Tag: The Lineup

Yasiel Puig and Albert Pujols Clash in Dodgers-Angels Freeway Series

Freddy vs. Jason. Rocky versus Drago. Bryce Harper versus a wall. 

We know an iconic matchup when we see one, and Yasiel Puig versus Albert Pujols could blossom into one of the more entertaining clashes of ego we’ll see in baseball this year.

Puig and Pujols endeavored in a bit of tit-for-tat trolling during the first game of the Dodgers-Angels Freeway Series on Monday night. The shenanigans started in the bottom of the first, when Puig caught the Angels first baseman on the heel with a cleat. 

The contact appeared incidental, and Pujols filed it away for future reference.

The true trolling began in sixth inning after Puig caught a routine fly and sent Angels shortstop Erick Aybar skittering back to first. 

The two men exchanged good-natured finger wags and moved on. 

Next came Pujols’ turn for revenge. Being the nimble stallion he is, the Angels’ 34-year-old first baseman tagged up on a routine fly ball to center in the eighth inning and caught Puig admiring his glove work.

Pujols beat the throw, and both sides seized the opportunity to pile the grief on Puig. Pujols particularly enjoyed imitating Puig’s picnic catch, while Juan Uribe hopped on the young outfielder’s case in the dugout.

Later in the game, Puig made another routine catch and waved Pujols on to third, daring him to make a run for it.

The first baseman declined, and the Angels went on to blank the Dodgers, 5-0.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told reporters after the game that his star outfielder had been taken to school.

“[Puig] just got a lesson, and hopefully he learns it, Mattingly told The Associated Press (h/t The Washington Post). “Albert basically embarrassed him right there.”

Pujols approached questions about his tagging up less directly.

“That’s how you play the game,” Pujols said. “[Puig] can have fun, too. I’m having fun. He can do whatever he wants.”

See, guys? Sometimes baseball players can mess with each other without anyone catching a fastball to the teeth. Progress!

As for the Puig-Pujols showdown, the Freeway Series affords them three more opportunities in the next three days to settle the score. 

Pop your popcorn, folks.


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Justin Verlander Tosses Ball to Kate Upton During Tigers vs. Yankees Game

Justin Verlander is in the midst of a wildly inconsistent year, especially by his lofty standards, but his game off the diamond is clearly not lacking. 

For the uninitiated, the Detroit Tigers right-hander is dating Kate Upton, the two-time Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover model, and during Monday’s game against the New York Yankees, he showed why: 

Using a free baseball to woo the ladies has been done before, but Verlander just took it to another level. 

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Tigers’ Ezequiel Carrera Lays out for a Catch in Center Field vs. Yankees

Detroit Tigers center fielder Ezequiel Carrera laid out for an incredible over-the-shoulder catch with the bases loaded on a ball hit to the warning track by the New York Yankees’ Jacoby Ellsbury. 

Unfortunately, despite Carrera’s efforts, Ichiro Suzuki still scored. But this catch is one of the more impressive athletic displays we’ve seen all season. 


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Red Sox’s Mike Napoli Hits Home Run over Green Monster vs. Yankees

There is nothing more satisfying than nailing a home run over the Green Monster, especially against the New York Yankees. 

In the bottom of the second inning, Mike Napoli did just that against Shane Greene to give the Boston Red Sox a 2-0 lead. There is nothing that could’ve possibly gotten the crowd more excited at this point in the game.


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A’s Sam Fuld Throws out Runner at Home Plate vs. Royals, Does a Barrel Roll

Oakland Athletics center fielder Sam Fuld had one of the most impressive plays of his career on Saturday.

During the fourth inning in a game against the Kansas City Royals, the 32-year-old Fuld caught a line drive in center field, then proceeded to throw a laser to home plate, doing a barrel roll in the process. The throw ended up getting to catcher Derek Norris just before Alex Gordon, who was tagged out at home plate.


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‘The Dude’ Abides by Throwing out First Pitch at Dodgers Game

Before the Los Angeles Dodgers took on the Chicago Cubs on Friday night, they invited quite a special guest to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Jeff Bridges, the actor who played Jeffrey Lebowski, or “The Dude” in the 1998 film The Big Lebowski, tossed the first pitch. Before throwing a legitimate pitch, Bridges decided to bowl the ball to home plate as a tribute to the film.


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Yasiel Puig Avoids Getting Tagged Out at Home, Scores Run vs. Cubs

Los Angeles Dodgers star Yasiel Puig is known for making some crazy highlight plays. And while this one didn’t make much of a difference in the final score, it was still pretty impressive.

In the bottom of the sixth inning of Friday night’s game against the Chicago Cubs, Hanley Ramirez hit a ground ball to third. On the resulting double-play attempt, Puig kept running past third base and charged toward home plate. After sliding past Welington Castillo, Puig faked him out to touch home and score a run.

Unfortunately for the Dodgers, the run only cut their deficit to six in an 8-2 loss.

[MLB.com, h/t Next Impulse Sports]

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McKayla Maroney Throws 1st Pitch for White Sox, Does Cartwheels from Mound

McKayla Maroney is showing the world her supreme athleticism once again. 

In case you need a refresher, Maroney became famous after silver-medaling in the vault during the 2012 Summer Olympics, when she made this face on the podium:

She and her other four Team USA teammates won the gold medal in women’s artistic team all-around. 

Now this. How would you grade the acrobatic throw?

[White Sox]

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Flashback Friday: David Price Sends Rays to 2008 World Series with 4-out Save

David Price may be one of the best starting pitchers in all of baseball right now, but as a rookie, he was just a hard-throwing reliever.

The southpaw appeared in only five regular-season games, including one start, with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008. However, when it came time for the most important game in franchise history, Rays manager Joe Maddon wasn’t afraid to hand the ball to the rookie.

Tampa Bay was clinging to a 3-1 lead in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the 2008 American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox. With the bases loaded and two outs in the inning, Maddon called upon Price to face Red Sox slugger J.D. Drew. It turned out to be a brilliant move. 

Price struck out Drew to get out of the jam. He ended up picking up the four-out save, thanks to three strikeouts, and sent Tampa Bay to the World Series for the first time in franchise history. 

The Rays wound up losing the World Series in five games to the Philadelphia Phillies.

On Thursday, the Rays traded Price to the Detroit Tigers. Price won the 2012 AL Cy Young award and made four AL All-Star teams in seven seasons with the team. All of those accolades are nice, but Rays fans will never forget his performance that helped get the team to the World Series.


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Allen Craig and Joe Kelly Found out They Had Been Traded Via TV and Twitter

Many Major League Baseball players are on edge on the day of the trade deadline, so if a player gets traded, his team should at least be the first to tell him. That’s not what happened with a couple of (now former) St. Louis Cardinals players.

First baseman/right fielder Allen Craig and pitcher Joe Kelly were traded from the Cardinals to the Boston Red Sox for pitcher John Lackey on Thursday afternoon. 

Here’s how Craig and Kelly found out that they had been traded, via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Derrick Goold:

Craig, an All-Star just a year ago, was sitting in a room off the clubhouse with teammates when he heard about the trade on the television. Kelly read it first on Twitter. Other players heard about it first from the media or a website.

Craig, who was drafted by St. Louis back in 2006 and debuted with the team in 2010, and Kelly, who was drafted by St. Louis in 2009, had to find out that they were traded by someone other than a team official.

The Cardinals are known for treating their players the right way, but finding out that you had been traded via television and Twitter has to sting a bit.

[h/t HardballTalk]

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