Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
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And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

White Sox 3, Nationals 1: Lede from the AP game story:

Todd Frazier wondered if going to church more would help the White Sox break out of their funk. Then the Chicago third baseman suggested a scuffle with teammate Adam Eaton.

Church or war as an answer to all of our problems? Ladies and gentleman, I give you Todd Frazier, the next nominee for President of the United States for the Republican Party!

Yeah, I know. “Stick to baseball.” Fine: Melky Cabrera doubled twice and drove in two runs. Miguel Gonzalez allowed one run on three hits over six. I’ll hit the Democrats back the next time a ballplayer claims that his kind, culturally aware statements which signal solidarity of identity excuse him from actually having to do things which help people of that identity in a practical way.

Mets 5, Brewers 2: Bartolo Colon allowed one run over seven innings while scattering eight hits. The only run scored when a ball was smashed into the chest of second baseman Neil Walker off the bat of Hernan Perez. Terry Collins: “He said it hit him right in the heart and that he couldn’t catch his breath.” I’ve never see Hernan Perez before, but I’m assuming this is him.

Does an Ox Baker reference make up for that political jab? It really should, you know. Ain’t no other baseball writer dropping Ox Baker bombs at 8am. Florida belongs to Ox Baker. Don’t you forget that, Ronnie Garvin.

Marlins 10, Twins 3Marcell Ozuna had four hits and three RBI. Christian Yelich had two hits and an RBI. Chris Johnson hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer. The Twins losing probably made them sad which, based on what I heard in response to this yesterday, likely makes a certain segment of Twins fans happy. They really want the Twins to be sad and to feel bad.

Rangers 5, Astros 3: Prince Fielder and Mitch Moreland each had nice days at the plate and the Rangers could use that from those two. Fielder’s solo homer in the bottom of the fourth was smashing. Rougned Odor homered too. Bad news for Houston, apart from losing to the Rangers yet again: Carlos Correa left the game with a sprained left ankle. He’ll miss a game or two most likely.

Rockies 11, Pirates 5: Jorge De La Rosa has lost his spot in the Rockies rotation, but he came in and pitched four excellent innings in relief. Walt Weiss said after the game that his demotion “was a tough pill to swallow for a guy who’s been the best pitcher in franchise history” and I still can’t get my head around the fact that De La Rosa is the best pitcher on Rockies history. DJ LeMahieu homered, doubled and drove in three runs. Ryan RaburnCharlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado each drove in two.

Yankees 6, Angels 3: Carlos Beltran hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the Yankees’ five-run fifth, Ivan Nova was solid and the Betances, Miller, Chapman bullpen did what it was supposed to do to give the Yankees the win. New York is back at .500. But some bad news too as Chris Parmelee, a day removed from a two-homer game and a Daily News headline extolling his heroism, pulled his hamstring. Being the Yankees first baseman is like being the drummer for Spinal Tap.

Orioles 6, Blue Jays 5: Chris Davis homered and hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the ninth inning on a 2-for-3 night. That’s five wins in a row for the O’s and eight of their last nine since the calendar turned to June. Baltimore is kicking off a four-game road series against Toronto and Boston, by the way, so these are some big game for all three of what seem to be the most serious contenders for the division crown.

Cardinals 3, Reds 2: Adam Wainwright was solid after a shaky start and Yadier Molina hit a tie-breaking RBI single in the eighth. He doubled and scored a run in the second inning as well. The Cardinals have taken 18 of the past 22 series from the Reds.

Indians 5, Mariners 3Tyler Naquin hit a two-run home run off Joaquin Benoit in the eighth inning to give the Indians what ended up being their winning margin. Mariners pitchers issued eight walks. You’re not gonna win often when you do that.

The Draft is Tonight. No one knows anything.

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OK, that’s not entirely true. There are people who know a lot of things about the draft. We’re not really them, however, as we don’t really cover high school or college baseball around here. Your huckleberries for actual insight on the amateurs who will, as of this evening, be the presumptive property of major league baseball teams are guys like ESPN’s Keith Law, MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo and Baseball America’s Jim Callis.

The draft will be broadcast on MLB Network this evening. There will be a pre-draft show at 6PM Eastern and the actual draft will get going at 7PM. It will also stream at MLB.com. They’ve been trying to give the draft a push like the NFL and NBA drafts in recent years, going to prime time and having presumptive draftees on location at the studio, but the baseball draft will never be an event like that. It’s too random and the players aren’t household names at all. Only two actual draft hopefuls will be on site tonight. The fact that the college baseball season is still going on kind of puts a dent into those kinds of plans.

As for who will go high, the guessing is that one of a group of players including University of Florida pitcher A.J. Puk, University of Louisville outfielder Corey Ray, Mercer University outfielder Kyle Lewis, California high school outfielder Mickey Moniak or New Jersey high school pitcher Jason Groome will go high. Groome was long thought the consensus top pick, but unlike football and the basketball, players who are drafted have the option of going to college or going back to college and Groome has flirted with both four-year and junior college commitments in recent weeks, suggesting to some he may be hard to sign. Who goes high is something of a crapshoot, really.

Actually, who goes anywhere is a crapshoot, as is how they will do. One need only look over the years of draft history to see that there are no sure things in baseball. It takes a long time to develop a player. Pitchers get hurt. Position players plateau. It makes it very difficult to handicap the draft with any degree of certainty, let alone to award letter grades the day after or to declare winners or losers. We may not know who “won” a draft for five years. If we ever do.

But it’s happening. You’ll hear a lot about it. But that one thing sports fans love — definitive outcomes — will be wholly absent from the draft festivities, making it, as always, as somewhat less-than-satisfying affair for all but the most knowledgable and enthused prospect junkies.

Mike Piazza bought a soccer team

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Mike Piazza is a Hall of Famer-elect and one of the most beloved New York Mets of all time. He’s now a sports mogul too. Yesterday he announced that he has purchases a majority share of A.C. Reggiana 1919 — an Italian soccer team that plays in Lega Pro, the third division of Italian soccer.

Take that, retired athletes who say they want to go into sports ownership but then only buy, like, one half of one percent interest into a majority owners’ group that calls all the shots but trots you out as the “face” of the franchise. Piazza is actually owning something.

I took the liberty of researching the city in which the club plays in case Piazza plans on being a hands-on owner and wants to know what to do with himself. It’s in the area where Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese comes from. And Lambrusco wine. Historically, it was one of the largest strongholds of socialists and communists in Italy too, so Piazza had best gear-up for tough labor negotiations. That’s all I got, pretty much.