And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Maybe the most boring ATH of the year. Really, every game was “pitcher pitches OK but not dominant and he got enough offense but no one truly went hog wild.” I’d say it made my choice to watch TV instead of baseball last night a good one, but the TV I decided to watch was, finally, the season finale of “True Detective” and that was a total disaster. So what I’m saying is that Monday night was super lame. Anyway:

Yankees 8, Twins 7: The Yankees loaded the bases in the tenth with no one out, so the Twins went to a pulled-in, five-man infield. Chase Headley grounded sharply to Eduardo Nunez. Should’ve been at least an out at home, maybe a double play even. Nope: Nunez bobbled it and it turned into a walkoff groundout. Brian McCann had a big game: he homered, drove in five and hit a tenth inning double which put two men on and inspired Paul Molitor to load the bases for Headley. The play of the game everyone wanted to talk about, though, was the comebacker to Bryan Mitchell’s face. It was scary, but he ended up with “only” a broken nose and was back in the dugout by the end of the game.

Cardinals 2, Giants 1: Michael Wacha was dominant and Stephen Piscotty tripled and scored in the eighth. After the game reporters asked Wacha if this was some sort of atonement for giving up the walkoff homer to the Giants in Game 5 of last year’s NLCS. Wacha: “Everyone tries to amp it up and make a story out of it, but I was just trying to approach it just like another game.” Irresistible force: reporters trying to fashion narratives. Immovable object: players taking it one day at a time. It’s the eternal struggle.

Orioles 4, Athletics 2: The O’s complete the sweep in a series that wrapped around until Monday which is, basically, against the laws of both God and Man. Steve Clevenger hit a three-run homer. In Sunday’s rout he had four hits. Not bad for a dude who just got called up on Friday. The A’s seven-game road trip comes to an end. They went 0-7 on it. Tonight they’re back west but they have to face Clayton Kershaw, so that’s great for them.

Diamondbacks 4, Pirates 1: Jeremy Hellickson beats Gerrit Cole by pitching one-run ball into the sixth and with the help of his own RBI single and a Jake Lamb homer. Five relievers followed Hellickson because that’s 21st century baseball.

Indians 8, Red Sox 2: Danny Salazar had his fourth straight start in which he’s given up one run or less and Lonnie Chisenhall had a solo homer and three RBI. A five-run fourth inning off of Matt Barnes.

Rangers 4, Mariners 3: The Fernando Rodney Experience was in action in the ninth as the Mariners closer gave up two bunt singles, hit a dude and then walked in the winning run. Kudos to Lloyd McClendon for using his closer on the road in a tie game, which goes against The Book. Unfortunately his closer is Fernando Rodney. UPDATE: Forgot that Rodney got demoted. Never mind then. It was a poop-show all around. The Rangers are now only a half game behind the Angles for second place in the AL West and one game out of the second wild card spot.

Marlins 6, Brewers 2: The Marlins win for the fifth time in seven games. Justin Nicolino pitched into the seventh and Derek Dietrich hit a two-run home. Dee Gordon had two hits, two RBI, scored a run and stole a base.

Rays 9, Astros 2: Tim Beckham hit a three-run homer and Asdrubal Cabrera drove in three. Fun fact: the Rays have a better record than the Washington Nationals.

Angels 2, White Sox 1: C.J. Cron and Albert Pujols each homered and Andrew Heaney allowed one run over six. Carlos Rondon tossed a complete game loss. That’s at least the second time one of those has happened in a week or so.

Padres 5, Braves 3: Colin Rea won his first big league start last week and wins his second big league start here. Only 509 to catch Cy Young. The Padres scored three runs on four hits off Braves pitcher William Perez in the second inning so he had some breathing room.

 

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.