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And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Astros 8, Tigers 1: The Tigers sent Matt Boyd out, who has been their best starter all year, but it didn’t matter given how much of a buzzsaw the Astros have been lately. They win their sixth straight, thanks to homers from Aledmys Díaz, Robinson Chirinos, Jake Marisnick and Alex Bregman.

And get this: George Springer made leaping grabs to rob Niko Goodrum of hits — and maybe a homer on the first one — for both the first out in the first inning and the last out in the bottom of the ninth:

Goodrum has to maybe take that a little personally I’d imagine.

Phillies 7, Brewers 4: Bryce Harper struck out three times on an 0-for-4 night, which puts him on a pace for 212 strikeouts on the year. That led ESPN’s David Schoenfield to ask “did the Phillies give $330 million to Mark Reynolds?”

Harper did do this, however, when the game was tied and the bases were loaded in the top of the seventh, so the night wasn’t a total loss of sick burns:

J.T. Realmuto doubled in the go-ahead run in the bottom half of that inning. Cesar Hernandez hit a two-run homer. Lorenzo Cai had five hits in a losing cause for Milwaukee. There were 13 pitchers used in this nine inning game with neither team using an opener or anything. The thing took just shy of four hours. I didn’t watch it so maybe it was supremely enjoyable or something, but based on the box score it’s the platonic ideal of a game that drives Rob Manfred crazy and inspires him to come up with odd rules he can inflict on his guinea pigs in the Atlantic League.

Angels 5, Twins 4: Shohei Ohtani has started off slowly in his first few games back from Tommy John surgery, but here he hit a two-run home run off of José Berríos in the third inning to give the Angels a 3-2 lead. He also reached base in four of his five plate appearances. Tommy La Stella, who was 3-for-5 on the night, would homer later for some insurance for the Halos. It was his tenth, continuing his rather improbable power surge on the year. The Angels have won five of seven on this road trip. Granted, the first six of those seven games were in Detroit and Baltimore, but wins are wins, right?

White Sox 5, Indians 2: Yoan Moncada hit two solo homers and Jose Abreu and Welington Castillo each hit solo homers of their own. All that backed  Reynaldo López, who allowed two — only one earned – while pitching into the eighth. Cleveland managed only two hits in the entire game. Just a really, really, pathetic offense.

Diamondbacks 9, Pirates 3: The Snakes’ bats woke up. Eduardo Escobar homered, tripled and drove in three. Christian Walker homered. David Peralta had two hits and drove in two. Alex Avila reached base four times and drove in a run. Arizona-Pittsburgh is not exactly a rivalry on par with Ohio State and Michigan, but it’s sort of playing out like that rivalry at the moment, as the Diamondbacks have a nine-game regular-season winning streak against the Pirates and are 13-1 in the last 14 meetings.

Mariners 6, Athletics 5: The Mariners, down by a run, staged a two out rally in the bottom of the tenth for a walkoff win that snapped a four-game losing streak. The rally started with a Dan Vogelbach walk, after which Dee Gordon was inserted as a pinch runner. Gordon stole second, then came around to tie the game on a Domingo Santana double. Omar Narváez then singled in Santana for the game-winner. A nice little small ball-aided win on a night when the A’s hit five solo homers and and the M’s hit two of their own.

Orioles vs. Yankees — POSTPONED: I follow a lot of people who live in New York and every single one of them was saying as early as 10am yesterday that there was no way this game was being played and that they should’ve postponed it way, way before anyone would’ve had to go to the ballpark. Instead, they did nothing, delayed the game for a couple of hours and then finally postponed it despite the fact that there was no window whatsoever in which the game could’ve realistically been played. Pretty disrespectful to fans and stadium employees and stuff in my view, but I guess if you’re the Yankees you do what you want. Anyway:

Another rainy day in New York City
Softly sweet, so silently it falls
As crosstown traffic crawls
Memories in my way in New York City
Tender, tough, too tragic to be true
And nothing i can do
City workers cheer
The taxis disappear
Another rainy day in New York City
Another spacey stay in New York city
High up in an overpriced hotel
The view is really swell
Windy, wet and gray in New york City
No one here i really want to see
Old friends and family
So suddenly serene
The air is fresh and clean
Another rainy day in New York City

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

Rob Manfred and Tony Clark
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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: