Back in early July, when we were all mentally preparing ourselves for what watching a baseball season without fans in the stands would be like, one of the first things that occurred to me is that we’re going to get to see way more of the players and coaches’ personalities than we ever have before. Every celebration, every taunt from the dugout, snide comments to the ump, expletives from the pitcher after giving up a bomb—all of that stuff was going to be on display more so than ever before. Not only would it be easier to hear it, as there’d be no other sounds to take away from it, but also broadcasts were going to need to get more creative to keep their viewers entertained. We’ve had some fantastic mic’d up moments, and yesterday was no different.
Phil Nevin vs. Greek Chicken
Lol Phil Nevin is the best pic.twitter.com/UH5AXQmxWV
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) August 3, 2020
It’s Sunday night, you’re hosting your biggest rivals, and it’s a close game that’s been going back and forth all night. Your star hitter has slammed down the gavel for a fifth consecutive game, hitting six home runs in that stretch, and you’re doing all of this in front of a national audience on ESPN. But the truth is, the body’s gotta do what the body’s gotta do, and for Phil Nevin that was burp up a storm after that Greek chicken he ate. I’ve had Greek chicken before, it’s delicious. There’s something about the spice and seasoning on it that’s perfectly cooled by the Greek yogurt, it’s just a fantastic combination, and it’s a very healthy meal as well. I guess it’s just not for Phil Nevin.
Who Put That Wall There?
Dominic Smith gets a liiiittle bit of leeway here. He’s only played 328 innings in the OF at the major league level, and this took place at SunTrust Park, a stadium that Smith has only played in 13 times in his career. But buddy, you need to know where that wall is at, or else you’re going to make yourself look silly, like this. I mean, look at how high his left foot gets off the ground. If this GIF wasn’t slowed down, I’d believe it if someone told me he actually just got up on his tiptoes there. Luckily for Smith, he can laugh at himself here. Everyone else surely is.
Yoenis Céspedes Followed New York Tradition
Sunday started off with an absolute shocker when the Mets reported that Yoenis Cespedes had gone AWOL. Of course, if any team was going to have a player randomly go missing it would be the Mets, and if any player on this Mets team was to have a weird headline like that, it would be Céspedes, who has already had his fair share of odd headlines. But even so, seeing this tweet was a strange way to start the baseball day.
BREAKING: The Mets don't know where Yoenis Cespedes is.
Team statement: "As of game time, Yoenis Céspedes has not reported to the ballpark today. He did not reach out to management with any explanation for his absence. Our attempts to contact him have been unsuccessful."
— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) August 2, 2020
Hang on… this sounds familiar.
Sources: There are team officials, teammates and close associates unclear of reason for Derrick Rose's absence for Knicks-Pelicans at MSG.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 10, 2017
Oh yeah, three years ago Derrick Rose of the New York Knicks just decided to dip out right before a game as well. Rose actually showed up to the arena that day though, was there for shootaround, but left abruptly and didn’t tell anyone where he was going. It wasn’t for a few days until it was confirmed that Rose had gone back home to Chicago to deal with some personal issues, and was fined 200k by the team for not informing them that he was leaving. So this isn’t unheard of for a New York athlete to just up and vanish. Then, a few hours later, the story becomes a bit clearer.
Mets oufielder Yoenis Cespedes has opted out of the 2020 season, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen says.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 2, 2020
Whether this was because of all the latest outbreaks, such as with the St. Louis Cardinals, or because he was hitting .161 with 15 strikeouts through 31 at-bats, Céspedes apparently decided he’d rather be back home on his ranch than remain with the Mets organization, and to be honest, I don’t blame him. It’s hard to go out there and be an underwhelming player for a not-all-that-inspiring New York sports team. Sometimes, it’s easier to quit while you’re behind.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 16, 2018
Footlose, Kick Off the Sunday Shoes
Ah yes, the old 1-5-3 double play. But why let the Royals have all the fun? The Cincinnati Reds decided to get in on this kick-the-ball action too.
The 3-4-1 putout may be even rarer than the 1-5-3 we saw above. And by the way, if you are wondering why Raisel Iglesias is in the game in the 7th inning, that’s because today was a double-header, and the Reds were just a few outs away from winning the game since double-headers are only seven innings now. Here’s the really weird thought, what’s going to happen when a double-header game goes into extra innings? A runner starting the inning on second base… in the 8th inning? That’s going to be strange, even by 2020’s standards.
Is That Regulation Size?
Nico Hoerner waits on-deck, with a little home plate drawn into the dirt. pic.twitter.com/tE5VaBNPLt
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) August 2, 2020
With all the hullabaloo yesterday about whether or not the batter’s box in Cleveland was to regulation, I have to wonder if Nico Hoerner’s home plate here is the right size. It looks a little small to me, but hey, Hoerner’s been hitting well this year, so perhaps I am not one to question his methods.
This Is How We Do It
This is one of those things that just gets better with every loop. First, you got David Bote just jumping for joy down there, looking like a kid trying to do his first jumping jacks ever. Jason Kipnis comes flying in at the top, clearly sprinting over so as not to miss out. Nico Hoerner tries to get in on the action but in typical rookie fashion is left hanging in the dust. I think my favorite part of this clip though is that I don’t think Willson Contreras knows what’s happening. He’s got his hand raised for a perfectly fundamental high-five, which would be fine normally but come on man, we’re doing the social distancing celebration. Get with the program. Javy catches him at that last second and doesn’t leave him hanging, but Contreras definitely missed the memo.