When you combine Ozzie Guillen’s reputation with Bob Davidson’s outstanding ability to act like a jerk on the field, I guess you’ll see some novel managerial ejections.
One I’ve never seen in my 20 years of watching baseball occurred Sunday. In the ninth inning of a one-run game, the Yankees’ Brett Gardner barely beat out what would have been an inning-ending double play. Guillen came out to argue the call, which was actually correct. I’m sure that fact won’t go unnoticed by Marlins fans.
I haven’t seen any shot of Guillen saying something to Davidson before the ejection. He just came out to argue at first base. Once he got within 30 feet, he gave Davidson a two-handed “whatever” wave and turned back. It was like Guillen didn’t want to waste time trying to make a point. Unfortunately for him, Davidson thought a point was made and he didn’t like any bit of it.
I have a hard time envisioning the same fate being handed to Joe Torre or Bud Black or Terry Francona. Umps have a quick trigger with Oz. But Sunday’s display was ridiculous. A two-handed wave? That’s good enough for a direct trip to the showers? Of course, it helps that Davidson is one of the bigger bullies in the blue. And of course, no matter how much Davidson overreacted, he won’t hear anything about it from the league because that’s just how the office rolls.
Raised as a Yankees fan from birth, I was taught from an early age by my father to hate the Los Angeles Dodgers. My mother, also a Yankees fan, fought against this because she thought kids at school will make fun of me since we reside in Los Angeles. But when you have to use a walker and wear knee-high braces on your legs up until high school, kids find reasons other than your sports allegiances to tease you.
Anyway, I’ve attended many Dodgers games for many years and while it’s always fun to root for the visitors, there are two things that Dodgers fans and I share an excitement for at games in 2010. The first is the pretty awesome entrance video set to Randy Newman’s “I Love L.A.” It makes me so happy to call this city my home. The second is when Jonathan Broxton makes an appearance to “Iron Man.” It’s a cool production and gets everyone hyped.
Every closer has an over-the-top entrance these days. I was wondering a few weeks ago when they’ll just turn the bottom of the ninth inning into a WWE spectacle. Throw in a countdown clock and some pyro. You know that would be awesome. And up until recently, Broxton would be one of the few such players who deserves such an entrance. Other than Mariano Rivera, he would be the current fireman I want on the mound to close up shop. But then there is that “until recently” part.
Sneezing. Opening a DVD. Trying to tear a phone book. Playing “Guitar Hero.” Delivering a pie in the face. Taking a pie in the face. Carrying deer meat up a flight of stairs. Freak injuries happen in all sports, but those are just a few of the beauties from baseball, some of which led to DL trips. On Saturday, Alex Rodriguez got nailed in the leg by a ball during batting practice while talking to Joe Buck. Can’t make this stuff up.
When these awkward ailments take place, you see baseball teams take extra precaution to make there’s no chance of a repeat.
So I salute you, Pirates rookie third baseman Pedro Alvarez, for blowing up the game’s recent abandonment of jumping on home plate after hitting a game-winning home run Saturday night. It was the first time I’ve seen a player do the hop-off since the Angels’ Kendry Morales went up, came down and had to be carried off.
That occurred all the way back in May. Since then, baseball players, most under manager orders I assume, have been very careful not to leave their feet as they approach home. Scared that their leg will splinter just as Morales’ did, walk-off homers have lost a bit of their entertainment value.
But isn’t this still a kids game being played by men? When something exciting happens, these guys should still be allowed to act like 10-year-olds. And hell, Alvarez is 23. That’s not too much of a separation.
With the rook’s assurance that not everyone who ends a game with an authoritative landing onto home plate will miss the rest of the season, I look forward once again to some of the game’s better athletes gaining some game-ending elevation.
Like Alvarez’s teammate Andrew McCutchen. Love that picture.
That’s what I would be exclaiming, if only it was true.
When I bought tickets to tonight’s Nationals/Dodgers game, it was July 22 and it seemed to be perfect. Strasburg had pitched the previous night in Cincinnati and with some projecting out into the future, he was scheduled to make his next three turns on July 26, July 31 and, with the help of a day off, Aug. 6.
Aug. 6. The series-opener against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Just $25 to experience Strasburgmania in its debut nationwide tour? Yes, please!
Five days later, it all went downhill. He couldn’t get loose. He was put on the DL. The Nationals chose to take it easy on the future of their franchise, for some reason. Sheesh! Let him pitch! Let him pitch!
Strasburg is now on track to be back Aug. 10, two days after the Nationals leave Los Angeles. Good timing. Just … dammit. Dammit! Now, instead of saying that I got to see Stephen Strasburg as a rookie, I’ll probably have to settle for, “I saw Stephen Strasburg in his first start against the Dodgers.” Whenever that is. That sentence doesn’t seem to carry the same amount of gravitas.
Three weeks after I was so giddy to see the phenom, I am left with John Lannan. Lannanmania! Experience it in the flesh!
If you can’t tell, I am just a tad bitter. It’s demoralizing to say the least. But this development won’t sidetrack my father. A life-long Yankees fan, I’ve never known him to openly wear the colors of another team. Until now. This is what he’ll sport to tonight’s game:
Have you ever seen a man die? Not in the movies. Not even in one of those “Faces Of Death” videos that were so popular when I was a teenager.
Have you ever seen a man die right in front of you in all of life’s reality?
Maybe you have. I probably did Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.