Derek Jeter Robinson Cano

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Mariners 6, Yankees 3: Robinson Cano made his return to Yankee Stadium and got booed, which is no biggie. This is hilarious, though. From the AP gamer:

Cano got a mock cheer when he struck out to end the inning, then was met with chants of “You sold out!” from the Bleacher Creatures when he took his spot at second base.

Yankee Bleacher Creatures ripping someone for selling out while they do the silly roll calls thing or whatever it is to Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and any number of other dudes the Yankees have bought over the years is very, very special. But then again, the world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self-awareness.

Athletics 9, Rangers 3: Martin Perez’s scoreless innings/shutout streak ended pretty abruptly as Derek Norris hit a two-run double in the first and the A’s never trailed. Norris had another RBI double later. Perez allowed eight runs he had only allowed six total through his first five starts. Mama said there’d be days like this.

Red Sox 7, Rays 4: A five-run rally in the sixth put this one away. Shane Victorino went 4 for 4 and drove in two. Five games into this road trip, the Rays are 1-4.

Mets 6, Phillies 1: The Mets have won seven of nine. An hour and a half rain delay and then temperatures in the low 40s made this one unpleasant otherwise. Certainly for Cole Hamels, who said he was “truly embarrassed” after the game for not giving his team a chance. Jon Niese helped with that of course, allowing one run on four hits in seven innings.

Tigers 4, White Sox 3: Bryan Holaday’s RBI bunt single in the top of the ninth won it for Detroit. He went 2 for 4 overall. Jose Quintana struck out 10 in six innings, but got the no-decision. Effing Quintana. That creep can roll, man. 

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $45,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Wednesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $7,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on WednesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Nationals 4, Astros 3: Adam LaRoche hit the game-tying double in the eighth inning and the go-ahead single in the ninth. LaRoche his hitting .312 with four homers, 17 RBI and 16 walks so far this year. Not bad for a guy who is traditionally a slow starter.

Marlins 9, Braves 0: The Braves got shellacked, but my man-crush Jose Fernandez tossed eight shutout innings Thus:

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Royals 10, Blue Jays 5: Sal Perez homered and drove in four. The Royals sent 10 men to the plate in the eighth. The Jays’ pen gave up seven runs in two innings after Dustin McGowan left with a lead.

Reds 3, Cubs 2: Billy Hamilton was 3 for 4 with a homer, two infield singles and a walk. He also stole a base and made a diving catch in center. Sort of the platonic ideal of a Billy Hamilton game.

Brewers 5, Cardinals 4: Two games against the Cards, two extra innings wins for the Brewers. Khris Davis hit an RBI triple and started the winning rally in the 12th with a leadoff double. He came home on Lyle Overbay’s RBI single. An RBI single he hit after failing four times to get a bunt down to move Davis over. This should be taken as a lesson from the cosmos that bunting is bad. Well, unless you’re Bryan Holaday in that Tigers game, but that’s just an instance of the cosmos testing our faith. 

Rockies 5, Diamondbacks 4: The Diamondbacks have lost 22 games. A couple of teams in the majors have only played 22 so far this year. Just a tire fire.

Giants 6, Padres 0Matt Cain was scratched after cutting his right index finger on a kitchen knife in the Giants clubhouse before the game. Yusmeiro Petit took the mound instead and if you think he couldn’t cut it, well, you’re wrong, as he tossed six shutout innings. Really carved the Padres up. God, please help me.

Angels 6, Indians 4: Howie Kendrick — leading off for the first time this year — had a two-run single. Chris Iannetta hit a pair of RBI singles. The Indians have lost five straight.

Pirates vs. Orioles; Dodgers vs. Twins: POSTPONED: Sadly we don’t get to see the 1965, 1971 and 1979 World Series rematches thanks to rain. But then again: Rain is grace; rain is the sky condescending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.

Marlins acquire starter Dan Straily from the Reds

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 3: Dan Straily #58 of the Cincinnati Reds throws a pitch during the first inning of the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Great American Ball Park on September 3, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)
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The Miami Marlins have acquired starting pitcher Dan Straily from the Cincinnati Reds. In exchange, the Reds will receive right-handed pitching prospects Luis Castillo and Austin Brice and outfield prospect Isaiah White.

For the Marlins, they get a solid starter who logged 191.1 innings of 113 ERA+ ball last year. Straily has moved around a lot in his five big league seasons — the Marlins will be his fifth club in six years — but it was something of a breakout year for him in Cincinnati. The only troubling thing: he tied for the league lead in homers allowed. Of course, pitching half of his games in Great American Ballpark didn’t help that, and Miami will be a better place for him.

Castillo is 24. He split last season between high-A and Double-A — far more of it in A-ball — posting a 2.26 ERA over 24 starts. Austin Brice is also 24. He pitched 15 games in relief for the Marlins last year at the big league level with poor results. He seemed to blossom at Triple-A, however, after the Marlins shifted him to the pen. White was a third round pick in the 2015 draft. He played low-A ball as a minor leaguer last year, hitting .214/.306/.301.

A mixed bag of young talent for the Reds, but stockpiling kids and seeing what shakes out is what a team like the Reds should be doing at the moment. For the Marlins: a solid mid-to-back end starter who may just be coming into his own.

Have Hall of Fame Voters actually made the PED thing More complicated?

Sammy Sosa
Associated Press
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The story coming out of this year’s Hall of Fame balloting is that the BBWAA voters are finally easing their antipathy toward players with performance enhancing drug associations.

Jeff Bagwell — the subject of unconfirmed PED rumors — made the Hall! Pudge Rodriguez, who was named in Jose Canseco’s book and who had a . . . curious physical transformation around the time PED testing came online, made it on the first ballot! Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, whose PED use was well-documented, saw their vote totals advance above the 50% mark, making their future elections look more likely!

It’s an interesting development, and one I’m obviously pleased with, but I wonder if the BBWAA’s new approach to PED guys, while far more forgiving than it used to be, has actually become more complicated in practice.

I ask this because I look way, way down the ballot and I still see Sammy Sosa scraping by with around 8% of the vote. I ask this because I still see Gary Sheffield at 13%. I ask this because when Mark McGwire was on the Today’s Game ballot in December, no one really stumped for him at all. I ask this because, even though Bagwell and Mike Piazza got in eventually, they still had to go through a lot of hazing first and I suspect, if they hit the ballot for the first time again tomorrow, the same arguments and delay would occur with respect to their cases.

In light of that, what I suspect has happened has not been a wholesale surrender of the anti-PED voters. Rather, I think it has been a transformation. One in which a moral test — did he use PEDs or not? — has been discarded as a threshold question and a scientific/physiological test — would he have been great even without the PEDs? — has replaced it. In essence, voters are becoming “PED discounters” in the aggregate. Making calculations as to whether a guy was, in their mind, a creation of PEDs or not.

Such an approach explains these new voting patterns as well as those in recent years.

  • Ivan Rodriguez may have been called out by Canseco and may have noticeably shrunk over an offseason, but his calling card was his defense behind the plate and voters, I suspect, have told themselves that such a thing is not PED-aided.
  • Bonds and Clemens may have been PED users, but each of them was undeniably talented and, if you discount for the PED use, hey, they’re still all-time greats.
  • Sammy Sosa’s case rests disproportionately on homers and, as everyone knows, PEDs = instant dingers, so no, he’s not gonna cut it.

And so on.

As I said, I’m glad that the strict moral test — did he use or not? — is losing its hold on Hall voters. But I do not think the “did PEDs make him who he was test?” is a good approach either. Baseball writers are in no better a position to assess the physiological and performance enhancements caused by pharmaceuticals than they are to be judges of character and morality. Given the identities of players confirmed to be PED users, the old eye test implicit in these cases is famously faulty (Neifi Perez, anyone?). The idea that PEDs only affect home run totals — and not, say, the ability for a player to take the abuse of the catcher position for 21 seasons — is crude and ignorant.

I suppose it’s naive to expect voters to completely disregard PEDs in their assessment of players. It’s a bell that cannot be unrung. But while we may, thankfully, be moving away from a moral test with respect to drugs, it’s been displaced by a scientific test that is no more reasonable in practice.