Scouting ain't easy, but it's necessary

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As
you sit back and watch the draft tonight — or, more realistically,
read about it tomorrow — you’ll no doubt look at the list of players
your team has taken and wonder “who the hell are these guys?”

And
that’s the central dynamic of the baseball draft from the average fan’s
point of view, isn’t it? Not knowing the names of the players on whose
backs the future of the franchise rides? This isn’t like football or
basketball which farms their player development and promotion business
out to the colleges (many of which are supported by your tax dollars,
by the way). For every Stephen Strasburg, there are several hundred Joe
Blows even fairly serious baseball fans have never heard of.

But
trust that someone has heard of these guys, and that someone is the
person who scouted them. You probably have an image in your mind of
your typical Major League scout, and that image probably looks something like this. And there are certainly scouts like that. Hopefully a lot of them, because I like to see guys like that at baseball games.

But
there’s way more to it than wearing sweet hats and chomping on cigars.
To find out just how much more to it, you’d do well to read the
Cincinnati Enquirer’s multi-part-feature on the life of the Major
League scout:

Chris Buckley, Reds senior director of scouting,
figures he travels between 150 and 200 days a year. Dodgers scout Marty
Lamb said he drives an estimated 40,000 miles a year to watch baseball
games. Brian Hiler, a Cincinnati-based scout for the Kansas City
Royals, said the scouting life is short on glamour and truly a labor of
love . . .

. . . Anecdotal evidence, interviews, Internet
research and other sources say scouts above the part-time rank can
start in at around $20,000 per year and that scouting directors for
most teams top $100,000 per year. Area scouts/part timers might not get
much more than gas mileage and expenses.

It’s a rough business. It takes both a subjective and an objective eye. Even if you’re good at it, you’re going to be wrong most of the time.

But, boy, I sure can think of a thousand worse jobs to have, can’t you?

And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Yankees 11, Orioles 4: New York batters were not terribly intimidated by O’s starter David Hess, touching him for nine runs on eight hits — three of which were dingers — and walking four times in five innings. Clint Frazier hit two of the bombs and knocked in five runs. Gary Sánchez swatted a three-run homer. The Yankees have already played ten games against Baltimore this year. They are 8-2 against them and have outscored them 73-40. Oh, and Frazier’s three-run homer last night was the 100th one Baltimore pitchers have allowed on the year, putting them on pace to obliterate the single-season record for team homers given up.

And if anyone complains about the schedule having New York play Baltimore so much early I’m gonna get cranky. One of the beauties of baseball is that, at least in a division, everyone plays everyone more or less the same amount of times and there are so many damn games overall that schedule differences are so small as to be insignificant. If you wanna beef about schedules — maybe the most boring and kind of pathetic beef in sports fandom — take it to the college football page.

Blue Jays 10, Red Sox 3: Rowdy Tellez who, with a name like that, should be a character in a Hollywood western as opposed to a 1B/DH, hit two homers — a two-run shot and a three-run shot — to lead the Blue Jays attached. Both of them came against Eduardo Rodríguez, who is a lefty. Tellez is a lefty too who, as Laura Armstrong of the Toronto Star wrote on Sunday, had been used almost exclusively against right-handed pitching until recently. Charlie Montoyo has changed his mind on that, she reported, allowing Tellez to face southpaws and it’s been paying off. Definitely paid off last night. What kind of great timing was that by Armstrong and The Star? Nice work!

Astros 5, White Sox 1: Justin Verlander took a no-hitter into the seventh before José Abreu broke it up with a homer. He’d end up going eight, allowing just that homer, while striking out 12. Probably shouldn’t have been surprised by that homer, though. Abreu has, somehow, owned Verlander over the years. Entering last night’s game he was hitting .366/.435/.780 with five homers and two doubles off of him in 46 plate appearances.

Marlins 5, Tigers 4: Chris Wallach doubled in a run in the second and doubled in a run in the 11th. The one in the 11th ended up winning the game and gets more ink devoted to it, but if not for the one in the second he doesn’t have a change to hit that one in the 11th, right? It’s like time travel paradoxes and all of that jazz. If it helps, think of the 11th inning double as Thanos snapping his fingers and the second inning double as him acquiring the Infinity Stones. If the Tigers develop a time machine and want to stop him, they’re way better off going back to the second inning is what I’m saying.

[Editor: the movie has been out for almost a month. You can stop now, OK? Maybe a more timely reference? Just suggesting.]

As I was saying, that’s why Marty McFly couldn’t just leave 1955. He had to get his parents to dance together first.

The Marlins have won four in a row. I suspect some sort of supernatural cause of that with time travel possibly playing a part.

Athletics 5, Indians 3: Trevor Bauer continues to struggle of late. Here he gave up a pinch-hit homer to Mark Canha in the third to give the A’s a lead they’d not surrender. Bauer walked in a run with the bases loaded in the second and allowed four runs, walked four and hit three batters in six innings on the night. Not that things are rosy for the A’s. The reason Canha was pinch-hitting in the first place is because Khris Davis had to leave the game due to continued problems with a sore hip which, after the game, landed him on the injured list.

Cubs 3, Phillies 2: Andrew McCutchen gave Philly a 2-1 lead with a two-run single in the seventh but a ninth inning rally capped by a walkoff RBI single from pinch hitter Javier Báez gave the Cubs the win. The first run in the rally came when Kris Bryant scored from third on an Albert Almora Jr. chopper by motoring home to beat a play at the plate. He hauled butt from second to score on a groundout earlier in the game, so it was all wheels for him. Bryce Harper went 0-for-4 but he did this too, so let’s call the night even for him:

Mets 6, Nationals 5: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the Nats blew a late lead. Two actually. Up 3-1 in the seventh, J.D. Davis hit a three-run pinch-hit homer to give New York a 4-3 lead. Washington took the lead back in the eighth thanks to RBI doubles from Trea Turner and Juan Soto, but the lead was blown again when Pete Alonso hit his 16th dinger on the season in the bottom half. The Mets won it on a walkoff infield single from Ahmed Rosario in the bottom of the ninth. Here’s the highlight package of both the homer and the walkoff. Fast forward to the Rosario hit and watch him haul it down to first base to beat that throw. That’s some serious hustle:

Giants 4, Braves 3: It was a big night for walkoff singles, eh? The Cubs, the Mets and Giants all did it. Here Joe Panik did the honors, knocking in two to end the game and completing a big comeback for the Giants who were down 3-1 entering the bottom of the ninth. Before Panik’s single Kevin Pillar knocked one in and a couple of stolen bases put the runners in position to score. All three runs and both stolen bases came against Braves reliever Luke Jackson. It was Jackson’s fourth blown save of the year. Don’t worry, though, Braves fans. The team’s decision to put more money in real estate development than the bullpen may be highly annoying, but it continues to pay off financially and has the glide slope and all of that looking A-OK.

Rockies 5, Pirates 0: Germán Márquez was stellar, tossing eight shutout innings, allowing only three hits and striking out seven. He also — all together now — helped his own cause by knocking in a run with a single in the eighth. A Trevor Story homer and a two-run triple from Charlie Blackmon helped his cause earlier.

Dodgers 7, Rays 3: This game featured ten total runs, none of which scored on a homer. Someone had better alert the league office because I’m sure there’s some kind of rule against that now. Clayton Kershaw took a shutout into the seventh and ended up allowing two runs before leaving to pick up his fourth win against no losses. He has not been the dominant Kershaw of old of late but the Dodgers have won the last 15 regular season games he has started. It’s a cliche, but that “he gives us a chance to win” stuff matters. L.A. has won six of seven.

Reds 3, Brewers 0: Sony Gray tossed six shutout innings, striking out nine, and the pen handled the final three frames, striking out five more. Cincinnati scored all three of its runs in the first off of starter Gio Gonzalez: one by wild pitch, one by a double and one by a fielder’s choice.

Rangers 5, Mariners 3: Lance Lynn allowed two runs over seven innings, striking out 11. Nomar Mazara had three hits, an RBI and Joey Gallo hit a two-run shot. The Rangers have won six of their last seven games and are now at .500.

Twins 8, Angels 3: Marwin Gonzalez homered and drove in three. His two-run jack in the sixth tied the game and then the Twinkies put up a four-run seventh to put the game out of reach. The Twins have won five of six and own a seven-game lead in the AL Central.

Padres 3, Diamondbacks 2: Eric Hosmer hit a two-run, homer off Greinke in the Padres’ three-run sixth inning. Greinke had been tossing a one-hit shutout before that and had recorded his 2,500th career strikeout earlier. Way to rain on the guy’s parade. San Diego is a game over .500 now. The Snakes have lost four straight.

Royals vs. Cardinals — POSTPONED:

The sun is out, the sky is blue
There’s not a cloud to spoil the view
But it’s raining, raining in my heart
The weatherman says clear today
He doesn’t know you’ve gone away
And it’s raining, raining in my heart
Oh, misery, misery
What’s gonna become of me?
I tell my blues they mustn’t show
But soon these tears are bound to flow
‘Cause it’s raining, raining in my heart
But it’s raining, raining in my heart
And it’s raining, raining in my heart