Hello! Welcome to Superlatives. A weekly roundup post where we hand out some superlatives and awards for the previous week in baseball.
Dirtiest Job: For The Worst Job
All Baseball Scouts Do Is A Hold Radar Gun, Eat Sunflower Seeds, And Be Wrong
Baseball is incredible. Alec Mills wasn’t recruited to the University of Tennessee at Martin. He walked by practice one day and told the coach he was good enough to pitch on the team. A tryout followed. 22nd round pick. Today, he threw a no-hitter for the @Cubs. @MLBNetwork @MLB
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) September 13, 2020
Give me a pair of Oakley sunglasses, a mustache, and the belief that I can project the mechanics of a 15-year-old athlete onto a 28-year-old pitcher. I’ll just sign random guys from Cape Cod and New Jersey until one of them does what Alec Mills did this week. I know that a No-Hitter doesn’t instantly mean that a pitcher is somehow an ace or even a success in the majors. It does, however, mean that 27 Milwaukee Brewers had to go take a seat because Alec Mills was feeling himself on a Sunday in September. That’s worth six figures and gas reimbursement, right?
Crankiest Greinke: For The Greinkiest Moments
Josh Donaldson – Stanky Greinke
If I wasn’t terrified of getting this site shut down by using a Simpsons picture we didn’t acquire the rights for, I’d be posting that shot of Barney Gumble asking someone to hook the Duff Beer right into his veins. But then I’d probably photoshop Josh Donaldson’s face onto Barney Gumble’s and replace Duff Beer with…. Ah, who am I kidding? I made it anyway. No clue if it gets cleared.
Anyway, Josh Donaldson didn’t agree with a pretty poorly called strike, and asked his friendly neighborhood Ump to please tell him where the ball was caught. Things got heated, Donaldson got calmed down, and then he went ahead and did this.
You've gotta see this Josh Donaldson homer. pic.twitter.com/h8kztCi2Lt
— Cut4 (@Cut4) September 17, 2020
There’s a lot to love about what Donaldson did. For starters, he hit a home run. Everyone loves home runs. Besides pitchers, but they’re weird and they already have a whole site dedicated to them.
Second, he PUNTED that dirt over home plate. I’m very excited about the prospect of Donaldson thinking it over in his head as he rounded the bases. At first base, he’s probably thinking he’s going to slide over home, then realized that’s tacky. Maybe at second he’s wondering if you can get through a whole wedgie on an ump before they can get their hands in position to eject him. Then by third he’s decided he’ll just throw a li’l mini tantrum, as a treat. Then, he gets his money’s worth. Once the ejection is in, he makes that sharp turn, comes back, and just really gets in there.
Some people will call this juvenile, or childish, or some other thing I agree with. What they won’t call it is an acceptable and fun alternative to cursing at an ump. If you’re gonna get ejected, at least make it clear you didn’t even wanna be there anyway.
Awwwwwwww: For Awwwwwwww
José Abreu asked about potentially winning the AL MVP: "I'm my mom's MVP every single day, and that's what matters to me."
— Vinnie Duber (@VinnieDuber) September 18, 2020
Saddest Tuba Noise: Womp Womp
Santiago Espinal Just Wants To Go Home, DJ LeMahieu Does Not
Here’s a quick thought experiment for you: The score is 19-3, bottom of the eighth. Nobody on. A second baseman for the Toronto Blue Jays with 60 total at-bats in his MLB career tosses you an absolute tater on an 0-1 count. Do you:
A.) Take the pitch for a ball.
B.) Boop it for a single.
C.) Send that junk back to Toronto, where the pitcher can’t even go get it because his own country has banned the team from entering.
DJ LeMahieu hit a home run off a **48.7 mph** nothing-ball from Santiago Espinal.
It's the slowest pitch homered against in the entire pitch-tracking era (since 2008). pic.twitter.com/dYboWqLc89
— David Adler (@_dadler) September 16, 2020
DJ LeMahieu wants his dingers and he doesn’t care how many wars with Canada he has to start to get them.
Least Threatening Aura: For The Thing That Least Likely Wants To Kick My Butt
The Oakland A’s Really Actually Do Just Wanna Talk, Pal
Let me set the scene for you.
Int. Your Bedroom – Late Morning
TAP. A pebble bounces off your bedroom window.
From Outside: Psst, excuse me, sir.
You try to ignore it at first. Then, another pebble. A polite knock at your front door. Silence.
Again, from outside: Sir, we just need one minute of your time.
You groan as you get to your feet. These punks come by here every Sunday, and they never take the hint.
Now, more voices from outside: We have just one question to ask.
You open the door.
— Oakland A's (@Athletics) September 19, 2020
The entire Oakland Athletics Roster: Have you accepted the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into your heart yet?
No, you reply. It’s Rosh Hashanah actually and you haven’t had time.
One of them steps to the front. He looks familiar, but you can’t quite place it. He looks a bit like Brad Pitt, but not really?
Not Brad Pitt: Well, sir, my name is Billy Beane. I was just wondering if we can at least play a couple of home series in your backyard? At least until we figure out some stuff with the Coliseum? The pipes burst again and we’re supposed to be getting ready for the playoffs.
You sigh. Fine, yes, Billy Beane. You can use my backyard again. Just don’t mess with my frisbee golf net this time.
Wildest Thing: For The Best Reminder That Pitchers Aren’t Like Us
Jojo Romero Has To Go Work
this is confirmed gas. pic.twitter.com/SepubjB22W
— Cut4 (@Cut4) September 16, 2020
The Mariners World Series Report
SEATTLE VS. THE WORLD
Previous Odds: 300%
Current Odds: 500%
Percentage Change: +200%
Vegas Odds: 300/1
Mother nature wanted to stop the Seattle Mariners from playing baseball, so Kyle “The Logo” Lewis went out and hit Mother Nature right back with one of these.
— Joe (@JoeDoyleMiLB) September 15, 2020
Rob Manfred, terrified that not even the slow (well, relatively slow) descent into chaos of our entire ecological balance could stop the Seattle Mariners’ inevitable march towards a ring, hit back with one of these.
Giants-Mariners games in Seattle postponed, moved to SF due to heavy wildfire smoke https://t.co/MLzhDC53WO
— KTLA 5 Morning News (@KTLAMorningNews) September 15, 2020
And then the Mariners countered with a haymaker.
The Seattle Mariners are an organization governed by one principle: unrelenting and uncompromising weirdness. The rest of the league has been put on notice. Things are going to get weird. And to prove I’m not just saying things, this is a real, actual bet I placed back in JULY.
I really can’t stress this enough. This is not a bit – it’s not a joke or a goof or even a long-form character piece. This is real life. The Seattle Mariners have the sword of destiny. They don’t have it because they earned it, deserve it, or even want it. They just ARE it.