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And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Because I had to renew my Gen-X card, I watched “High Fidelity” last night. It was either that, “Singles,” or “Reality Bites.” The Gen-X Commission also allows you to complete a musical equivalent for license renewal if you want, but there’s some Red Hot Chili Peppers on that test and, frankly, no one needs that.

Anyway, I’ve seen “High Fidelity” a zillion times, but not for many, many years. I’ll observe that the soundtrack, one of the best ever, continues to hold up in amazing fashion. I’ll also allow that, overall, it remains a good movie. It’s a different kind of good movie now, though, because once you reach a certain age and place in life — an age and place I’ve apparently reached since the last time I saw it — you realize how much of a miserable jackass Rob is. I mean, he always was a bit of one. His self-loathing is earned and acknowledged. But at some point the balance shifted and I watched the movie wondering why on Earth Laura would go back to him, and even hoping there was some alternate cut in which she wouldn’t, even if Ian is the absolute worst. Rob has a lot of problems that weren’t gonna be fixed by him giving some “I’m tired of trying to find the perfect woman but I don’ t get tired of you so I guess I’ll settle for you” speech and then going back to DJing. That’s all I’ll say about that.

Anyway, here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Yankees 5, Rays 4: Tyler Austin hit a walkoff homer and Brian McCann homered twice and the Yankees win their fifth in a row as they make an improbable playoff push. The nickname the Yankees have been given — the Baby Boomers, Bombers as a nod to their young, power-hitting players — is pretty good I suppose. Related: Baby Boomers have to watch “The Big Chill” to get their license renewed. Which reminds me: “High Fidelity” has a line in it about how the Stones song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” is disqualified from one of their lists “because of its involvement with “The Big Chill.” Which is hilarious given that “High Fidelity” itself has become a pretty cliche generational signifier. Do Millennials disqualify “Cold Blooded Old Times” by Smog from their lists the same reasons? God, I hope not. That’s a jam. And what movies will Millennials have to watch in order to get their generational licenses renewed someday?

Brewers 12, Cardinals 5: Milwaukee has won seven of eight. Hernan Perez had four hits and three RBI. Domingo Santana and Arcia hit back-to-back homers in the second inning and the Brew Crew put up a six-run sixth inning. Arcia on his homer:

“I just went out there looking for a pitch I could hit hard, looking for my pitch. I was able to get one and hit it hard and get it out.”

The homer came off of Jaime Garcia who, I presume, was “just trying to make some pitches.” All of this really makes me wonder: Do I listen to these ballplayer cliches because I am miserable? Or am I miserable because I listen to ballplayer cliches?

Indians 10, Astros 7: The big story from this game was Jim Joyce and the umpiring crew somehow turning a foul ball into a two-run wild pitch. I’m not sure why a ball hitting a bat or not isn’t a reviewable play — it’s about as objective as you can get — but it isn’t. Beyond that, Carlos Santana hit a two-run homer, Francisco Lindor had three RBI and Abraham Almonte hit a two-run triple.

Phillies 4, Nationals 1: Ryan Howard hit a three-run homer, Peter Bourjos hit a solo shot and Alec Asher, returning to the bigs after missing most of the season due to a drug suspension, pitched six innings of two-hit ball. Asher after the game:

“Everything’s in the past now. It’s unfortunate what happened. There’s nothing I can do but come up here and pitch now. Happy to be back and looking to stay.”

You’re allowed to put your PED problems in the past in Major League Baseball. As long as people didn’t hate you before your drug problems. Then you’ll constantly be reminded of it for the rest of your days.

Pirates 4, Reds 1: Ivan Nova pitched a complete game, allowing one run on six hits. He’s 5-0 with a 2.53 ERA in seven starts since coming over to Pittsburgh from New York. He’s gonna make bank on the very thin free agent market this winter. He’s the guy who will sign a big deal which will make your friends who only vaguely follow baseball ask you “who in the HELL is Ivan Nova? Man, baseball is broken if some NOBODY can make that kind of money!” Don’t hang out with people like that by the way. They’re miserable.

Mariners 6, Rangers 3Kyle Seager hit a two-run homer late to turn a one-run game into a three-run game. Dae-Ho Lee added a solo shot. Taijuan Walker wasn’t horrible. That was enough.

Padres 14, Rockies 1: San Diego put up a seven-run third inning and it was off to the races after that. Ryan Schimpf drove in four via a two-run homer and a two-run double.

If you need me, I’ll be off making top-5 lists and hoping some woman settles for me because she’s too tired to find someone else and then being considered a romantic hero for that. Man.

Roger Clemens says he’s not running for Congress

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Apparently some people in Texas wanted Roger Clemens to run for Congress? At least enough people to where Clemens felt it necessary to tell Pete Olson, the congressman whose seat is going vacant due to his retirement, that, no, he had no interest in running for it.

From ESPN:

“The climate in politics at this time is much more than I would want to undertake, along with my family considerations,” Clemens said in a message to Olson that was obtained by ABC News.

“I am a Republican and I support our President and will continue to do so,” Clemens said. “No matter who our President may be, I will continue my support of them and root for them to be successful, just as I did when President Obama was in office.”

That’s a pretty diplomatic answer from Clemens. But even if he did not have family concerns and even if the “climate” disinterested him, I’m struggling to imagine Clemens as a viable political candidate in the first place.

For as good a pitcher as he was — and for as generally popular as he may be in Texas — the guy has some serious baggage, right? And I mean that beyond just the broad arc of the PEDs controversy that surrounded him for so long. The specifics of that controversy spun off his indictment for perjury before Congress, for example. He was acquitted — and I think it was a proper acquittal — but that was not exactly his finest hour.

It also led to a nasty battle of defamation lawsuits with a drug dealer that, remarkably, caused Clemens to come off way worse than the drug dealer, and that’s quite a trick. That whole process also revealed that he had an extraordinarily problematic extra-marital relationship with a now-dead country music singer. In all, it was a profound, 100% self-inflicted, reputation-trashing, public relations disaster that, even years later, he has taken no responsibility for. It was the sort of episode that, in addition to the ammo it might give any political opponent he may have, calls into serious questions Clemens’ judgment and sense of strategy, both of which are things that, to put it lightly, can be useful in politics.

Clemens, of course, is not going to cite any of those things as a reason for not wanting to run for office, nor does he have to. His simple “no” is all he needs to say and he can go back doing whatever it is he does for the Houston Astros.

But I am struggling mightily to understand why those people who are apparently encouraging him to run for office are doing so despite all of that being out there on the record. Is fame all that matters in politics now? Is a win bought by fame the be-all and end-all, even it means electing a candidate who is profoundly compromised both ethically and morally?

Haha, just kidding. You don’t need to answer that. I think we already know the answer.