And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights

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Phillies 3, Braves 1: I was momentarily angry when Derek Lowe gave up the homer to Greg Dobbs in the sixth, but then I acknowledged to myself that it didn’t matter. Lowe wasn’t likely to pitch a shutout anyway, and with Roy Halladay dealing like he was dealing, that’s what would have been required. So I said “screw it,” poured myself a drink and enjoyed watching arguably the best pitcher in baseball carve my dudes up. It’s far more enjoyable, truth be told, to see someone like Halladay do it than to have some tomato can shut you down. Halladay only needed 93 pitches to throw the complete game for cryin’ out loud. Game was over fast enough for me to read a couple of chapters in this pretty spiffy book I just got before I moved on to the box scores. Hey, I want to win, but if you have to lose, that’s the way to do it.

Reds 8, Mets 6: Also, if your team has to lose, best that they do it on a night when their closest competitors lose too. The one got wild in the fifth with the teams combining to score 11 runs off of starters who just lost it. Jerry Manuel got ejected when a bases loaded strikeout of Scott Rolen was overruled and changed to a HBP, bringing in what was then the go-ahead run.  For what it’s worth I think it was the right call — the ball looked like it hit Rolen — but calls are overturned so rarely that you can see why Manuel got hot.  Oddest thing: this may have been a cross-league makeup call by the umpiring crew.  Same four dudes had a similar play in the Yankees-Blue Jays game on Sunday, but the umps refused to call it a HBP.  Oh, and two homers for Joey Votto. Now that he came up big against New York, maybe Colin Cowherd will finally figure out who he is.

Tigers 12, Orioles 9: I hit this one up yesterday afternoon.  Kevin Millwood might not be able to get traded for a Donruss Duke Snider Diamond Kings puzzle and a pack of those K-Mart MVP cards from the mid-80s right now.

White Sox 9, Angels 2: Two homers for Carlos Quentin, and seven strong innings from Gavin Floyd.  Whatever happened to Scott Kazmir anyway (6.1 IP, 6 H, 7 ER)?

Cubs 9, Diamondbacks 4: Tom Gorzelanny somehow survived walking six guys in five innings. If he makes a habit of that we’ll start calling him Teflon Tom (no we won’t). I think the Diamondbacks had early dinner reservations or something, because they struck out eight times in the final three and a third innings.

Rays 6, Red Sox 5: Daisuke Matsuzaka and Boston blew a 5-1 lead.  Seriously: how can anyone watch Matsuzaka pitch? The guy walked four, gave up eight hits and threw 112 pitches in five innings. It’s bad enough when he wins, but when he’s frittering a game away like that he’s an affront to all that is good and decent in the world.  Terry Francona must like it though. I mean, he had ample opportunity to yank him before the Rays actually came all the way back, but didn’t.

Giants 6, Brewers 1: Bases loaded, game tied at 1 in the seventh inning, one out. Freddy Sanchez grounder to Alcides Escobar looks to be a double play ball — but no — Escobar drops it, everyone’s safe and the floodgates open four four runs, effectively ending the game.  Hey, at least the postgame tailgating at Miller Park is fun and takes the edge off and everything, right?

Royals 6, Mariners 4: King Felix left with a 4-2 lead but the bullpen couldn’t hold on to it when he left after the seventh. Yuniesky Bentancourt hit the go-ahead single in the 10th.

Yankees 3, Athletics 1: Javy Vazquez gave up on run over seven innings. Most interesting stat of the game, however: It was just 58 degrees at first pitch. It’s one of the few times that New Yorkers trying to make it through this sweltering week will ever be envious of people who live in Oakland.

Marlins 6, Dodgers 5: John Ely gave up six runs and nine hits in less than three innings and has now lost four of his last five starts for the Dodgers. Wait, that’s a strange way to put it. It’s not like he’s had starts for other teams during that time.

Indians 9, Rangers 3: Matt LaPorta hit yet another homer for Cleveland — his fifth since his callup. That’s good. Not so good: he was smacked in the back of the head with Elvis Andrus’ elbow during a play at first base and was knocked out of the game. He was taken to the hospital for a CT scan and, according to Manny Acta, he threw up a bit after coming out of the game.  It was a bruising game all around for Cleveland, as Austin Kearns was plunked three times too.

MLB executive: Bruce Maxwell’s kneeling may keep him from finding work, not his arrest

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In September 2017, former Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first major league player to kneel during the national anthem, joining the handfuls of NFL players who had been doing the same to protest police brutality and racial inequality. Maxwell’s effort was laudable, but he got into trouble a month later when he was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct. Maxwell allegedly pointed a gun at a food delivery person.

Maxwell, 27, played sparingly for the Athletics in 2018 and then was designated for assignment at the beginning of September. He officially became a free agent on November 2 and has had trouble finding work in the month-plus since.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Maxwell fired his agent, Matt Sosnick on Thursday because he’s still jobless. According to an unnamed MLB executive Slusser spoke to, “It’s the kneeling thing that might keep him from getting another job, not the arrest. Owners aren’t going to want to deal with that whole anthem issue.”

That makes a lot of since since abusive players haven’t had too much trouble finding new work otherwise. Addison Russell, Jeurys Familia, and José Reyes, among others have either stayed with their teams or quickly found new work. Given the relatively weak catching market, had Maxwell only had the assault charge, there is no doubt he would have been signed to be a backup catcher somewhere.

In the NFL, Colin Kaepernick — who popularized kneeling during the anthem — has remained unsigned even though teams have opted to sign and start clearly inferior quarterbacks like Mark Sanchez, Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jay Cutler, Matt Barkley, and Sam Bradford, among many others. Team owners tend to run conservative in terms of politics, so they may not like the protest to begin with, then there is the public blowback to signing such a player as those who dislike such protesting make up a slight majority in the U.S., according to various polls including one done by the Washington Post.

It’s worth noting that Maxwell has a career .240/.314/.347 triple-slash line in 412 plate appearances. We’re not talking about J.T. Realmuto or Buster Posey here. That being said, there have been 15 other catchers to have put up a lower aggregate OPS since 2016 (min. 400 PA). One of those players, Derek Norris (.600 OPS since 2016), signed a minor league contract with the Tigers just three months after being suspended by Major League Baseball for violating its domestic violence policy. Makes you think.