, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Getty Images

In August, it was reported that Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred would like to implement pitch clocks, like those in use in the minor leagues for the past two seasons, to improve the pace-of-play at the major league level. You can bet that last night’s Game 2 will be the lead argument he uses against those who would oppose the move.

The game was moved up an hour in order to get it in before an impending storm. By the time the rain finally started falling the game had been going on for three hours and thirty-three minutes. It should’ve been over before the first drop fell, but in all it lasted four hours and four minutes. It ended in, thankfully, only a light rain. The longest nine-inning game in postseason history happened a mere two weeks ago, when the Dodgers and Nationals played for four hours and thirty two minutes. There thirteen pitchers were used. Last night ten pitchers were used. Either way, the postseason games are dragging on even for those of us who don’t mind devoting four+ hours of our night to baseball. It is likely putting off more casual fans just tuning in for the Fall Classic.

It’s not all just dawdling, however. Yes, the pitchers worked slowly and a lot of pitching changes took place, but strikeouts, walks and the lack of balls in play contribute to longer games as well. We saw this both last night and in Game 1, which was no brisk affair despite each starting pitcher looking sharp and not working terribly slowly. Twenty-four strikeouts on Tuesday night had a lot to do with that. Last night featured 20 strikeouts and thirteen — thirteen! — walks. It’s not just that the games are taking forever; the very thing causing them to drag feature baseball’s least-kinetic forms of excitement.

But no matter what the cause for the slower play was — and here it was a combination of laboring pitchers, the lack of balls in play and, of course, the longer commercial breaks in the World Series — Manfred is likely to hold Game 2 up as Exhibit A in his efforts to push through some rules changes to improve game pace and game time. So far, the centerpiece of those efforts is the pitch clock, which has proven to be successful and pretty non-controversial in the minor leagues. It would not surprise me one bit if, at this year’s Winter Meetings in Washington, a rule change in that regard is widely discussed.