Craig Calcaterra

Toronto Blue Jays' Jose Bautista (19) interferes with Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Logan Forsythe as he looks to turn a double play on a ball hit by Edwin Encarnacion, that ended the baseball game after review, in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Tuesday, April 5, 2016. The Rays won 3-2. (Will Vragovic/The Tampa Bay Times via AP)
Associated Press

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores from last night’s games. Here are the highlights:

Rays 3, Blue Jays 2: Logan Forsythe was involved in two pivotal plays here. First he hit a two-run homer in the eighth which brought the Rays back from behind. Then he was grabbed by Jose Bautista on a slide into second as the Jays rallied in the ninth, leading to the big brouhaha Bill described last night. The one in which, when Bautista’s slide was held to have violated the rules, he said “I just don’t see how my play was unsafe,” and “I could have done much worse and chose not to.” Well, Jose:

(1) the rules aren’t about a slide being “unsafe” they’re about them interfering with the fielder and freaking grabbing him is interfering. But in baseball terms, your play was not “unsafe.” it was “horses**t”; and

(2) “Hey, I could’ve done MUCH worse but didn’t” is probably not a defense you want to be trotting out all that often because it’s really, really lame.

Though not as lame as what your manager said after the game:

Look, you can either agree that rules dictate what happens on a field or you can simply assert that any behavior is acceptable as long as it conforms to your b.s. ideas of what is manly or not. If you’re gonna have rules, live by them. If you wanna go flex your manly muscles, go start a league without a rule book. Also: stop equating what you consider to be femininity to weakness or whatever it is that you find unacceptable. That’s the worst bullcrap sexism.

Mets 2, Royals 0: Thor was untouchable. No one could lift his hammer. Well, Vision could, but he wasn’t here and Steve Rogers could wobble it but he wasn’t here either. Nine strikeouts in six innings for Syndergaard, whose changeup was faster than a lot of guys’ fastballs, rendering the entire exercise somewhat unfair. And he didn’t have to brush anyone back or send any messages. Even if the Royals fans booed him as if it still mattered one way or another.

Red Sox 6, Indians 2: Old homered (Ortiz) as did new (Betts). Meanwhile, David Price struck out ten dudes in six innings. As for Oritz, he said “When the light goes on, Papi goes on.” Not many people in baseball have earned the right to refer to themselves in the third person. David Ortiz has.

Astros 5, Yankees 3: Lots of controversy here as the Yankees played the game under protest following an odd play in which Carlos Correa ran inside the baseline leading to a consequential errant throw. That aside, the cold weather was the story of the game, along with Dallas Keuchel generally keeping a lid on things by allowing only two runs over seven. Expect the protest to go nowhere. Expect this to be one of the least memorable Opening Day games in Yankees history.

Pirates 6, Cardinals 5: Jorder Mercer singled home Gregory Polanco from second base with one out in the 11th inning. The real star here, however, was the Pirates bullpen which allowed no runs on three hits in six innings of work, allowing the Pirates to come back and holding down the fort as they did.

Tigers 8, Marlins 7: A win for the Tigers but one which had their fans reaching for the antacids thanks to that bullpen. The Tigers had a 5-0 lead after five innings. It shrunk to one rune, but then they had a three run lead once again heading into the ninth, only to see the pen implode again. It somehow held in the 10th and 11th, allowing Ian Kinsler to drive in his fourth run of the game, which proved to be the game-winner. This kind of thing keeps up and Brad Ausmus is gonna go from one of the most Handsome Managers in Baseball to this in the space of a season:

Poorly

Mariners 10, Rangers 2: Four homers from Mariners hitters: Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano, Seth Smith and Luis Sardinas. A nice little bit of chatter between Scott Servais and Jeff Bannister after a Rangers reliever plunked a Mariners hitter because he was all sad he no do his job so good. The first win as a big league manager for Servais, after which he gave interviews to reporters while drinking out of a bottle of champagne. That’s some baseball right there.

Giants 2, Brewers 1: All the scoring was done by the fourth inning — and two of the game’s three runs came on a fielder’s choice and a double play — and this one buzzed by in less than two and a half hours. That’s some uneventful baseball right there.

Diamondbacks 11, Rockies 6: Last year Shelby Miller‘s biggest problem was that he never got any run support. Last night he had another problem: he wasn’t pitching good at all, giving up six runs in the fourth inning. And, as so happened in Atlanta — though after he had usually pitched a lot better — he left the game on the hook for a loss. His teammates bailed him out, however, by pouring on some runs later, giving him a no-decision at least. Paul Goldschmidt drove in four thanks to a solo shot and a bases loaded triple. That’s some high-scoring baseball right there.

Cubs 6, Angels 1: Joe Maddon said he started Matt Szczur because he went to Villanova and Villanova won the night before. I suspect he might’ve started him because Szczur had a big hit in the opener and he matched up better with lefty starter Andrew Heaney than the lefty-batting Kyle Schwarber did, but we’ll let Joe be Joe. Either way, it worked, As Szczur hit a homer off of Heaney and later singled off of reliever Mike Morin. Who went to UNC. Which . . . freaky.

White Sox 5, Athletics 4: Jimmy Rollins hit a go-ahead homer in the ninth. The old man’s still an artist with the Thompson.

Dodgers 3, Padres 0: Another day, another shutout against the Padres. My brother has lived in San Diego for nearly 20 years. He texted me last night and said “nearly half my life in San Diego, but this is why I’m still a Tigers fan.” I can see that.

The Brooklyn Cyclones will give away a crying Wilmer Flores bobblehead

Wilmer Flores
Associated Press
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It was a pretty touching scene at last year’s trade deadline. Word rapidly spread that the Mets had traded Wilmer Flores to Milwaukee for Carlos Gomez. Spread so far, in fact, even though there was no done deal, that Wilmer Flores heard about it while in the Mets dugout during their game against the Padres. Flores, understandably emotional about it, welled up on the field.

The trade fell through, however, and two days later the whole unfortunate episode turned heartwarming when Flores hit a walk-off homer to win the game. Yay!

Now the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Mets’ New York-Penn League affiliate, is commemorating the event. Both the crying and the happiness which came after, with a “from tears to cheers” bobblehead night:

One day you too may be so lucky as to have one of the most vulnerable and emotional episodes of your life turned into a collector’s item. Like, “that time my wife left me” bobblehead night. Or maybe there will be a “I just got laid off” gnome.

A Rays minor leaguer takes issue with Bryce Harper’s “Make Baseball Fun Again” hat

In this photo taken Sept. 19, 2015, Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) smiles in the dugout after hitting a two-run homer during a baseball game against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park in Washington. Harper is a lot of things, namely the Washington Nationals’ best player and the reigning National League MVP. One thing he’s not is a leader. Harper arrived at Nationals spring training early and quietly took his place in the corner of the clubhouse with Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and Danny Espinosa. Even after being a unanimous MVP selection, the 23-year-old Harper would rather leave the leadership to those veterans.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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At some point you learn not to get baited. It’s a hard lesson to learn. I’m an old man who has been in the trolling game since before some of you were born, and even I get baited into making a dumb argument when silence or an eye roll would be the wiser choice. It happens. If you’re a 21-year-old kid, though? God help you. You’ll learn eventually, but in the meantime you’re gonna take the bait more often than you don’t.

That’s the story of Rays minor leaguer Brent Honeywell, who took to Twitter today to respond to Bryce Harper’s “Make Baseball Fun Again” hat from yesterday’s postgame. Harper, of course, set off a new round of “Respect the Game” politics last month with an interview in ESPN the Magazine. That made a bunch of old coots angry and they raged for a bit and then, as it always does, it died down. This hat is a sly wink wrapped up in a Donald Trump joke, not a new offensive in this long and brutal war. Even if you’re so crusty that you think Goose Gossage is a baseball-hating wuss, you’d probably, at best, think that Harper is a fool and go on with your day.

Not Honeywell. His account is here. I’ll present his tweets as screencaps, because I feel like this one ends up with the Rays PR department telling him to delete the tweets:

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It seems he may have already deleted a tweet in which he suggested that Bryce Harper — a man who, while not that much older than Honeywell, DOES happen to be the reigning MVP — “respect the game a little bit.”

Godspeed, Brent. I hope, as one of your tweet replies said, that you get to face Bryce Harper one day. I imagine that would be pretty interesting.