Yankees' Soriano points as he crosses home plate in the fifth inning of their MLB American League baseball game the Angels in New York

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

61 Comments

Yankees 11, Angels 3: Holy cow, Alfonso Soriano. Two homers and seven RBI. The old guy has four homers, six runs scored and 13 RBI in his last two games. The Yankees have won four straight.

Reds 5, Cubs 0: Seven shutout innings from Bronson Arroyo helps the Redlegs snag the three-game sweep. My friend Mark, a Reds fan, still calls them the Redlegs, by the way. No, he is not some fervent anti-communist from the 1950s. He’s like 35.

Indians 9, Twins 8:  Down 7-3 entering the eighth inning, the Indians rallied thanks to a couple baserunners reaching followed by a Michael Brantley RBI single and a Jason Giambi three-run homer. Brantley then won it with a sac fly in the 12th. Joe Mauer had five hits in a winning effort (personally) in a losing effort (collectively).

Tigers 6, White Sox 4: Miguel Cabrera can hardly walk right now but he can still turn like nothing else on inside fastballs and send them over the fence. It’s like he’s adding last season on top of Kirk Gibson’s 1988. Just give him the MVP now.

Rockies 4, Padres 2: What the heck, Yorvit Torrealba? That was pretty spiffy. It was assisted strongly by some dumb, dumb baserunning by the Padres but you can’t take anything away from Torrealba. I mean, how could he have expected the Padres to be so stupid? Give him kudos for not stopping and blinking in confusion at what San Diego was doing and instead simply reacting and acting.

Marlins 5, Royals 2: Neither the Royals bullpen nor defense could hold a late 2-1 lead and the Marlins rallied. Justin Ruggiano broke an 0 for 42 slump with three hits and an RBI.

Diamondbacks 5, Orioles 4: Another day another walkoff win for the Dbacks over the Orioles. This time in the 14th via an Aaron Hill RBI single. Jim Johnson has blown nine saves now for the Orioles. They’re six games out in the East and 2.5 back in the wild card. You do the math.

Nationals 6, Giants 5: Jordan Zimmermann allowed one run in seven innings and win his NL-best 14th. The game was really won, however, when Denard Span made this sweet catch with two on and two out in the ninth. That drops, the Giants are up heading into the bottom of the ninth.

Braves 6, Phillies 3: Chris Johnson drove in three and Jason Heyward homered to lead off the game but perhaps the most important thing for the Braves was the continued improvement of Brandon Beachy. He wasn’t as good as his last time out but in his fourth start since returning from Tommy John he was throwing sliders and didn’t walk anyone.

Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 3: The Red Sox rallied for two in the ninth to force extras. It could have been a bigger rally but they left the bases loaded. They left a couple more runners stranded in their half of the tenth and then Brett Lawrie singled home the winning run in the bottom half to give Toronto the win. Boston has lost four of six.

Pirates 5, Cardinals 1: Francisco Liriano was great, allowing a single run on four hits while going the distance, Shelby Miller: not so great, allowing five runs — three earned — in six in his first game back after being hit by that comebacker. Pittsburgh’s lead in the Central goes back to three games.

Rays 5, Mariners 4: Tampa Bay snaps their six-game skid thanks to a ninth inning rally. Ben Zobrist tripled to lead it off, Matt Joyce singled to tie it, Evan Longoria doubled and Wil Myers was intentionally walked to load the bases. Then Jason Bourgeois, who had entered the game as a pinch runner earlier, singled to right over the Mariners’ drawn-in outfield. Ballgame.

Dodgers 5, Mets 4: The Mets had a 4-0 lead in the sixth and blew it because the Dodgers winning is the most inevitable thing in baseball these days. They’re such a force that every time the Dodgers win people change their basic unit of baseball measurement. The other day it was “the best record in 46 games,” then “the best record in 47 games,” now “the best record in 48 games.” June 22 — the date from which all of these games are being measured — has taken on the feeling of a sacred holiday. We can all it the Feast of St. Arbitrarious or something.

Rangers 5, Brewers 4: A come-from-behind win for the Rangers thanks to an Elvis Andrus RBI single and an Ian Kinsler a two-run single in the eighth. The Rangers only had one extra base hit all game. The Brewers issued six walks. Not gonna go in Milwaukee’s memory book.

Astros 2, Athletics 1: Carlos Corporan hit an RBI double off reliever Sean Doolittle in the 11th inning to win it. He was given the chance to do so thanks in part to this catch by Robbie Grossman in the 10th which robbed Chris Young’s would-be walkoff homer. Lotsa nice plays yesterday, no?

Ichiro was happy to see Pete Rose get defensive about his hits record

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 14:  Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Miami Marlins warms-up during batting practice before a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on June 14, 2016 in San Diego, California.   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
26 Comments

You’ll recall the little controversy last month when Ichiro Suzuki passed Pete Rose’s hit total. Specifically, when Ichiro’s Japanese and American hit total reached Rose’s American total of 4,256 and a lot of people talked about Ichiro being the new “Hit King.” You’ll also recall that Rose himself got snippy about it, wondering if people would now think of him as “the Hit Queen,” which he took to be disrespect.

There’s a profile of Ichiro over at ESPN the Magazine and reporter Marly Rivera asked Ichiro about that. Ichiro’s comments were interesting and quite insightful about how ego and public perception work in the United States:

I was actually happy to see the Hit King get defensive. I kind of felt I was accepted. I heard that about five years ago Pete Rose did an interview, and he said that he wished that I could break that record. Obviously, this time around it was a different vibe. In the 16 years that I have been here, what I’ve noticed is that in America, when people feel like a person is below them, not just in numbers but in general, they will kind of talk you up. But then when you get up to the same level or maybe even higher, they get in attack mode; they are maybe not as supportive. I kind of felt that this time.

There’s a hell of a lot of truth to that. Whatever professional environment you’re in, you’ll see this play out. If you want to know how you’re doing, look at who your enemies and critics are. If they’re senior to you or better-established in your field, you’re probably doing something right. And they’re probably pretty insecure and maybe even a little afraid of you.

The rest of the article is well worth your time. Ichiro seems like a fascinating, insightful and intelligent dude.

There will be no criminal charges arising out of Curt Schilling’s video game debacle

Curt Schilling
15 Comments

In 2012 Curt Schilling’s video game company, 38 Studios, delivered the fantasy role-playing game it had spent millions of dollars and countless man hours trying to deliver. And then the company folded, leaving both its employees and Rhode Island taxpayers, who underwrote much of the company’s operations via $75 million in loans, holding the bag.

The fallout to 38 Studios’ demise was more than what you see in your average business debacle. Rhode Island accused Schilling and his company of acts tantamount to fraud, claiming that it accepted tax dollars while withholding information about the true state of the company’s finances. Former employees, meanwhile, claimed — quite credibly, according to reports of the matter — that they too were lured to Rhode Island believing that their jobs were far more secure than they were. Many found themselves in extreme states of crisis when Schilling abruptly closed the company’s doors. For his part, Schilling has assailed Rhode Island politicians for using him as a scapegoat and a political punching bag in order to distract the public from their own misdeeds. There seems to be truth to everyone’s claims to some degree.

As a result of all of this, there have been several investigations and lawsuits into 38 Studios’ collapse. In 2012 the feds investigated the company and declined to bring charges. There is currently a civil lawsuit afoot and, alongside it, the State of Rhode Island has investigated for four years to see if anyone could be charged with a crime. Today there was an unexpected press conference in which it was revealed that, no, no one associated with 38 Studios will be charged with anything:

An eight-page explanation of the decision concluded by saying that “the quantity and qualify of the evidence of any criminal activity fell short of what would be necessary to prove any allegation beyond a reasonable doubt and as such the Rules of Professional Conduct precluded even offering a criminal charge for grand jury consideration.”

Schilling will likely crow about this on his various social media platforms, claiming it totally vindicates him. But, as he is a close watcher of any and all events related to Hillary Clinton, he no doubt knows that a long investigation resulting in a declination to file charges due to lack of evidence is not the same thing as a vindication. Bad judgment and poor management are still bad things, even if they’re not criminal matters.

Someone let me know if Schilling’s head explodes if and when someone points that out to him.