And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Yankees 4, Orioles 3:

According to numerous baseball sources, the hip surgery Rodriguez is now recovering from will likely derail his playing career, leaving him in such a diminished role that he may consider a settlement or an outright retirement. He still has five years and $114 million left on his contract.

“I don’t know why he would want to go through the pain of rehabbing and trying to play up to the caliber of player he was, and come back to a game where nobody wants him,” said a baseball official.

“If he did that, he’d be a part-time player and presumably unable to achieve any of the incentive clauses in the contract or even the milestones.”

Twins 6, Athletics 5: The game story says “An impromptu dance party broke out in the Minnesota Twins clubhouse after their latest victory.” Given that this is the first time they’ve been three games over .500 in five years, I’m going to assume they were dancing to “California Gurls” or “Tik Tok” or something.

Rangers 5, Rays 4: Four in a row for Texas. The Rays could’ve been out of the second inning with the score tied at 0-0, but with two outs, Chris Archer struck out Rougned Odor, the pitch went wild and Odor made it to first base. Right after that Archer walked in two runs in a row and then gave up a two-run single. Great Moments in Keeping One’s Composure, I guess.

Diamondbacks 11, Padres 0: That there is a good, old-fashioned butt-kicking. Tuffy Gosewich hit three doubles and drove in four. It’s almost like his team signing a catcher earlier in the day lit a fire under him. By the way, between the composure thing with Chris Archer and the motivation thing with Gosewich, I’m deep in the narrative woods here. I realize that. But as the A-Rod excerpt from above has taught me, it’s way easier to just make up your own reality. Hell, you can win a Spink Award if you do it.

Dodgers 14, Brewers 4: The Joc Pederson unit must be malfunctioning: he didn’t hit any home runs and actually singled. The Yasmani Grandal unit is working just fine, though: 4-for-4, two homers and eight RBI. At the moment: Grandal: .301/.414/.534 with four homers; Matt Kemp: .292/.328/.417 with one homer. Give me a few minutes to come up with some story about why that is, too. I bet I can.

Cardinals 5, Cubs 1: John Lackey was dominant, striking out ten and allowing one run in seven and two-thirds. He also drove in a run [all together now] helping his own cause. The long start saving the bullpen some work was key here, as the Cards’ pen has been worked a lot lately. Which is the real issue with the Adam Wainwright injury. Attrition. One less starter who is likely to pitch deep into games, wearing down the staff over time. If Lackey can be the guy who pitches eight innings on the regs, it’ll go a long way toward making up for the loss of the team’s ace.

Tigers 4, White Sox 1: Kyle Lobstein scattered five hits, pitching seven and two-thirds himself. In Detroit it’s less about saving the bullpen and more about doing whatever is humanly possible to avoid having to use it. So, good show, Kyle.

Royals 7, Indians 4: Cory Kluber is 0-5 now. I know won-loss records of pitchers ain’t worth a diddly durn, but man. Eric Hosmer hit a homer drove in three. He’s hitting .324/.403/.565 on the year. It feels like he’s been around forever and that he’s never fulfilled all that potential he had back when he was a prospect. But he’s still just 25. If he’s breaking out now, it’s like the Royals added an All-Star bat or something.

Pirates 7, Reds 2: Seeing Andrew McCutchen go 3-for-4 after his slow start has to be encouraging. Seeing their five-game losing streak end has to be even more encouraging. Pittsburgh notched 11 hits and had 18 baserunners.

Astros 3, Angels 2: After two straight nights in which the Angels walked off the opposition, they were on the bad end of some ninth inning magic. Lost in the Wednesday night walkoff was the fact that Huston Street blew a lead. He did it again here.

Marlins 7, Giants 2:Dan Haren drove in two runs, scored two runs and pitched shutout ball into the seventh. Tim Hudson gave up six runs on 15 — 15! — hits in six and two-thirds. You don’t see starting pitchers stay in long enough to give up 15 hits very often.

Congressional task force passes resolution opposing MLB’s minor league contraction plan

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We’ve talked at length about Major League Baseball’s plan to eliminate 42 minor league clubs. We also recently talked about Congress getting involved. Today that process started. It started with a non-binding, symbolic move.

That move: several members of Congress, calling themselves the “Save Minor League Baseball Task Force,” introduced a resolution saying that Major League Baseball should drop its plan to eliminate the minor league clubs and, rather, maintain the current minor league structure. The resolution reads as follows:

RESOLUTION

Supporting Minor League Baseball, and for other purposes.

Whereas 40 million plus fans have attended Minor League Baseball games each season for 15 consecutive years;

Whereas Minor League Baseball provides wholesome affordable entertainment in 160 communities throughout the country;

Whereas, in 2018, Minor League Baseball clubs donated over $45 million in cash and in-kind gifts to their local communities and completed over 15,000 volunteer hours;

Whereas the economic stimulus and development provided by Minor League Baseball clubs extends beyond the cities and towns where it is played, to wide and diverse geographic
areas comprising 80 percent of the population in the Nation;

Whereas Minor League Baseball is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion through its Copa de la Diversio´n, MiLB Pride, FIELD Program, and Women in Baseball Leadership initiatives;

Whereas Minor League Baseball is the first touchpoint of the national pastime for millions of youth and the only touchpoint for those located in communities far from Major League cities;

Whereas Congress has enacted numerous statutory exemptions and immunities to preserve and sustain a system for Minor League Baseball and its relationship with Major League Baseball;

Whereas abandonment of 42 Minor League Baseball clubs by Major League Baseball would devastate communities, bond purchasers, and other stakeholders that rely on the economic stimulus these clubs provide;

Whereas Minor League Baseball clubs enrich the lives of millions of Americans each year through special economic, social, cultural, and charitable contributions; and

Whereas preservation of Minor League Baseball in 160 communities is in the public interest, as it will continue to provide affordable, family friendly entertainment to those communities:

Now, therefore, be it Resolved,

That the House of Representatives—
(1) supports the preservation of Minor League Baseball in 160 American communities;
(2) recognizes the unique social, economic, and historic contributions that Minor League Baseball has made to American life and culture; and
(3) encourages continuation of the 117-year foundation of the Minor Leagues in 160 communities through continued affiliations with Major League Baseball.

Major League Baseball issued a statement in response:

MLB is confident we can modernize or minor league system, improve playing conditions for our players, and protect baseball in communities across America. However, doing so is best achieved with Minor League Baseball’s constructive participation, and a recognition that they need to be a part of the solution. So far their approach has neither been constructive nor solutions-oriented. The most constructive role Congress can play to achieve these goals is to encourage Minor League Baseball to return to the bargaining table so we can work together to address the real issues impacting minor league players and communities all across the country.

So that’s fun.

It’s worth noting, again, that this move by Congress does nothing substantively and, rather, exists primarily to allow Members of Congress to talk about baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and America in that way that politicians like to do. Almost any act they take is opposed by half the populace, so they will always jump at an opportunity to say things that most people agree with like “taking away our sports teams is bad. If Congress wants to do something substantive here it can hold hearings and take tangible steps toward eliminating baseball’s antitrust exemption, which is basically the only real hammer it has in influencing the league. I suspect it won’t go that far and will, instead, continue to just issue statements like this.

For its part, Major League Baseball’s statement should be read as “we want to kill these guys over here, the guys we want to kill are being REAL JERKS about it and won’t help us in killing them. Congress, please shut up about not wanting them to die and, instead, tell them that they should let us kill them, OK?”

The upshot: wake me up when something actually happens beyond this posturing.