And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Marlins 2, Phillies 1: The pitcher’s duel was as good as advertised, as neither offense broke out against Roy Halladay or Josh Johnson, each of whom pitched well enough to win even though neither did. This one was decided on the basis of mistakes. One of them was Halladay’s, as he inexplicably walked Johnson in the third inning — the first time he had ever walked a pitcher — and watched as he came around to score on a sac fly.  In the eighth the mistake was by Jimmy Rollins whose error allowed Omar Infante to reach and then Halladay, as his wild pitch let Infante get to second before scoring on a Chris Coghlan single.

Giants 1, Diamondbacks 0: Like Halladay and Johnson, I suppose Tim Lincecum (8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 9K) and Ian Kennedy (8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 8K) simply don’t know how to win.  The game’s only run scores on a Cody Ross single in the bottom of the ninth.

Mets 4, Rockies 3: Mike Pelfrey allowed three hits in six innings and drove in two with an RBI double. But as the box score establishes, he knows how to win. And because he won, he was clearly better than Halladay, Johnson, Lincecum and Kennedy last night. See how this works?

Rangers 7, Athletics 2: The Rangers scored their first run of the game on a bases-loaded walk. Lawyer ball, man.

Indians 5, Rays 4: Tampa Bay battled back after being down two in the seventh, but then Joel Peralta lost the thread  in the bottom of the ninth with a walk, a single, and then an intentional walk to load the bases with no one out.  He made way for Kyle Farnsworth who, despite having a nice year so far could not have been expected to put that fire out. He induced one out on a grounder, but the subsequent bases-loaded walk to Michael Brantley to end the game was rather Farnsworthy.

Cardinals 6, Cubs 4: No runs batted in, but a 4 for 5 night for Albert Pujols is encouraging. Unless you’re into silly speculation anyway. Daniel Descalso was the hero, driving in two on a single off Kerry Wood in the eighth to break the 4-4 tie.

Nationals 7, Braves 6: We all laughed at Chip Caray’s “Line drive! Base hit! Caught out there!” call from the playoffs a couple of years ago, but he really does have a hard time picking up the trajectory of the ball off the bat. In the ninth inning of this one Brooks Conrad hit a fly ball that, had it gone out, would have tied the game. Caray’s call made it sound like the Giants just won the 1951 pennant … before it was caught by Roger Bernadina.  Just annoying.  Although not as annoying as Tim Hudson not having his best stuff and the Braves being unable to do anything against Jason Marquis until the eighth inning.  The comeback was nice, but too little, too late.

Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 6: Jon Lester didn’t have it, giving up five runs on seven hits and walking five more. I didn’t watch any of it, but the box score makes it look like an ugly one. Jose Iglesias’ first official major league at bat resulted in a strikeout on which he reached first base due to the catcher muffing it. So that’s fun.

Yankees 3, Royals 1: Derek Jeter was 2 for 4 and drove one in while A-Rod drove in two, so that should hold off the “Oh noes! A-Rod and Jeter!” articles for a couple of days. Indeed, Jeter has a seven game hitting streak in which he’s 13 for 32 (.406).  Freddy Garcia allowed one run in six innings. I watched a couple of innings of this one here and there while the Phillies game was in a commercial and I remain just as surprised today as I did ten years ago that a guy like Garcia, who looks like he exerts as little effort as he does out there, still manages to get guys out. There’s probably some sort of lesson in that somewhere.

Dodgers 10, Pirates 3: After a prolonged offensive slump the Dodgers pounced on the Buccos for ten runs on fifteen hits, including a three-run jack for Matt Kemp. Indeed, the Dodgers’ 1-4 hitters were a combined 10 for 18 with six RBI. Andrew McCutchen hit two home runs in a losing cause. Unless he has his own agenda, of course, in which case his motives are inscrutable at best. No man knows what another thinks. Not really.

Reds 7, Astros 3: Homer Bailey turns in his second straight solid outing. More than solid, really, pretty damn fantastic: seven shutout innings on five hits with 5Ks and no walks. And Joey Votto did Joey Votto things like smack multiple extra base hits and drive in runs. Aroldis Chapman was terrible, though, walking four guys and hitting another while retiring no one to start off the eighth inning. And it wasn’t the first time he has struggled this year. Indeed, he has been unable to locate the strike zone for three straight outings. Something to keep your eye on.

Brewers 8, Padres 6: San Diego spotted Milwaukee an eight run lead and, despite the comeback, that was just too much to overcome. Jonathan Lucroy was 3 for 4 with three RBI. A strong outing from Shaun Marcum last night. A strong one from Zack Greinke on Monday. It’s almost the way they drew it up over the winter.

Orioles 7, Mariners 6:  Seattle took the lead in the 13th inning but Baltimore scored two on Felix Pie and Matt Weiters singles in the bottom of the inning to give the O’s the game.

Angels 6, White Sox 2: Alberto Callaspo drove in three runs. Howie Kendrick started in left field for the first time ever and didn’t get a ball hit to him.

Tigers 10, Twins 2: Someone asked me last week what I thought the chances were of Francisco Liriano having a strong outing in the wake of his no hitter. You can choose to believe me or not, but I swear that my answer was “slim and none.”  His no hitter wasn’t the result of some mechanical breakthrough or a step forward in the quality of his stuff. It just happened by good fortune and some poor offense by the White Sox. Last night he had the usual stuff working but less fortune and, despite the extra rest, he was coming off his longest ever start. Ergo: 3 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 3 BB. If the hail doesn’t come to chase him random illness doesn’t get to him, he still loses this game. Victor Martinez was 3 for 4 with a couple of doubles and 4 RBI.

A’s running out of time to find home in Oakland, Las Vegas

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LAS VEGAS — The Oakland Athletics have spent years trying to get a new stadium while watching Bay Area neighbors such as the Giants, Warriors, 49ers and Raiders successfully move into state-of-the-art venues, and now time is running short on their efforts.

The A’s lease at RingCentral Coliseum expires after the 2024 season, and though they might be forced to extend the terms, the club and Major League Baseball have deemed the stadium unsuitable for a professional franchise.

They are searching for a new stadium in Oakland or Las Vegas, but they have experienced difficulties in both areas. The A’s missed a major deadline in October to get a deal done in Oakland, and there has been little indication they will receive the kind of funding they want from Las Vegas.

“I think the A’s have to look at it in a couple of ways,” said Brendan Bussmann, managing partner at Las Vegas-based B Global. “Obviously, they have struggled in Oakland to get a deal across the line. It isn’t for a lack of effort. . You have an owner that’s willing to pony up money, you have a club that wants to sit there and figure out a way to make it work, and you keep running into obstacles along the way.

“It’s time to fish or cut bait. Oakland, do you want them or not? And if not, where are the A’s going to get the best deal? Is it Vegas? Is it somewhere else? They’ll have to figure that out.”

What the A’s are thinking is a little bit of a mystery. Team President Dave Kaval was talkative earlier in the process, saying the A’s are pursuing two different tracks with Oakland and Las Vegas. But he went silent on the subject several months ago. A’s spokeswoman Catherine Aker said mostly recently that the club would withhold comment for now.

The A’s have been negotiating with Oakland to build a $1 billion stadium as part of a $12 billion redevelopment deal.

Newly elected Mayor Sheng Thao said reaching a deal is important as long as it makes economic sense to the city. Her predecessor, Libby Schaaf, led prior efforts to reach an agreement, but after the city and the A’s missed that October deadline, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed reservations a deal will ever get done.

“The pace in Oakland has not been rapid, number one,” Manfred said at the time. “We’re in a stadium situation that’s really not tenable. I mean, we need to do something to alter the situation. So I’m concerned about the lack of pace.”

Recent California history justifies his concerns. SoFi Stadium in Southern California and Chase Center in San Francisco were built with private money, and Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara was 90% privately financed.

“And then I think there was some contagion where around the country people realized these deals could be done well privately and could generate a return on investment to those investors,” said David Carter, a sports business professor at the University of Southern California. “Why are we throwing public money at it at all?”

That’s also a question being asked in Las Vegas, even though the Raiders in 2016 received $750 million from the Nevada Legislature for a stadium. That then was the largest amount of public money for a sports venue, but it was surpassed last March by the $850 million pledged to construct a new stadium for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills.

Another deal like the one for Allegiant Stadium, where the Raiders play, appears unlikely in Nevada. T-Mobile Arena, which opened in 2017, was privately financed. An arena planned for south of the Las Vegas Strip also wouldn’t rely on public funds.

Las Vegas, however, has shown financing creativity. Its Triple-A baseball stadium received $80 million in 2017 for naming rights from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Room taxes fund the authority, so it was public money in a backdoor sort of way.

Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft, who is on the board of the convention authority, has spoken with A’s representatives about their interest in Las Vegas and said he is aware of the club’s talks with other Nevada officials. He said the A’s are taking a much different approach than the Raiders, who identified Las Vegas early as their choice landing spot after many years of failing to get a new stadium in Oakland.

“When the Raiders decided to come to Las Vegas, they had a clear plan,” Naft said. “You had a clear body that was tasked with assessing the worth and the value, and they committed to the destination. I have not seen that from the Oakland A’s at any level, and it’s not really our job to go out and beg them to come here because we have earned the reputation of the greatest arena on Earth. We have put in both the dollars and the labor to make that the case.

“I think I’ve made myself clear, but from conversations with others, I don’t think I’m alone on that.”

New Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo “will not raise taxes” to attract the A’s or any other team, his spokeswoman, Elizabeth Ray, said in a statement. But she said the club could qualify for other ongoing “economic development programs,” which could mean tax breaks similar to what Tesla received in 2014.

Manfred said in December that the A’s relocation fee would be waived if they move to Las Vegas, a savings to the club reportedly of up to $1 billion.

“We’re past any reasonable timeline for the situation in Oakland to be resolved,” Manfred said then.

Naft said Allegiant Stadium filled a hole that went beyond landing an NFL team. It allowed Las Vegas to attract major sporting events such as the Super Bowl and Final Four and major concerts such as Garth Brooks and Elton John that “in many cases we would not otherwise have.”

He said he doesn’t believe a baseball stadium would accomplish that, and sports economist Victor Matheson agreed.

“I think there’s a real question about how much people are willing to watch baseball in Las Vegas,” said Matheson, a professor at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. “It’s not like locals don’t have a huge number of entertainment options right now, and it’s not clear exactly how much people might travel to watch baseball in Vegas, either.”

If the A’s truly want to be in Las Vegas, Naft said they need to make that clear.

“I just believe you can’t play destinations against each other,” Naft said. “If you want to come here and you want to be met with open arms, you’ve got to commit.”

Should the A’s fail to reach an agreement in Oakland or Las Vegas, they could consider other destinations such as Charlotte, North Carolina; Nashville; and Portland, Oregon. Whether they would have the time to explore such options is another question.

Oakland has already shown it will watch the Raiders move to Nevada and the Warriors go across the Bay Bridge to San Francisco.

Las Vegas, Matheson noted, is hardly in a desperate situation. He also expressed caution that Las Vegas could go from being among the largest metropolitan areas without a major professional sports team to among the smallest with three franchises.

“So you’ve gone from kind of being under-sported to being over-sported in a short period of time if the A’s were to go there,” Matheson said.