December 10, 2013
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Friday, August 03, 2012
Rangers 15, Angels 9: Ryan Dempster was shelled in his Rangers debut, but it didn't matter because C.J. Wilson was shelled too. Josh Hamilton drove in four. You have to wonder if Wednesday night's game was some kind of turning point in this race.
Rockies 8, Cardinals 2: Homers in four straight games for Josh Rutledge, which is kind of neat. Rockies avoid the sweep.
Braves 6, Marlins 1: A rain delay knocked out the starters early, but it didn't much matter considering the Braves had a 6-0 lead by then. Two runs knocked in apiece for Chipper Jones and Freddie Freeman.
Royals 7, Indians 6: The Royals had a 6-0 lead and blew it, and then the Indians blew the comeback when Alcides Escobar singled in the winning run in the 11th. This series seemed like it lasted for a year.
Nationals 3, Phillies 0: Ross Detwiler shuts out the Phillies for seven. Adam LaRoche drove in two and Jayson Werth finally came back and drove in one himself.
Mets 9, Giants 1: Tim Lincecum sort of seems to be back so I guess that Barry Zito has to revert to his normal self as well (4.1 IP, 6 H, 7 ER). Ronny Cedeno drove in five. The Mets took three of four from the Giants.
Twins 5, Red Sox 0: What Samuel Deduno is doing is not sustainable -- you can't walk four and strike out one and always expect success -- but it worked well enough. Ron Gardenhire:
"I know his ball-strike ratio wasn't the greatest, but sometimes that works," Gardenhire said. "He was able to make pitches when he had to and that's all you really care about."
Wow. Ron Gardenhire knows what a ball/strike ratio is.
Reds 9, Padres 4: Six runs in the second sunk the Padres. Cincy and Pittsburgh now play the most interesting series of the weekend.
Athletics 4, Blue Jays 0: Well, that was the score in the eighth when I went to bed. I'm guessing that holds up because the Blue Jays can't seem to win baseball games anymore. (Late news flash: It was 4-1.)
25 years ago today, baseball had one of its most interesting – and humorous – ejections from a game.
On Aug. 3, 1987, the Twins went with veteran knuckleballer Joe Niekro on the mound on the road against the California Angels. In the early going, it was a standard game. Both teams scored, and it was 2-2 entering the bottom of the fourth. That’s when things got interesting.
After a groundout and a walk, the Angels complained to the umpires about Niekro. His ball wasn’t moving in a natural way – not even for a knuckleballer. They demanded that home plate umpire Tim Tschida check Niekro for foreign substances.
So Tschida marched to the mound, and so did some other umpires and some Angels officials. They went through the routine, checking Niekro’s glove and looking over his jersey and hat. So far, so normal. Then they made him turn out his pockets.
Well, that was a problem for Niekro. He had a nail file in one of those pockets and that was the foreign object the Angels suspected was causing the ball to move so funny. But if Niekro showed it to the umpires, he’d be ejected for sure.
But Niekro had to turn out his pockets, so he gave it his best chance. He grabbed the nail file with his fingers while turning his pockets inside out and as casually as he could tossed the file off to the side once his hand had left his pocket. It was all one fluid motion – hand leaves pocket keeps rising, and then something flies out of it.
Niekro’s hope was that everyone would be looking at the pocket and not his hand. His hope was unfulfilled.
One of the guys on the mound – I think it was the Angels trainer – was standing right next to Niekro and clearly saw it. Hell, they all probably did. It was pretty obvious. Lord knows the TV cameras caught Niekro red handed.
Caught dead to rights with the nail file, Niekro was ejected. He could claim it was just to file his nails, but no one was believing it. No one files their nails on the mound, and no one tries to dispose of it in front of the umpires like that.
It was part of a series of ejections for scuffing the ball in the 1980s. Earlier in the decade, Gaylord Perry became the first pitcher ejected in decades after being found with greasy stuff on the mound. Shortly thereafter, umpires gave Rick Honeycutt the heave-ho for possessing a thumbtack in his glove. A week later after the Niekro incident, umpires nailed Kevin Gross for having sandpaper.
There were many ejections for this in the 1980s, but none were so entertaining as the time the umpires ran Joe Niekro—and it happened 25 years ago today.
Aside from that, many other baseball events today celebrate their anniversary or “day-versry” (which is something occurring X-thousand days ago). Here they are, with the better ones in bold if you’d rather just skim.
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