And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

58 Comments

Astros 8, Rangers 0: Dallas Keuchel tossed a seven-hit shutout. I’m obligated by The Guild to say he scattered those hits. L.J. Hoes drove in three. Meanwhile, Matt Harrison left the game with back stiffness early.

Angels 4, Phillies 3: There was an awful lot of Philly-based press about Mike Trout yesterday, seeing as though he’s from nearby Millville, New Jersey. It was like a kid from nearby coming to play a game in May was Philly’s World Series or something. As it was, Trout’s slump continued and he was a non-factor here. Defense was a factor, as in Cody Asche committing not one, but two errors in the sixth inning allowing all four of Anaheim’s runs to score and all of them to be unearned.

Tigers 4, Orioles 1: A 1-0 lead in the ninth and Tommy Hunter on the hill was not enough here. Hunter surrendered back-to-back homers to Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez and — bam! — that was that. Really, it sounded like “bam!” when the home runs were hit. That’s not me trying to add color here.

Padres 2, Reds 1: That stuff I said on Monday about Aroldis Chapman being the Terminator or whatever? Well, anyway. Chapman surrendered a ninth inning homer to Chase Headley after entering a tied game. That was only the third hit of the game for the Padres, but it was enough to give them their fourth straight win.

Mets 12, Yankees 7: Being in Yankee Stadium sure has cured the Mets’ offensive woes. Curtis Granderson hit a three-run homer in the first and Daniel Murphy hit one in the fifth. This game fell two minutes shy of four hours, so it was good an agonizing for masochistic Yankees fans, who now root for a .500 ballclub.

Brewers 5, Pirates 2: Gerrit Cole hit Carlos Gomez with a pitch in the third inning because of course he did. No ill-will sprung from it, however and everyone moved on. Gomez came around to score, so viva the unwritten rules. Cole sure showed Gomez. Marco Estrada didn’t have any grudges to deal with. All he did was win the game with six serviceable innings.

Blue Jays 5, Indians 4: R.A. Dickey won for the third time in four starts. Juan Francisco hit a homer. Melky Cabrera gunned the would-be tying run down at the plate in the eighth, but I suppose we’re not supposed to mention that because he tested positive for drugs a couple of years ago and now “questions have arisen” in bored and suspicious people’s minds.

Cardinals 4, Cubs 3: A 12th inning walkoff plunking, as Justin Grimm hit Greg Garcia with the bases loaded in the 12th of a 3-3 game. Rough inning for Grimm as he gave up a single and two walks to load the bases before the game-ender. Kinda deflating for Chicago, which had rallied off Trevor Rosenthal to tie it in the ninth.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $18,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Wednesday night’s MLB games. It’s only $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts at 7:07pm ET on WednesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Royals 5, Rockies 1: James Shields allowed one run over seven while striking out eight. One of those eight was his 1,500th career strikeout.

Diamondbacks 3, Nationals 1: “I have a Strasburg.” “Oh yeah, well we have an Arroyo.” I dunno, just trying to dramatic that all up. A one run complete game for Bronson Arroyo. A two-run double by Paul Goldschmidt in the fifth put Arizona up for good.

Twins 8, Red Sox 6: Two homers for David Ortiz but a walkoff homer for Chris Parmalee was better. Had to feel good for Parmalee, who has spent part of the season in the minors.

Dodgers 7, Marlins 1: Josh Beckett gets his first win since 2012 and it comes against his old team. Yasiel Puig had an RBI double and extended his hitting streak to 13 games. Miami has lost five in a row.

Braves 5, Giants 0: Mike Minor pitched shutout baseball into the seventh. Ryan Vogelsong  . . . didn’t. Two RBI for Freddie Freeman. The Braves’ three-run sixth was keyed by Jason Heyward who tagged up to take second base on one play and managed to duck under a tag at home to score even though the ball beat him there by ten feet.

Athletics 11, White Sox 0: Drew Pomeranz and three relievers combined on a four-hit shutout. Josh Reddick and Brandon Moss hit homers — two for Moss, actually. The A’s are tied for the most wins in baseball and lead everyone in baseball in run differential with a +73.

Rays 2, Mariners 1: As in the Orioles-Tigers game, a 1-0 lead wasn’t enough as Fernando Rodney blew the save by allowing all of the opponents’ runs in the ninth. That (and some pretty awesome pitching) allowed David Price to get the win. Price went the distance and struck out 12. Hisashi Iwakuma had eight shutout innings flushed down the toilet.

MLB executive: Bruce Maxwell’s kneeling may keep him from finding work, not his arrest

Rick Yeatts/Getty Images
39 Comments

In September 2017, former Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first major league player to kneel during the national anthem, joining the handfuls of NFL players who had been doing the same to protest police brutality and racial inequality. Maxwell’s effort was laudable, but he got into trouble a month later when he was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct. Maxwell allegedly pointed a gun at a food delivery person.

Maxwell, 27, played sparingly for the Athletics in 2018 and then was designated for assignment at the beginning of September. He officially became a free agent on November 2 and has had trouble finding work in the month-plus since.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Maxwell fired his agent, Matt Sosnick on Thursday because he’s still jobless. According to an unnamed MLB executive Slusser spoke to, “It’s the kneeling thing that might keep him from getting another job, not the arrest. Owners aren’t going to want to deal with that whole anthem issue.”

That makes a lot of since since abusive players haven’t had too much trouble finding new work otherwise. Addison Russell, Jeurys Familia, and José Reyes, among others have either stayed with their teams or quickly found new work. Given the relatively weak catching market, had Maxwell only had the assault charge, there is no doubt he would have been signed to be a backup catcher somewhere.

In the NFL, Colin Kaepernick — who popularized kneeling during the anthem — has remained unsigned even though teams have opted to sign and start clearly inferior quarterbacks like Mark Sanchez, Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jay Cutler, Matt Barkley, and Sam Bradford, among many others. Team owners tend to run conservative in terms of politics, so they may not like the protest to begin with, then there is the public blowback to signing such a player as those who dislike such protesting make up a slight majority in the U.S., according to various polls including one done by the Washington Post.

It’s worth noting that Maxwell has a career .240/.314/.347 triple-slash line in 412 plate appearances. We’re not talking about J.T. Realmuto or Buster Posey here. That being said, there have been 15 other catchers to have put up a lower aggregate OPS since 2016 (min. 400 PA). One of those players, Derek Norris (.600 OPS since 2016), signed a minor league contract with the Tigers just three months after being suspended by Major League Baseball for violating its domestic violence policy. Makes you think.