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Tigers vs. A’s Video: Watch Victor Martinez Hit Controversial HR to Tie Game 4

MLB‘s revised instant replay rules aren’t in play yet, but replay certainly played a role in a critical situation during Game 4 of the ALDS between the Detroit Tigers and Oakland A’s Tuesday evening.

With Sean Doolittle on the mound for the A’s and no one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez hit a towering fly ball deep to right field.

A’s right fielder Josh Reddick leaped for the catch, but it was clearly out of reach of his outstretched glove, giving Martinez the home run to tie the game at 4-4.

But wait!

In Jeffrey Maier-like fashion, a fan reached over the yellow line at the top of the wall to grab himself a souvenir.

But unlike the 1996 incident, the umpires had a chance to get the call right with the use of video replay. And Twitter was abuzz with speculation as to what the call would be. 

In the case of Jeter’s home run in the 1996 ALCS against the Baltimore Orioles, it was clear that the umpires got the call wrong; Maier did in fact interfere in the play. 

But video replays from several angles clearly show that the umpires did indeed get this call right at Comerica Park.

It was only the second home run of the entire series for the Tigers; Jhonny Peralta’s three-run shot earlier in the game put the Tigers back in the game at 3-3.

In this case, the A’s can’t say they got robbed by a bad call.

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Dodgers’ Juan Uribe Shocks Diamondbacks with 3 Consecutive Home Runs

It’s safe to say the first two years after Juan Uribe signed a free-agent contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers were a complete disaster.

After hitting 24 home runs with 85 RBI in 2010 for the San Francisco Giants in their championship season, Uribe headed a bit farther south. But he would end up totaling just six home runs in his first two seasons, hitting just .199 in the process.

Now, in his third and final season, Uribe is finally living up to his contract, hitting a more robust .271 with seven home runs and 40 RBI entering Monday’s game with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Uribe added greatly to his offensive output within his first three at-bats against Arizona. He belted three solo shots, the first two off of starter Randall Delgado and the third off of reliever Eury De La Rosa.

Uribe’s epic night leaves him with 10 home runs and 44 RBI, almost matching the production he provided in his first two years with the Dodgers.

In fact, Uribe’s huge offensive output was not lost on Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times.

His big night prompted this factoid from ESPN as well. 

Fans on Twitter weren’t just shocked by Uribe’s power display, they were blown away.

Ironically, Uribe’s night ended with an infield single, something also not normally seen from the not-so-svelte third baseman.

Production at third base had been seriously lacking for the Dodgers for much of the season, especially with Luis Cruz starting the season hitting just .145 with zero home runs while manning the hot corner. 

Uribe’s production has certainly been a bright spot for a position that’s seen nothing but disappointment. And to think Uribe started the season on the bench behind Cruz.


All videos courtesy of MLB Advanced Media via

Doug Mead’s work has been featured in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.

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Watch Juan Perez Save Yusmeiro Petit Perfect Game Bid with Outstanding Catch

With two outs in the sixth inning on Friday, San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Yusmeiro Petit was in the middle of putting together a game for the ages.

He had retired 17 consecutive Arizona Diamondbacks hitters by the time opposing pitcher Patrick Corbin stepped to the plate. 

Corbin, with a .133 batting average, lofted a fly ball off the end of his bat to shallow left field. Left fielder Juan Perez simply wasn’t going to allow a pitcher to break up Petit‘s flawless effort.

Perez’s outstanding catch allowed Petit to continue his masterful effort. 

While he wasn’t able to complete the perfect game, it always seems like there is at least one defensive play that stands out in stellar outings like this.

Last season, Giants teammate Matt Cain nearly saw his perfect game effort go by the wayside as well. But Gregor Blanco made sure that Cain’s performance would indeed be legendary.

Blanco‘s fully-extended dive preserved what became the 22nd perfect game ever thrown in MLB history.

And back in 2009, Chicago White Sox center fielder Dewayne Wise made a wall-jumping dive and unique juggling act in saving the perfect game effort for teammate Mark Buehrle. 

While Perez’s effort was indeed outstanding, it was Eric Chavez’s sinking liner that did Petit in with two outs on the ninth inning on Friday. But Perez can stand tall knowing he did all he could to put Petit in the history books. 


Doug Mead’s work has been featured in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.



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Tampa Bay Rays’ Fernando Rodney Saved from Being Trapped in Dugout Bathroom

If there haven’t been enough issues at Coliseum this season, this latest one certainly helps add more evidence that the Oakland A’s are in dire need of a new home.

On Friday, Tampa Bay Rays closer Fernando Rodney decided he needed to use the bathroom, conveniently located at the end of the visiting dugout at the Coliseum.

However, Rodney ended up getting trapped.

It took a team of stadium personnel to finally get Rodney out of his predicament, using a crowbar to eventually pry the door open and let him out. Rodney did not factor in the game, as the Rays ended up losing 4-3. 

Back in mid-June, the A’s and Seattle Mariners ended up having to shower in the Oakland Raiders locker room after backed-up pipes caused flooding in both the home and visiting clubhouses.

And it was raw sewage that was dumped at the time.

Disgusting? Absolutely. But Rodney’s plight on Friday was hilarious to some of his teammates, several of whom could be seen cracking up after he was finally freed.

Many on Twitter thought the incident was quite humorous as well:

The clubhouses ended up going through an extensive renovation over a week’s time, with carpet, tile and drywall all torn out and replaced in affected areas.

But as President Obama said on the campaign trail in 2008 (in a variation of the old phrase), “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.”

The incident on Friday may have been funny to Rodney’s teammates, but it’s just another sign that the A’s need a new home, and sooner rather than later. 


Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.


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Does Yasiel Puig’s 4-Hit Night Show That Benching Was Right Call?

On Friday, embattled Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig collected a double, three singles and two stolen bases on his way to a four-hit night. His performance certainly helped lead the way in the Dodgers’ 9-2 victory over the San Diego Padres.

Considering he had been benched after four innings by manager Don Mattingly on Wednesday versus Chicago, it’s certainly fair to ask the question: Does his four-hit night show that he learned something from the discipline?

It’s likely a question to be debated, considering the massive attention that Puig has generated since making his much-ballyhooed debut in early June. 

Mattingly originally played down the sit-down of Puig on Wednesday, telling the media after the game that he felt like Skip Schumaker was a better option in the hopes of winning the game.

Yeah, right. 

It should also be noted that Puig had a tete-a-tete with both Mattingly and his boss, Ned Colletti, before the game.

Generally, players aren’t called into meetings with their boss and their boss’ boss because they want to talk about warm, fuzzy things.

Puig’s antics both on and off the field were clearly becoming a concern, and the higher-ups were absolutely right in taking the action of sitting Puig.

Puig took the disciplinary action quite well, saying after the game that Mattingly made the right call. With a full day off, many fans were wondering just how Puig would respond.

They got the message loud and clear on Friday.

But does it mean that Puig learned his lesson? 

In a word, no.

Puig simply had a good game against a subpar team. The Padres are playing out the string right now, and while Puig’s performance certainly lends credence to the “lesson learned” school of thought, one game simply won’t answer that question.

At 22 years of age, armed with seven-year, $42 million contract and being exposed to a way of life he never would have dreamed possible on his native island of Cuba, Puig is absolutely going through growing pains.

Collecting four hits doesn’t mean he’s turned a corner in his maturity level.

Can he start carrying out simple fundamentals like hitting the cutoff man? Will he stop running through hold signs at third base? Will he stop recklessly trying to take an extra base when the prudent thing to do is stay where he is? 

The Dodgers can’t control what Puig does off the field, but they can darn sure try to control what he does between the lines. Mattingly took a step in the right direction with his actions on Wednesday. 

Puig responded with a fabulous night on Friday.

A one-game sample size is nowhere near enough to say that Puig has turned a corner. Still, four hits and two stolen bases in one game has a way of healing wounds quickly. 


Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.

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Angels’ C.J. Wilson Does a Face-Plant on Tropicana Field Turf

Los Angeles Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson has had to endure a long season as his team entered Tuesday’s contest with the Tampa Bay Rays sporting a 58-71 record.

Wilson will now have to endure a lot more than just a tough season.

On his way back to the mound to start the second inning, Wilson saw the Tropicana Field carpet rise above his feet as he fell flat on his face.

OK, maybe the artificial surface didn’t really move, but Wilson could at least try to use that as an excuse, couldn’t he?

The Angels have stumbled through the 2013 season, so it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see one of their players take a little header of his own. 

Oddly enough, Wilson is one of the few Angels who haven’t stumbled their way through the season. Entering Tuesday’s start, Wilson is 13-6 with a 3.30 ERA, including a 4-0 record in the second half.

Fans on Twitter certainly got a kick out of Wilson’s misfortune.

Needless to say, many could look at Wilson’s face-plant as a microcosm of the Angels’ season as well. 

The Angels’ season will sadly be coming to an end in late September, but Wilson’s little trip-and-fall will likely play on a bit longer than that. 

Well, Wilson can at least say he has played “Head and Shoulders” above the rest of his team, despite meeting the Tropicana Field turf up close and personal. 

If it served at least one purpose, it gave Angels fans something to laugh about in an otherwise dreary year.

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Watch Bryce Harper Make Diving Grab to Preserve Nationals Win

When Bryce Harper was chosen by the Washington Nationals as the first overall pick in the 2010 MLB draft, he had played for most of his amateur career as a catcher.

In just three-plus years, it’s safe to say he’s picked up the nuances of the outfield fairly well.

On Friday against the Kansas City Royals, Nationals closer Rafael Soriano had given up three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to pull the Royals within one run, 11-10. With a runner on first and just one out, Justin Maxwell lofted a fly ball to short right field. 

At first glance, it looked like the ball would drop. But Harper was having none of that.

His tremendous play was a huge out, and Soriano was able to induce another fly ball to left fielder Tyler Moore for the final out.

But no question it was Harper’s valiant effort that saved the day for the Nationals. 

It was Harper’s comments following the game that indicate exactly how he approaches the game, and especially how he reacts when the game is on the line. 

It’s that attitude that has endeared Harper to his legions of fans in the metro-D.C. area, not to mention the many other sterling defensive efforts over the past two seasons.

The game-saving catch on Friday allowed the Nationals to pull back to the .500 mark, now 8.5 games out of the wild-card chase in the National League. 

If the Nationals were to pull a rabbit out of their hat and complete a stunning comeback, they can certainly look back at this catch as a turning point for sure.


Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.

Feel free to talk baseball with Doug anytime on Twitter.

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Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista Dedicates Game to Boy Killed in Tragic Accident

Last Sunday, nine-year-old Derek Lendosky was killed in a tragic accident. On Friday, Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista dedicated a game in his honor.

Lendosky was just three days short of his 10th birthday when he was killed after falling off a UTV being towed by a tractor in Fennimore, Wis. Bautista learned of what happened and communicated with the young boy’s father via Twitter that he would dedicate Friday’s game to his son.

With an entire town watching, things looked bleak for Bautista and the Blue Jays as the Oakland Athletics stormed out to a 14-3 lead with Josh Reddick leading the way with three home runs.

But in the bottom of the eighth inning, Bautista, who was 1-for-3 on the night, belted an offering deep to left field for his 26th home run of the season.

No question that Derek’s father and the entire township of Fennimore were smiling despite the overwhelming grief they’ve been feeling.

Bautista‘s act of kindness and his selfless act of reaching out to a community in grief was another example of an athlete understanding the kind of impact he can have on the lives of his fans.

On Tuesday, Joshua Jones, the young man afflicted by brain cancer who was befriended by Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, sadly passed away

Kemp went above and beyond in giving Joshua some precious memories before his passing. 

For Bautista, he never had the pleasure of meeting Derek Lendosky. But it didn’t stop him from reaching out and doing what he could to ease his family’s pain and that of an entire community.


Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.

Feel free to talk baseball with Doug anytime on Twitter.

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Bryce Harper Hit-by-Pitch Leads to Benches Clearing, Twitter Accounts Battling

Since his debut in late April of last year, Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has certainly garnered quite a bit of attention, both for his performance on the field and his all-out style of play.

On Tuesday against the Atlanta Braves, he got some attention he didn’t ask for.

Harper clubbed a solo home run to center field off Braves starter Julio Teheran in the bottom of the third inning, breaking a scoreless tie at the time.

During his next at-bat in the bottom of the fifth, Harper was drilled in the right thigh on a pitch from Teheran.

Harper jawed at Teheran and the benches and bullpens from both sides sprinted onto the field. However, order was quickly restored, no punches were thrown and the game resumed in quickly thereafter.

While the action on the field turned out to be nothing more than a gentlemanly quarrel, the official team Twitter accounts decided to do battle on their own.

The Atlanta Braves struck first.

Okay, the person handling the Braves Twitter account apparently thought it was funny to throw a Harper quote back in the face of the Nationals.

But in this case, it was the Braves who were clowned.

While the battle—or lack thereof—on the field could be classified as a stalemate, the Nationals were the knockout winners on Twitter.

Unfortunately, it was the only battle the Nationals would win. Harper ended up registering the last out of the night, striking out on a 99 MPH fastball from closer Craig Kimbrel as Washington lost the game, 2-1. The Nationals dropped their second straight to the Braves and have now lost nine of 12 games to their NL East rivals on the season.

But hey, they completely whipped the Braves in the world of social media.


Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.

Feel free to talk baseball with Doug anytime on Twitter.


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Watch Diamondbacks OF Gerardo Parra Save Randall Delgado’s Shutout Bid

On Friday against the San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Randall Delgado picked up the first complete-game shutout of his brief career.

He can thank teammate Gerardo Parra for helping him achieve that feat.

Just one day after he was selected as the Diamondbacks’ recipient of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association’s Heart and Hustle Award, Parra offered up this gem. 

Parra, who earned a Gold Glove Award in 2011 for the Diamondbacks, raced back to the wall in the top of the seventh inning to take an extra-base hit away from Padres hitter Will Venable.

Just the look on Delgado’s face after the catch was made was priceless.

It’s certainly not the first time Parra has stunned teammates with his brilliant glovework

There was the brilliant running and leaping catch he made against A.J. Ellis and the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 8.

Delgado was on the mound that night as well.

Then there was this incredible sliding catch off the bat of Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre in late May.

The fans certainly appreciated Parra‘s effort:

No question that teammates are no longer in awe of what Parra can do—he’s proven time and time again that there’s no catch he won’t at least try. And more often than not, he comes away with the ball, sending the hitter back to his dugout, shaking his head in wonderment.

According to FanGraphs, Parra leads the majors with a 14.4 UZR. He’s also fourth in the National League with a 2.0 dWAR as well. And while other players may be restricted to just one position, Parra can play anywhere in the outfield.

The Diamondbacks don’t care where he plays, as long as he continues making fabulous stops like the one that saved Randall Delgado’s first-ever shutout on Friday. 


Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.

Feel free to talk baseball with Doug anytime on Twitter.

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