And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Rangers 15, Angels 9: Ryan Dempster was shelled in his Rangers debut, but it didn’t matter because C.J. Wilson was shelled too. Josh Hamilton drove in four. You have to wonder if Wednesday night’s game was some kind of turning point in this race.

Rockies 8, Cardinals 2: Homers in four straight games for Josh Rutledge, which is kind of neat. Rockies avoid the sweep.

Braves 6, Marlins 1: A rain delay knocked out the starters early, but it didn’t much matter considering the Braves had a 6-0 lead by then. Two runs knocked in a piece for Chipper Jones and Freddie Freeman.

Royals 7, Indians 6: The Royals had a 6-0 lead and blew it, and then the Indians blew the comeback when Alcides Escobar singled in the winning run in the 11th. This series seemed like it lasted for a year.

Nationals 3, Phillies 0: Ross Detwiler shuts out the Phillies for seven. Adam LaRoche drove in two and Jayson Werth finally came back and drove in one himself.

Mets 9, Giants 1: Tim Lincecum sort of seems to be back so I guess that Barry Zito has to revert to his normal self as well (4.1 IP, 6 H, 7 ER). Ronny Cedeno drove in five. The Mets took three of four from the Giants.

Twins 5, Red Sox 0: What Samuel Deduno is doing is not sustainable — you can’t walk four and strike out one and always expect success — but it worked well enough. Ron Gardenhire:

“I know his ball-strike ratio wasn’t the greatest, but sometimes that works,” Gardenhire said. “He was able to make pitches when he had to and that’s all you really care about.”

Wow. Ron Gardenhire knows what a ball/strike ratio is.

Reds 9, Padres 4: Six runs in the second sunk the Padres. Cincy and Pittsburgh now play the most interesting series of the weekend.

Athletics 4, Blue Jays 0: Well, that was the score in the 8th when I went to bed. I’m guessing that holds up because the Blue Jays can’t seem to win baseball games anymore.

 

The Royals are paying everyone. Why can’t all of the other teams?

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Over the past several weeks we’ve heard a lot of news about teams furloughing front office and scouting staff, leveling pay cuts for those who remain and, most recently, ceasing stipends to minor league players and releasing them en masse. The message being sent, intentionally or otherwise, is that baseball teams are feeling the pinch.

The Kansas City Royals, however, are a different story.

Jon Heyman reported this afternoon that the Royals are paying their minor leaguers through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended, and unlike so many other teams, they are not releasing players either. Jeff Passan, meanwhile, reports that the Royals will not lay any team employees off or furlough anyone. “Nearly 150 employees will not take pay cuts,” he says, though “higher-level employees will take tiered cuts.” Passan adds that the organization intends to restore the lost pay due to those higher-level employees in the future when revenue ramps back up, making them whole.

While baseball finances are murky at best and opaque in most instances, most people agree that the Royals are one of the lower-revenue franchises in the game. They are also near the bottom as far as franchise value goes. Finally, they have the newest ownership group in all of baseball, which means that the group almost certainly has a lot of debt and very little if any equity in the franchise. Any way you slice it, cashflow is likely tighter in Kansas City than almost anywhere else.

Yet the Royals are paying minor leaguers and front office employees while a great number of other teams are not. What’s their excuse?