In Speaking From Experience, Giancarlo Stanton Offered Advice to the Angels on Dealing With the Difficulties of Grieving the Loss of Teammate Tyler Skaggs
"RIP Bro, My heart goes out to your family. My message to the @angels while having no time for yourself to grieve is to hug each other, laugh, cry, lift the ones taking it extra hard up. Youâre going to wonder why all of this is happening , is it real, why are u suiting up to play a game that seems irrelevant. Some Anger will ensue while u have to grieve in a fish bowl.. A lot will go through your mind. So stay together through that. The first days back to schedule are the weirdest feeling, from the energy to the questions to having to walk by his locker. Try to Focus & understand how important your strength is for his family, all of your supporters & anyone looking for the power to overcome something. They're looking @ you for guidance. So you all really need each other right now. Stay strong fellas I'm thinking about you!"
Well, when you put it like that.
That's not to imply that anyone would ever assume it's easy to mourn the gut punch that must be the tragic, midseason loss of a beloved teammate. However, it is to say that the way Giancarlo Stanton spoke from his experience in doing so, following the disastrous death of Jose Fernandez in 2016, really makes real the impossibilities of grieving during the daily grind of which the absence of the dearly departed is ever-present.
Considering the inevitable emotional toll to be taken by the constant reminders that Tyler Skaggs is no longer with them, the rest of the Angels roster having to lace up their cleats at least another 77 times before having any extended period of time to themselves must feel pretty damn daunting. Trying to battle their own innately human brains in trying to push heartbreak to the back them and focus on playing a game that offers as much time to think as baseball at a professional level on a public stage is just not an undertaking I can even wrap my head around, for a variety of reasons.
The true test of a team shouldn't be something that you'd hope and pray no team would ever, in a million years, have to go through. However, I can't imagine there is any one circumstance more trying of a clubhouse's cohesiveness than having life and death unexpectedly intervene in it's day-to-day operation. Here's to keeping the Angels in mind as they find their way in...well...finding a way, for the best way to honor the unforgettable and disturbingly abbreviated existence of Tyler Skaggs is to keep playing the game he was so passionate about at the highest level possible, as impossible as that currently seems.
Rest In Peace, kid.
Yet Another Irrefutable Reminder That Sports are Surreal, Featuring an Astros' Fan, Her Gamble, a Grand Slam, and the Trampiest of Stamps
I'll tell you what, if Ava does what I hardly expect her to do by putting her money where her mouth is in eternally making a veiny, triumphant bastard where her underwear ends then she might well have the most innocent explanation for a tramp stamp and the most relatable story behind having a stiffy in the swell of one's back. I don't know that that would make her feel any better about being seen in a crop top or a bathing suit, but surely sports' fans would be sympathetic to the trials, tribulation, and now testicles of the irrational and untimely internet criticism of struggling athletes.
I can't say I ever expected the the otherworldly forces that often appear to be at work during otherwise inexplicable moments in sports to expend all their energy in an attempt to guilt some random chick into branding herself a non-believer by way of back balls, but I am sure glad they did. Not every "would you believe that?"-type play needs to be immortalized in memory as unforgettable. Take this one for example, that absolutely should be immortalized in ink as uncircumcised.
Throwing hyperbolic shade on a forum that never forgets is a gamble, and there is a proverbial piper waiting to be paid for his services in drawing a dead-on-balls-accurate dick that doesn't even need Viagra to stand the test of time. Hell, if I were Tyler White I might just flip the bill for that condescending cock just to guaranteed myself the self-satisfaction of knowing some girl has to wake up every day for the rest of her life with a boner on her back for doubting my power with three runners on.
The Mets' Mickey Callaway-Led Confrontation With a Reporter Was Allegedly Over the Reporter Saying "See You Tomorrow, Mickey"
Newsday- “Mickey came out of his office, dressed, and I thought he was leaving for the day, so I said, ‘See you tomorrow, Mickey,’ ” Healey said. “And then he said, ‘Don’t be a smart-ass.”
Healey said he was told by other reporters that Callaway continued to curse at him. Healey said he did not hear that because he was “10 feet away at that point.”
Healey said Callaway then went into another room, and when the manager returned after a few minutes, he picked up where he left off.
“I couldn’t confidently tell you exactly what he said, but he said, ‘You know we’re going to be in a bad mood after a loss,’ or something like that. And I tried to tell him, I didn’t mean anything by it. I was just saying I’ll see you tomorrow. And then he said, ‘Get this guy out of here,’ and that got the attention of Jason Vargas.”
According to Healey, Vargas was getting dressed at his locker, which was about 15 feet away in the cramped visitors’ clubhouse, and Healey noticed the pitcher had been staring at him for what seemed like roughly 45 seconds. Healey said he was just standing there, “wondering why Mickey was blowing up,” when he saw Vargas.
He recalled asking him if everything was OK or if there was something he wanted to say.
That’s when Vargas threatened him.
“He said, ‘I’ll knock you out right here’ and then took a couple of steps toward me,” Healey said. “Some people said charged — charged is super-strong.”
Mets media relations manager Ethan Wilson got between Healey and Vargas while other players, Noah Syndergaard and Carlos Gomez among them, moved in to make sure the pitcher remained at a distance. Healey said he walked away at that stage.
“I was shocked, and at the same time trying to tell Vargas or Callaway or Ethan, ‘Hey, I didn’t mean anything by it,’ which might have been interpreted as aggression on my part. I was in no way trying to be aggressive or antagonistic or anything. At that point in the day, I want to talk to Diaz and then leave, you know?
“What’s the point in me trying to pick a fight?”
Working under the unsafe assumption that Mickey Callaway isn't intentionally sabotaging his job security in hopes of being granted the sweet release of a paid-in-full termination from an organization whose ownership makes employment in pro sports feel pretty close to imprisonment...
...I think it's safe to assume that he probably isn't long for his current workplace if someone can't say something as benign as "see you tomorrow" without him interpreting it as a condescending dig at his chances of seeing even one more day on the job.
I wouldn't know Tim Healey if he walked up to me and said "nice to meet you!" in a difficult to distinguish tone, so I haven't the slightest idea how cantankerous his relationship might be with the New York Mets. Hell, even if I did know it to be relatively peaceful, I'm not sure how reliably objective Newsday can be in reporting on their own reporter's unfortunate incident.
That said, I think we can all agree that the team said reporter happens to cover is entirely capable of starting a death-match with the media over minor miscommunication. Like, the idea of an MLB clubhouse turning into a clusterfuck over a misheard pleasantry would be entirely out of realm of possibility...if not for it being the one MLB clubhouse that makes the movie Major League seem like it might be based on a true story. I'm not going to point fingers because are there three sides to every story, but the side that makes the most sense might just be the one in which a Manager lost his shit over a "see you later", as if the meanest thing you could offer Mickey Callaway is a reminder that the Wilpon's are too cheap to can his ass. I think that right there tells you everything you need to know about the flammable top-down culture of a franchise that makes the "this is fine" dog seem fire retardant by comparison...
The Tampa Bay Rays Received the MLB's Permission to Look into Becoming a Two City/Country Team by Playing Half Their Home Games in Montreal. Yes, Really.
I'd ask "what in the devil?", but I'm pretty sure that word is frowned upon amongst the tens upon tens of true blue Rays' diehards out there. Honestly, I've tried repeatedly to read that tweet without spending the next few minutes staring at my screen in complete confusion as if i had just come face-to-face with the most malicious of Magic Eye poster, and I just can't do it. The thought of a professional team theoretically having to go through customs in traveling from one "home" game to the next is so beyond the realm of any sort of reality that I can't even begin to logically process the logistics of international dual residency in sports.
That being said, I have no choice but to applaud the creativity. It's certainly a bit shameless to desperately pander to the forgotten fans in Montreal in Expos'ing and exploiting a vulnerable market for an long-overdue uptick in attendance. However, it's a hell of a lot more innovative an idea than trying to tempt people to buy tickets by offering them lukewarm "hot" dogs for a dollar a piece.
Now, I haven't the slightest clue if it's even remotely feasible, but it's Expo-nentially more interesting than anything the Rays have done throughout a recent history that even 80% of Tampa Bay residents would consider a myth if not for the results being recorded. Seeing as there ain't no such as halfway crooks, I don't know why you wouldn't just drop 'The Trop' and steal an organization in it's entirety from a city that's largely liable to leave it's front door unlocked and allow you to do so. Still, I'd be lying if I said moving the team to Montreal full-time was anywhere near as intriguing as making them the first regional polygamists in pro sports. If only because this idea seems laughably doomed for failure in pissing off pro athletes that feel as though having two homes is essentially the same as having none, I absolutely love it for how preposterously crazy it is in its cutting-edge counter-productivity.
Max Scherzer Broke His Nose by Bunting the Ball Off His Own Face During Batting Practice, In Case You Needed Another Argument for Universal DH's
There you have it. Your irrefutable evidence that what a professional sport whose leagues (multiple) operate under some idiotically non-uniform rule regarding something as fundamental as batting orders doesn't need is more, never mind any, pitchers "trying" to hit.
Granted, the visual of Max Scherzer flashing the form of a 5-year-old in fouling the MLB equivalent of a floater pitch off his face during the practice of something he has little need to make perfect was sadistically hilarious. However, I think we can agree that if the only reward to be gained from a 3x Cy Young-winning stud stepping to the plate is a blooper fit for 'America's Funniest Home Videos' then it doesn't quite match up with the risk of him sacrificing nothing more than a straight schnoz and an intact septum with a bunt.
I assume the same could be said about having almost all of baseball's best arms focus primarily on throwing. Maybe having everyone play a game, whose plunge in popularity was pretty much predestined due to its refusal to adapt to an era in which excitement is at an all-time premium in professional sports, by the same rules could be a good idea. That is, if maximizing entertainment value by protecting pitchers from themselves, highlighting the game's greatest hitters, and showcasing the most lethal offenses available were anywhere near as traditionally gratifying as (near) automatic outs are in the National League.
Not on the Umpires Association's Watch Will You Chastise Their Officials Without Being Harshly Reprimanded By Hashtags
While I think that "aggressive arguing" is a pretty lame basis for a suspension, I can't really get myself too riled about a player being sentenced to a one (of 162) game timeout. Especially since it was for challenging the eternally fragile masculinity of umpires that are well-known for accepting any and all forms of screaming, yelling, and finger-pointing, so long as it's part of their own, and only their own, over-reactionary displays of emotion. Simply put, Manny Machado basically asked for supplementary discipline with a how he acted in throwing around his helmet, his bat, about five dozen words that require censorship, and the most pugnacious of pointer fingers, so I'm not all that upset that he got it.
Where I draw the line, however, is with the Umpires Association's weaponizing the internet against him by having their 65-year-old intern hike his khakis up to his nipples and looking up what a hashtag is before centering his spectacles and slowly-but-surely typing out a bunch of inflammatory phrases, letter-by-letter, to show widespread disapproval of player disagreement all throughout the Twitter machine...
Tagging the MLB, the San Diego Padres, and...::audible gasp::...Buster Olney in their attempt to libelously label Manny Machado an unappreciated purveyor of nonsense throughout any and all internet groups that are religiously checking up on the recent additions to #Disappointed and/or #TemperTantrum? Well, in my opinion, that's taking vigilante justice too damn far....never mind setting the intended use of technology as far back in society's rearview as baseball's repressed sensibilities.
You know what, credit to that poor bastard. I typically find it obnoxious when adults go scrounging around for relatively useless foul balls that would mean so much more to the children standing idly by so as to not get bowled over by boozehounds, but a little self-awareness goes a hell of a long way.
As evidenced by his own bittersweet words, that dude very clearly didn't like what had become of him as a person as he got on all fours to swipe a little bit of joy away from the next generation. He wasn't happy to play the unruly asshole, but three decades is a long ass time that's undoubtedly been made to feel exponentially longer by the unrelenting thanklessness of rooting on his favorite team live. You know the extent of what that man's 30 years of loyalty have been rewarded with? Zero World Series, zero pennants, one division title, one wildcard berth, and one record-setting Ironman streak that now serves as symbolic in reminding him that the "best" part about Baltimore Orioles' baseball is its consistency in taking the field.
Point being, you're goddamn right he's going take what he can get, even if he has to begrudgingly take it right out from under the puppy dogs eyes of children who might as well get used to leaving Camden Yards disappointed. Not because he wants to, but because he basically has to if he's going to justify continuing to show up to watch the worst team in the sport as they go nowhere fast in a painfully familiar fashion.
Madison Bumgarner Threw a Fit After His Pitch Was Hit So Hard That it Was Lucky to Not Capsize a Kayak
Look, I get that baseball has a number of rules that have somehow remained unwritten in ink since they were unofficially instituted by the gaggle of white men who chiseled them into the walls of their culture-less cave. I even understand that the most important of those rules is that one must not express emotion nor enthusiasm, and especially not personality, while playing a kid's game at the professional level.
I just ask that we make one very small amendment, with that being that you are allowed to take a second or two to admire your hit when you've bombed it hard enough for it blow a hole in the side of a vessel. Personally, I think Max Muncy earned the right to round the bases solely in backhand springs with a blast that damn near demanded its own firework display, but something tells me that multiple generations of closed, insecure minds like Madison's would disagree with that assessment. Therefore, I just reasonably request that pitchers eat their humble pie and use the proverbial napkin to wipe their tears when they get taken a distance that would most accurately be measured in leagues. Especially when the aesthetics of his earned run were about 100x more worthy of his attention than the relatively reserved, run-of-the-mill celebration happening as a kayaker narrowly avoided being left lost at sea with a concussion.
Benches Cleared After a 9th Inning Bunt (Technically) Broke Up a (Bullshit) No-Hitter Bid in a Minor League Game
Nope, you ain't going to fool me. While I know baseball loves their no-hitters far too much for a team to take it lying down when one is spoiled by a desperate, yet entirely legal attempt to get on a base, I'm not letting the wool get pulled over my eyes on this one. Never mind whether or not it's right to maliciously ruin a potentially momentous accomplishment with a boring ass bunt, because THREE pitchers combining for 9 hitless innings of Minor League baseball is not a potentially momentous accomplishment.
As far as I'm concerned, it's much more likely the benches cleared because they were filled with disgruntled athletes playing the game at an unglamorous level who were looking for just about any excuse to ring out their frustrations on the necks of the opponent before boarding another bus. I'm going to grant them that benefit of the doubt, for it's a much better excuse than being butt hurt that a spotless start and some solid relief appearances didn't go down in a largely unread record book with a huge asterisk next to them. Right or wrong, dropping a bullshit bunt for no other reason than to rain on the parade of the team that's walking all over you is liable to get your chin checked, but the type of no-hitters you fight to the death in defense of are for one pitcher and one pitcher only. As can be seen in how easily that "fight" was broken up.
A Pirates' Announcer, Whose Stick Shall Remain Firmly Implanted in His Tight Ass, Called Ronald Acuña Jr. a Prick After Making Pointed Comments About His Jewelry
We may be 60-some-odd games into the season already, but now? Now, baseball is officially in full swing. After all, nothing signals that were back in midseason form quite like an old white guy with his feet firmly entrenched in a repressive sport comfortably spitting outright insults over the boring ass beat of baseball's institutionally racist drum.
To be clear, you don't have to understand the newfound fascination with athletes rocking at least slightly restrictive jewelry while playing professional sports. As an avid supporter of players showing personality, that's one of the few things that even I can't wrap my head fully around, as not even the power of prayer could completely stop a Jesus piece from getting in the way as it swings aimlessly from one's neck during the course of a highly competitive game.
What you do have to understand, however, is exactly what you're doing when you stumble over (See: "...and stuff") a pointed critique of a young talent while making it seem as though his charisma had him cruising for a bruising before calling him a "prick" for merely looking back at the pitcher who plunked him. Lazy qualifiers aside, this isn't the first time Steve Blass couldn't even find the right words while going pretty far out of his way to lash out at those who, love them or hate them, make for the closest thing to appointment television for a league that's otherwise unfamiliar with the concept....
While I can't imagine either unsubtle mini-rant is the most intolerant thing ever heard on an MLB broadcast, both are just painfully typical of the type of unadaptable attitude that keeps alive the caucasity of a counterproductive culture that actively deters viewership. The best thing about baseball is that it's as diverse as it's ever been. With that comes varying sensibilities that aren't always going to fit in the same rusty old cookie-cutter that dates back to the days in which "colored" was a compliment.
The truth is, while the word "prick" seemed wildly inappropriate, I don't even necessarily place the most blame on 77-year-old Steve Blass here. He's very clearly aged out of a sport that still shamelessly panders to those likeminded by allowing him to drivel on about the "good old days" during which predominantly white dudes conformed to playing a kids' game with a stick lodged entirely up their ass. Simply put? Be better, baseball.
As far as a reminder of how losing early and often might manifest itself throughout a long, painstaking season that is completely devoid of hope, they certainly don't come any more inexplicable and embarrassing than that. I'd honestly accept "I guess I ran away from home in hopes that my absence would help remind people that I still exist as the catcher for a woefully irrelevant Mariners' team" as an excuse. After all, it might legitimately be the most logical reason for Omar Narvaez to have no hesitation in going to back up first with a man on third.
I've always said that 162 games is an egregiously long season for a sport whose postseason is disproportionally short. Nothing supports that argument quite like the Mariners already self-fulfilling a prophecy of suck with 99 games left to go before they are granted the sweet, merciful release of time away from a team whose chemistry looks to be that of someone who earned themselves a suspension by taking liberties with a lab project. I'm not even sure they could play the field more stupidly than they did during that particularly laughable instance, but I also don't feel comfortable counting out the idiocy that might arise during the actual dog days of a lost summer.
Be it due to a lack of talent or an abundance of abject apathy, bad teams tend to make bonehead plays. However, those plays appearing to be made by those without a brain inside their thick skull this early in the season is not the greatest of signs of things to come during games that are far more likely to grow increasingly meaningless than not. Even if I due appreciate the comic relief of an umpire casually stepping aside to avoid being beaned by a perfect throw to an abandoned plate.
In What Serves as the Perfect Storm of Self-Importance, Louisville Closer Michael McAvene Got Ejected and Faces a 4-Game Suspension During the NCAA Tournament for Referring to a Call as "Horrible"
As far as college baseball is concerned, this is the perfect storm. The volatile front that is put on by umpires with fragile egos who have no qualms with abusing their power in making split second decisions that can alter the outcome of games, meets the cold front of a moronically strict institution whose rigid rulebook proudly over-punishes the "amateur" athletes they are actively exploiting while offering them no form of recourse. An ejection during the most pressure-packed moment of an NCAA tournament game, plus as automatic 4-game suspension during the postseason, all for harmlessly referring to a borderline and potential game-clinching call as "horrible" in an entirely non-threatening way. Such a shit-storm of injustice raining on the head of closer Michael McAvene and the rest of the Louisville baseball program could only be the result of a ruling made under Murphy's Law...if Murphy was a sanctimonious prick with an authority complex whose law was designed to be without amendment as if it were written in blood.
Who knows, maybe the NCAA eventually changes their mind and acts in the interest of common fucking sense, for the first time ever, by overruling such a diabolically dumb act of discipline. That said, the fact that they didn't immediately do so speaks volumes about the objectively bad business of an organization that brings in billions on the backs of under-appreciated ball players. Their support of their own insanely sensitive and self-interested official, who could not possibly have been more in the wrong, in sticking to a nuance-free script that favors absolutely everyone else above the featured talent is hardly surprising. What it is, however, is disappointing, and that's saying a lot as the expectations of even a baseline level of intelligence out of the NCAA were already non-existent. It can't possibly be put to words, because "horrible" doesn't even come remotely close to describing the stupidity of such an undeserved suspension.
Albert Almora Jr. Was Brought to Tears After His Foul Ball Injured a Young Fan, And It's Probably About Time the MLB Steps in to Prevent Such an Ugly Scene
It's only a matter of time. Unfortunately, I say that not of the MLB taking additional preventive measures to ensure the safety of fans during the routine occurrence of absolutely tattooed foul balls, but rather the fatal tragedy that will force them to do so if they don't heed the harrowing warning of a 4-year-old being sent to the hospital by the brunt of one.
That may seem like a prisoner-of-the-moment exaggeration, as it sounds as though the little girl on the ass end of Albert Almora Jr.'s rocket of a line drive was one tough customer, but that moment could be almost any moment. Seriously, just ask the NHL what happens when you tempt the fate of high-speed projectiles (that are increasing in velocity as athletes continue to evolve) exiting the playing surface towards those entirely unequipped to protect themselves from them on a regular basis. Someone quite literally had to die before the NHL came to it's senses regarding netting that hardly registers as such to the naked eye anymore. Hell, someone could have easily died last night had that errant foul ball happened to catch her in a more prone position. Look no further than the distraught reaction of a player whose livelihood is baseball for a reminder that baseball is not more important than life itself. Therefore, it stands to reason that the damage controlled by a largely transparent safety precaution is worth an ever-so-slightly obscured view of the sport.
There will always be the hypocritical crowd that says you should never not be paying attention while in the stands. The single, solitary commonality between that crowd is that none of them have ever been struck in the jugular with a bullet of a ball during the inevitable instances in which they missed a pitch while turning away to take a swig from their beer or a bite from their hot dog. Not even the outrageously over-the-top diehards who score the entirety of every game keep their eye on the ball for 3.5-4 hours, and if you're seated down the baselines then all it takes is half-a-second for said ball to obliterate your earhole. Sigh, if only there were some sort of harmless precaution that could be extended so that we wouldn't have to victim blame fans for not having the laser focus and/or fundamentals of the professionals whose brand of entertainment they certainly aren't paying good money to emulate.
In all seriousness, all the well wishes go out to that young girl and her family. Here's to hoping for a quick and uncomplicated recovery, as well as an untarnished love of baseball. Hopefully a highly humanizing response from the person who was unfortunate enough to hit her is enough to get through to baseball in making sure her ER visit wasn't in vain...
In Today's Episode of "Why Does This Rain Smell Like Urine?", Carlos Correa Claims His Fractured Rib is the Result of a Massage Mishap
From both a mental and physical perspective, this honestly might be the laziest lie ever told in the history of professional athletes trying to cover-up their non-sports related ailments. From the lack of critical thinking that went into crafting it to the full-on refusal to thumb through his contract looking for the list of activities it actually forbids him from partaking in, Carlos Correa basically pushed the bar down the basement steps in setting a new shameful standard for injury excuses.
Full disclosure, this came damn close to reaching "too stupid not to be true" territory, but the thought of a physical freak of nature in his athletic prime having a bone cracked via a comforting caress of his rib cage, of all things, requires the suspension of far too much disbelief. Like, assuming that Wreck-It Ralph wasn't the one providing him in-home back rubs and that a 24 year old MLB superstar didn't mystifyingly develop Osteoporosis overnight, this absolutely has to be a case of Carlos Correa covering all his bases (excuse the pun) in making sure he can't possibly be at fault for his fractured rib. It's certainly a thorough one as claiming you were lying motionless, naked, and vulnerable while being recklessly rubbed onto the IL definitely absolves you of all blame. What's not thorough, however, is the rationale and reasoning (or lack thereof) that went into deciding that the malpractice of a masseuse was the tall tale that he and PR team were comfortable telling.
Vlad Guerrero Jr. Made All Big Men Proud In Throwing Out a Runner With His Ass Placed Firmly in the Infield
You know, there's just something so beautiful about a 250 pound third baseman doing his best work in the field while plopped comfortably on it. I don't say that as a fat joke, as the lumber-endangering legacy that is Vlad Guerrero Jr. averages more talent and athleticism per pound than has been blossomed throughout my entire family tree. Rather, I say it as a description of a play that probably could have been made from his feet if he cared enough to stay on them.
Of course, gunning a guy out at first while making the most impactful of impressions in the dirt is also a credit to his freakish physical abilities. Still, not passing up a single chance to take a load off while doing so is the type of dedication to the thicc life that will have bootylicious big boys everywhere proudly sinking their cheeks into their seat and looking up to the throne on which Vlad Guerrero Jr. would prefer to be sitting in between uproarious at-bats...
After Ubering Through Traffic Well Into the 3rd Inning, Mets' Call-Up Rajai Davis Put the Game Away With an 8th Inning Homer in His First At-Bat
This just feels like far too positive a development. A player on the Mets showed up extraordinarily late only to make an immediate impact on the game that he was stuck listening to in traffic throughout the first three innings? Like, the New York Mets? That seems very off-brand for a team who somehow made on-brand a slugger fracturing his ankle falling off an undisclosed animal while already on the 60-day IL...
On second thought, I suppose it is quite fitting that it took someone traveling up from the minors, by any desperate means necessary, as an unexpected injury replacement to make a major impact for a team that can barely walk without finding themselves wounded. The player who has spent the least amount of time surrounded by what is both figuratively and literally a long suffering organization that has every right to be suspicious of the sky falling actually makes for the most likely subject for a five-star feel good story. The Mets might be cursed by terrible luck and a worse training staff but even they need to give a guy a proper warm-up and more than a couple innings spent in their jersey to brush the bloom from his rose or break a bone from his body.
The mental image of Rajai Davis' sucking down free waters and anxiously looking at the clock from the backseat of someone else's car as his driver stopped and started his way through New York City traffic is relatable for Queens' natives. The type of random and rare moment that makes you smile, shake your head, and appreciate the silliness of sports, well, not so much.
Georgia Softball Player Alysen Febrey Put All Other Bat Flippers to Shame in Celebration of Her Opposite Field Homerun
Graceful. Just so...graceful. Like a "someone pass Ken Griffey Jr. the condiment carrier and a set of utensils because it's about damn time he eats his heart out" level of graceful. I wonder if that comparison makes the compliment sound less gender specific, because I hardly mean for it to come off like a buzzword that undercuts the impressiveness of the absolute rocket that was promptly dismissed over the left field fence solely because it was hit by a woman. Instead, it's really just meant as a credit to the perfect fluidity of the picturesque swing into the exclamatory bat flip that seamlessly followed.
Whether the physical flawlessness of that performance had anything to do with her femininity, your guess is as good as mine. However, you can't tell me that everything about that execution wasn't beautiful enough to bring a tear to Tim Anderson's eye, regardless of the size of the hands from which it came. That doesn't make powering it over the opposite field wall any less beastly, but the rhythmic release of her bat in conjunction with the smoothness of her transition into a trot does serve as pretty good evidence that the fairer sex does have a substantially superior knack for the visual arts. I guess women do mature faster, because that celebration made every Bryce Harper bat flip look like an underdeveloped ugly duckling in comparison to what was Alysen Febrey’s aesthetically pleasing swan-like display of slugging. Take a lap Robert Redford, because this natural truly knows how to nurture anything left out over the plate.
Leave it to Baseball to Create a Racial Controversy Where the Most Common of Sense Could Tell You That One Doesn't Exist
In the same vein of "me thinks the lady doth protest too much", the MLB being so overly sensitive to racial issues that they mistakenly manufacture them (See: Tim Anderson's suspension for using the n-word towards a white pitcher) where they otherwise wouldn't exist truly speaks to a harrowing history of pale players being preferable. They are like a dog owner repeatedly stepping in old shit that's spent decades festering because they failed to do an adequate job picking it up the first time, if said old shit was actually just the aftermath of an entire extensive era of dehumanizing segregation.
Granted, I could totally see the Tiki torch types being incredibly unoriginal in adopting the long-standing sign language of six year olds as their call to frail and fearful arms, but does Wrigley Field not have WiFi? My sense happens to be quite common so I've never had to look it up, but I'd imagine you'd need not more than one single Google search to learn that a gesture so harmless that it has it's own goddamn emoji on Apple products has no legitimate affiliation with actual white supremacists. Personally, I would think said gesture would be universally understood as part of the decidedly non-discriminatory circle game by now. That said, even if it's not, assuming that an 'a-okay' sign ironically stands for intolerance solely because it's being shown over the shoulder of an African American analyst makes the Cubs, above anyone else, look bad.
I suppose there's about a 1-3% chance that a fan who purchased a front row seat tried (and, more importantly, failed) to pledge his allegiance to the Aryan Nation once he got within a black man's camera shot. Theoretically, it's not impossible that was moronically meant to be a proud display of prejudice. In execution, however, no one with a brain capable of spelling 'context clues' saw it as such. Therefore, even if the person who flashed it was being racist, he doesn't even deserve the publicity of an investigation aimed at outing him as a racist because he flat out stinks at being racist if he got trolled by fellow racists into using a non-racist gesture for racist purposes.
If he wanted to show a little courage and conviction in his caucasity then he'd deal with the repercussions of showing up behind home plate in a pointed white hood next game. Until he does, I'm just going to assume that he was innocently messing with the television audience, like hundreds of thousands of teens before him, regardless of the skin color of the person from which they happened to be receiving insight at the time.
His MLB Draft Status Considered, Bucks' Backup Guard Pat Connaughton Had to Have Thrown the Worst First Pitch of All-Time
At least he chose the right sport, I guess? I suppose it could be worse than having his life-altering decision to pursue basketball reinforced by a pitch gone so wild it would make the underage girls half-nakedly inhabiting late-90's Spring Break hotspots seem under control. At the very least, it's about the only bright side he can look to in distracting him from the dark memory of throwing a breaking ball that'll be sure to get his balls broken for the foreseeable future.
I've always been amazed by how hard a time other professional athletes have in doing something that, in front lawns all across the nation, stereotypically serves as most kids' first foray into sports. I find the idea that grown adults could be so embarrassingly far off in throwing a ball 60 feet at a velocity of their choosing is baffling enough in its own right. Therefore, a former MLB pitching prospect seeming as though he was trying to intentionally walk a beer vender really lets those with no baseball background off a hook that pales in comparison to the one on that schizophrenic slider.
So, here's to hoping Pat Connaughton continues contributing consistently off the bench as a complimentary player on a quality Milwaukee Bucks' team. Not only only because I have no reason to root against him, but because the Baltimore Orioles just lost his number after he damn near kneecapped an innocent bystander with his last chance at considering anything above tee-ball pitcher to be a sensible backup plan.
Tim Anderson, Of Bat Flippin' Fame, Was Suspended One Game For Using the N-word Towards a Pitcher Named Brad, Because...Well...Baseball
I initially figured the MLB concussed themselves doing the amount of mental gymnastics it must have taken to conclude that a black batter using the n-word towards a pitcher named Brad (I'll let you guess the race on that one) off-camera while presumably being ejected for getting plunked after celebrating a home run on the previous at-bat was a suspension-worthy offense.
Unfortunately, on second thought, I think something far more stupid is true. I think that they actually found this decision to be a simple one that, to them and them alone, made all the sense in the world. That would be far more on-brand, as baseball's braintrust sharing an understanding of the cultural complexities of the n-word with the former high school acquaintance you had to unfriend on Facebook after the umpteenth teen he felt it necessary to publicly comment that it's actually ALL lives that matter isn't surprising. Disappointing that the executive decision makers for a league with a massive minority presence are still the type to quietly wonder why rappers are given free reign with a root word that haunts the roots of their pastime's pastime, sure, but not in the least bit surprising.
Tim Anderson triumphantly tossed a bat in a way that demanded the attention of the demographics least likely to give a crap about mid-April baseball, and received a heater to the hip as his punishment. That's really all it had to be. Yet, the league in which institutional racism is still a sore subject (that is ironically sometimes seen through the repression of personalities) basically struck out swinging on what was supposed to be an intentional walk in creating an uncomfortable conversation by bending over ass-backwards in being overly sensitive to "racial insensitivity" at its most irrelevant.
The fans didn't need to know that a hard 'a' was dropped and, considering the circumstances, the players certainly shouldn't have cared that a hard 'a' was dropped. Therefore, regardless of the fact that Brad Keller was also suspended a start, this was a counterproductive overcompensation and/or a sign that the MLB still doesn't understand how to get out of the way of their own, for lack of a better word, whiteness. After all, seeing as old white managers get away with loathsome language on a weekly basis, they basically pulled the race card on themselves in thinking what was inconspicuously said was as "racially charged" as it was culturally influenced.