Clayton Kershaw

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

48 Comments

Dodgers 2, Royals 0: Clayton Kershaw is so damn inconsistent. Last time: no-hitter. This time? He gave up several hits. Last time: full game. This time? Only eight innings. You think you’re fooling us by continuing to not give up any runs, Clayton, but we can tell that you’re falling off.

Phillies 7, Marlins 4: Marlon Byrd hit a two-run homer and the Phillies snapped a three-game losing streak, but the highlight here was the standing ovation Tony Gwynn, Jr. got in his first at bat following his father’s death. Good on ya, Philly fans.

Nationals 4, Brewers 2: A sixteen inning affair, with Ryan Zimmerman’s two-run homer in the top of that inning saving us (or depriving us, depending on your point of view) from seeing Adam LaRoche and/or Lyle Overbay pitching. The Brewers threatened many times in extra innings, but Nats relievers ended up throwing 10 scoreless innings.

Pirates 6, Rays 5: Pittsburgh moves above .500 for only the second time this year, the last time being mid April. Since May 6 they have baseball’s best record. Which, yes, doesn’t matter unless everyone else started May 6 (note: they did not), but it’s still worth noting.

Mets 10, Athletics 1: Billed as a pitchers duel — Kazmir vs. Colon — only one of them showed up with his sword. The Mets rocked Scott Kazmir for seven runs on eight hits in three innings. Colon, on the other hand, continued his fine season,, allowing one run over eight innings. He even got a hit for the second game in a row. Mets hitters smacked four homers.

Blue Jays 7, Yankees 6: The Jays had a 6-0 lead entering the sixth, the Yankees rallied in the sixth and seventh to tie it and then a walkoff error by the Yankees gaves this one to the Jays. It happened when Jose Reyes hit a leadoff double in the ninth inning and then, when Melky Cabrera tried to bunt him over to third, Yankees third baseman Yangervis Solarte threw the ball away. Miss U A-Rod.

White Sox 4, Orioles 2: Jose Quintana allowed one run in seven innings and Gordon Beckham homered as Chicago ended a five-game losing streak. They had lost nine of 11 overall and eight straight on the road before this.

Cubs 7, Reds 3: Jake Arrieta was perfect through six. He ran out of gas in the seventh, giving up two runs on three hits, but he had enough of a cushion where it didn’t matter. He’s 3-0 with a 1.14 ERA in five June starts.

Tigers 8, Rangers 2: Ian Kinsler returned to Texas and homered against his former mates. Unlike what we said with Zack Greinke yesterday, we have a pretty good idea that they are, indeed, no longer mates if they ever were as Kinsler gave a little wave to them as he trotted the bases, which probably was not well received. In other news, glad you’re still not taking that trade personally, Ian.

Rockies 10, Cardinals 5: Justin Morneau was 3 for 5 with a homer and six driven in. Shelby Miller was ineffective and then incapacitated due to back tightness. The Rockies snapped a seven-game slide. Morneau is hitting .304/.340/.522 with 13 homers and 57 RBI on the year. Not bad for a guy who looked to be close to done a year or two ago.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $30,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Wednesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on WednesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Diamondbacks 9, Indians 8: Another long game, this one 14 innings. And, time-wise, it was the longest in the history of Chase Field: five hours and 22 minutes. Miguel Montero said, though, that due to walks and stranded runners and slow play, it felt longer:

“It felt like seven hours. The game was slow anyway. Through seven it was like a three-hour game already. We had to play the extra innings and that made it longer.”

My condolences to anyone who had to watch this one.

Braves 3, Astros 2: The Uptons both homered. It was the fourth time they have homered in the same game, tying the record for brothers doing so held by Jeremy and Jason Giambi and Vladimir and Wilton Guerrero. Jose Canseco is on his way to the league office to petition for a rule change that allows “Bash Brothers” to count so as to help preserve his legacy.

Padres 7, Giants 2: San Diego has won five of seven. They really got to Tim Hudson, who has suddenly lost the thread. He ha allowed a combined 13 runs over his last two starts after giving up just 19 runs over his first 13.

Angels 8, Twins 6: Staked to a 5-0 lead in the first, C.J. Wilson surrendered five to the Twins in the second. But then Mike Trout put the Halos back in the lead in the bottom of the second with a two-run homer, and the rest was just details.

Mariners 8, Red Sox 2: Kyle Seager had an RBI double in the first inning and hit a three-run homer in the fifth, helping the Mariners win their fifth straight. Boston has lost five of six and has given up 20 runs to the M’s in two games. Just some ugly times for the defending champs.

Jackie Robinson: ” I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag”

FILE - In this April 11, 1947 file photo, Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers poses at Ebbets Field in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Robinson's widow said Major League Baseball has yet to fully honor her husband's legacy. "There is a lot more that needs to be done and that can be done in terms of the hiring, the promotion" of minorities in the sport, Rachel Robinson said Monday, Jan. 18, 2016 during a Q&A session with TV critics about "Jackie Robinson," a two-part PBS documentary airing in April.  (AP Photo/John Rooney, File)
14 Comments

One more bit of baseball via which we may reflect on the Colin Kaepernick controversy.

In 1972 Jackie Robinson wrote his autobiography. In it he reflected on how he felt about his historical legacy as a baseball player, a businessman and as a political activist. A political activism, it should be noted, which favored both sides of the aisle at various times. He supported Nixon in 1960, supported the war in Vietnam and worked for Nelson Rockefeller. He did not support Goldwater and did support the 1964 Civil Rights Act. He supported Humphrey against Nixon in 1968. He was no blind partisan or ideologue. When you find someone like that you can usually rest assured it’s because they’re thinking hard and thinking critically in a world where things aren’t always cut-and-dried.

As such, this statement from his autobiography, describing his memory of the first game of the 1947 World Series, is worth thinking about. Because it came from someone who spent a lot of time thinking:

There I was, the black grandson of a slave, the son of a black sharecropper, part of a historic occasion, a symbolic hero to my people. The air was sparkling. The sunlight was warm. The band struck up the national anthem. The flag billowed in the wind. It should have been a glorious moment for me as the stirring words of the national anthem poured from the stands. Perhaps, it was, but then again, perhaps, the anthem could be called the theme song for a drama called The Noble Experiment. Today, as I look back on that opening game of my first world series, I must tell you that it was Mr. Rickey’s drama and that I was only a principal actor. As I write this twenty years later, I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag; I know that I am a black man in a white world. In 1972, in 1947, at my birth in 1919, I know that I never had it made.

Colin Kaepernick is not Jackie Robinson and America in 2016 is not the same as America in 1919, 1947 or 1972. But it does not take one of Jackie Robinson’s stature or experience to see and take issue with injustice and inequality which manifestly still exists.

As I said in the earlier post, the First Amendment gives us just as much right to criticize Kaepernick as it gives him a right to protest in the manner in which he chooses. But if and when we do, we should not consider his case in a vacuum or criticize him as some singular or radical actor. Because some other people — people who have been elevated to a level which has largely immunized them from criticism — felt and feel the same way he does. It’s worth asking yourself, if you take issue, whether you take issue with the message or the messenger and why. Such inquiries might complicate one’s feelings on the matter, but they’re quite illuminative as well.

(thanks to Kokujin for the heads up)

Former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt is a sports owner once again

File photo of Frank McCourt leaving Stanley Mosk Courthouse after testifying during his divorce trial in Los Angeles
3 Comments

There aren’t many major league ownership reigns which ended more ignominiously than Frank McCourt’s reign as Dodgers owner. He was granted access to one of business’ most exclusive clubs — one which being a convicted criminal or even a Nazi sympathizer cannot get you kicked out of — and somehow got kicked out. The clear lesson from his saga was that saddling your team with debt, using it as your own private piggy bank and exercising bad judgment at every possible turn will not get you drummed out of baseball but, by gum, having it all go public in a divorce case sure as heck will.

McCourt landed pretty safely, though. By sheer luck, his being kicked out of ownership coincided with the vast appreciation of major league franchise values and the expiration of the Dodgers cable television deal. He may have left in disgrace, but he also left with a couple of billion dollars thanks to the genius of capitalism. At the time it was assumed he’d ride off into the sunset, continuing to make a mint off of parking at Dodgers games (he retained a big piece of that pie) and not get his hands messy with sports ownership again.

Such assumptions were inoperative:

The soccer club has suffered from poor financial decisions in recent years. So I guess it was a match made in heaven.