Opening Day: Cy Ruth versus two blown saves

Maybe they should have left Bumgarner in for the ninth . . .

Maybe they should have left Bumgarner in for the ninth . . .

Wouldn’t you love to have known the dialogue between Giants manager Bruce Bochy and his Opening Day starting pitcher and Cy Ruth Award candidate Madison Bumgarner, when Bumgarner wasn’t pitching during their not-pretty 6-5 loss to the Diamondbacks? Rumour has it that it went something like this:

Bochy: Bum, it’s not that we don’t need the runs, but would you kindly remember that your job with this team is not to do your impersonation of Henry Aaron every other time up?

Bumgarner: Skip, just don’t look at me!

Some in baseball still try shooting the messengers

Bremer, confronted by a Twins player over (God help us!) truth in broadcasting . . .

Bremer, confronted by a Twins player over (God help us!) truth in broadcasting . . .

Shooting or brushing back the messenger is two things. One is bad form. The second is that, until or unless the message is demonstrably libelous or slanderous, it rarely works to the shooter’s advantage. It doesn’t keep people from trying. And it doesn’t keep those folks from looking foolish. (Donaldus Minimus, call your office. You too, Hilarious Rodent Clinton.)

Let the intrigues begin in earnest . . .

They barely have the streets swept clean following the Kansas City Royals’ World Series parade, and the off-season intrigues have begun in earnest. OK, a couple began when it barely began sinking in that the New York Mets had blown a Series they actually could have won, or when Don Mattingly left the Los Angeles Dodgers and became the Miami Marlins’ new manager. But let’s start looking:

Rios, who forgot how many outs there were when he caught this Game Four fly . . .

Rios, who forgot how many outs there were when he caught this Game Four fly . . .

The Mariners play a Trumbo card that might be a joker

Could Trumbo and the Mariners hurt each other more than help each other?

Could Trumbo and the Mariners hurt each other more than help each other?

Things got this bad for the Mariners by midweek: They were hitting .239 and slugging .393 as a team. Nelson Cruz may be having a stellar season thus far but he’s the only Mariner regular with an on base percentage reaching toward .400. In fact, he looks more like Robinson Cano, their big free agency signing of over a year ago, than Robinson Cano does these days.

Goldschmidt, McCutchen, and the drill of it all

Towers---if you can't beat 'em, drill 'em . . .

Towers—if you can’t beat ‘em, drill ‘em . . .

Nobody can say we weren’t warned that the Arizona Diamondbacks’ policy of an eye for an eye was going to get worse and more surreal before the team got better. Now this struggling team, whose season is lost, whose general manager made ostentatious off-season pronouncements that it would be an eye for an eye from now on no matter what, may be in the paradoxical position of manning up into a reputation for cowardice.

The Dodgers’ victory swim

Concerning the Los Angeles Dodger’s pool party to celebrate clinching the National League West in Arizona, a few observations:

1) There was a point during the season when the Dodgers had hit rock bottom, or close enough, while the Diamondbacks were hitting the high notes and the high standings. It isn’t exactly out of the bounds of reason to suggest that, on the assumption that the Dodgers had a resurrection in them, which wasn’t an assumption many were willing to make at that point in time, there could be nothing sweeter than to finish it at the Diamondbacks’ expense. Especially considering . . .

The Brawl Star Game

Super rookie Puig falls by a nose . . .

Super rookie Puig falls by a nose . . .

Jump not to any conclusions that not even a collarbone fracture in an earlier brawl this season sent Zack Greinke the message. Let’s run down how went the Tuesday night fights between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks — featuring a few rounds between several 1980s all-stars now among both teams’ brain trusts — for those who needed a scorecard to establish the, ahem, order of battle:

The A's Pick a Shortstop Vet, and Other Picks and Pecks . . .

Looks like both sides of this deal got what they wanted: the Oakland Athletics, making a somewhat surprising pennant race stand, got their veteran shortstop, and the Arizona Diamondbacks finally made room for their preferred shortstop.

Drew—his rep took a hit when some questioned his rehab diligence . . .

The Snakes traded Stephen Drew to the A’s Monday night, after Drew passed through the waiver wire with only cursory nods, seemingly, from two contenders, the Detroit Tigers and the Los Angeles Angels, both of whom decided it wasn’t worth picking up the $2 million Drew’s owed through the season when, as Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal notes, he isn’t all that likely to make a big difference for Oakland down the stretch.

The Giants Sing a Song of Hunter Pence

They won’t be doing this with each other anymore: Hunter Pence (r.) will be doing it against Shane Victorino (l.), now that Pence is a Giant and Victorino, a Dodger . . .

Now we’re rolling. The Philadelphia Phillies and the San Francisco Giants have finished a deal to send Hunter Pence to the Giants for major league-established outfielder Nate Schierholtz and two prospects, catcher Tommy Joseph and pitcher Seth Rosin. (Now, there’s a name for a pitcher!)

The Sunny Side of the Street, and other ballads . . .

Whatever speculation there might have been (there was some) about whom the San Diego Padres might have thought about moving, there’s one candidate off the streets now: ESPN reports the Padres have signed closer Huston Street to a two-year extension, worth $14 million, including a 2015 team option that could make the deal worth $21 million to the righthanded All-Star, who’s 2-0 with an 0.91 ERA and all seventeen of his save opportunities converted through this writing.

For Street it seems almost like calling it home at last.

Street.