Indians walkoff

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Indians 5, Tigers 4: Michael Brantley with the walkoff job ends Cleveland’s four-game losing streak. It wasn’t easy to get there — Detroit’s J.D. Martinez hit a pinch-hit homer in the ninth to tie it up at four — but the Indians will take a win any way they can get it these days.

Reds 4, Nationals 3: Todd Frazier connected for a two-run homer in the 15th inning off Ross Detwiler. But the real story was the leather flashed by the Redlegs in order to get to the 15th inning in the first place. Brandon Phillips robbed Wilson Ramos of a hit with a catch behind second base with a runner on third to end the 12th inning. Then, in the 14th, Billy Hamilton made a diving grab to rob Anthony Rendon of a hit and, in all likelihood, the game-winning RBI given that there was a runner on second. Check them out here.

Braves 9, Brewers 3: Atlanta’s offense has been turrible, turrible, but they finally broke out. Every player except Chris Johnson had a hit and Freddie Freeman, Ryan Doumit And Justin Upton all had homers. I’m assuming that the offense was caused by me not watching the game, as every time I’ve tuned in lately they’ve been pathetic. Instead I watched the first four innings of the Tigers-Indians game followed by the first two hours or so of “Magnolia” because I apparently didn’t want to be happy last night.

White Sox 7, Royals 6: Kansas City was up 5-0 after one inning. But that’s why they play nine. The Chisox scored three in the third, one in the fourth and then had one run in in the fifth to make it 6-5 Kansas City before Paul Konerko connected with a two-run homer. Lots of great bullpen work from the Sox, first after Scott Carroll struggled and then after closer Matt Lindstrom ran into trouble in the ninth.

Astros 5, Angels 2: Dallas Keuchel continues to be a stopper for Houston. He ran out of gas in the ninth, falling one out short of pitching his second straight shutout, but he picked up his fifth win anyway, despite two runners he put on coming around after he gave way to a reliever. Having someone step up like he has been can be the difference between a team being super, dispiritingly bad and merely bad, as the avoidance of big losing streaks and the occasional preservation of a the bullpen is a nice thing, mentally speaking.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $40,000 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.

David Ortiz could be in the Red Sox TV booth this season

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 02:  David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox tips his cap to fans during the pregame ceremony to honor his retirement before his last regular season home game at Fenway Park on October 2, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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A month or so ago it was reported that David Ortiz was going to meet with the Red Sox and NESN to discuss, maybe, spending some time in the broadcast booth in 2017. He’s retired now, of course. Gotta keep busy.

Today we read that, yes, Big Papi may take the mic. Red Sox president Sam Kennedy said that Ortiz may be in the booth on a limited basis, and that Ortiz has talked about wanting to “dip a toe in that water.”

I’m quickly becoming a fan of ex-players who want to, as Kennedy puts it, “dip a toe” in broadcasting as opposed to those who want to make it a full-time job. Former players who become full-time broadcasters tend to start out OK, but eventually burn all of their good anecdotes from their playing days and just become sort of reactionary “back in my day” dudes. There are some exceptions to that of course — guys like John Smoltz and Dennis Eckersley have kept it fresh and Tim McCarver never rested on his playing laurels as he forged a long career in the booth — but for any of those guys there are just as many Rick Mannings Bill Schroeders.

The part time guys who dip in and dip out — I’m thinking Pedro Martinez, Alex Rodriguez and even Pete Rose, who did a good job this past fall after a rocky 2015 postseason — tend to be more fresh and irreverent. They really don’t give a crap on some level because it’s not their full time job, and that not giving a crap allows them to say whatever they want. It makes for good TV.

If Papi can hold off on the F-bombs, I imagine he’d be a pretty good commentator. If he can’t, well, at least he’ll be a super entertaining one for the one or two games he gets before getting fired.

Blue Jays reliever was a bike messenger a couple of offseasons ago

DUNEDIN, FL - FEBRUARY 21:  Matt Dermody #50 of the Toronto Blue Jays poses for a portait during a MLB photo day at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium on February 21, 2017 in Dunedin, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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The Toronto Sun has a story about reliever Matt Dermody of the Blue Jays. Dermody made his big league debut in 2016, pitching in five games. Before that he pitched three full seasons in the minors, never rising above A-ball, before paying in three levels of the minors last season, just before getting to the show.

It was certainly a wild ride for Dermody after his time in the bush leagues. But nowhere near as wild as some of his rides in the 2015-16 offseason, when he took a job as a bike messenger in New York:

. . . four times he was involved in accidents, the worse being when he was sent head over heels on to the street.

“I was going down 2nd Ave. and I was riding behind another bicycle in the middle of the street,” said the 6-foot-5, 190-pound lefty. “But the bike in front of me decides to break really hard and swerves and I didn’t have time to react so I hit him and I flew over him and I skid on the ground and all the contents in my bag flew out on the street, traffic stopped and everything. I’m pretty fortunate I didn’t get hurt. I landed pretty nicely and kept working.”

It’s good that he’s fine and he can laugh about it now, but the story is just as telling as it is, in hindsight, amusing.

Dermody was a 28th round pick, so he didn’t get a sizable bonus. Not having risen above A-ball, he wasn’t making much money and, in all likelihood, did not yet show up too prominently on the big club’s radar. He was both incentivized to take a job that is super dangerous and allowed to do so because no one asked or, apparently, cared. This past offseason, with his big league debut behind him and a chance to make the 25-man roster for the full year, he has stayed home and worked out, no doubt with the front office and coaching staff keeping tabs on him.

It’s a nice story, but it’s one that provides you with a pretty good look at how major league teams look at — or, in Dermody’s case, don’t really look at — their minor leaguers.