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Dallas Braden Catches Fly Ball While Riding a Flamingo in Pool at Chase Field

By all reports, Dallas Braden truly made the most of the amenities at Chase Field during Monday night’s game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and St. Louis Cardinals.

More specifically, the former MLB pitcher turned ESPN analyst was all about that pool past the Diamondbacks’ outfield wall.

As Cut4’s Matt Monagan notes, Braden took part in a cannonball contest against D. Baxter the Bobcat prior to the game.

Left with some time to kill before the competition, Braden posted up in the pool aboard an inflatable flamingo—an excellent vessel for both relaxation and fielding fly balls:

A great catch to match an equally solid pool toy, to be sure.

This is just further evidence of the great universal truth that you haven’t really stunted until you’ve stunted on inflatable water fowl.

The only question left is, “You mad?”

Oh, they mad.


Dan is on Twitter. Pool toys are life’s simplest luxury.

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Madison Bumgarner Hits HR, Catches Comebacker and Dominates Nats with 14 Ks

When they shoot Field of Dreams II, and it’s inevitably based on Madison Bumgarner’s straight-to-DVD, hackishly unbelievable real life, they’ll probably model the Big Game after the performance he had Sunday.

Bumgarner pitched, hit and then hit some more, tying his career high with 14 strikeouts and pouring on a home run and RBI double over the course of a 5-0 shutout against the Washington Nationals.

The San Francisco Giants ace/bearded plowshare began laying lumber in the bottom of the fifth, hitting a Michael Doublé to right field that scored Kelby Tomlinson.

He would follow it up later with a shot (the 10th homer of his career) off Casey Janssen over the the left field wall in the bottom of the seventh.

Oh, and Bumgarner also snagged a driven comebacker to the mound like it was a Wiffle ball, because when you’re a real-life character from Oregon Trail, speeding baseballs hold no fear for you:

Yeah. It was that type of day for MadBum.

“[Bumgarner] did it all,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, per the Associated Press, via “That was an old-school type game; starter goes nine was fitting. Marichal did it so many times. Bumgarner, that’s back-to-back for him.”

Bochy was referring to Juan Marichal, the Giants’ former Dominican ace whose Hall of Fame career the team honored before Sunday’s game.

A right-hander with a penchant for making use of his plate appearances, Marichal was the only Giants pitcher in franchise history prior to Sunday who had thrown a shutout, struck out at least 10 and hit a home run in the same game, per the AP.

Then Bumgarner came along, and with the kind of corny, cinematic timing only he can breathe into existence, joined Marichal—on Marichal’s honorary day—with a likewise exhibition of offensive and defensive dominance.

The Giants went on to win the game 5-0, extending Washington’s losing streak to six games and improving to 64-53 on the season. Just when Harper and company hoped to turn around their skid, they ran into MadBum in full Paul-Bunyan-clear-cut-the-entire-forest mode. 

The only thing Bumgarner didn’t do over the course of his fairy tale outing was crush one into the stadium lights and ride an ox around the base path as sparks fell.

But give it time. He’s only 26.

Dan is on Twitter. Build an artificial steer for Bumgarner to rope and he will come.

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Giants Release ‘Full Clubhouse’ Promo for ‘Full House’ Theme Night

The San Francisco Giants are hosting a Full House theme night at AT&T Park on September 30, inviting fans to come out for an evening of baseball and entertainment centered on the ’90s television show. 

The franchise began priming the pump for the event Friday with “Full Clubhouse”—a promotional video modeled after the show’s intro theme.

The Giants aren’t the first baseball team to do a Full House theme night, but they may have been the best at capturing the show’s unmistakable goofiness. 

I mean, they had a picnic on the field, guys:

That’s dedication to authenticity:

Then again, a San Francisco-based team should have a leg up on parodying a show set in San Francisco.

You practically pay in gold bullion for that skyline. Might as well put it to good use.

Dan is on Twitter. Don’t call it “San Fran.” You’ll be arrested.

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Russell Martin Goes Dugout Diving for Foul Ball, Gets All the Hustle Hurrahs

Hustle hurrahs to you, Russell Martin. A whole basket of them, at least. 

You didn’t have to go leaping into the dugout after foul balls like some kind of glove-wielding Davy Crockett, but you did that, and while it may have been counterproductive to catching the ball, we appreciate displays of Woodheadian grit around here.

Martin’s dugout dive occurred in the top of the first inning of the Toronto Blue Jays’ Tuesday night 4-2 win over the Oakland A’s. Stephen Vogt chipped a ball high into foul territory, which Martin doggedly pursued to the rail of the Toronto dugout.

Opting for zero half measures, Martin leaped onto the barrier and into the dugout, missing the ball entirely. But a lot of good stuff happened in that moment, not the least of which were the dugout reactions, the guy who didn’t know what to do with his hands or young Mark Cuban’s stolid concern:

“I said ‘Lord Jesus it’s a fire.'”

Indeed, it was a rare case of over-grit, but one that Blue Jays fans could live with.

They offered him a series of hustle hurrahs, because you can’t not applaud a man willing to sunder his coccyx to close out the inning.

Good job, good effort, Russ. 


Dan is on Twitter. He didn’t grab his shoes or nothing, Jesus. He ran for that ball.

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Fans at Mariners Game Lose Hats Trying to Catch Home Run Balls

The Baltimore Orioles hit home runs with a sense of sartorial justice Monday night, picking off fans’ hats and enforcing a dress code desperately needed in a certain section of Safeco Field.

Adam Jones led off the hat-bombing with a first-inning shot over the center field wall—clearly aiming for a Seattle Mariners fan in a red shirt and brown flannel cargo shorts. 

Jones placed the ball carefully, luring the man into overextension and weak-fingered hat-loss, as if to say, “You got one article of clothing right today, and now it’s gone.”

Chris Davis followed Jones’ lead in the sixth, peppering the same section of ill-dressed jabronis with another hat-stealing dinger.

The target was another man in a red top and cargo shorts, this time wearing a Chicago Cubs hat for some reason.

This man then climbed over the railing after his lost hat but was stopped by a non-cargo-wearing friend who did not wish to see him die that day.

Both men would get their hats back, thanks to Safeco Field’s overly kind staff of ushers. This should not have happened.

Clearly, Home Run Zeus had gazed down on this section of storage shorts and non-applicable team hats and saw it was bad. He then chose Jones and Davis as his vessels, using their bats to smite the Tupperware-panted who would trespass against him.

The Orioles went on to beat the Mariners 3-2.

I assume the Cubs fan is still in the ballpark, pockets bulging with anticipation as he waits for Kyle Schwarber to take the field.


Dan is on Twitter. You can hold a lot of dreams in those shorts.

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Yankees Bombard Red Sox with 9 Runs in 7th-Inning Blitz

After five innings of spinning their wheels harmlessly against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night, the New York Yankees began oiling the bomb bay doors.

The foreshocks started in the sixth inning with RBI from Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran. The flurry pulled the Yankees to a 4-3 lead, one that New York would build into a 13-run mountain thanks to an explosion of offense in the bottom of the seventh. 

Alex Rodriguez kicked off the deluge with an RBI single. Brian McCann followed suit with a three-run moonshot to bring things to 8-3. 

Tracy Morgan approved:

After that, it was all blood, viscera and Boston pitchers exploding into fine mist and blowing off the mound.

The Yankees sent 13 men to the plate over the course of the nine-run inning. The Red Sox responded by burning through three different hurlers in their scramble to staunch the bleeding, stopping just shy of rolling a JUGS machine onto the mound and going back to the hotel.

The scoring ended with a three-run capstone over the left-field wall by Chris Young, effectively putting the game out of reach.

Young noted after the game that there’s no secret or nuance to the Yankees’ random nuclear evenings of offense. He said the Yankees just have good hitters, and when they’re hitting, they’ll run you off the field, per’s Bryan Hoch and Ian Browne

“The most blunt way to say it is, we have a lot of really good hitters,” Young said. “The group of guys we have, we have a great balance of speed and power. Guys are not giving too many at-bats away and grinding. Just from top to bottom, everybody’s a threat now.”

The Rodriguez Effect at work, my friends.

When Prince A-Rod is top 10 in the American League in home runs, walks, slugging percentage and on-base plus slugging, your team will feast. Then again, it also doesn’t hurt when your opponent shows up to the potluck with a tray of New England meatballs, either.


Dan is on Twitter, living that #RE2PECT life and wantonly cramming players’ numbers into hashtags in nonsensical ways.

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Troy Tulowitzki Hits 2nd HR for Blue Jays, Becomes Young Fans’ Favorite

Troy Tulowitzki bombed again Tuesday night, teeing off on an inside, belt-high Phil Hughes fastball for a 436-foot solo shot, his second home run since stepping into a Blue Jays uniform in late July.

This power, combined with consistency and a liberal spritzing of the “It’s Happening” trade mania that’s taken over the Blue Jays franchise in the past two weeks, has led to some stark and sudden changes in fan favorites. 

As Tulowitzki touched home and trotted into the dugout, Toronto sportscaster Pat Tabler noted that kids around the stadium before the game were claiming the team’s new shortstop as their favorite Blue Jay.

“I see a lot of little kids down on the field before the ballgame, and I ask them who their favorite Blue Jay is, and I got a lot of Troy Tulowitzkis from the kids,Tabler noted.

And what’s not to love?

Since bringing him into the fold, the Blue Jays are 6-0 with Tulowitzki in the starting lineup. He’s even helping the bullpen, somehow:

At this clip, Tulowitzki will be carried off the field Joe Carter-style in November after a World Series walk-off grand slam over the Cardinals. He will be one of the greatest Blue Jays ever—right behind David Price.


Dan is on Twitter. He’s got 5-1 odds Drake drops a Tulo line in his next mixtape.

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A.J. Pierzynski Frames Bouncer off the Dirt, Hits Game-Tying HR in Bottom of 9th

A.J. Pierzynski is roughly 45,000 years old. 

He watched mankind transition from caves to yurts, stop eating cud for sustenance and develop vestigial organs. He played in the first game of baseball, using a raw, bone-in ribeye as a catching glove, and is now at an age where getting run down by other hieroglyphics like Bartolo Colon is something he has to deal with.

Over this period of tectonic plate movement and mountain formation, Pierzynski has developed a bag of tricks and a weird sense of humor. These are requisite characteristics for any lasting catcher, and he can’t help himself but try to get a yuck out of the umpires.

Thus we go to Monday night’s game against the San Francisco Giants, where the Atlanta Braves catcher played both hero and court jester during Atlanta’s 12-inning comeback.

The joking came in the top of the eighth, when David Aardsma bounced a pitch a comical distance from the plate. It wasn’t in the neighborhood of the strike zone, but Pierzynski tried his best to salvage the ball, framing the bouncer and holding it up in the sweet spot.

“Sure, it bounced, but look how perfectly it bounced,” he may have said to the home plate umpire. “That’s a bounce-strike if I’ve ever seen one.”

The umpire didn’t bite, unfortunately, because creativity is a little-rewarded virtue at the plate. 

In any case, Pierzynski dusted himself off and pulled out some clutch hitting on the night. He smacked a two-run homer off Santiago Casilla with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, sending the game into extra innings.

The Braves would eventually win on an Adonis Garcia two-run homer in the 12th. 

After the game, Braves infielder Chris Johnson praised Pierzynski for dusting off his old bones and pulling out some magic.

“He’s been swinging the bat well,” Johnson told Matthew Bain of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He’s come up with a lot of big hits this year for us. That guy’s been around 20, 30 years in the major leagues. It’s about time he does something good.”

Pierzynski lives! As does the Braves offense! For now-ish!


Dan is on Twitter. He credits Pierzynski’s ability to withstand all extinction events.

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HBO Releases ‘Ferrell Takes the Field’ Teaser on Will Ferrell’s MLB Exploits

On March 12, 2015, Will Ferrell barnstormed MLB, using a helicopter to travel around Phoenix and play 10 different positions for 10 teams in five Cactus League games.

His journey was heavily documented by some of the sports media’s foremost weird peddlers, but HBO has gone and outdone us all with a step-by-step recounting of Ferrell’s day, which was part of a Stand Up to Cancer initiative.

The premium television network previewed the upcoming documentary Tuesday. Titled Ferrell Takes the Field, the program follows Ferrell throughout the day. Judging by this little taste, things went exactly how you’d imagine they would.

Lots of wedgie-picking going on out there. Just saying, not a surprise.


Dan is on Twitter awaiting the sweaty discomfort of HBO programming.

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St. Louis Cardinals Rookies Get Sent on Coffee Run in Wrigleyville

Taking a page from the Los Angeles Dodgers’ playbook, the St. Louis Cardinals sent their rookies on an odyssey for caffeine before Tuesday’s game against the Chicago Cubs.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Derrick Goold posted an image of rooks Kleininger Teran, Miguel Socolovich, Marcus Hatley and Mitch Harris to Instagram.

We also have a shot of their bounty: a surprisingly low number of Frappuccinos for caffeinating the “Cardinal Way.”

You can’t teach class, but you can impart on new guys the importance of blended ice, coffee and cream in maintaining the temple of the body.

Also, the rooks should be glad they were only sent to Starbucks. The Wrigleyville McDonald’s is basically a UFC Octagon with a takeout window.


Dan is on Twitter. Wrigleyville dining: the height of luxury.

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