And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Diamondbacks 6, Giants 1: Rookie Paul Goldschmidt hit his first major league home run and he did it off Tim frickin’ Lincecum. Justin Upton hit his own two-run shot, the Dbacks have won four in a row and they are now tied for first place with the Giants.  Now how about we divert some of that love we gave the Pirates for being frisky to Arizona? Because 20 years of history aside, they weren’t expected to be any better in 2011 than Pittsburgh was.

Cardinals 8, Brewers 7:  When Yadier Molinas attack. He’s got a suspension coming. Mostly for the bumping. Though note the theatrics of the home plate umpire Rob Drake, wiping his face, making it clear to everyone in the ballpark that a little spittle got on him when Molina started jawing. Like Molina’s rant needed to be up-sold.

Cubs 11, Pirates 6: Homers flyin’ everywhere. Six for the Cubs. Two for Garrett Jones. Seventeen runs and 31 hits between them.

Nationals 9, Braves 3: Rick Ankiel is on fire, hitting his third homer in two days, this one a grand slam. Of course, the Nats beating the Braves is nothing notable. They’ve been doing it pretty darn consistently for a couple of years now. Maddening.

Blue Jays 3, Rays 1: Other than a homer to Desmond Jennings in the sixth, Ricky Romero cruised. And that homer was the first and only hit he gave up in his eight innings. A homer for Jose Bautista as the Jays beat David Price for the first time in nine tires. Toronto is three games over .500 now.

Marlins 4, Mets 3: Two homers for All-Star Omar Infante, but that wasn’t enough to get the job done. The Mets led 3-2 heading into the ninth, but then Jason Isringhausen loaded the bases via a walk, a single and a HBP. Then a Justin Turner throwing error allowed two runs to score and that, as they say, was that. On the bright side: any one player can load the bases and any one player can make a key error, but it really takes teamwork for both of those things to happen for guys to blow a game in that fashion.

Reds 5, Astros 1: Homer Bailey had an impressive outing (8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER), but then again, he’s always been impressive against minor leaguers. Grand slam for Edgar Renteria.

Dodgers 1, Padres 0: Hiroki Kuroda shut out the Friars on four hits over seven. Matt Kemp’s RBI single in the fourth is all that was required.

Mariners 4, Athletics 2: Based on this play alone, the Athletics’ entire infield should be suspended for a week. For those who can’t watch the video, Brendan Ryan reached third on an infield single because no A’s player really felt like covering second or third, even as a token gesture. That’s kid’s T-ball-bad.

Phillies 5, Rockies 0: Two homers for Ryan Howard, eight shutout innings for Kyle Kendrick. Remember back before the season started when I said that this team would be sort of boringly dominant in that, you wouldn’t necessarily pay attention every night, but then you’d look up in August and they’d have a double-digit lead?  Yeah, this is exactly what I was talking about.

Angels 5, Twins 1: No post-no-hitter hangover for Ervin Santana. He pitches a complete game, scattering eight hits and allowing only one run.

Orioles 8, Royals 2: Five RBI for Mark Reynolds, who homered, doubled and singled. Game time temperature: 107 degrees. Mercy.

Yankees 6, White Sox 0: Mark Teixeira sets the record for games in which a guy homers from both sides of the plate. His 12th, passing Eddie Murray and Chili Davis. Phil Hughes pitches six-innings of three-hit shutout ball in a rain-shortened game. Hmm. Does this still mean he’s heading to the bullpen?

Red Sox 3, Indians 2: Jacoby Ellsbury with the walkoff RBI single. With Jarrod Saltalamacchia running as a pinch-runner. Of course.

Tigers 6, Rangers 5: Welcome to the American League, Mike Adams. Where it rains. And where guys hit go-ahead homers against you in the eighth inning from time to time.

Astros take their third bite at the apple in response to Assistant GM Brandon Taubman’s comments

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Last night Sports Illustrated reported that, following the Houston Astros’ Game 6 victory over the Yankees on Saturday night, Astros Assistant General Manager Brandon Taubman shouted at a group of three female reporters, “Thank god we got [Roberto] Osuna! I’m so [expletive] glad we got Osuna!” Taubman reportedly repeated the phrase half a dozen times. The Sports Illustrated report was later corroborated by no less than four reporters apart from the Sports Illustrated reporter who were in the clubhouse and witnessed the incident.

The comments and their context strongly suggested that Taubman was, at best, making light of the criticism the Astros received for trading for Osuna following his domestic violence suspension resulting from very serious domestic violence charges lodged against him in 2018. To some it smacked of Taubman taking something of a victory lap over the Astros’ controversial — and poorly handled — acquisition of Osuna and came off as extraordinarily insensitive and abjectly tone deaf.

The Astros originally declined comment before the report was published. Late last night, after the story went live and once it became apparent that it cast Taubman in a bad light, they issued an angry and defensive statement, calling the Sports Illustrated article “misleading and completely irresponsible.” Again, despite the fact that the report was corroborated by multiple eyewitnesses. The team’s statement was itself then subjected to intense criticism today.

The Astros are now taking their third bite at the apple, releasing the following statements:

It’s worth noting that nowhere here do the Astros apologize or even reference last night’s statement which, in essence, called Sports Illustrated reporter Stephanie Apstein a liar. A statement which they no doubt would’ve let be the last word if it hadn’t been met with such pushback. Which suggests that the above statements — of the “I’m sorry if anyone was offended” non-apology apology variety — are more about damage control than sincerity.

It’s also worth noting that Taubman’s comment takes the oh-so-common tack of referencing the fact that he is a “husband and a father,” which is irrelevant given that at issue were his acts and words, not his identity. We are not what we believe ourselves to be in our heart of hearts. We are what we do. We are how we treat one another. That’s all that matters. Attempts to deflect from that basic fact of humanity are, just that, deflections. And patronizing ones at that. Taubman’s statement would’ve been way better if it had stopped after the second sentence.

As for owner Jim Crane’s statement, it continues the Astros’ tack of wanting to have it both ways. There is no rule that says they could not have traded for Roberto Osuna. What made the whole episode unseemly, however, is how they claimed to have a “zero tolerance” policy against domestic violence and claimed not to be breaking it when they clearly did so because, hey, Osuna was cheaply had. Which means that they actually have a “some tolerance” policy — as do a lot of teams — but they wanted to act like they were better than that and deflect criticism from those who took issue. Here again, Crane wants it both ways by using what should be a straight apology for one of his top employees’ boorish behavior as an opportunity to once again claim that they are better than they truly are when it comes to domestic violence.

If you don’t have to care about an issue and you, in fact, don’t care, well, fine. You may catch hell from people for that stance, but you can do what you want. If, however, you want credit for being on top of an issue, do the work to earn it. If you fall short of your or society’s expectations, apologize and try to do better. What you cannot do is fail and then try to use your failure as a means of turning the tables on those who criticize you while claiming that, actually, you’re really really good on the topic.

Major League Baseball has also weighed in:

“Domestic violence is extraordinarily serious and everyone in baseball must use care to not engage in any behavior — whether intentional or not — that could be construed as minimizing the egregiousness of an act of domestic violence.  We became aware of this incident through the Sports Illustrated article.  The Astros have disputed Sports Illustrated’s characterization of the incident.  MLB will interview those involved before commenting further.”

The comment came out at almost the exact same time the Astros’ comments were released, which suggests to me that they were coordinated. Which, hey, they’re all trying to end the conversation about this before the first pitch of tonight’s Game 1. I will not hold my breath for anything to come of MLB’s “interviews” of those involved.