Pablo Sandoval’s Cup Lands On Photog’s Head

Andrew Baggarly of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS was recently kind enough to forward us this email from Bay Area News Group photographer Karl Mondon as he recounted a thrilling experience while shooting the Giants opener on April 9:

In the bottom of the 12th inning Friday, with Eli Whiteside at the plate and Pablo Sandoval dancing off 3rd base with the possible winning run, it hit me.

Panda’s athletic cup.

In the head.

In 25 years of photographing baseball, that was the first, and please, last time that’s ever happened.

Translation: Mondon, positioned in the photographer’s bay just beyond the third base dugout, was plunked in the head by Pablo Sandoval’s cup after it was thrown in his direction by the Giants third baseman.

Pablo Sandoval With Two Female Fans

(”His precautionary goblet was already out of his pants” - too soon?)

I’m also happy to report Baggarly, dutiful beat journo that he is, followed up with Sandoval about it. Read more…

Speed Read: Phillies Destroy Reds Like It’s 1892

The Cincinnati Reds have been playing baseball for nearly 120 years, but never had they been beaten as badly as they were last night by the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Back on July 26th, 1892, the Phillies blasted the Reds 26-6 at the Baker Bowl. That would stand for nearly 107 years as the franchise’s worst loss, until Dusty Baker’s Reds were bowled over by the Phillies again last night, this time by a 22-1 margin.

Johnny Cueto

The Phils dropped 10 runs in the first inning and just kept piling on. Cincinnati starter Johnny Cueto came into the game with a 2.69 ERA, but after allowing nine runs while recording only two outs, that mark soared to 3.45. Even more shocking, Baker actually took him out of the game. By the time the eighth inning rolled around, backup shortstop Paul Janish was serving up a grand slam to Jayson Werth.

Phillies starter Cole Hamels probably said it best: “When you put that many runs up, it makes it uncomfortable for the other team.” Kind of like the back of a Volkswagen.

Reds shortstop gives up grand slam

(”I’m not even supposed to be here today”)

The Cubs beat the Braves, as Aramis Ramirez returned from the DL, but their fans are still probably beating their heads against a wall after watching Jason Marquis throw yet another shutout for the Rockies. Colorado’s 1-0 win over the Nats was just the eighth 1-0 game in the history of Coors Field.

Pablo “Panda” Sandoval hit the game-winning grand slam as the Giants held off the Marlins 5-4 last night, and I’m happy to report that the big guy is currently leading in the voting for the last All-Star slot.

Pablo Sandoval

Apparently, you no longer need to be tagged out to be called out in baseball. Well, we’ve long suspected that, but umpire Marty Foster actually told Derek Jeter that it didn’t matter that he avoided Scott Rolen’s tag at third base — he was out because the throw beat him there. This is the same guy who called a Yankee out at home plate yesterday even though the catcher tagged him with an empty glove. Joe Girardi didn’t like the explanation and got tossed, and crew chief John Hirschbeck actually kinda threw Foster under the bus after the game. Hirschbeck has even said he will sit his crewmates down for a talk about other erroneous calls in the Yanks-Jays game yesterday.

Marty Foster

(Nearly every photo of Foster on the Internet looks something like this.)

Thankfully, there is some good news for future patrons of Yankee Stadium. Those of you who have to pee during the seventh-inning stretch can now do so without the risk of being thrown out of the yard. The Red Sox fan who was ejected for trying to go the bathroom during “God Bless America” also is getting a settlement of more than $10,000 from the City of New York. What I find funny about the whole thing is that when I worked in the press box at the old Stadium, media members often used the long break to take care of business. Heck, Bob Sheppard’s whole spiel before they played Kate Smith’s rendition of the song was taped, and he was usually on the way to the men’s room at the time.

Yankee Stadium urinals

• As if Phil Mickelson needed any more bad news, word comes that his mother has also been diagnosed with breast cancer. We probably shouldn’t expect to see much of Phil on the golf course anytime soon.

• WASTING AWAY IN WRIGLEYVILLE says that Erik Estrada has seen a lot of child pornography. How could they make such an absurd claim? Maybe it’s because when Estrada appeared on the Cubs-Braves telecast last night, he said “I’ve seen a lot of child pornography.” You know it’s a strange interview when a mention of Ron Jeremy’s wang isn’t the highlight. Video is up for now (see it while you can!)

• When a photo like this is out there, there’s just no excuse NOT to run it. Yes, this is the mug shot of “Three’s Company” star Joyce DeWitt, who was booked for DUI on Saturday:

Joyce DeWitt

The sports angle? Uhhhh, remember that one episode where Mr. Furley thinks Jack’s gay and Jack gets hit in the face with a door and there’s some really crazy misunderstanding that could’ve easily been averted? And it was at…the Super Bowl? Remember? I got nothing.

• The World Series of Poker’s main event is under way, and while nearly 6,500 players entered, there were hundreds that were shut out yesterday because the Rio reached its capacity.

Darren Rovell is a little surprised that Lacoste ran a full-page ad on the back of the NEW YORK TIMES sports section…congratulating Andy Roddick.

• I don’t even really know what to say about this, other than there’s a new world’s strongest vagina. If that isn’t solid late-night programming on The Ocho, I don’t know what is.

• Remember how the Nets were supposed to supposed to be moving into a brand-new fancy arena in downtown Brooklyn this year? Yeah, they haven’t even broken ground yet. The NY DAILY NEWS says the earliest an arena could be finished is 2012, and it might take much longer than that — if it happens at all.

• The Royals have taken a bit of a beating lately about the relative quality of their medical/training staff. So I suppose it’s only fitting that they took Ryan Freel’s word that he’s “100% healthy” when they acquired him from the Cubs.

• THE GOOD POINT went out and recruited a bunch of basketball bloggers to recount their favorite memories of the 2008-09 season.

• Now that the Cubs have been sold, is Wrigley Field going to undergo some sort of makeover?

• Everyone’s favorite fake cheerleader, Hayden Panettiere, visited David Letterman last night to talk about swimming with dolphins (that’s more of a sport than poker, right?) and to promote her new movie where she plays (shockingly) a hot cheerleader. Meanwhile, rumors are swirling that Heroes has finally given up and is just fishing for ratings by having her go girl-on-girl in the upcoming season. Here she is before her Letterman appearance:

Hayden Panettiere

Giant Rookie Hits First HR After 19 Years in Minors

Rare home runs were all the rage last night. Besides Angel Berroa’s epic shot, here’s another story to pin on the ol’ inspirational “If at first you don’t succeed, etc.” bulletin board: After toiling away for 19 years in the minors, 36-year-old rookie Scott McClain finally cranked out his first major league home run.

Scott McClain

As is the case in stories like this, some crazy stats are coming to light: McClain went through 7,301 professional at-bats before last night, he knocked out 362 home runs in the minors and Japan before his “official” first, and, most importantly, he was born on the exact same day as Ace of Base singer Jenny Berggren!

Read more…