Hapless Marlins sweep Haplesser Mets

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The Mets had Matt Harvey on the mound today and they got three homers for the offense. That should be a sure recipe to snap a little two-game losing streak, right?

No, not even close. The Mets blew a 6-4 lead as the bullpen gave up seven runs in three innings Sunday in an 11-6 loss to the Marlins. It gave Miami its first three-game sweep of the season.

The Marlins were 13-41 and were averaging 2.7 runs per game this season before busting out for 24 runs in the three games against the Mets. Ed Lucas, a 31-year-old who just made his major league debut Thursday, went 4-for-4, and rookie Marcell Ozuna drove in four runs. Greg Dobbs punctuated the win with a three-run homer off LaTroy Hawkins in the eighth.

Harvey had a rare off day for the Mets, giving up four runs in five innings, but he still left with the lead. Of course, that didn’t last. Scott Rice came in to start the sixth and followed up a groundout with three straight walks. For some reason, he was allowed to continue, and Ozuna delivered a two-run double to erase the lead.

Rice, whose only value is as a lefty specialist, was allowed to face seven batters in all and gave up four runs. He took his fourth loss to go along with three victories. It’s a truly remarkable number of decisions for a guy who should be getting one or two outs most games. He’s been involved in three more decisions than anyone else who could be considered a lefty specialist (Tampa Bay’s Jake McGee and the Yankees’ Boone Logan are both 2-2). It doesn’t make Terry Collins look good that the most inconsequential pitcher on the staff has been that much of a factor.

The lone good news for the Mets today was that Ike Davis had a two-run homer and an RBI single. The homer, which was estimated at over 420 feet, was his first since April 25.

The Mets are now 22-32 on the season. Only the Marlins and Brewers have worse records in the NL.

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?