Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights


Dodgers 8, Diamondbacks 1: Three bombs for Juan Uribe and four driven in. What a season for the guy who, in his first two years in Dodger blue, looked lost and, frankly, over. This year he’s hitting .279/.334/.476, is playing excellent defense at third and who has been, by all accounts, a great guy in the clubhouse whether he’s been struggling or not. Oh, and Uribe was so good last night it’s easy to overlook the fact that Ricky Nolasco didn’t give up an earned run into the seventh inning. Oh, and the win eliminated the Giants from NL West contention, which is kinda sweet for those of the Los Angeles persuasion.

Cubs 2, Reds 0:  Travis Wood with seven shutout innings and a couple of solo homers was enough for the Cubs to stop Cincy. Until looking at his stat line I totally forgot Wood was with the Reds previously. What else am I forgetting? [starts to write things all over his body like Guy Pearce in “Memento.”]

Orioles 4, Yankees 2: Managers got chippy in this one after Joe Girardi accused Orioles third base coach Bobby Dickerson of stealing signs in less-than-calm fashion and then Buck Showalter came racing over to confront Girardi about it in less-than-calm fashion. Meanwhile, Alex Rodriguez and Lyle Overbay hit home runs, but it wasn’t enough as Chris Tillman allowed only those two runs and the O’s scored four on a couple of sac flies, a single and a double.

Nationals 9, Mets 0: Well that was a dominant win. Gio Gonzalez with a one-hitter and eight strikeouts and Jayson Werth and Wilson Ramos each drove in three. A forfeit is officially scored 9-0 too. Maybe the Mets woulda been better off just staying home?

Indians 4, Royals 3: Ten strikeouts and only an unearned run in seven innings for Ubaldo Jimenez. The Royals playoff hopes, at four games back of the wild card and four teams above them, seem pretty over.

Braves 5, Marlins 2: Atlanta snaps its four-game losing streak with a five-run fourth inning. All of their hits came in the fourth too, which is kinda efficient. And kinda worrisome too, but let’s worry about that when they can’t score runs in the playoffs. Kris Medlen got the win. He started 1-6 and this brought his record up to 13-12.

Twins 6, Angels 3: Jered Weaver has a history of dominating the Twins but he didn’t last night. Trevor Plouffe drove in three. “Trevor effing Plouffe. Plouffe was magical. He was like a GD unicorn.”

Pirates 1, Rangers 0: And with that, the Buccos have their first winning season since 1992. That’s great for history. More important for the Pirates is that Gerrit Cole was effective, tossing seven shutout innings. All they could manage off Yu Darvish was an RBI double from Pedro Alvarez, but that was enough.

Giants 3, Rockies 2: Eliminated when the Dodgers won — and one more loss from total playoff elimination — but they won anyway. Brandon Belt hit an RBI single in the bottom of the tenth. Tim Lincecum went eight innings allowing two runs and a no-decision. The next significant thing the Giants have to do is figure out what to do with him — or whether to do without him — next year.

White Sox 5, Tigers 1: Chris Sale, who allowed one run over eight innings and struck out eight. Meanwhile, Miguel Cabrera and Jim Leyland were ejected in the first inning because people really, really prefer to see home plate umpire Brian Gorman way more than the likely two-time MVP. So hard for Gorman, always signing autographs, posing for photos with fans and still having to make time to go out and perform at the highest levels on the field like fans expect. Let’s hear it for the star of the game.

Astros 6, Mariners 4: Houston with a four-run rally in the ninth to give them the victory. One of the runs that inning came when Justin Smoak threw a ball home on a foul out and hit the guy in the on-deck circle. Smallest crowd of the season at Safeco Field.

While we wait for free agent signings: Andrew McCutchen stars in a one-act play

Andrew McCutchen
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It’s a pretty slow offseason so far. We’ve had a couple of minor signings. I guess Jordan Zimmermann is sort of a big deal. But it’s a lot more quiet so far this year than it was this time last year. I suppose there’s no real rhyme nor reason for it. Baseball offseason is long, there is no salary cap and thus there’s no rush to do things too quickly.

So, while we wait, here’s Andrew McCutchen doing his best to kill time until spring training starts:

Red Sox sign outfielder Chris Young

Chris Young Getty

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.

David Price said to care about more than just the money

David Price

Every year free agency brings with it its own set of politics and talking points and spin. Factors which are said to be more important to players than the money being offered.

And, to be fair, there is one big factor that is likely more important than money for many of them: winning. I truly believe players want to win. They say it all the time and there’s no reason to think they’re being disingenuous about that, especially the ones who have been around the game a long time.

I’ll note, however, that given how success cycles work in baseball (i.e. teams that aren’t close to being true contenders aren’t likely to be spending big in free agency anyway) that consideration often washes out of the system. Every year you hear of one or two losing teams making a big, competitive offer to a free agent, but it’s not that common.

What I’m talking about more here are the truly soft factors. Factors which often anchor hot stove rumors, but which rarely if ever truly stand out as determining factors when it comes to where a free agent ends up. Examples of these include geographic proximity to where the player grew up, his wife grew up, he went to college or what have you. Remember how CC Sabathia was going to play in California? And Mark Teixeira was going to play for Baltimore? Heck, I’m so old I remember when Brandon Webb was gonna break the bank playing for the Reds.

It’s pretty rare, though, for that to pan out. Sabathia and Teixeira went to New York. If Brandon Webb’s shoulder had cooperated it’s not likely he would’ve ended up in Cincinnati. Money talks for free agents, much louder than any of the soft considerations. Even when, like Mike Hampton and his Denver-public-school-loving self claimed that he signed with the Rockies for reasons other than the fact that they unloaded the money truck for him.

I think we’re seeing a new soft factor emerge. Today Peter Gammons reported this about David Price:

Cities are fairly strong as soft factors go, I reckon. Somewhere south of money and winning but north of “my wife’s family lives there.” Money can make up the difference between a fun city and a lame city, but if things are equal, going someplace you want to be likely is a factor.

But that second one — being able to hit — seems a bit suspect. This is not the first time I’ve heard that this offseason. Zack Greinke was said to prefer the NL because he likes to hit. I’ve heard this about other pitchers too. I question how important a factor that truly is — the actual hitting part actually affecting a free agent decision — as much as I suspect it’s a negotiating tool designed to get AL teams to pay a premium to get the guy to “give up” hitting. Or, more likely, that it’s code for “it’s WAY easier to pitch in the NL because I get to face a pitcher who can’t hit for crap 2-3 times a game.”

On some level I suppose this is all unknowable. I doubt David Price or some other free agent pitcher is ever going to hold a January press conference in which he says the following:

“Well, the money was absolutely equal between the final two suitors and, as you know, both made the playoffs last year and play in cities with copious cultural resources for my family and me. And, having plotted the two cities on Google Maps, I discovered that the two cities are each EXACTLY 347 miles from my Aunt Tilly’s house! What are the friggin’ odds?

Ultimately, though, I signed here so I could bat.”

Like I said, not likely. But wouldn’t it be something if that happened? If so, I’d probably cast a 12-inch statue of Mike Hampton and start giving out an annual award or something.

Player pool for MLB postseason shares is a record $69 million

television money

MLB just announced the postseason shares for this year and the players’ overall pool is a record total of $69.9 million. Nice.

That total gets divided among playoff participants, with Royals receiving $25,157,573.73 for winning the World Series and Mets getting $16,771,715.82 for finishing runner-up. That works out to $370,069.03 each for the Royals and $300,757.78 each for the Mets.

Jeffrey Flanagan of reports that the Royals have issued full playoff shares to a total of 58 people, plus 8.37 partial shares and 50 “cash rewards.” In other words: There was a whole bunch of money to go around if you were in any way involved in the Royals’ championship run.

According to MLB public relations the previous high for the overall player pool was $65.4 million in 2012 and the Mets’ playoff share is the highest ever for a World Series-losing team, topping the Tigers’ share of $291,667.68 in 2006. Kansas City’s playoff share is slightly less than San Francisco received last year.

Here are the individual postseason share amounts by team:

Royals – $370,069.03
Mets – $300,757.78
Blue Jays – $141,834.40
Cubs – $122,327.59
Astros – $36,783.25
Cardinals – $34,223.65
Dodgers – $34,168.74
Rangers – $34,074.40
Pirates – $15,884.20
Yankees – $13,979.99