Tag: B/R Swagger

Young Houston Astros Fan Licks Baseball, Gets Slapped in the Face

Mmmm…the sweet tang of palm gravy.

A young Houston Astros fan received a five-finger wake-up call on Thursday night after taking his tongue to a souvenir baseball. 

Older fans in a nearby section passed the ball to the young man in the hopes it would make his little day—which it did, in a weird, compulsive way. 

The child grabbed the ball, retreated to his seat and promptly began licking it like an owl with a lollipop. 

Of course, the sight of the youngster using a baseball like a palate-cleansing sorbet didn’t sit well with his presumed big sister next to him. Wasting no time, she gave him a light slap on the cheek—just to remind him other people live in this reality, and he’s making it weird. 

Granted, this licking incident appears to be an uncontrollable compulsion in this young man’s life. His tongue was blue-black at the time of the licking, likely from punishing Popsicles all day. This baseball lick was his version of stepping off a treadmill and walking around involuntarily.

Congratulations, kid. I’ve seen some strange things, but I’ve never seen anyone taste a baseball like a fine vintage. That takes marbles.


On the Twitters.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Dioner Navarro’s Inside-the-Park Home Run Attempt Ends Poorly

Dioner Navarro made a gutsy call during Thursday night’s game against the Chicago White Sox and attempted to run all the bases in one fell swoop. 

It did not end well.

The Toronto Blue Jays catcher hit a ball deep into left field in the bottom of the fifth and ran like mad after a muffed grab by White Sox outfielder Dayan Viciedo.

Navarro, who appeared destined for a double at the time, picked up another break when center fielder Leury Garcia served up a throwing error and chucked the ball to the right field line. 

Seizing the opportunity, the catcher took his third base coach’s signal and ran for home. And that’s when things got dicey.

Navarro made it to home just as the ball entered Adrian Nieto’s mitt and began to dance. The Blue Jays catcher attempted to shimmy around Nieto, nearly falling in the process before receiving a tag.

It was a good run, Dioner. You and your third base coach went for glory, but the real world has little compassion for heroes. Then again, if there’s a time to get greedy, it’s when you’re up 5-0.

The Blue Jays went on to blank the White Sox 7-0, improving to 45-36 on the season. Chicago, on the other hand, has lost seven of its last nine games—a trend that will continue against the Blue Jays if no one can hit, catch or throw a ball.

Put it this way: When Dioner Navarro is threatening to beat you with his feet, your house is on fire. You never want to give up an inside-the-park home run to the Dioner.


On Twitter,

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Phillie Phanatic Shoots Pig Mascot with Mach-Speed Hot Dog

Dollar Dog Night at Citizens Bank Park nearly turned into an episode of The Wire on Monday when the Phillie Phanatic pumped a high-caliber hot dog into some poor sap in a pig costume.

The porcine victim was a mascot for Hatfield Quality Meats—a Pennsylvania pork meat-packing company that sells hot dogs at Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals home games.

Part of the Phanatic’s routine involves rolling out the mobile Hatfield hot dog launcher and shooting franks into the stands.

Baseball authors George Gmelch and J.J. Weiner write that the cannon is three-and-a-half feet long and generates 350 pounds per square inch of pressure.

“This [the pressure] allows the Phanatic Frank to reach the upper decks from the middle of the outfield,” they write in their book, In the BallparkThe Working Lives of Baseball People.

Holy. God.

That is a weapons-grade hot dog gun, with more than enough juice to pull off a seriously painful pork drive-by. The sportscasters working the game said the dog is traveling around 98 mph—which seems low, considering you can barely see it as it leaves the cannon.

The pig appeared to take the cooked-sausage bullet to the gut—which is a good thing. Two feet higher and McNulty and the Bunk would’ve caught another redball.

Fortunately, the packed-meat fastball didn’t harm the pig, and the Phanatic is not in a holding cell looking at 25 to life.

As for the cannon, we can only hope it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Letting the Phanatic handle this weaponized meat-slinger is risk enough. If it falls into Charlie Kelly’s hands, it’s all over.


On the Twitters.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Tim Kurkjian Gets Destroyed in the Milwaukee Brewers Sausage Race

It wasn’t even close. At all.

ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian was thoroughly embarrassed Monday night after deciding against his better judgment to participate in the Milwaukee Brewers Sausage Race (click here for video).

Kurkjian spent the better part of an afternoon stretching and running stairs at Miller Park in preparation for the race. He even interviewed legendary Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker before the game for some friendly advice.

“Stupidly, I agreed to run in the sausage race tonight. Do you have any advice for me?” Kurkjian asked Uecker. “Is this the end of my career as a journalist?”

“I think this is the start of something really big,” Uecker said. “I think you got a road show coming up. … What could we call you? ‘Slim Tim and His Sausage-Casing Friends’? … What took you so long?”

Uecker‘s optimism was all for naught, however. Like a thoroughbred smashing its shoulders leaving the starting gate, Kurkjian found himself out of the race from the very beginning.

Busy chatting with the crowd, the ESPN analyst was facing the wrong direction when the signal to run came down—a dire setback for anyone running in a giant hot dog costume.

ESPN sportscaster Sean McDonough was on hand to call the race and took no prisoners as his colleague struggled about in the hot dog outfit.

“Tim…sorta doesn’t know what to do,” McDonough said. “John Kruk said he [Kurkjian] is really one of those mini cocktail wieners, based on his size.”

When the dust settled, Kurkjian finished somewhere in the neighborhood of 24 lengths behind the victor.

There are so many factors that contributed to Kurkjian‘s sweaty implosion at Miller Park that it’s difficult to decide where to begin the autopsy. Joe Lucia of Awful Announcing says Kurkjian‘s decision to wear pants was a red-flag indicator that this endeavor would only end badly.

“I spoke with Matt Lindner, a Chicago-based writer friend of mine who actually worked as a Racing Sausage during his time with the Brewers,” Lucia writes. “Lindner opined that Kurkjian‘s choice of slacks was ‘ill-advised at best,’ and that many of the runners in the race dress like ‘they’re going to gym class.'”

You’ve got to stay nimbly bimbly, Tim. You don’t see Usain Bolt running the hundred meters in Zubaz (though we’d like to).

With that said, Kurkjian owes his viewers a redemption tour. This time next year, he needs to walk back onto that field wearing shorts and facing the starting line.

Do it for the game, Slim Tim. Do it for journalism.



Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Drake Skips NBA Finals, Hits Up Minute Maid Park to Watch Houston Astros Win

You know it’s a weird week in sports when Drake turns down an NBA Finals game in Miami to watch the Houston Astros play.

Nevertheless, the hip-hop star wisely avoided the sinking ship that is the Miami Heat in favor of showing love to Houston—his home away from home.

Sporting a custom Astros jersey, Drake kicked off his “Houston Appreciation Weekend” by signing balls and taking pictures with fans at Minute Maid Park Thursday night. Sportscasters took a moment to speak on the rapper’s tryst with the city, saying Drake told the Houston faithful they were part of “the greatest city in the world.”

Drake fans know his love affair with Houston goes way back and that this wasn’t another one of his pandering ploys. The Toronto-born artist raps about the Texas city constantly and sports an Astros tattoo on his shoulder.

CSN sideline reporter Julia Morales said Drake told fans at the ballpark about his tattoo and dropped a cheesy line.

“He said that he does have the tattoo,” Morales said. “He wears Houston ‘on his skin and in his heart.’ And then he joked. He was like, ‘I’ve been working on that line for a while.'”

Oh, Drake. You silly, Houston-loving man with the city of Toronto on your back.

Say what you want about the man; he made the right call Thursday night. The Astros continued their breakout success with a 5-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, while the Heat—Drake’s erstwhile love affair—chalked up their third loss against in San Antonio Spurs in the Finals. 

Maybe Drake knew it was time to jump ship. Maybe he sensed the end coming for Miami. Maybe he doesn’t care either way.

Regardless, the rapper turned down the biggest game in America to cheer on a team whose television audience amounts to three dudes and a cocker spaniel.

Let’s not get too optimistic, but there may be hope for him yet.


On the Twitters.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

2 Hit by Pitches, 4 Ejected During Braves-Rockies Blowout

A series of unintentional happenings turned Thursday’s game between the Atlanta Braves and Colorado Rockies into an ejection-filled, plunking contest.

The drama began in the eighth inning when Rockies outfielder Corey Dickerson nicked a foul ball into the facemask of Braves catcher Gerald Laird.

Stunned by the blow, Laird stumbled but managed to stay in the game. Two pitches later, Dickerson swung and accidentally caught Laird in the side of the head with his follow-through. The catcher crumpled to the ground and eventually left the game under his own power.

The foul ball and follow-through contact amounted to bad luck on Laird’s part, but the fluky incidents were too close together for the trailing Braves to stomach.

Wasting no time, Atlanta pitcher David Carpenter beaned Dickerson on the hip with his next pitch and was ejected.

Next to head for the clubhouse was Rockies manager Walt Weiss, who pushed an umpire’s hands away while raging over Carpenter’s retaliation ball. The drama was far from over, however.

Rockies reliever Nick Masset returned fire in the top of the ninth, hitting Braves catcher Evan Gattis high on the left arm. The plunking earned Masset and Rockies bench coach Tom Runnells quick ejections and applause from the crowd at Coors Field. The Rockies went on to seal a 10-3 victory over the Braves.

And that, sports fans, is how incidental contact turned a trouncing into an ejection-happy sideshow.

According to The Associated Press (via USA Today), Dickerson remained adamant that his follow-through contact with Laird was a complete accident.

“It was on a two-strike slider on a backswing that I hit Laird, but it was an accident and I think they know that,” Dickerson said. “I guess Carpenter thought it was on purpose.”

Carpenter denied throwing at Dickerson.

“I tried to run a fastball in on him, it cut a little bit and caught him,” Carpenter said. “Dickerson was looking at me and I thought, ‘You just got hit, go to first base, that’s all there is to it.’ … I was surprised getting tossed out of the game.”

Yup—no way that fastball to the center of the hip might’ve been construed as anything but a God’s honest attempt at tagging the inside. It certainly wasn’t an irrational response to a run of bad luck at the end of a blowout.

The good news is Laird is fine. The Braves staff ran the catcher through the usual concussion protocols and approved him to fly with the rest of the team.

Atlanta looks to bounce back at home Friday night against the streaky Los Angeles Angels, who have won six of their last eight.

Keep an eye on home plate. If anyone breathes on Gattis the wrong way, the Angels are in for some sore hips.


On the Twitters.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Young San Francisco Giants Fan Gets Hit by Ball, Makes Miraculous Recovery

Does anything heal booboos quite like a souvenir ball?

A young San Francisco Giants fan made a miraculous recovery on Monday night, overcoming a bruised leg after being presented with a game ball.

The extraordinary chain of events began in the second inning when Giants’ outfielder Tyler Colvin smacked a ground-rule double down the right field line. The ball skipped over the wall, sniped a young fan in the leg and suddenly we had a young trooper down at AT&T Park. 

Image via B/R

The boy took the hit hard, dropping to the ground and initiating full water works. To make matters worse, he missed the ball. 

Stadium employees tended to the boy with ice and reassuring words, but nothing seemed capable of assuaging the young fan.

Just when the usher appeared ready to call in the medevac and morphine, a miracle happened—some kind soul offered the young boy his duly earned prize. 

Like divine intervention from above, the baseball wiped away the pain. The young fan thrust his new treasure into the air, affirming he would live to see another day.

Image via imgflip.com

Even more miraculous, the boy was up and walking within moments, his maimed leg healed instantaneously by the souvenir. 

God bless you, little Giants fan. You taught us all an important lesson about perseverance and the healing properties of a baseball souvenir.

For those of you reading who are medical professionals, I hope you take note and place a bucket of baseballs in every hospital, right next to the defibrillators. 

It could save lives.


On the Twitters.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Harry Caray’s Diary from 1972 Contains Log of 288 Consecutive Days of Barhopping

The sky is blue, and Harry Caray guzzled beer—these are not revelations.

What does come as news is the recent discovery of one of Caray’s diaries, which allegedly contains a wealth of information concerning his superhuman barhopping habits.

Neil Steinberg of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that a dark green “Day Book” belonging to the famous Chicago Cubs broadcaster has been found.

According to Steinberg, the diary is one of eight inherited by Grant DePorter, CEO of the Harry Caray chain of eateries. DePorter came into possession of the book after the executor of Caray’s estate unearthed it during a cleaning of his former office.

Within its 8-by-5 pages rests an anthology of meticulous records Caray kept while, well, drinking on a near-daily basis. Where you or I might spill our hopes and dreams into a diary, Caray poured forth the places, faces and sums from his nights out on the town.

The year chronicled in the diary is 1972—a period prior to Caray rising to color commentary stardom with the Chicago Cubs. At this juncture, he had just made his way to the Chicago White Sox by way of Oakland and, judging by the book, was taking in the Windy City bar scene with gusto.

Caray’s diary ticks off a laundry list of old Chicago bars, usually tallying multiple tap houses in a single day.

Steinberg reports Caray’s record for Saturday, January 1, includes the Back Room, 20 E. Delaware, Sully’s and Peppy’s. He racked up bills between $8 and $10 at each of those locations—no small feat in the early ’70s.

DePorter says Caray kept the records of his tabs in order to write the expenses off at the end of the year.

“Remember, you used to be able to deduct a three-martini lunch,” DePorter said.

The broadcaster also kept record of the guests he entertained at each location (as required for tax write-offs). Lakers superstar Wilt Chamberlain, Yankees first baseman Joe Pepitone and boxer Jack Dempsey are listed among Caray’s barhopping buddies.

Jimmy Rittenberg, former proprietor of Faces—a bar Caray visited 14 times over the course of 1972—says Caray and his drinking buddies could outlast men 30 years their junior at the bar.

“These guys did nothing but go out and have a few cocktails,” Rittenberg said. “I don’t know how they did it. They were 20, 30 years older than me and I couldn’t keep up with them.”

The most jaw-dropping aspect of the diary, however, is Caray’s 288-day streak of consecutive bar visits.

The streak begins after January 16, when Caray mentions he is in Miami. He wrote only the word “Super” without any mention of a bar tab (I like to think he meant he attended the original Ultra).

After that, it was 288 straight days—or 41 weeks—of tap house visiting.

Regardless of his proclivities, those who drank with Caray said the man was always warm and friendly even when deep into his cups. Rick Kogan of the Chicago Tribune told Steinberg the broadcaster was always laughing.

“Drunk but joyful,” Kogan said of Caray. “It always wound up being a joyful, laughter-filled time. … He was one of the most charming people in the world.”

Indeed, Mr. Caray charmed us all in one way or another, and it certainly wasn’t through moderation. He was, after all, the guy who told his White Sox employers that he wouldn’t hold back on criticizing their struggling franchise.

“Hey, you can’t ballyhoo a funeral,” Caray said.

Nope. You can’t cheer a dirge, and you can’t miss out on a good time at the tap. Not if you’re Harry Caray.


On the Twitters.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Chris Sale Goes Wild to ‘Call Me Maybe,’ Is an American Hero

Any time you can incorporate a wine glass, maracas and a Hawaiian lei into your dance routine, you’re doing strong work. 

All of these essential components were found in the “Call Me Maybe” rendition that Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale put together.

TMZ found video of the lefty body-dropping to Carly Rae Jepsen at the wedding of a former teammate in 2012. To call Sale’s dance “art” wouldn’t quite cut it. This is a national treasure.

Jimmy Traina of Fox Sports believes Sale might’ve been overserved.

“We’re going to speculate that whatever is in the large glass Sale is holding may have something to do with his uninhibited performance, but it doesn’t matter,” Traina writes. “It’s still a thing of beauty.”

I don’t know what Sale was drinking, but I’ll have two. 

The White Sox lefty is leaving nothing but smoking earth on the mound, eating up batters for a 4-0 record and a 1.89 ERA this season. He pitched a perfect game all the way into the sixth inning against the New York Yankees earlier this month in his first game back from the disabled list (left flexor strain).

This video is only further proof that Sale is six-and-a-half feet of dance floor hustle and American muscle. He jumps offstage, falls at the word “fall” and steals maracas. And you go to hell if you can’t admit having rocked out to “Call Me Maybe.”

I’ve seen grown men in suits on the Las Vegas strip lose their minds to Carly Rae Jepsen. It happens to everyone, and it’ll happen to you.

The only question now is who rocks a party harder: Sale or New York Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara? 

Amukamara posted video over Memorial Day weekend from a wild bar mitzvah. It was like Ultra for tweens. 

I’d say it’s close.

As for Sale, the “Call Me Maybe” footage only confirms his life is in midseason form. When you’re 25, throwing untouchable stuff and immolating dance floors, you’re doing it right.

Now someone get this man another maraca so we can start a traveling band.


On the Twitters.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Chicago White Sox Fan Catches Flying Bat, Saves Baby from Harm

There are two types of baseball fans: duckers and grabbers.

Eileen Depesa is a grabber, and her quick reflexes likely saved an infant from taking a bat to the head during Monday’s White Sox game.

Depesa was sitting in the stands near the left-field line when Tyler Flowers lost the handle on his bat and sent the article whipping toward her section.

It was no big deal for Depesa, however. The woman reached up and snagged the heavy, wooden missile with one hand. I repeat—she barehanded a flying baseball bat. Effortlessly.

Kamaya Thompson of MLB.com crafted a GIF of the spectacular catch, which only becomes more impressive when you notice the baby Depesa protected by grabbing the bat. 

Depesa wasn’t allowed to keep the bat but said she was just happy the child wasn’t injured.

“I was more concerned with protecting the baby seated behind me,” Depesa said.

The same cannot be said for her male companion, however. The man seated next to Depesa went into full air-raid-under-the-desk formation when the bat flew into the stands. He did everything but plug a finger in each ear. 

This is the difference between duckers and grabbers.

Where duckers look at a foul ball or flying bat and see their imminent demise, grabbers find glory (or a baseball to the incisors).

They are the vigilante heroes of the baseball world and the watchers on the wall. Anything coming their way is getting caught—for the good of the realm.

Congratulations and good work, Depesa. Let us know when your buddy comes out of his turtle shell. We’d like to have a word with him on duck-and-cover approach to fanship.


On the Twitters.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress