And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights

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Ubaldo Jimenez white cap.jpgRockies 4, Giants 0: The Cy Young Award is decided by something closer to tournament play than match play, but Ubaldo Jimenez’s decisive defeat of Tim Lincecum has him covered in either direction (CG, SHO 4 H, 9K). Linecum appears to have lost his telemetry (5.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 5 BB, 3K).

Braves 9, Phillies 3: I hit
this one up yesterday
. One thing I didn’t mention in that writeup
was how hilarious it was when Yunel Escobar popped up at second base and
asked for time out after his third inning RBI. It was hilarious because
he was thrown out trying to stretch his single into a double, so there
really wasn’t a need to call for time. You got thrown out, Escobar, take
all the time you want. Kind of like you did getting your kiester out of
the batter’s box. Not that I have a lot to complain about in this one.

Padres 18, Mets 6: Yesterday Jerry Manuel seemed stumped when asked in what situation he might use Oliver Perez. I think we found our answer: the last 2.2 innings of a monumental blowout against what is supposed to be one of baseball’s worst offenses.

Yankees 11, Indians 2: Andy Pettitte gave up one run over seven innings and A-Rod hit a grand slam and had six RBI.  The game stories play up the fact that Mark Teixeira was intentionally walked before the slam, but really it was a matter of Chris Perez trying to be careful with Teixeira, getting behind 3-0 and then Manny Acta deciding to just give him ball four instead of risking a pitch down main street.

Nationals 14, Astros 4: Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn each collect four RBI and a guy listed in the box score as “C. Maldonado” who I know is Carlos Maldonado but whom, out of a fit of nostalgia, I’m going to pretend was Candy Maldonado, had three RBI of his own. Roy Oswalt was ejected for arguing balls and strikes after giving up four runs in two and a third innings. I’m going to assume that was an intentional passive-aggressive thing designed to make the Nats dubious about him so that he won’t have to reject them via his no-trade clause in the event they make the Astros an offer.

Pirates 2, Cubs 1: That’s six of seven for the Pirates over the Cubs this year. Would that they only played Chicago. Get this: Garrett Jones hit a homer to right field and a Cubs fan — a visiting Cubs fan, as this game was played in PNC Park — threw the ball back out onto the field.  I know that Pirates fans have had a lot of the fight taken out of them these past 17 years, but I hope against hope that a few of them came together to beat the living crap out of that punk. Um, figuratively speaking, that is. You know, with sharp bon mots and stuff.

Angels 7, Royals 1: Ervin Santana shuts down the Royals after which the Angels celebrate with subtle, affirming glances and modest smiles. Sadly Juan Rivera suffered a compound fracture of his jaw in the process and will be out for the remainder of the season.

Marlins 13, Brewers 5: After scoring three runs in three games against the Phillies the Feesh break out for 13 against Milwaukee — seven of which came in a single inning. The Brewers were actually up 4-0 in the sixth before the wheels fell off. Cameron Maybin hit an inside-the-park home run. As is usually the case, Maybin’s was the result of bad defensive play — in this case a bad route to the ball by Carlos Gomez — which is why I’m generally unimpressed by inside-the-park homers.

Athletics 4, Tigers 1: Two teams going in opposite directions: the A’s take three out of four from Detroit and the Tigers drop their fifth in six games. Time of rain delay before the game: 2:42; time of game: 2:48.

Dodgers 5, Diamondbacks 4: A walkoff balk from Esmerling Vasquez
completes the Dodgers’ comeback from a 4-0 deficit. Feel the excitement.

Cardinals 12, Reds 4: A totally different game after the rain delay than
it was before. Both Jaime Garcia and Bronson Arroyo came back when play
resumed, but only the former had any command. Ten walks in all for Reds
pitchers.

Blue Jays 3, Rays 2: Brandon Morrow pitches his best game of the season,
not allowing a hit until the sixth inning and giving up only one run on
three hits. The Rays have now lost six of their last eight games.

Twins 5, Mariners 4: Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel hit back-to-back jacks in the fourth to give the Twinkies a 5-1 lead and they basically held on from there.  Cuddyer got the start at second base, which is rather fun. He last did that in 2005.

Bonds, Clemens left out of Hall again; McGriff elected

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO – Moments after Fred McGriff was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, almost two decades after his final game, he got the question.

Asked if Barry Bonds belonged in Cooperstown, a smiling McGriff responded: “Honestly, right now, I’m going to just enjoy this evening.”

A Hall of Fame committee delivered its answer Sunday, passing over Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling while handing McGriff the biggest honor of his impressive big league career.

The lanky first baseman, nicknamed the “Crime Dog,” hit .284 with 493 homers and 1,550 RBIs over 19 seasons with six major league teams. The five-time All-Star helped Atlanta win the 1995 World Series.

McGriff got 169 votes (39.8%) in his final year on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot in 2019. Now, he will be inducted into Cooperstown on July 23, along with anyone chosen in the writers’ vote, announced Jan. 24.

“It’s all good. It’s been well worth the wait,” said McGriff, who played his last big league game in 2004.

It was the first time that Bonds, Clemens and Schilling had faced a Hall committee since their 10th and final appearances on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot. Bonds and Clemens have been accused of using performance-enhancing drugs, and support for Schilling dropped after he made hateful remarks toward Muslims, transgender people, reporters and others.

While the 59-year-old McGriff received unanimous support from the 16 members of the contemporary baseball era committee – comprised of Hall members, executives and writers – Schilling got seven votes, and Bonds and Clemens each received fewer than four.

The makeup of the committee likely will change over the years, but the vote was another indication that Bonds and Clemens might never make it to the Hall.

This year’s contemporary era panel included Greg Maddux, who played with McGriff on the Braves, along with Paul Beeston, who was an executive with Toronto when McGriff made his big league debut with the Blue Jays in 1986.

Another ex-Brave, Chipper Jones, was expected to be part of the committee, but he tested positive for COVID-19 and was replaced by Arizona Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall.

The contemporary era committee considers candidates whose careers were primarily from 1980 on. A player needs 75% to be elected.

“It’s tough deciding on who to vote for and who not to vote for and so forth,” McGriff said. “So it’s a great honor to be unanimously voted in.”

In addition to all his big hits and memorable plays, one of McGriff’s enduring legacies is his connection to a baseball skills video from youth coach Tom Emanski. The slugger appeared in a commercial for the product that aired regularly during the late 1990s and early 2000s – wearing a blue Baseball World shirt and hat.

McGriff said he has never seen the video.

“Come Cooperstown, I’ve got to wear my blue hat,” a grinning McGriff said. “My Tom Emanski hat in Cooperstown. See that video is going to make a revival now, it’s going to come back.”

Hall of Famers Jack Morris, Ryne Sandberg, Lee Smith, Frank Thomas and Alan Trammell also served on this year’s committee, which met in San Diego at baseball’s winter meetings.

Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Belle, Don Mattingly and Dale Murphy rounded out the eight-man ballot. Mattingly was next closest to election, with eight votes of 12 required. Murphy had six.

Bonds, Clemens and Schilling fell short in January in their final chances with the BBWAA. Bonds received 260 of 394 votes (66%), Clemens 257 (65.2%) and Schilling 231 (58.6%).

Palmeiro was dropped from the BBWAA ballot after receiving 25 votes (4.4%) in his fourth appearance in 2014, falling below the 5% minimum needed to stay on. His high was 72 votes (12.6%) in 2012.

Bonds has denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs, and Clemens maintains he never used PEDs. Palmeiro was suspended for 10 days in August 2005 following a positive test under the major league drug program.

A seven-time NL MVP, Bonds set the career home run record with 762 and the season record with 73 in 2001. A seven-time Cy Young Award winner, Clemens went 354-184 with a 3.12 ERA and 4,672 strikeouts, third behind Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Randy Johnson (4,875). Palmeiro had 3,020 hits and 568 homers.

Schilling fell 16 votes shy with 285 (71.1%) on the 2021 BBWAA ballot. The right-hander went 216-146 with a 3.46 ERA in 20 seasons, winning the World Series with Arizona in 2001 and Boston in 2004 and 2007.

Theo Epstein, who also served on the contemporary era committee, was the GM in Boston when the Red Sox acquired Schilling in a trade with the Diamondbacks in November 2003.

Players on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list cannot be considered, a rule that excludes Pete Rose.