Yoenis Cespedes, Sam Fuld, Josh Reddick

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Athletics 8, Twins 3: These guys just wear you out. Yoenis Cespedes, Brandon Moss, Derek Norris, Jed Lowrie. Just no real breaks and they all just grind on you. Kind of like those 90s Yankees teams in a lot of ways. Not the big-bopping bombers of the A-Rod years, but the Bernie/Tino Martinez/Scott Brosius Yankees. When you look at them and say “OK, I should be able to get these guys out,” but you just can’t because no one in the lineup is an easy out.

Angels 9, Astros 1: Child’s play for C.J. Wilson, who gave up one run in eight innings. Raul Ibanez drove in three. Basically, he and LaTroy Hawkins have to keep on doing what they’re doing, because they’re older than me and as long as there are dudes older than me still making it work as major leaguers I won’t be old yet. I tell myself.

Yankees 4, Orioles 2: Hiroki Kuroda was sharp. Jeter loafed, but he’s Jeter, so we’ll let that slide.

Cardinals 5, Reds 3: A good outing from Michael Wacha and a three-run double from Yadier Molina in the first made for a good home opener. Not to pick on him because there were many failures by the Reds here, but it’s worth noting that Billy Hamilton: leadoff man is not getting off to a great start for the Reds. He’s got an OBP of .111 so far. He can steal second and third at will, but he can’t steal first.

Red Sox 5, Rangers 1: This “John Lackey is a good pitcher” thing is lasting into another season, apparently. Good for him. One unearned run was all he allowed while Jackie Bradley, Jr. Mike Napoli and A.J. Pierzynski each had three hits. Both of these teams are 3-4. I had them down as my ALCS matchup, so really guys, get on the stick.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $35,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on TuesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Royals 4, Rays 2: Jason Vargas: one run over eight. That one run came in the ninth, though, as he gave up a homer to Ben Zobrist to lead things off and then was quickly replaced by Greg Holland. Who gave up a run of his own, actually, which is crazy given that he throws freakin’ napalm.

Rockies 8, White Sox 1: Jordan Lyles went 3 for 3 with a couple of RBIs. Oh, and he pitched a little too, allowing one run in six and two-thirds. The rest of the Rockies didn’t really need to show up.

Padres vs. Indians: POSTPONED; Brewers v. Phillies: POSTPONED:  Yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of the release of my favorite movie of all time. Like, favorite by a long shot and it ain’t even close. In honor of that — and in honor of two rainouts — I provide you with a picture of its protagonist wearing a raincoat:

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It’s spring training for groundskeepers too

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Or, I should say, it’s spring training for whatever automated timer thingie turns the sprinklers on and off.

This was the scene at Goodyear on Saturday as the Indians and Reds played in the bottom of the eighth in their spring training opener. Reds manager Bryan Price says that this was probably the second or third time this has happened in the middle of a game there.

Maybe investigate manually operating that bad boy? Just a suggestion!

The Chicago Cubs: Spring training games, regular season prices

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Craig Calcaterra
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MESA, AZ — I’ve been covering spring training for eight years, and in just those eight years a lot has changed in the Cactus and Grapefruit League experiences. The parks are bigger and fancier and the vibe is far more akin to a regular season major league one than the intimate and laid back atmosphere most people think of when they picture February and March baseball.

Just imagine, however, how much has changed if you’ve been coming to Florida or Arizona for a really long time.

“When we first started coming, you could bring your own beer in,” says Don Harper, a lifelong Cubs fan from Kennewick, Washington who spends his winters in Arizona. “You couldn’t bring a cooler, but you could bring a case of beer and a bag of ice and you just set it down in between you and you just put the ice on it and keep it cold.”

I asked Don if the beer vendors complained.

“They didn’t sell beer,” he said.

That was three decades and two ballparks ago. They certainly sell beer at the Cubs’ gleaming new facility, Sloan Park. Cups of the stuff cost more than a couple of cases did back when Don first started coming to spring training.

The price of beer is not the only thing that has changed, of course. The price of tickets is not what it used to be either. Don told me that when he started coming to Cubs spring training games tickets ran about seven dollars. If that. It’s a bit pricer now. Face value for a single lawn ticket, where you’ll be sitting on a blanker on the outfield berm — can be as high as $47 depending on the day of the week and the opponent. Infield box seats run as high as $85.

The thing is, though, you’re not getting face value seats for Cubs spring training games. Half of the home games sold out within a week of tickets going on sale in January. Since then just about every other game has sold out or soon will. That will force you to get tickets on the secondary market. According to TickPick, the average — average! — Cubs spring training ticket on the secondary market is $106.30. For a single ticket. It’s easily the highest price for spring training tickets in all of baseball, and is $26 higher than secondary market tickets for the next highest team, the Red Sox:

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That may be shocking or even appalling to some, but as the automatic sellouts at Sloan Park and those high secondary market prices suggest, there are at least 15,000 people or so for each Cubs home game who don’t seem to mind. Supply meet demand meet the defending World Series champions.

I spoke with two younger Cubs fans, Corey Hayden and Eleanor Meloul, who traveled here from Salt Lake City. On Sunday they lucked out and got a couple of lawn seats for $28. On Saturday, however, they paid $100 a piece on StubHub to get some seats just beyond third base. I asked them if there is some price point that would keep them from coming.

“There isn’t one,” Hayden said. “I paid $4,500 for a World Series ticket, so . . .”

Don Harper wouldn’t do that, but he doesn’t really mind the higher prices he’s paying for his spring tickets. Of course, he’s a longtime season ticket holder so he gets access to the face value seats. I asked him whether his spring training habit would end if those prices got jacked up higher, as the market would seem to bear, or if he had to resort to the secondary market.

Don paused and sighed, suggesting it was a tough question. As he considered it, I put a hard number on it, asking him if he’d still go if he had to pay $50 per ticket. “Yeah, probably,” he said. “$75?” I asked. He paused again.

“As long as I got enough money.”

Don is a diehard who, one senses, will always find a way to make it work. Corey spent a wad of cash on that once-in-a-lifetime World Series ticket, but he and Eleanor seem content to bargain hunt for the most part and splurge strategically. If you’re a Cubs fan — and if you’re not rich — that’s what you’ll have to do. The ticket it just too hot.