D-Backs Manager Ejected After Kole Calhoun Called Out for Headbutting Ball

In Tuesday’s Hot Clicks: Kole Calhoun uses his head, Chris Paul speaks out about Jacob Blake and more.
Author:
Publish date:

You can’t do that

Managers usually want players to use their heads while running the bases, but it got Diamondbacks outfielder Kole Calhoun called out during Monday night’s game against the Rockies.

In the bottom of the fifth, Ketel Marte hit a little flare to shallow left that was caught by Raimel Tapia, causing Calhoun to retreat back to first base. Tapia’s throw to first ate up Daniel Murphy, and Calhoun broke for second. But catcher Tony Wolters was backing up first, so Calhoun found himself in an old-fashioned pickle. 

Calhoun was dead in the water and had only one thing at his disposal to save himself—his noggin. When Wolters threw down to second, Calhoun deflected the ball by headbutting it. First base umpire Rob Drake called Calhoun out for intentionally interfering with the ball. Arizona manager Torey Lovullo didn’t see it that way and was ejected after coming out to argue with Drake.

Lovullo can argue all he wants, but there’s no doubt about what Calhoun was trying to do there. He probably could have stayed still, allowed the ball to hit off his helmet completely accidentally and still been safe at second. Instead, he looked like Abby Wambach against Brazil at the 2011 World Cup.

Speaking after the game, Lovullo said he had no hard feelings toward Drake. 

Calhoun said he wasn’t trying to get hit but also wasn’t trying to not get hit. 

“I don’t know, man,” Calhoun said, according to MLB.com. “Like I said, it’s literally coming right at me, I have a helmet on. You just take your chances. Maybe I just stay right there, it kicks off [my head], goes into left field and now we’ve got a guy on third. I don’t know. It didn’t seem right to duck and get out of the way and let him catch it and tag me out. The ball is coming right at me and I’m going to let it hit me and take my chances.”

Regardless of his intent, crew chief Bill Miller told MLB.com that he’d never seen any player get called out for what Calhoun did. 

“We have never seen that before in our career,” Miller said.

The best of SI

We surveyed roughly 150 doctors to ask whether they would play sports this year. ... The Angels, blessed with the best baseball player of his generation, have been turned disappointment into their brand. ... Oscar De La Hoya's coming out of retirement at age 47 and 12 years after his last fight is a bad idea.

Around the sports world

North Dakota State, led by potential top-five NFL draft pick quarterback Trey Lance, will play just one game this fall. ... A stretch of road alongside Staples Center will be renamed Kobe Bryant Boulevard.

Well put by CP3, especially off the cuff

This was undoubtedly very cool

Also the answer to WWJRD

Vin Scully narrated the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant tribute

This guy is ridiculously fun and ready to break out

Ovi is on the cover for the first time since NHL 07

LeBron is more self-aware than any all-time great

Just. Act. Natural.

Everybody loves a treat

Pat McAfee explains what it meant to him to wrestle a match in WWE

Not sports

A fossil discovered in China tells the story of two Triassic-period sea monsters who killed each other in a fight. ... Scientists have calculated the odds of catching the coronavirus on a plane. ... Akon is going to be the presidential campaign manager for a guy who was an actor on Duck Tales and then got rich off of cryptocurrency. ... KFC is no longer describing its chicken as “finger lickin’ good” due to the pandemic.

10,000 bottles of Coke + baking soda = volcanic eruption

Half man, half machine

1990 commercial for a cellphone

A good song

Email dan.gartland@si.com with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.