- Trade deadline season is stressful for everyone, so take a load off and enjoy all the most fun moments from July.
Baseball’s trade deadline can be a stressful time of year for every fan.
Is your team a seller? Then you might have to say goodbye to a favorite veteran player, shipped off to some far-flung locale in the name of rebuilding. Is your team a buyer? Then you might have to sweat things out for a decade or more, wondering if you’ve just watched a future Hall of Famer get away. Did your team stand pat? Great, thanks for nothing.
We’ve come to cheer you up, friend. It’s the July edition of The Fun Report!
Nolan Arenado, outta nowhere!
One of the signature plays a third baseman must make is to charge a bunt and execute a running throw to first base to throw the runner out. If you’re Gold Glover Nolan Arenado, you’re so sure the bunt is coming, you start sprinting so early, you burst into the frame out of nowhere to make a spectacular play.
The Year of the Home Run
We’ve seen specific potential causes offered for this homer-happy season, one that’s got Major League Baseball on pace to yield more long balls in 2017 than in any year before. Former major league pitcher Jeff Francis remains perplexed.
I would have thought the home run rate in MLB would drop once I retired.— Jeffrey Francis (@jeffwfrancis) July 17, 2017
Bringing a man to his knees
Adrian Beltre has been known to drop to his knees while batting, typically just as he’s unleashing a hellacious swing and hitting a ball a long way. This time, it was a 62-mph looper of a changeup by Red Sox reliever Fernando Abad that did the deed.
For Beltre, it was indeed Abad result.
Who’s On First?
Decades later, it’s still damn near impossible to find a comedy routine as clever, and perfectly pulled off, as Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s On First?” But while Red Sox pitchers Chris Sale, David Price, and Steven Wright might not have the classical comedy training or experience that the legendary duo does, they still did an impressive job pulling off the modern-day version of that classic act. Who knew a bank ad could be so well done?
An alternative to the very dumb act of throwing a ball back on the field
No one seems to know exactly when the first fan caught a home-run ball in the bleachers hit by the road team, then decided to chuck that ball back onto the field. The only consensus we have is that the ritual probably started at Wrigley Field, and that it’s caught on at other ballparks since then.
This is spectacularly stupid for multiple reasons. First, you’re both delaying the game and potentially endangering players on the field by throwing a ball back. Second, why not keep the damn thing? Many people go to baseball games for a lifetime without catching anything. Stick the damn ball on your mantle and tell people Mike Trout hit it, no one will know the difference.
If you’re so mad over an opposing player hitting a dinger that you can’t bear to keep the ball, though, at least now you’ve got a different option than hucking the sphere over an outfielder’s ear. This Pirates fan got so angry over a Jedd Gyorko home-run ball, he took aim at the Allegheny River ... and succeeded!
If you’re going to charge the mound…
...do this when you get there.
If you’re going to celebrate your first major league homer…
...do it like this.
We’ve now reached the home-run celebration portion of our program
So please enjoy Logan Morrison’s dismissive, borderline disgusted bat-flip after his game-tying homer July 16 against the Angels
...and 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Vladimir Guerrero styling after blasting one in a random softball game.
This is what you do when you’re dominating and bored
The Houston Astros currently lead the American League West by approximately 90 trillion games. Your cat Mr. Wigglebottom could become their number-three starter and they’d still roll to a division title.
So what do you do when the rest of the regular season is essentially a formality? Hold a funeral for your aging DH’s glove, of course! Seriously, this really happened. Brian McCann even dressed up as a priest to preside over the funeral.
We’ll miss you, Lucas
When Curtis Granderson and other members of the Mets learned that their pal Lucas Duda had been traded to the Rays, they were crestfallen. The good news is, they also recognized that trades are part of the business, and thus decided to have some fun with the whole thing.
Bracing for the end
Some day, maybe some day soon, Bartolo Colon is going to retire. The 44-year-old right-hander brushed off recent rumors that he would call it quits immediately, saying that he’ll stay on to pitch for his new team in Minnesota for now. Still, Colon sports an 8.00 ERA this season, and likely knows the end is coming.
So rather than wait until that end arrives, let’s celebrate Colon’s contributions to baseball fun now. Let’s enjoy his heroics in the field, and of course, his home run for the ages. And yes, even with his stuff nearly gone, Colon can still occasionally make even the most fearsome sluggers look silly.