And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Red Sox 9, Yankees 5: I was watching this game until Curt Schilling and Nomar Garciaparra started talking about intangibles and how so-and-so has them “off the charts.” Which, given that they’re INTANGIBLE, what freaking chart could possibly measure them?  And another thing: Schilling talked about the game changing, saying that Dustin Pedroia never would have been drafter 15, 25 years ago. Of course he wouldn’t have! Baseball teams HATED good players back then and they never, ever, ever drafted short middle infielders. They were all talent-free giants! That was the style at the time! So yeah, this is why I didn’t watch the rest of the game. Rage issues. Sorry. Red Sox won. Whoop-dee-doo.

Rays 4, Rangers 1: Joe Maddon didn’t let James Shields get the complete game — he was at 110 pitches after eight — but I got this feeling that he coulda pulled it off. Fantastic season for Shields.

Giants 4, Cubs 0: I guess the Giants will always have enough offense if their pitchers shut out the other team. Madison Bumgarner allowed two hits and struck out 11 in eight innings.

Twins 7, White Sox 6: “All it takes is one bad inning to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That’s how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad inning. You had a bad inning once. Am I right? I know I am. I can tell. You had a bad inning and everything changed.” — Jake Peavy.

Indians 4, Athletics 3: Jack Hannahan hit an RBI single with one out in the 16th inning to win it. Cleveland is back in second place, having won three in a row.

Dodgers 4, Padres 2: A two-run homer for Rod Barajas helps the Dodgers to their eighth win in nine games. Insane: the Dodgers could theoretically finish at .500. Didn’t see that coming a couple of months ago.

Tigers 5, Royals 4: A three-run eighth inning brought the Tigers back from behind. Austin Jackson went 4 for 4 and scored three times.

Braves 3, Nationals 1: Chipper Jones hit his 450th career home run.  Derek Lowe hit his first career home run, however, ensuring that Chipper gained no additional ground. Craig Kimbrel breaks the rookie saves record.

Blue Jays 13, Orioles 0: Damn.  The four homers were bad, but getting shut the hell out for eight innings by Henderson Alvarez just adds insult to, well, insult. For the third or fourth time this year I must write that this is a low point for the Orioles. This time I really do think I mean it.

Mets 3, Marlins 2: Jason Bay had three hits, including an RBI single that tied the game. He’s just excited about all of that center field talk, I’m sure.

Phillies 3, Reds 0: Cliff Lee shut out the Reds for eight and two-thirds but loaded the bases in the ninth. Three Ryan Madson pitchers later, the game was over.  Dude totally has a closer’s mentality. Amirite?

Astros 2, Pirates 0: Seven shutout innings for J.A. Happ? Sure. Why not?

Diamondbacks 4, Rockies 2: Nine straight for Arizona. Miguel Montero was 2 for 4 with a homer and three driven in.

Cardinals 8, Brewers 3: Jake Westbrook hit his first career homer — a grand slam no less — to help the Cards take their second straight from division-leading Milwaukee. Solo shots from Rafael Furcal and Albert Pujols too.  This isn’t yet critical for Milwaukee — they could drop two of three in both this series and next week’s series and will still have only lost two games’ ground on the Cards — but they really don’t need to be swept by them.

Mariners 2, Angels 1: A great pitching matchup between Felix Hernandez and Dan Haren that makes me wish I could stay up late and sleep in the next morning in order to catch it. But alas, such is not my lot nor my geography in life. Hernandez goes the distance allowing one run on five hits while striking out nine.

Mike Piazza presided over the destruction of a 100-year-old soccer team

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Mike Piazza was elected to the Hall of Fame in January of 2016 and inducted in July of 2016. In between those dates he purchased an Italian soccer team, A.C. Reggiana 1919, a member of Italy’s third division. In June of that year he was greeted as a savior in Reggio Emilia, the small Italian town in which the team played. He was the big American sports star who was going to restore the venerable club to its past and rightful place of glory.

There were suggestions by last March that things weren’t going well, but know we know that in less than two years it all fell apart. Piazza and his wife Alicia presided over a hot mess of a business, losing millions of dollars and, this past June, they abruptly liquidated the club. It is now defunct — one year short of its centennial — and a semipro team is playing in its place, trying to acquire the naming rights from Piazza as it wends its way though bankruptcy.

Today at The Athletic, Robert Andrew Powell has a fascinating — no, make that outrageously entertaining — story of how that all went down from the perspective of the Piazzas. Mostly Alicia Piazza who ran the team in its second year when Mike realized he was in over his head. She is . . . something. Her quotes alone are worth the price of admission. For example:

Alicia, who refers to Mike’s ownership dream as “his midlife crisis,” offered up a counter argument.

“Who the f**k ever heard of Reggio Emilia?” she asked. “It’s not Venice. It’s not Rome. My girlfriend said, and you can quote this—and this really depressed me. She said, ‘Honey, you bought into Pittsburgh.’ Like, it wasn’t the New York Yankees. It wasn’t the Mets. It wasn’t the Dodgers. You bought Pittsburgh!”

In their Miami living room, Mike tried to interject but she stopped him.

“And imagine what that feels like, after spending 10 million euros. You bought Pittsburgh!”

At this point it may be worth remembering that Piazza is from Pennsylvania. Eastern Pennsylvania to be sure, but still.

Shockingly, it didn’t end all that well for the Piazzas in Reggio Emilia:

One week later, the Piazzas returned to Reggio Emilia, and were spotted at the team offices. More than a hundred ultras marched into the office parking lot, chanting and demanding answers. Carabinieri—national police aligned with the military—showed up for the Piazzas’ safety. The police advised the Americans to avoid the front door of the complex and exit through the back. Mike assured them it wouldn’t be necessary—he had always enjoyed a good relationship with the fans.

The carabinieri informed him that the relationship had changed. The Piazzas slipped out the back door, under police escort.

The must-read of the week. Maybe the month. Hell, maybe the year. The only thing I can imagine topping it is if someone can tell this story from the perspective of the people in Reggio Emilia. I’m guessing their take is a bit different than the Piazzas.