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Houston Astros v Chicago Cubs

Why do managers wear uniforms anyway?

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This, from the PostGame, is a good read. And it addresses a topic that, I’d guess, more non-baseball fans ask me than any other question: why do managers wear uniforms?

I always answer “tradition,” and “the rules,” but it seems that’s only half-right. Baseball went on a little fining jag a couple of years ago when guys like Terry Francona and Joe Maddon didn’t wear uniform tops under their little workout shirts and hoodies, but it seems that there is no rule at all specifying that managers wear uniforms.

The idea of a manager not having to wear a uniform seemed more important a few years ago when guys like Tommy Lasorda were squeezing into duds meant for guys 40 years younger and a hundred pounds lighter. But these days the managers are far more handsome and fit than they used to be, so I guess it’s not a thing.

Still: today’s managers need to show that they are truly committed the uniform. Because, compared to one Hall of Fame manager, these guys are dilettantes:

Some managers dress like their players — down to the very last detail. Showalter wears stirrups. Bobby Cox wore a cup and spikes for every game.

“You never see a manager wearing actual cleats … It was hilarious,” says Adam LaRoche who played for Cox while with the Braves from 2004-2006. “It’s just his style. He went from playing right into coaching and managing and never took his cleats off.”

Why on Earth would a manager wear a cup?

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

Yankees
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Yankees 21, Rangers 5: Well this was a ridiculous game. Down 5-0 after one inning, every Yankees fan I know on Twitter was giving up, changing the channel and/or cursing Chris Capuano, who didn’t even make it through that first inning. Then the Yankees put up an 11-spot in the second, capped by a Chris Young grand slam, and never looked back. It was 98 degrees at game time and this one lasted three hours, thirty-eight minutes. Rangers pitchers needed 97 more pitches to get through nine innings than the Yankees pitchers did. The box score looks like a crime scene. I’m gonna nominate this one for the least-fun game of the year in Major League Baseball.

Athletics 2, Dodgers 0: Sonny Gray tossed a three-hit, complete game shutout, striking out nine and lowering his ERA to 2.16. I watched this one. Because of the pace it was the rare west coast start I could see (almost) all of before falling asleep. That’s quite a brag for a 42-year-old guy who wakes up at 5:30 every day.

Orioles 7, Braves 3: Two homers and five driven in for Chris Davis and another crap road performance for Julio Teheran. Dude has a 2.37 ERA at Turner Field and a 7.24 ERA on the road. He must REALLY not like hotels.

Phillies 3, Blue Jays 2: Adam Morgan gave up a leadoff homer and found himself down 2-0 after two, but Philly came back with three in the fifth inning and then Ken Giles closed it out for his first save in the post-Papelbon era. The Phillies are on fire, having won 9 of 10 since the break. If they win out that’s 99 wins and I bet that would take the NL East this year. Just sayin’.

Royals 2, Indians 1: Not gonna say things are going great for the Royals right now, but things are going great for the Royals right now:

 

White Sox 9, Red Sox 4: Jose Abreu and Geovany Soto homered for Chicago. Soto’s broke the windshield of a car parked in a lot behind the Green Monster. Abreu’s caused this:

 

If you catch a ball going over the fence, you automatically become a wide receiver and have to maintain possession. Sorry, Mookie, them’s the breaks. In other news, Jeff Samardzija was solid until he ran out of gas in the ninth. Not that it matters much, but Chicago moved into sole possession of third place, a game ahead of the skidding Tigers.

Rays 10, Tigers 2: Did you hear the Tigers are skidding? Because they are. This time even their ace David Price couldn’t help them, with the Rays touching him for five runs in six innings. They touched the pen pretty good too, for five more runs in three, with Neftali Feliz doing most of the kerosene-spreading. He’s the Tigers’ big trade deadline pickup so far, you guys.

 

Mets 4, Padres 0: Noah Syndergaard was fantastic, retiring the first 18 Padres to start the game. He finished the game having only allowed three hits and no walks while striking out nine over eight innings. The Mets are only one back of Washington, who . . .

Marlins 4, Nationals 1: . . . lost to the Fish. Jose Fernandez worked around four walks in six innings, ending up allowing only one run. He’s now 15-0 for his career in Miami.

Rockies 7, Cubs 2: All-Star D.J. LeMahieu had three hits, extending his hitting streak to 18 games, and scored twice as the Rockies move to 1-0 in the Post-Tulowitzki era. The starting pitchers in this one were named Dallas Beeler and Yohan Flande. Those sound like hockey players, right? I’m pretty sure they’re hockey players.

Pirates 8, Twins 7: Jung Ho-Kang hit a tie-breaking homer in the ninth to give the Pirates their fourth win in five games. He had two hits, scored two runs and was hit by a pitch. His pickup is looking like one of the better ones of last offseason, especially given the Pirates infield injuries. Mark Melancon got the five-out win. Not a lot of closers, save situation or otherwise, are allowed to get five outs these days.

Astros 10, Angels 5: The AP gamer leads with “Jose Altuve is the spark plug that powers the Houston Astros.” Sadly, nfor now anyway, he is only the second-best spark plug in Astros history. No word on whether he’s “gritty.” He’s good, though, and here he drove in five runs as Houston takes the first in a key three-game series against the Angels, putting them in a virtual tie for first place. Houston overcame an early 4-1 deficit in this one. Mike Trout sat this one out with a bum wrist. Bad time for the best player in baseball to be on the shelf. He’s day to day.

Reds 4, Cardinals 0: Mike Leake’s final audition for other teams went well, as he tossed eight shutout innings. Joey Votto was the primary supporting player here, hitting a three-run homer on this 3-for-3 night. He walked too.

Diamondbacks 8, Mariners 4: David Peralta had three hits and drove in two in support of Zack Godley. There are an awful lot of Zacks/Zachs in Major League Baseball today. Really, I think we’ve reached Peak Zack.

Brewers 5, Giants 2: Wily Peralta pitched in a big league game for the first time in two months and he pitched well, allowing two runs over six innings and cooling off the hot Giants. Gerardo Parra tripled, doubled, singled and scored three runs.

Video: Jose Abreu awarded a home run after Mookie Betts flips into Fenway Park bullpen

Mookie Betts
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This is a difficult one to describe. Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts tracked down a hardly hit ball from White Sox slugger Jose Abreu on Tuesday night but lost it when he fell into the bullpen

Probably a bad idea to jump there, but instincts seemed to take over when Betts realized he was running out of room to slow himself down. It goes on record as the 16th home run of the season for Abreu.

Betts was removed from the game and is being tested for a concussion. He landed very awkwardly.

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

Kris Bryant
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source:

Cubs 9, Rockies 8: Kris Bryant hit two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and the Cubs trailing by one. That’s about as big as a walkoff comes. This negated Carlos Gonzalez’s two-homer game, one of which gave the Rockies the lead in the top of the inning. After the game the Rockies shipped Troy Tulowitzki and LaTroy Hawkins to Toronto. Read the details of the trade here. And here is our analysis of this very, very strange deal. For the record, Tulo’s last game as the Rockies shortstop: 0-for-5 and an RBI on a groundout.

Orioles 2, Braves 1: Matt Wieters with a walkoff homer in the 11th. This in a game that was 0-0 until the ninth. In that frame Adonis Garcia — apparently the Braves’ new hero — homered. Jim Johnson couldn’t lock down the 1-0 lead in the bottom of the frame, however, giving up a couple of singles and a sac fly, setting the stage for Wieters’ heroics a couple of innings later.

Royals 9, Indians 4: Eric Hosmer drove in four runs and Kendrys Morales knocked in three as the Indians continue to spiral into oblivion. The Royals are just great, though. They even had some fans representing for them in Cleveland. The game story put it this way: “Downtrodden for so many years, these Royals are being treated like rock stars.” Personally, I’ve never been overly taken with the romance of rock stardom. When I hear that I think “they’re being taken advantage of by shady advisors and being screwed out of their publishing rights; they’re indulging too much in excess under the false assumption the money and stardom will keep flowing and then, later, they’ll crash. On the upside, we’ll all be able to see the Royals at a state fair or something in about 15-20 years.

Rays 5, Tigers 2: Curt Casali, which sounds like an alias my brother Curt would use, homered twice and Nathan Karns took a one-hit shutout into the seventh. An uninspiring Tigers performance which led to a closed-door meeting after the game with Dave Dombrowski in attendance. No word on what was discussed then the doors opened again and no news spun out of it. Maybe Dombrowski gave the old law school “look to your left, look to your right, this time next week one of you will be gone” speech. Maybe, like Rajai Davis yesterday, Dombrowski was just trolling the media.

Yankees 6, Rangers 2: A-Rod homered on his 40th birthday. Which leads to a cool factoid: he became the fourth player in major league history to homer as a teen and in his 40s. The others: Ty Cobb, Rusty Staub and Gary Sheffield. Cobb, Sheffield and A-Rod all took major criticism for being horse’s asses. I don’t know about Staub’s reputation in the game in general, but I once talked to Mickey Lolich who, for whatever reason, went on and on about how Staub was a prima donna. It could be that Lolich is just a crank. Or maybe baseball longevity and being a horse’s ass have a lot of things in common.

Cardinals 4, Reds 1: I hate calling homer’s “dongs,” but part of me really wants to say that the story of this game was a “Wong dong.” What kind of dong? A grand salami! The saddest part is that it went out to right center. If it went to left, we could’ve called it an “oppo taco!” That is, if we’re horrible, horrible people who like to use the worst and dumbest slang around. Not saying we’re better than that, of course.

Diamondbacks 4, Mariners 3: Seattle native and University of Washington produce Jake Lamb won the game with a sac fly. Paul Goldschmidt homered in this one as he continues one of the quietest .346/.465/.611 seasons in baseball history.

Giants 4, Brewers 2: Heston stars, Crawford shines in a supporting role. No, I’m not talking about season five, episode 39 of Matin and Lewis’ Colgate Comedy Hour, which was the only time both Charlton and Joan appeared in a production together. I’m talking about Brandon, who hit a homer and Chris, who allowed two runs over seven.

White Sox 10, Red Sox 8: Sox wi–

Well crap. It’s no fun now. Thanks. You totally ruined one of my hackier jokes.😦

Haha, just kidding. Sox win! Sox win! Adam Eaton, playing DH because of a sore left shoulder, had three hits and drove in two. Which is cool, even if a bunch of you dead-enders would rather have had John Danks hit and Eaton be benched. Yeah, that’s right: old jokes AND dredging up arguments from three or four months ago.

The Troy Tulowitzki trade might be the strangest deadline deal ever

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 19:  Troy Tulowitzki #2 of the Colorado Rockies at bat during a 7-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on April 19, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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The Blue Jays lead the majors in runs.

Now, I don’t mean they lead the league in runs by the usual amount, whether it’s 5, 10, 20 or whatever. The Blue Jays LEAD the LEAGUE in RUNS. They’re scoring 5.28 per game. No one is within 70 runs of them. The second highest scoring offense in the league averages 4.65 runs per game.

Of course, far less impressive than the Jays’ offense is their pitching. For that reason, they were supposed to be all over all of the big-name pitchers available this week. Maybe Cole Hamels was out of reach, but Jeff Samardzija was a popular choice. The Padres’ horde, Mat Latos of the Marlins and Mike Fiers of the Brewers were also being talked about.

And if the Blue Jays did go get a bat, it figured to be an outfielder. Preferably one who hits left-handed. 111 of the Jays’ 130 homers this year have come from right-handed hitters, and while they’ve gotten solid production from every spot, the positions on the team with the lowest OPSs to date are left field and center field.

Then there are the Rockies. The Rockies always need pitching. Their most effective starter this year has been 28-year-old Chris Rusin, a Cubs castoff with a 3-4 record and a 4.13 ERA in 65 1/3 innings. Overall, their starters have a 5.12 ERA, which ranks 29th in MLB ahead of only the Phillies. They’re dead last with a 1.52 WHIP and a 1.8 K:BB ratio.

The other thing the Rockies always seem to need to do is to get cheaper. They don’t really like spending money. They’re not very good at it when they do.

None of this would seem to be a likely recipe for a Troy Tulowitzki-for-Jose Reyes trade. To say this one came out of nowhere would be an understatement. No one would have guessed the Blue Jays were in the market for a shortstop. And no one would have imagined that when the Rockies finally traded Tulo, it would be for a player who has a higher annual salary.

Still, as these things tend to do, things seem to make more sense the deeper one digs.

First and foremost, while this will always be referred to as the Tulo-for-Reyes deal, that’s not at all what it’s about. This was a Tulo-for-Jeff Hoffman and Miguel Castro deal. The Rockies landed two prime arms in return for giving up the game’s preeminent shortstop and taking on a modestly overpaid replacement. A third, as yet undisclosed, prospect is also involved, and the Rockies also parted with veteran reliever LaTroy Hawkins. Reyes was not the focus. The trade would have made more sense on the Rockies’ end if it was just Tulo for the young right-handers, but then, the Blue Jays couldn’t have made that deal without somehow shedding Reyes’s salary in the bargain.

It probably comes as a surprise to many, but Reyes is making more than Tulo right now, just not for quite so long. He’s earning $22 million per year through 2017, with a $22 million option or a $4 million buyout for 2018. Tulo makes $20 million per year through 2019, $14 million in 2020 and then $15 million or a $4 million buyout in 2021. There’s also a $2 million trade kicker on Tulo’s contract. At a minimum, the Jays are absorbing an extra $52 million here, while also picking up three more years of control.

So, Reyes essentially had to be in this deal if the Rockies wanted the prospects. What remains to be seen is whether they’ll hold on to him for a bit or if they’ll flip him right away, opening up shortstop for a quality prospect in Trevor Story. Trading Reyes for a couple of prospects, probably eating some salary in the process, is probably the way to go. In Hoffman and Castro, the Rockies got two guys with top-of-the-rotation upside, though it needs to be noted that the former is coming back from Tommy John surgery and the latter couldn’t hack it as a major league reliever this year. Hoffman has the better chance of fulfilling his potential. Castro, though, has an incredible arm, and even if can’t make it as a starter, he could turn into a fine closer.

For the Blue Jays, well, this was all about making it back to the postseason, even if it materialized in a way that no one expected. Tulowitzki is a better hitter and probably a better defender than Reyes. He is injury-prone, but so is the guy he’s replacing. He’s a clear upgrade. He’d also seem to be a luxury purchase when there are still necessities required. Losing Hoffman and Castro is a big blow to the farm system that they’re going to have to dip right back into in an effort to upgrade their rotation. I’m going to withhold my judgment on whether it was the right move until seeing whether the Jays come away with a quality starter prior to Friday’s deadline.