In George Carlin's noted examination of the differences between baseball and football, he describes baseball as "A 19th century pastoral game. Baseball begins in the spring; the season of new life. The idea is to go home. I just want to go home." True, for the most part; save for the occasional hard slide at second base. And then there is the play that doesn't seem like it should be involved in this game at all: The collision at the plate. It's the one play in baseball where all bets are off; where you can throw yourself at the catcher with the most malicious intent possible, and there isn't a court in the world that would convict you for it. Just ask the Cardinals' Yadier Molina about that.
The St. Louis catcher was flattened by Phillies' pinch runner Eric Bruntlett in the ninth, but held onto the ball for the out that helped preserve a 6-all tie. The Cardinals then came back in the 10th to win it when Rick Ankiel scored from second on an error at first. Molina was taken off the field on a stretcher, which was technically a body board, or what I prefer to call being carried off on his shield. He was held at the hospital overnight for observation, but seems to be OK according to manager Tony La Russa. He'll surely be out for at least a few days though. The team has already lost pitcher Adam Wainwright and first baseman Albert Pujols, so that sucks. (Ed. Note: And yet we keep winning! It's magic!)
Meanwhile, Chien-Ming Wang sprained his right foot running the bases during the Yankees' 13-0 victory over the Astros, and left the clubhouse on crutches. He'll have an MRI today. Just the two more men down in this the year of living dangerously in MLB; it seems like everyone's getting hurt. Hey, I'm not saying it has anything to do with more stringent drug testing. Not me.
• All The Right Moves. So the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw and the Tigers' Nate Robertson are both throwing shutouts over four innings, when rain delays the game. During a 47-minute break, Detroit manager Jim Leyland has Robertson keep throwing in an indoor batting cage, while LA manager Joe Torre just decides to replace Kershaw. Result: Roberston finished with six shutout innings, and the Tigers won 5-4, their sixth straight victory.
• Dark Cloud Over Mets' Dugout. Willie Randolph's job appears safe for the next 48 hours or so, but don't be surprised if two of his coaches — Rick Peterson and Tom Nieto — are gone sometime today. I'm sure the whole thing will be handled tastefully, though; probably through an announcement by Rally Monkey on the Jumbotron.
• You Know The Nearer Your Destination The More You're Slip-Slidin' Away. A rain delay on Saturday (see above) caused the Mets and Rangers to play a doubleheader on Sunday, which they split. Pinch-hitter Robinson Cancel (!), had a two-run single to help win it for Pedro Martinez, 4-2, in the second game. The Rangers took the opener 8-7. Your slip-n-sliders are Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton, Michael Young, Josh Rupe and Milton Bradley.
• A Cheap Way To Pad Your Stats. Mike Cameron had a two-run homer to lead the Brewers over the Twins 4-2, a game which will be more noted for Minnesota starter Scott Baker, who struck out four batters in the third; the first Twins' pitcher to do that.
• Say Goodbye To The Hall Of Fame Game. The Hall of Fame Game in Cooperstown, going on right now between the Padres and Cubs, will be discontinued after this year due to "scheduling problems." The game had been played every year since 1940.
• Wizard Cat Defensive Player Of The Day. Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals. Wizard Cat is rushing a "Hang In There" cat poster to Mr. Molina, who receives seven wands for this play. He's probably at home in bed right now still clutching that ball.