And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

90 Comments

Pirates 4, Marlins 3: A walkoff homer for Josh Harrison — the utility infielder if you didn’t know — gave this one to Pittsburgh, as the Pirates show no inclination to give up first place. Andrew McCutchen had a fantastic diving catch to save at least one run in the seventh when the game was tied and the Marlins were threatening. My anticipation to go see this team play a week from Saturday is at about an 11 on a ten-point scale.

Braves 2, Nationals 1: The 12th straight win for Atlanta who are tied with the Red Sox for the most wins in baseball. Costly, though, as the recently-hot Jason Heyward left in the first inning with a neck strain. Also: there was attempted fisticuffsmanship when Julio Teheran plunked Bryce Harper. The Braves said it wasn’t on purpose, but Harper had hit a home run the at bat before, so hmmm. Still, given the lack of overall threat the Nats represent these days, the Braves should no more be throwing at them than they should throwing at their mamas.

Tigers 5, Indians 1: Ten in a row for the Tigers as Verlander beats Masterson in the Battle of the Justins. A gimpy Miguel Cabrera broke the 100-RBI barrier and the Indians are revealing themselves to not be much of a direct threat to Detroit. If the Tigers sweep this series and give themselves a nice cushion they should maybe consider DL-ing Cabrera — or at least resting him a ton — so that he’s not so gimpy come playoff times.

Phillies 9, Cubs 8: Darin Ruf played right field for the first time ever but it was his bat that helped out the most. He homered and doubled and extended his streak of games in which he reached base to 33, which is the longest in the majors at the moment and longest Phillies streak since 2009. His move to right field likely spells the end of Delmon Young’s time in Philly. Chase Utley had three hits.

White Sox 3, Yankees 2: Chris Sale outduels Hiroki Kuroda in the Battle of the Lone Bright Spots. If you care, A-Rod went 1 for 2 with a walk.

Twins 7, Royals 0: Andrew Albers makes his major league debut and all he does is pitch eight and a third shutout innings, allowing only four hits. In other news, it was very considerate of the Twins and Royals to trade embarrassing losses like this.

Reds 3, Athletics 1: The A’s have lost five of six and the offense is sputtering. The Reds needed to face a team like that given how things have been going for them. Here Mat Latos struggled with his stuff, but it didn’t matter as he still tossed seven and a third shutout innings. Jay Bruce homered and had a nice running catch.

Red Sox 15, Astros 10: The Bosox were down 5-0 after two inning, thanks in part to four — four! — passed balls from Ryan Lavarnway, who was trying to catch knuckler Steven Wright. But just when John Farrell was about to call Doug Mirabelli, Wright came out of the game and the Sox’ bats came alive. Including Lavarnway’s, who had a two-run double in a five-run fifth inning which ended up being the turning point. This was Boston’s 69th win. They had 69 wins all of last season.

Mets 3, Rockies 2: The Eric Young Jr. show, as he made a fantastic diving catch to save runs and then later scored from second on an infield single. Wheels, baby. Wheels.

Rangers 8, Angels 3: The Rangers pull to within one of the A’s. Eight runs without the benefit of an extra base hit. Struggling to think of the last small ball Rangers team. Failing.

Cardinals 5, Dodgers 1: And thus endeth the Dodgers road wins streak. Carlos Beltran and Matt Adams homered in the eighth off Brandon League and the Cardinals bullpen tossed three and two thirds scoreless innings to back up Joe Kelly.

Blue Jays 7, Mariners 2: Toronto’s bats didn’t hail to the King: Hernandez is touched for six runs — three earned — in five innings. Jose Reyes homered on the first pitch of the game and added an RBI single.

Diamondbacks 6, Rays 1: Wade Miley allowed five hits in seven one-run innings. Cody Ross hit a three-run homer off Jeremy Hellickson. Ross is 14 for his last 31.

Orioles 4, Padres 1: Adam Jones must love the San Diego home cooking. He had four hits including a homer and scored twice in front of a crowd that skewed Baltimorian (Baltimorite? Baltimorish?) despite the game being at Petco.

Brewers 3, Giants 1:  The Giants offense continues to sputter despite a nice outing from Matt Cain. This is not a repeat from every season apart from 2012.

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

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.

As for the Astros, here is some free advice: “I. Am. Sorry. I. Was. Wrong. I. Should. Not. Have. Done/Said. That.”

Apologies are easy. We’re taught how to do them when we’re two years-old. Only when we start thinking we’re better than everyone do we start qualifying them to the skies to the point where they lose all meaning