And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Blue Jays 10, Tigers 5: I was in Detroit over the weekend and interviewed Justin Verlander on Saturday for an upcoming story I’m writing. Part of that conversation focused on what sorts of adjustments he plans to make as he ages, how he expects to change and maybe rely on secondary pitches more as his velocity decreases, etc. Short version: he doesn’t plan to change and still thinks he can do everything he could do several years ago. I mean, he wasn’t a jerk about it, but he more or less said that he sees no reason to make adjustments now.

The fastballs he tried to throw by Jays’ hitters in pitchers’ counts that they bashed the hell out of yesterday say something different.

Cardinals 3, Padres 1: Rookie Tommy Pham homered, doubled and drove in three in his third big league game. That has to be a stage name, right? Like his agent is some vaudeville veteran and has this thing about shortening names that are perceived as “too ethnic” because the houses in the sticks won’t book his acts? “Look, Tommy. I know you and the rest of the Phamtonestovich family are very proud of all of your accomplishments, but BELIEVE ME, you’ll want to be “Tommy Pham” when you play Peoria!”

Rockies 6, Diamondbacks 4: De La Rosa beat De La Rosa in this one. Nice outing for De La Rosa. Tough break for De La Rosa, however. Troy Tulowitzki hit a three-run homer. Off of De La Rosa, natch. After the game De La Rosa said he pitched well. De La Rosa, however, admitted he had some stuff to work on.

Rays 8, Yankees 1: The Rays end a seven-game losing streak, with Erasmo Ramirez’s only blemish coming on an A-Rod homer. That notwithstanding he pitched six innings of three-hit, one run ball. Ramirez is 7-2 with a 2.17 ERA since joining the rotation on May 14.

Brewers 6, Reds 1: And eight-game winning streak for Milwaukee, including all seven games of their road trip. Taylor Jungmann allowed one run on four hits in eight innings. They’re only two games behind the Reds for Not Last in the NL Central.

Red Sox 5, Astros 4: Hanley Ramirez hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh. Ryan Hanigan and Pablo Sandoval each had three hits for the Sox, who have won three straight series.

Phillies 4, Braves 0: Philly snaps a six-game losing streak by breaking through with a four-run tenth inning. Nick Masset allowed most of the damage via loading the bases and having his replacements allow inherited runners to score. Dana Eveland allowed one of those inherited runners across. Then after the game both were designated for assignment. Tough day at the office.

Pirates 5, Indians 3: The Indians scored three times off Gerrit Cole early but then he buckled down and retired the last 16 men he faced to win his league-leading 12th game. Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking double in a five-run fifth.

Orioles 9, White Sox 1: Adam Jones had two doubles, Steve Pearce had three hits and Jonathan Schoop hit a homer in his first at bat since mid-April as the Orioles avoid the sweep. The White Sox made four errors on the day.

Royals 3, Twins 2: Eric Hosmer doubled in Lorenzo Cain for the walkoff win. The Twins weren’t without highlights, however, as Ervin Santana came back from his 80-game drug suspension and went eight innings striking out eight.

Cubs 2, Marlins 0: The Cubs aren’t scoring runs but are still winning thanks to a nice streak from their starters. The latest nice outing: Kyle Hendricks shutting out the Marlins for seven and a third, allowing five hits, one walk and striking out six.

Mariners 2, Athletics 1: Rookie Mike Montgomery’s streak of 20 consecutive scoreless innings ended on a Sam Fuld homer, but he was cool all the same, going five and two-thirds and getting his fourth win. The Mariners turned double plays in three consecutive innings.

Mets 8, Dodgers 0: Steven Matz looked great again, pitching six scoreless innings and striking out eight. Wilmer Flores went 4-for-5 and drove in three. The Mets took two of three in this series, which many were figuring would be a disaster following their awful homestand. I guess they just needed some California sun.

Angels 12, Rangers 6: Earlier this season when the Rangers were looking surprisingly frisky I and many others observed that the pitching wasn’t likely to hold up. Guess it’s ceasing to hold up now, as the Angels outscored the Rangers 33-8 in the three-game sweep. Albert Pujols hit his 25th homer while Kole Calhoun homered and drove in four.

Nationals 3, Giants 1: A three-game sweep in Washington, where the Nats have won nine straight. The Giants played the Sunday night game then had to fly back to California with no day off today. Sunday Night Baseball is dumb. UPDATE: Just learned that the Giants stayed the night in DC and then are flying back to San Francisco this morning. I can’t decide if that’s better or worse.

Major League Baseball threatens to walk away from Minor League Baseball entirely

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The war between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball escalated significantly last night, with Minor League Baseball releasing a memo accusing Major League Baseball of “repeatedly and inaccurately” describing the former’s stance in negotiations and Major League Baseball responding by threatening to cut ties with Minor League Baseball entirely.

As you’re no doubt aware, negotiations of the next 10-year Professional Baseball Agreement, which governs the relationship between the big leagues and the minors — and which is set to expire following the 2020 season — have turned acrimonious. Whereas past negotiations have been quick and uncontroversial, this time Major League Baseball presented Minor League Baseball with a plan to essentially contract 42 minor league baseball teams by eliminating their major league affiliation. Baseball is also demanding that Minor League Baseball undertake far more of the financial burden of player development which is normally the responsibility of the majors.

That plan became public in October when Baseball America reported on the contraction scheme, after which elected officials such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren began weighing in on the side of Minor League Baseball. Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball were not happy with all of that and, on Wednesday, Manfred bashed Minor League Baseball for taking the negotiations public and accused Minor League Baseball of intransigence, saying the minors had assumed a “take it or leave it” negotiating stance.

Last night Minor League Baseball bashed back in the form of a four-page public memo countering Manfred’s claims, with point-point-by-point rebuttals of Major League Baseball’s talking points on various matters ranging from stadium facilities, team travel, and player health and welfare. You can read the memo in this Twitter thread from Josh Norris of Baseball America.

Major League Baseball responded with its own public statement last night. But rather than publicly rebut Minor League Baseball’s claims, or to simply say, consistent with Manfred’s statement on Wednesday, that it preferred to negotiate in private, it threatened to simply drop any agreement with Minor League Baseball and, presumably start its own minor league system bypassing MiLB entirely:

“If the National Association [of Minor League Clubs] has an interest in an agreement with Major League Baseball, it must address the very significant issues with the current system at the bargaining table. Otherwise, MLB clubs will be free to affiliate with any minor league team or potential team in the United States, including independent league teams and cities which are not permitted to compete for an affiliate under the current agreement.”

So, in the space of about 48 hours, Manfred has gone from being angry at the existence of public negotiations to negotiating in public, angrily.

As for Minor League Baseball going public itself, one Minor League Baseball owner’s comments to the Los Angeles Times seems to sum up the thinking pretty well:

“Rob is attempting to decimate the industry, destroy baseball in communities and eliminate thousands of jobs, and he’s upset that the owners of the teams have gone public with that information in an effort to save their teams. That’s rich.”

Things, it seems, are going to get far worse before they get better. If, in fact, they do get better.