A day after Tigers embarrass Phillies, Phillies embarrass themselves

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Last night, the Tigers outclassed the Phillies en route to an easy 10-0 win. Max Scherzer was on point as he improved to 15-1, and Miguel Cabrera was productive as usual. A typical game for the defending American League champions.

This afternoon was an entirely different story, as the Phillies were their own worst enemy. It started off like a normal game. With the Phillies leading 1-0 in the bottom of the third, the Tigers were threatening, loading the bases with one out for Miguel Cabrera. He fell behind 0-2 on some questionable calls, then was, all of a sudden, ejected from the game. Ostensibly, Cabrera had muttered a few words within earshot of home plate umpire Chad Fairchild. Manager Jim Leyland came out to defend his slugger and was promptly tossed as well, an inauspicious start for the Tigers. Matt Tuiasosopo replaced Cabrera, eventually striking out. Prince Fielder fouled out to end the threat.

The Phillies would tack on a couple more runs to go up 3-0. Though Pettibone had pitched well through five innings, he labored all afternoon, having thrown 78 pitches. Manager Charlie Manuel opted to go to his much-maligned bullpen for the final four frames, and that is where it all fell apart. Without having to take you through the painful details, this is what the sixth-inning summary looked like (emphasis mine):

Bottom 6th: Detroit

– J. Diekman relieved J. Pettibone

– A. Dirks walked

– A. Avila safe at first on pitcher J. Diekman’s throwing error, A. Dirks to second

– R. Santiago reached on bunt single, A. Dirks to third, A. Avila to second

– A. Jackson flied out to shallow right

– D. Kelly safe at first on left fielder S. Susdorf’s fielding error, A. Dirks scored, A. Avila to third, R. Santiago to second

– L. Garcia relieved J. Diekman

– M. Tuiasosopo walked, A. Avila scored, R. Santiago to third, D. Kelly to second

– H. Perez ran for M. Tuiasosopo

– P. Fielder safe at first on first baseman D. Ruf’s throwing error, R. Santiago scored, D. Kelly to third, H. Perez to second

– V. Martinez walked, D. Kelly scored, H. Perez to third, P. Fielder to second

– J. Peralta homered to deep left, H. Perez, P. Fielder and V. Martinez scored

– A. Bastardo relieved L. Garcia

– A. Dirks struck out swinging

– A. Avila struck out looking

8 runs, 2 hits, 3 errors

Philadelphia 3, Detroit 11

The inning was actually uglier than the summary suggests, as it lasted over a half hour and featured this gem:

The Tigers went on to win 12-4, completing the series sweep in Detroit. The win is the Tigers’ seventh in their last eight games, while the Phillies extended their losing streak to eight games.

Derek Norris signing with the Rays

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Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.

Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.

The Braves are banning outside food. And they’re probably lying about why they’re doing it.

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Here’s a thing a lot of people don’t realize: there are a lot of ballparks that allow you to bring in outside food.

Not all of them, but a lot do. They don’t publicize it, obviously, because they want you to buy their expensive food, but if you go to the concessions policy page on most team’s websites, you can get the scoop. It often lists “soft-sided coolers” under “permitted items,” which is code for “yes, you can bring your own food in.” Some may specifically limit THAT to sealed plastic water bottles, but for the most part, if you can bring soft-sided coolers into the park, that means it’s OK to bring in grandma’s potato salad and a few sandwiches. They may check your coolers, of course, to make sure you’re not bringing in alcohol or whatever.

The Atlanta Braves have always allowed food into the ballpark. But thats going to change in shiny new Sun Trust Park. The AJC reports that the Braves have announced a new policy via which ticket holders will not be allowed to bring in outside food. Exceptions will be made for infant food and for special dietary restriction items.

Which, OK, it’s their park and their rules. If they want to cut out the PB&J for junior and force you to buy him a $9 “kids pack” — or if they want you to forego grandma’s potato salad to buy that pork chop sandwich we mentioned yesterday — that’s their choice. Everything else about the Braves new stadium has been about extracting money from fans, so why not the concessions policy too?

My beef with this is less about the policy. It’s about their stated reason for it:

The changes are a result of tighter security being put into place this season throughout the league, said the Braves spokesperson.

This, as the French say, is horses**t.

We know it is because not all teams are prohibiting outside food. If there are tighter security measures across the board, other teams are implementing them without the food restriction. Even the Yankees, who take security theater to extreme heights as it is, are still allowing fans to bring in their own food.

The Braves, I strongly suspect, are using these measures as an excuse to cut down on competition for their concessions. Which, like I said, go for it. Just be honest about what you’re doing and stop blaming “tightened security” for your cash grab.