You might wonder why you see the occasional baseball fight during July or even August, but almost never in September. For a good reason why, ask Bill Lee. (Actually don’t, because you’ll probably get a two-hour lecture on pot. Or the evil of the DH. Or both.) Even though it happened in May of 1976, him separating his shoulder during a huge brawl between the Yankees and the Red Sox caused him to miss the majority of the season (and possibly ruined his career).
So the same reason last night’s fight between the Yankees and the Blue Jays was both so compelling and ridiculously stupid. Because they were throwing real punches - not just the usual preschool pushing of most big league fights - and big-name pitchers like Joba Chamberlain and C.C. Sabathia were right in the middle, just waiting for a Blue Jay with a grudge to rip up their multimillion dollar arms. A good rule of thumb: don’t get into fights with teams who are 13 games under .500 - they don’t really have much to lose.
The main culprit was someone who should have known better: Yankees catcher Jorge Posada, who decided to take what home plate umpire Jim Joyce called “a cheap shot” at Blue Jays pitcher Jesse Carlson, throwing an elbow at him as he scored after Carlson had thrown behind Posada in possible retaliation for…suffice it to say, Posada needed to just let things go instead of escalating things into a possibly disastrous (and particularly nasty) free-for-all:
Fortunately, the damages were minimal: Carlson wound up with a nice knot on his head (rating: two Hasim Rahmans out of five) while Yankees manager Joe Girardi wound up with a bloody ear and a swollen eye. Another good rule: if your manager takes the most damage on the team, there’s going to be a team meeting afterward and he’s probably not going to be too happy.
“We’ve already had a discussion,” Girardi said. “I told them: ‘There is a lot at stake here, and we can’t afford to get anyone hurt or lose anyone or get people suspended. We can’t do that.’ But there’s a lot of passion in this game.”
But enough about nasty baseball items like idiotic fights. How about a heartwarming story of a father taking his daughter to the ball game - in this case a Phillies vs. Nationals game, and then making a pretty awesome catch of a foul ball. What could be better than that?
In case you missed it, that the daughter chucking the ball back from the second deck. Which is unfortunate, since this was a Philadelphia fan and he wound up throwing his daughter over the railing as punishment. Of course I’m kidding: as THE 700 LEVEL’s video proof shows, the dad did the right thing and gave his daughter a big hug (and a usher wound up getting them a new baseball).
Finally, I’m going to admit that when I see a story headlined “Manatee man is accused of groping girl, 15,” I’m hoping for one of three things: some minor league mascot got into trouble; a Furry made a big mistake; or a carnival had another problem with Mike the Manatee Man. Again.
But I was horribly disappointed to find out that the story was about Manatee, Fla. resident and Southeastern University basketball player Sergio Negrin, who was arrested at his parents’ house for allegedly groping a 15-year-old female student at a local high school. (But not as disappointed as his parents or his wife - mainly because he still lives with his parents along with his wife.)
According to police reports, Negrin hid in the bathroom at St. Petersburg High and watched a female swimmer change before a meet, before shouting a lewd comment at her and then running away while groping a female volleyball player on her way to practice. As if his day wasn’t busy enough, he then went over to a nearby school to watch the St. Petersburg team compete.
Negrin lead Southeastern in assists last year and was named to the National Christian College Athletic Association Division II South Region second team. That’s right: he went to a Christian college. Looks like he forgot that Biblical verse: “24-year-olds who live in their parents’ houses shouldn’t grope teenage boobs.”
- Wait - you mean to tell me that “Tim McCarver Sings Selections from the Great American Songbook” is currently out of stock? Thanks for ruining my life, Amazon.com…thanks a lot. THE SPORTING BLOG even says it’s kind of not terrible - at least it’s a step up from the first album title idea: “Tim McCarver Spends 45 Minutes Explaining a Squeeze Play.”
- As a big time Giants fan, former Journey lead singer Steve Perry will be leaving the Giants vs. Dodgers game this weekend early because the Dodgers use “Don’t Stop Believin’” as their eighth-inning rally song. Or as it’s otherwise known, “pulling a Sopranos.” The good news is that stadium ushers have a little Filipino man who sounds just like him ready to take his seat.
- Meanwhile, Perry’s Giants won’t go away in the NL Wild Card race, beating the Colorado Rockies 10-2 on a gem by Barry Zito to pull to within 2 1/2 games in the standings. Sign of the apocalypse alert: Zito is now two games away from being a ,500 pitcher again. Expect pigs to start flying by this weekend.
- When Jim Mora Sr. is ripping your actions during post-game press conferences as “completely immature,” you have some serious issues. That would be the natural reaction to any story straight from the weird world of Jay Cutler, right? Except that the press conference in question is no worse than hundreds of other cliche-filled press conferences you’ll see during the season. Maybe Mora’s been riding the Coors Light Silver Bullet a bit too hard lately?
- Using GPS on your iPhone to get driving directions are so 2008. TECH CRUNCH spotlights Chyngle, which will use GPS to tell give you directions from your stadium seat to the bathroom or food stand. Any chance it can give the Rams directions to the end zone?
- Bad news for Ohio State: your yearly big-game self-immolation against USC was the most-watched college football game in ESPN’s history, attracting 10.6 million viewers. Also a record: the number of people totally not surprised by a last-minute touchdown drive to win a game.
- Real Madrid is choosing to go with sponsorless shirts for their Champions League opener against FC Zurich as Swiss law prevents them from advertising their main sponsor, an online betting site. Since when did the country that invented the concept of “Swiss bank accounts” get so concerned about what people do with their money?
- The Miami Heat coaching staff is taking pay cuts in order to avoid team layoffs, along with team president Pat Riley. Fortunately, Riley’s six-figure expenditure for hair products has not been impacted.
- Formula One continues to sink further into its own filth, as Renault team bosses Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds quit over charges that they ordered Nelson Piquet, Jr. to crash in order to help teammate Fernando Alonso win a race at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.
- Finally, Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut “Whip It,” starring Ellen Page as a young woman trying to make it in the rough and tumble world of roller derby, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. Which is just barely enough sports content to justify running this picture from the latest issue of MARIE CLAIRE: