David Brown

Morning Juice: Jack Cust is lucky he owns a big bat

David Brown
Big League Stew

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This and every weekday a.m., let's rise and shine together with the most recent and decent major league happenings. Today's AL Roll Call starts in Disneyland, where Jack Cust used his bat to make up for the giant hole in his glove and the Oakland Athletics won a wild ride around Magic Mountain, the Matterhorn and the Dumbo ride.

Game of the Day: Athletics 15, Angels 8

Cust turd: Cust's Mickey Mouse fielding error on the most routine of fly balls in the Angels second inning flooded the Pirates of the Caribbean ride or, in English, started a five-run rally. It was seriously like 5 "own" goals in soccer. There was no sun. He didn't lose it in the lights. Nobody fired a laser pointer at him. Goofy didn't get in the way. Cust's glove just refused to catch it. It was the worst error I've ever seen a major leaguer make. Thankfully, we don't execute (for that) here (yet).

Jack splat: But Cust, to cover for his goof, also went 4-for-4 with a go-ahead homer that triggered an 8-run fifth. He also caught the 2-point conversion on a tackle-eligible play-action pass from Rich Gannon. The A's have the deepest roster of DHs this side of the White Sox. Cust, Mike Sweeney, Frank Thomas and, for all we know, Mitchell Page, Troy Neel, Olmedo Saenz, Geronimo Berroa, Erubiel Durazo (did he go back to Mexico?), and Jeff Burroughs.

Jack in the box: Somehow, the Angels had been the only AL team Cust had not homered against — which is really weird, because he has 33 homers in 611 career at-bats. You'd think there were a bunch of teams on such a list. In fact, there are only eight teams in the NL which Cust has not homered against. There are only 30 teams in the majors. This is quite a statistical anomaly, right?

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Feelin' rundown (Thursday's other games)

Rays 4, Orioles 2 — Tampa's gone and cast the Devil ... out-ah! Cast the Devil ... out-ah! Praise Matt Garza and Carl Crawford-ah! Rays of sunshine-ah! Joe Maddon's glasses-ah! They freak me out-ah! Longoria's so darn hot-ah!

Rangers 2, Royals 1Sidney Ponson, after taking a train back home to Aruba for some R&R, picked up his first victory in exactly a year. Man, you think a guy's out of the league, and he is, but not forever I guess. Good for him, even if he did beat Morning Juice's unofficial starting pitcher, Zack Greinke (nine Ks over 7). He's the guy in the AL. The NL guy is Johnny Cueto, of course.

Tigers 8, Yankees 4 — Sure, beat on the poor Yanks when they're down. Big, bad Tigers hurt the impaired Yankees. No A-Rod. No Jorge. No Mick, no Roger. Shelley Duncan hitting cleanup. Peter Flippin Pan, c'mon. Tigers now just a game under .500 after that 0-7 start.

Indians 3, Mariners 2 (11 inn.)Rafael Betancourt blows a save in the 9th, J.J. Putz blows a save in the 10th and Asdrubal Cabrera drives in the winning run with a two-out single an inning later. Putz, who walks two, is blunt his personal assessment: "Walks will kill you." Paul Byrd gets an ND, but has a pretty line: 7 2/3 IP, 4 H, BB, 4 K. In case you wondered, and you better have been, Cabrera is the only "Asdrubal" in major league history. There were at least two Asdrubals (Asdrubi?) in the minors — including Asdrubal Infante, a brother of Omar Infante, who was killed in a car accident after a promising 1999 season. You just don't get this information anywhere else, folks.

Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 0 A.J. Burnett continued his absolutely infuriating career with 7 innings of 3-hit shutout ball at Fenway. For his next trick, Burnett will fail to get out of the third inning.

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Photo of the Day: Rays trap gullible Orioles with breadcrumbs

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"I'm sorry I threw up, Evan. I just can't believe your new contract."

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Fantasy Freak

Cust (Athletics) 4-4, 3 R, HR
Other A's DHs: Mike Sweeney 0-1; Frank Thomas 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI; John Jaha (DNP)

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Fantasy Flake

Evan Longoria (Rays) 0-for-5, 2 K

What a poser.

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Big Talker

"I didn't even know I missed it until I saw (Ryan) Sweeney running after the ball." — Cust, on his defense.
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