And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Tigers 12, Athletics 2: Lose your starter after two innings? No problem. Because the Tigers have a Hulk. Miguel Cabrera hit two homers and drove in six, starting the A’s hella road trip off in poor fashion.

Reds 3, Cubs 1: Homer Bailey took a two-hit shutout into the eighth over what was likely some very tired Cubs. Cincy’s magic number is four.

White Sox 3, Royals 2: Five straight wins for Chicago. And a rare win against the Royals, relatively speaking. Really: the defining characteristic of the 2012 AL Central is the leaders not taking care of business against the cupcakes.

Marlins 4, Braves 3: Atlanta rallied for three in the ninth to force extras, but Jose Reyes’ two-run single in the 10th won it. The Braves are already have a gimpy Andrelton Simmons, and now they’ve lost Paul Janish, who dislocated his shoulder in this one. PLAY CHIPPER AT SHORT, FREDI! LET HIM LEAVE THIS GAME THE SAME WAY HE CAME IN.

Cardinals 4, Astros 1:  Kyle Lohse threw seven scoreless innings. See, Philly, this is how you beat a bad, bad team that you’re supposed to beat in order to stay in the wild card race.

Brewers 6, Pirates 0: Yovani Gallardo won his eighth straight decision over the listless Pirates. Wait, that’s not right. They have list. A strong list to starboard, not unlike the Lusitania just before she went down.

Twins 6, Indians 5: The battle for fourth place has become heated! The Indians used ten pitchers, by the way. Including David Huff, who only pitched for a minute and a huff. This is just barely identifiable as real baseball at this point.

Red Sox 7, Rays 5: Looking at the schedule back in April and I bet you though this series would matter. Oh well. Fourth straight loss for the Rays and seventh of eight.

Orioles 4, Mariners 2: Let’s play two! Or at least two games worth of baseball. Eighteen innings ended, effectively anyway, with a Taylor Teagarden RBI single and yet another Orioles’ extra-inning win.  Thanks to the Yankees being off for two straight days, the O’s have moved into a virtual tie for first.

Giants 6, Rockies 3: Six and a third scoreless innings with six strikeouts for Tim Lincecum. If he’s right come playoff time, lookout National League.

Diamondbacks 3, Padres 2: After dropping six straight to the Padres at home, the Dbacks finally prevail thanks to a strong Ian Kennedy start. They lost Chris Young again, however, who aggravated his quad injury. Which stinks.

Angels 11, Rangers 3: An eight-run fourth inning helped seal a necessary win for Anaheim, who keeps pace with Baltimore, remaining three back in the wild card. They need some help, though. Jered Weaver won his 100th career game.

Phillies vs. Mets: POSTPONED: Been down to the corner, about once or twice. I don’t know but it’s been nice. I ain’t got no money, I can’t buy a damn thing that I might like. Let’s go down to the dime store on some moonless night and look at the rain.

Dodgers vs. Nationals: POSTPONED: And if you see us on the corner and we’re dancing in the rain. I join my friends there when I see them outside my window pane. Shadows in the rain, shadows in the rain.

Blue Jays vs. Yankees: POSTPONED: This one goes out to Yunel Escobar:

Humidity is rising – Barometer’s getting low
According to all sources, the street’s the place to go
Cause tonight for the first time
Just about half-past ten
For the first time in history
It’s gonna start raining men.

It’s Raining Men! Hallelujah! – It’s Raining Men! Amen!
I’m gonna go out to run and let myself get
Absolutely soaking wet!
It’s Raining Men! Hallelujah!
It’s Raining Men! Every Specimen!
Tall, blonde, dark and lean
Rough and tough and strong and mean

No, New York players do not get an unfair bump in Hall of Fame voting

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Angels owner Arte Moreno said something interesting yesterday. He was talking about the retired former Angel, Garret Anderson, and said “If he would have played in New York, he’d be in the Hall of Fame.”

The initial — and, I would add, the most on-point — response to this is to note that, for however good a player Anderson was at times, no definition of the term “Hall of Famer” really encompasses his legacy. He was OK. Pretty good on occasion. Nowhere near a Hall of Famer, and I don’t think you need me to go over the math to establish that. The only way Anderson would ever sniff the Hall of Fame one day is if we sent Tony La Russa back in time to manage him for several years and then brought him back from the past to strong-arme the Veterans Committee.

The more interesting question to me is the matter implied in Moreno’s comment: that players in New York get an unfair boost when it comes to the Hall of Fame.

I get why he might say that and I get why people might believe it. New York gets all the press. If you can make it there you can make it anywhere and, my God, people in New York will not let you forget it for a second. East Coast Bias™ and all of that.

Except it’s baloney, at least as far as the Hall of Fame goes.

I think it’s fair to say that, yes, if you play in New York, your reputation gets elevated more than if you played elsewhere, but I think there are limits to that what that elevation gets you. You’re more famous if you knock in 100 as the third-best guy on a Yankees team or if you are involved in a notable game or series or controversy as a Met, but it doesn’t mean you get some extra helping hand from the BBWAA five years after you retire.

At least one guy I know, Adam Darowski, has taken a rough look at this on the numbers. He has determined that, by at least his measure, Yankees players are the fourth most underrepresented contingent in Hall of Fame voting. Red Sox are fifth. Mets are in the middle of the pack. It may be more useful to think of this without reference to any numbers, though, and look at it in terms of who is and who isn’t getting some sort of unfair bump.

If there was a New York Premium to Hall of Fame consideration, wouldn’t Bernie Williams, Willie Randolph, Ron Guidry, Elston Howard, Don Mattingly, Roger Maris, Jorge Posada, David Cone, John Franco, Keith Hernandez, Andy Pettitte and a bunch of other guys of that caliber get more support than they’ve historically gotten? I’m not saying all of those guys deserve to be in the Hall, but they all have better cases than Garret Anderson and none of them got in or appear to be getting in any time soon. They are close enough on the merits that, one would think anyway, an aura of New Yorkness surrounding them would have carried them over the line, but it never did.

Meanwhile, almost all of the most borderline Hall of Famers are old, old, old timers who were either poorly assessed by the Veterans Committee or who had the good fortune of being good friends with Frankie Frisch. Again, not a ton of Yankees make that cut. A whole lot of Giants do, but I suppose that’s another conversation. The questionable Hall of Famers of more recent vintage represent guys from all over the big league map. The only Yankee I can think of in relatively recent years who raised eyebrows was Catfish Hunter, and I suspect more of that was based on his legacy with the A’s than with the Yankees, where he really only had one great season.

Here’s what I think happens, practically, with New York players: If you play in New York, merely good and notable performance makes you huge in the moment and in casual remembrance, but your historical legacy is often written down a bit as a function of overall team success. Also — or, maybe, alternatively — it’s a matter of every good Yankees era being defined by such a big meagstar — Ruth, DiMaggio, Mantle, Reggie, Jeter — that the really good, even Hall of Fame-worthy guys who played with them are overlooked to some degree. Which, when you think about it, kinda sucks even worse for them because their megastar teammate is, thanks to the rings, in some ways getting elevated by team success while the lesser stars are denigrated because of it.

Which is not to say that we should cry for New York players. Paul O’Neill will never have to pay for a steak dinner in Manhattan for the rest of his life and, thanks to all of his friends in the press, Andy Pettitte’s obituary won’t mention his PED use at all while Barry Bonds’ obit will mention it in the first graf. It’s getting to the point where if you can simply avoid infamy and not suck for a five-year stretch you can get your number retired and a place in Monument Park.

But New York players aren’t getting unfair consideration in Hall of Fame voting. Indeed, I think they’re probably getting graded a bit too harshly.