Hello! Welcome to Superlatives. A weekly roundup post where we hand out some superlatives and awards for the previous week in baseball.
The Manfred Conspiracy Corner
Best Conspiracy Of The Week: Nobody Was Actually Mad At Fernando Tatís Jr.
My colleague Asher Dratel already covered this entire legacy in his thursday piece, and he does the service of linking to a very very good piece by my other colleague Alexander Chase, about how toxic unwritten rules can be.
This has all been covered in pretty extensive detail, so I only have this one question to pose: was anyone actually really mad at Tatís? I know we had quotes from both Rangers and Padres managers, and also from Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer, but I mean really. Was anybody actually mad?
I didn’t see any thinkpieces. There were no counterpoints, no additional players defending the old ways. People got mad at Tatís for even apologizing.
The 48 hour cycle after the original 3-0 incident was a mid-90’s dunk contest on Twitter, with everyone from Johnny Bench to Shea Serrano (NSFW Tweet) chiming in to find a new way to call the outrage stupid. And the outrage WAS stupid. So stupid, in fact, that it seemed like every single sensible baseball writer wasn’t outraged.
This is a good thing, I think? Everyone sniffed the slightest bit of “dusty old baseball rules” being mentioned and was instantly out for blood. The game is fun again, and everyone is very defensive of that. Any time baseball fandom at large gets to pop shots off at dusty old dudes and the rules they pretend exist, it’s a good time for the sport.
— Dallas Braden (@DALLASBRADEN209) September 1, 2019
The bonus of this tweet is getting to laugh at Dallas Braden while you laugh at Miles Mikolas.
— Baseball Quotes (@BaseballQuotes1) December 31, 2019
Or every time Brian McCann breathes near a baseball diamond and clears the benches:
That one time when Carlos Gomez pimped a ball so hard that it started a brawlpic.twitter.com/PgRbZTO34D
— Ballplayer Network (@Ballplayerntwrk) May 23, 2020
Anyway, this was all silly, and it’s only a matter of time until someone pulls a Willians Astudillo and pimps a home run so hard it shatters the unwritten rules, a few written rules, and just like that we all agree to put Barry Bonds into the Hall of Fame. This is the slippery slope the Old Heads of baseball are worried about. Catch me already rolling downhill at 50mph.
Willians Astudillo may have broken every single one of baseball's unwritten rules on one home run 🤣 pic.twitter.com/LD6e73C1Eh
— ESPN (@espn) January 9, 2019
Most Fun: For Whatever’s The Most Fun Thing
Kyle and Corey Seager played against each other for the first time tonight. Both went yard, and had to hold back smiles while their brother rounded the bases pic.twitter.com/AWHkmnxWqr
— Baseball Quotes (@BaseballQuotes1) August 18, 2020
And in the end, who won the SeagerBowl?
Well, Kyle hit .385 with 2 home runs while Corey only hit .308 with 1 home run. On first glance, it looks like Kyle won this round. However, the Dodgers won 3 of 4 games, while Corey missed one of them. Also, when I went to Corey Seager’s page on Baseball Reference to check his stats, it gave me the option to see his 2020 Game Logs and also his Postseason game logs. But when I checked Kyle’s page, I couldn’t find the Postseason button to compare the two. Weird.
Final tally gives the win to Corey, but Kyle wins MVP of the SeagerBowl. Everybody wins, so nobody is happy, just like having siblings should be!
Cliffiest Booth: For Best Use Of Seat Fillers As Stunt Doubles
Right In The Face! In The Faaaaaaaaace!
Go ahead and watch this on repeat.
This teddy bear getting drilled by a foul ball is my new favorite video of the 2020 season pic.twitter.com/acH9gsF3Ne
— Baseball Central™ (@BaseballCentraI) August 23, 2020
I’m failing at describing all the things I love in this video, so I made a list:
- The dueling groan sounds from the booth as each guy tries to one up the other’s “D’oh”
- The quick 1-2 punch of bear puns
- “He WORE it” as if this bear had watched a home run for too long against the Rangers and was paying the price.
- The way the bear absolutely collapses around the ball, then his head sags back in a sad acceptance.
- The A’s can’t even fill their stadium with props. Look at all those empty seats around the bears. Move up a few rows, fellas, spread out.
Welcome To San Junipero: Most Likely To Be A Black Mirror Episode
Give Us Back The Virtual Fans
Baseball nightmare fuel in San Diego pic.twitter.com/wk9WyrwUOr
— 2020 Astros Shame Tour (@AsteriskTour) August 23, 2020
I take it all back. Please give me the virtual fans. I’m begging you. The only good thing about this is the Padres managed to find a mannequin that was making the same face baseball fans made when they heard Chris Woodward complaining about the Tatís grand slam.
If “being told about how much tougher 80’s basketball was” had a face, it would be this.
Also, why is she not wearing a mask if the guy next to her is? What’s the implication there? Why do any of this? I don’t know, but I want my Sims Fans back.
Least Fun: For Whatever’s the Least Fun Thing
I’ve got nothing here. I’m super out of my depth, so instead here’s a great moment. Scott MacArthur, co-host of Toronto’s FAN590, recently came out of the closet, and speaks about this recent event, how it affected him and baseball, and more. It’s good stuff.
"While what happened last night in Kansas City involving a hot mic and Thom Brennaman may seem like a relatively innocent statement, that some like me should just 'get over', it's a lot bigger than that." @ScottyMacThinks would like invite Brennaman to join Lead Off @Reds.
— Sportsnet 590 The FAN (@FAN590) August 20, 2020
The Mariners World Series Report
It’s All About Perspective!
Previous Odds: 100%
Current Odds: 120%
Percentage Change: +20%
Vegas Odds: 750/1
Good news Mariners fans! You beat the Dodgers once! And you’re better than the Pirates. Things are looking up, in a relative sense of the direction. In most other senses, things are looking down.
But on the bright side, you know… there’s stuff.
The AL ROY race is heating up … Kyle Lewis immediately ties Luis Robert by hitting his sixth homer of 2020. pic.twitter.com/tDb9uiaSxu
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) August 22, 2020
For instance, if you told me that the MLB logo was based on Kyle Lewis, I’d believe you.