Chicago White Sox v Baltimore Orioles

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights


Orioles 3, White Sox 1: The Orioles win and, frankly, I’m going to credit playing at home. Yep, nothing like a home game. Makes all the difference.

And if you think for a minute I’m irrationally beating this into the ground, go take a gander at the NFL Industrial Complex’s collective and concerted moaning and complaining about last night’s Ravens game going down in Denver. Both official NFL PR people (more than one) and multiple NFL reporters and sycophants parroted talking points about the Orioles and Major League Baseball being intransigent or “making a stink” when it was, in fact, the NFL which made the stink and when, in fact, the Orioles game was scheduled first. All while conveniently ignoring that the NFL has never been willing to budge an inch for baseball when the situation was reversed. Also note that the AP photographers at the Orioles game last night took multiple pictures of empty seats at Camden Yards and the empty Ravens stadium next door. If you think for a second that word didn’t come down from NFL to their obedient scribes to play up “Orioles Mean!” talk in response to fan inquiries about why the Ravens weren’t opening at home, and if you didn’t think that the didn’t all obey, you’re nuts.

Red Sox 9, Yankees 8: It’s like Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS as seen through blurry glasses and with bad fundamental play around the edges. The Red Sox found themselves down to their last out with Mariano Rivera on the hill. Then a single, a pinch runner stealing a base and cruising to third when the catcher’s throw went skipping into the outfield followed by a Stephen Drew and things were all tied up. The tenth inning was spiked with a probably bad check-swing call from none other than Joe West — question: will check swings be reviewable next year? — and with new life Shane Victorino knocked in Jacoby Ellsbury.

Reds 6, Cardinals 2: Two homers for Todd Frazier as the Reds take three of four from St. Louis. It was the first series win for the Reds over the Cards in eight tries. The Reds are now a game and a half behind St. Louis for second place, three behind the Pirates.

Royals 7, Mariners 6: Big sloppy game won in large thanks to a big game from big Billy Butler, who went 5 for 5. Mike Moustakas had the 13th inning walkoff homer, however. The Royals had their chance to win it in the ninth as they led 6-5 with two outs before Raul Ibanez homered off Greg Holland to tie it. Holland had been pretty automatic before that, but Ibanez has those Lazarus Pits in his basement and stuff, so you know.

Diamondbacks 4, Giants 2: Interesting mostly because, with this loss, the Giants could be eliminated from NL West contention tonight. All that need happen is for the Dodgers to win in Cincinnati and the Giants to lose against the Dbacks. That’s technical elimination. The Giants have been effectively eliminated for months now.

Astros 3, Athletics 2: Brad Peacock took a shutout into the eighth inning, the A’s mounted a rally, but it fell short and they fell out of first place in the West. Speaking of Peacock, you should totally go read this story about the making of and history of the movie “Clue.” Which is an all-time guilty pleasure of mine. When people say they don’t like it it-it- the f – it -flam – flames. Flames, on the side of my face, breathing-breathl- heaving breaths. Heaving breaths… Heathing…

Angels 6, Rays 2: The Angels knocked 11 hits off of David Price and the Rays lost for the ninth time in their last 12 games. They maintain their 2.5 game lead over the Yankees for the wild card but, boy howdy, are they skidding.

Mariners trying to trade Mark Trumbo by Wednesday

Mark Trumbo

Seattle making Mark Trumbo available has been known for a while now, but Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that the Mariners are trying to trade the first baseman/outfielder before Wednesday.

That’s the deadline to tender 2016 contracts to arbitration eligible players and with Trumbo set to make around $9 million via that process the Mariners would rather move on before any decision needs to be made. In other words: They don’t want to be stuck with him.

Trumbo has elite power, averaging 30 homers per 160 games for his career, but that power comes with a .250 batting average, poor plate discipline and a .299 on-base percentage, and sub par defense. Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto has already traded Trumbo once, dealing him to the Diamondbacks back when he was the Angels’ general manager, and now he’s working hard to part ways again.

Ken Rosenthal of reports that the Rockies are among the interested teams.

UPDATE: Red Sox sign outfielder Chris Young to a two-year, $13 million deal

Chris Young Getty

UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that Young will receive a two-year, $13 million contract from the Red Sox.

Monday, 1:47 PM: Veteran outfielder Chris Young thrived in a platoon role for the Yankees this past season and now he’s headed to the rival Red Sox to fill a similar role, signing a multi-year deal with Boston according to Ken Rosenthal of

Young was once an everyday center fielder for the Diamondbacks, making the All-Star team in 2010 at age 26, but for the past 3-4 years he’s gotten 300-350 plate appearances in a part-time role facing mostly left-handed pitching. He hit .252 with 14 homers and a .773 OPS for the Yankees, but prior to that failed to top a .700 OPS in 2013 or 2014.

Given the Red Sox’s outfield depth–Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Brock Holt even with Hanley Ramirez back in the infield–Young is unlikely to work his way into everyday playing time at age 32, but he should get another 300 or so plate appearances while also providing a veteran fallback option. And it’s possible his arrival clears the way for a trade.

Marlins hire Juan Nieves as pitching coach

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This is not a terribly big deal compared to the rumors of who the Marlins want to hire as their hitting coach, but it’s news all the same: Miami has hired Juan Nieves as their pitching coach.

Nieves replaces Chuck Hernandez who was let go immediately after the season ended. Under Hernandez Marlins pitchers allowed 4.19 runs a game and had an ERA of 4.02, striking out 1152 batters and walking 508 in 1,427 innings. As far as runs per game go, that was around middle of the pack in the National League, just a hair better than league average. The strikeout/walk ratio, however, was third to last in the NL.

Nieves, a former Brewers hurler who once tossed a no-hitter, was most recently the Red Sox’ pitching coach, serving from the beginning of the 2013 season until his dismissal in May of this year.

In baseball, if you lose the World Series you still get a ring

ST. LOUIS - APRIL 3:  Detail view of the St. Louis Cardinals 2006 World Series Ring at Busch Stadium on April 3, 2007 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Scott Rovak/Getty Images)

“Second place is first loser” — some jerk, probably.

The funny thing about “winning is everything” culture in sports is that it’s revered, primarily, by people with the least amount of skin in the game. Self-proclaimed “Super Fans” and talk radio hosts and guys like that. People who may claim to live and breathe sports but who, for the most part, have other things in their lives. Jobs and families and hobbies and stuff. Winning is everything for them on the weekend at, like, Buffalo Wild Wings or in their man cave.

Athletes — whose actual job is to play sports — like to win too. They’re certainly more focused and committed to winning than Joe Super Fan is, what with it being their actual lives and such. But you see far less “winning is everything” sentiment from them. In interviews they talk about how they hate to lose but, with a little bit of distance, they almost always talk about appreciating efforts in a well-played loss. They rarely talk about big losses — even championship losses — as failures or choke jobs or disgraces of one stripe or another.

All of which makes this story by Tim Rohan in the New York Times fun and interesting. It’s about championship rings for the non-championship winners. The 2014 Royals — winners of the A.L. pennant but losers of the World Series — are featured, and the story of rings for World Series losers is told. Mike Stanton, who played on a ton of pennant and World Series-winning teams with the Yankees and Braves, talks about his various rings and how, even though the Braves lost in the World Series that year, 1991 is his favorite.

Also mentioned: George Steinbrenner’s thoughts about rings for World Series losers. You will likely not be surprised about his sentiments on the matter.