And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Dodgers 5, Marlins 3: The Dodgers blew a 2-1 lead in the ninth when Christian Yelich hit a two-run homer. Scott Van Slyke answered back with a three-run walkoff homer in the bottom of the inning. Quite the night for Van Slyke, who screwed up in the fifth by not running home fast enough from third after tagging up, costing his team a run when another baserunner was doubled off. In the seventh he completed a double play in the field by nailing a runner at home plate who himself was trying to tag. Then the walkoff. Great highs, great lows. Such is the stuff of well-lived lives.

Braves 2, Reds 1: For the second straight day the opposition rallies off of Aroldis Chapman in a tie game. One could choose to call it an aberration. Or one could lean into Bryan Price about breaking Old School Rules about using your closer in non-save situations thereby messing with closers’ naturally fragile egos and routines. Let’s go with aberration and leave closer usage shaming for someone else. As it was, Phil Gosselin and Nick Markakis singled off Chapman to open the ninth, Gosselin stole third base and then scored on a wild pitch to give the Braves the 2-1 lead that would hold up.

Note: I’m going to tonight’s Braves-Reds game as a media member. To, like, actually cover the game and maybe write a story about it. I have an idea of what I’m writing about, but if there’s anything particular you’d like to see explored, comment about it.

Orioles 5, Blue Jays 2: After a longer road trip than they had expected, the Orioles are back in Baltimore. And it suited them well as Manny Machado and Chris Davis homered in a three-run first inning, Adam Jones homered later and Ubaldo Jimenez was sharp once again. He struck out nine while allowing two runs, actually, and lowered his ERA to 2.41.

Pirates 4, Phillies 3: The Pirates continue their mastery of the Phillies and win their fourth of five overall. I think this year a lot of teams will discover a mastery of the Phillies, newfound or otherwise.

Yankees 11, Rays 5: CC Sabathia had something like nine runs of run support total in his previous starts this season. Last night the Yankees scored nine while he was in the game. That certainly helped the big guy finally notch his first win of the season but so too did his striking out nine in seven innings. It was a home run parade for the Bombers’ offense, with A-Rod, Chase Headley, Carlos Beltran, Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira all going deep. A-Rod also stole a base. That’s 323 for him. Only 15 stolen bases behind Willie Mays! I wonder if the Yankees will make note of that in their little media fliers.

Brewers 10, White Sox 7: Milwaukee had a 6-0 lead after four innings, and led 7-2 heading into the seventh. They blew that, but late homers from Elian Herrera and Khris Davis put them back on top, turning what could’ve been a game symbolic of a bad team collapsing into a symbolic game of a team with a new manager and a new attitude persevering. Speaking of attitude, Carlos Gomez hit cleanup for the first time and homered and tripled. After the game he said he felt “sexy” hitting cleanup. “It’s a different feeling. I go to the plate like, `I’m the man.'” You are. You’re bad. You’re so bad you should be in detention.

Rangers 8, Royals 2: For the second straight day Adiran Beltre hit a homer, giving him 399 for his career. Prince Fielder and recent callup Thomas Field also went deep. The Royals were understandably not at their best, as they arrived at their hotel at 5:45 AM following Sunday night’s rain-delayed game in Detroit. Say whatever you want about these guys being rich and having great jobs and charter flights and all of that, but it’s ridiculous to play that late on Sunday and then have to travel 1,200 miles and play on Monday. Teams playing Sunday night getaway games should have off-days the following Monday, full stop.

Cubs 4, Mets 3: Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo each homered in the first inning — Bryant into the newly-opened bleachers — giving Jacob deGrom a rude awakening. Lucas Duda and Wilmer Flores hit back-to-back-homers of their own later in the game, but the hole was too deep for New York. Three scoreless innings for the Cubs’ pen. Which is a big deal for them given how much of a liability it’s been for them this year.

Nationals 11, Diamondbacks 1: The Nats had a 10-0 lead before folks who had to fight a little extra traffic to get to the game could find their seats. Josh Collmenter gave up nine of those ten runs before being yanked with one out in the second inning. When he is good he is very, very good, but when he is bad he is horrid.

Red Sox 5, Athletics 4: Tied at four entering in the 11th with Pablo Sandoval leading off the inning, a 5-4 Red Sox lead three pitches later. Not bad for his first game back in the Bay Area since Game 5 of the World Series. Oakland has lost six in a row. They’re 0-6 in extra innings.

MLBPA: MLB’s ‘demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected’

Rob Manfred and Tony Clark
LG Patterson/MLB via Getty Images
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On Thursday evening, the Major League Baseball Players Association released a statement regarding ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. The two sides continue to hash out details concerning a 2020 season. The owners want a shorter season, around 50 games. The union recently proposed a 114-game season that also offered the possibility of salary deferrals.

MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said that the union held a conference call that included the Executive Board and MLBPA player leaders. They “resoundingly rejected” the league’s “demand for additional concessions.”

The full statement:

In this time of unprecedented suffering at home and abroad, Players want nothing more than to get back to work and provide baseball fans with the game we all love. But we cannot do this alone.

Earlier this week, Major League Baseball communicated its intention to schedule a dramatically shortened 2020 season unless Players negotiate salary concessions. The concessions being sought are in addition to billions in Player salary reductions that have already been agreed upon.

This threat came in response to an Association proposal aimed at charting a path forward. Among other things, Players proposed more games, two years of expanded playoffs, salary deferrals in the event of a 2020 playoff cancellation, and the exploration of additional jewel events and broadcast enhancements aimed at creatively bringing our Players to the fans while simultaneously increasing the value of our product. Rather than engage, the league replied it will shorten the season unless Players agree to further salary reductions.

Earlier today we held a conference call of the Association’s Executive Board and several other MLBPA Player leaders. The overwhelming consensus of the Board is that Players are ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions that could affect the health and safety of not just themselves, but their families as well. The league’s demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected.

Important work remains to be done in order to safely resume the season. We stand ready to complete that work and look forward to getting back on the field.

As per the current agreement signed in March, if there is a 2020 season, players will be paid on a prorated basis. Thus, fewer games means the players get paid less and the owners save more. MLB has threatened to unilaterally set a 2020 season in motion if the two sides cannot come to terms. It should come as no surprise that the union has responded strongly on both fronts.

There have been varying reports in recent days over the confidence in a 2020 season happening. The MLBPA’s statement tonight doesn’t move the needle any; it simply affirms that the union remains steadfast in its goal to avoid a second significant cut in salaries.

As I see it, the ball is in the owners’ court. The owners can strongarm the players into a short season, saving money but significantly increasing the odds of a big fight in upcoming collective bargaining agreement negotiations. Or the owners can eat more of a financial loss, agreeing to a longer season than they feel is comfortable. The latter would have the double benefit of not damaging overall perception of the sport and would not disrupt labor peace going forward.

The MLBPA statement included a declaration that the players are “ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions.” If there is no 2020 season, we will have only the owners to blame, not the players.

Update: Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty, who has been quite vocal on social media about these negotiations, chimed in: