We’re gonna be really stretching the “MLB Moments” part of the title today, but I figure if it’s fun, it’s fun, no matter what baseball league it’s happening in. Right? I figure we’re all on the same page about that, and I don’t have much of a preamble so let’s just get right into the good stuff.
The Few, The Proud
The stands at The Coliseum aren’t exactly packed to the gills these days, which makes me pretty deeply sad for a lot of reasons, but that doesn’t mean we can’t respect a dang good catch from one of the folks who is there.
Smooth like butter! pic.twitter.com/MT5tlrucEM
— Cut4 (@Cut4) April 21, 2022
Honestly this looks like it might actually be some kind of Jedi mind trick, not only does the dude not have to chase the ball or anything, he doesn’t even have to move his hand. I don’t think I’ve ever looked as effortless doing anything in my entire life. There’s a lesson here about a calm, meditative approach and letting things come to you.
(I will not internalize that lesson.)
Don’t Call Me “Rocket”
I very, very distinctly remember that I loved Rookie Of The Year as a kid. I don’t know how much of that was the baseball stuff, honestly, although I was also a huge fan of Angels In The Outfield, so I guess even back then there was some nascent version of the insane person I’ve become lurking around. But anyway, the point is that Henry Rulenfurter, sorry, Rowengartner threw out the first pitch yesterday at Wrigley (and lead the singing of Take Me Out To The Ballgame, as is custom.)
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 22, 2022
And while Heddo wasn’t in attendance, the Pirates do have Daniel Vogelbach leading off, which I feel like is at least part of the way there…
Also this all gives me an excuse to post one of the greatest-written scenes in the history of cinema.
Rumblin’ Rumble Ponies
PL’s very own Ben Brown got to see his first basebrawl this week, and it was a doozy.
Fireworks in Portland tonight as a benches clearing brawl erupted in the 3rd inning between the Sea Dogs and Rumble Ponies pic.twitter.com/37NTPz8emM
— Ben Brown 🌻 (@BenBrownPL) April 21, 2022
Hot on the heels of the uh, incredible footage of the runner getting absolutely trucked in a Texas JUCO game comes another baffling example of people getting mad for seemingly absolutely no good reason, as Rumble Ponies pitcher Marcel Rentería took serious exception to a HBP that he himself threw? Whatever he said to the Sea Dogs’ Tyreque Reed definitely got the reaction he was going for, and all heck broke loose. Marcel wasn’t happy going after just one Sea Dog, and you can see him escape the pile and drop yet another one before seemingly definitely coming out worse for wear at the end of things.
Minor leagues, major tempers, I suppose.
#re2pect The Moves
We’ll stay with the non-MLB news for a second but also very much flip the script and zoom down to watch some more of those patented Savannah Banana hijinks as Malachi Mitchell brought back a trend I haven’t thought about in a good long while (although less long ago than when I last thought hard about Angels In The Outfield…)
— Savannah Bananas (@TheSavBananas) April 21, 2022
I am in awe of what the Bananas do. It’s not just the weird, funky stuff that gets them trending on Twitter and featured in WLB pieces on the regular, but also the production values of it all! Look at the camera work here! The bat point, the quick pan, the butt shake as part of the warm-up! I’ve seen people compare the Bananas to the Globetrotters and that seems both apt and kind of underselling what’s going on? I dunno, but I do know that those stands are packed, and they sell out on the road, too. So, again, there’s probably a lesson here but maybe not for me specifically.
Just keep Bananain’, dudes.
And speaking of bringing back trends, here’s a quick unrelated PSA from newly promoted Blue Jay Gosuke Katoh:
I’m bringing the dab back. I apologize in advance https://t.co/Q3bKIjyTfm
— Gosuke Katoh (加藤豪将) (@GosukeKatoh) April 21, 2022
We can only hope this is the beginning of fan cams catching children frantically swinging their arms back and forth trying to dab as fast as humanly possible because that never fails to make me laugh.
Now Hear This, Ludicrous Speed!
Bryan Reynolds did A Thing last night in Chicago that you just kind of have to watch:
Exit Velocity: 49.4 mph
Distance: 79 feet
Result: Triple pic.twitter.com/IYfwMKgvEw
— Justice delos Santos (@justdelossantos) April 22, 2022
There’s plenty to talk about here, from the sub-highway cruising exit velo to the absolutely resigned “Oh come on” but I want to go out on a tangent here and talk about by far the best part about it for me. Baseball is a real juggling act for the directors and camera people, they all have a kind of set rotation for what looks where when, you have the standard CF camera view that shows you the pitch being delivered, and then the quick cut to the ball as it makes its way down the third baseline, as it then follows the ball as it’s thrown over to second base. And there’s a kind of comfortable flow to that whole sequence. We, as the viewer can kind of infer what’s going on just from what the camera is doing, so as it leisurely pans over to second base we know we’ve gotten to see Reynolds hit a very unexpected double, but you get those against the shift.
What makes this triple especially great to watch is how Reynolds just blows through the frame at second base. I love it. I don’t know how to really describe how much I love it because it makes no sense to love it as much as I do. By the time the ball gets there, he’s already passed out of frame! It’s the Spanish Inquisition of baserunning, nobody expects it, not even somebody who can theoretically see him running full speed at second base with what must have clearly been no intention of stopping. It’s the wonderful type of improvisation you only get in live sport.
Welcome Back Zombro!
And for today’s final comeback story, here’s a feelgood one. You may remember Tyler Zombro for a pretty terrifying reason, when he took a comebacker to the head during a game early last summer:
For those unfamiliar with Tyler Zombro, please take a look at our story last year about his recovery and comeback. His resiliency, his drive, his desire to keep playing after what happened — all of it is part of what makes him such an incredible person. https://t.co/QWETF75TGZ
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 22, 2022
His recovery at the time was pretty miraculous, but last night that he was activated on the Bulls roster and got to put the uniform back on:
— Durham Bulls (@DurhamBulls) April 21, 2022
The Bulls bested the Tides 11-6 last night, so take that winning spirit with you all into the weekend and I’ll see you all at the same time next week!
Featured image photo by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns of Twitter)