We are now about a quarter of the way through the season. I know that sounds weird, considering it’s been only 18 days now that we have had real MLB baseball, and the St. Louis Cardinals have only played 5 games, but we are indeed over 25% done with this MLB regular season. Personally, I think the best way to deal with the absurdity of that statement is to forget I ever said it, and just focus on some of the absurd things that happened yesterday in baseball.
The Washington Nationals Grounds Crew vs. The Tarp
As we were getting into the swing of things during Summer Camp, everyone was wondering about how the long layoff would affect hitters, pitchers, their timing, their conditioning, and what we should expect in terms of on-the-field play. But maybe we should have also been asking about all the other members of the organization. Were coaches still going to remember how to give complicated signs to the hitter? Were broadcasters going to remember how to pronounce players’ names? And will the grounds crew be able to roll out a tarp if it starts pouring in the middle of a game? I guess we know the answer to the latter now.
Look, I’m not going to pretend I know how to do these guys’ jobs. I’ve never unrolled a tarp of this size, honestly, I’ve rarely ever even worked with those standard size tarps that you can find at Home Depot. But I’ve rolled up enough towels to know that this ain’t it chief. I can’t help but wonder if they were set up to fail to begin with, because it seems like from the minute they started it was already unraveling improperly. Storing the tarp properly is like having a plunger—you may not notice it at first, but the minute you actually need it you do not want to be screwed like this.
Personally, I’m pretty sure I’d be the dude that about halfway through the video peels away from the main group to just hold on to the side of the tarp and look like I’m doing something helpful.
Rookies Gotta Stick Together
It is not easy to make a career for yourself in the big leagues. 40% of all players who have ever made it to the majors don’t make it past two years. Obviously, that typically isn’t the case for top prospects like Nick Solak or Jo Adell, but it is still something on every young player’s mind, that tomorrow isn’t promised for many of them. Young guys, they have to look out for each other, and that’s all Adell was trying to do when Solak hit a deep fly ball to right field.
Solak came into today’s game sporting a .557 OPS, and Adell was just laying the groundwork to Make Solak Feel His Love. Adell’s thinking to himself in this moment, All I Ask is that Solak remembers that When We Were Young, I let the ball Skyfall out of my glove and into the stands, and that Someone Like You would return the favor one day. He’s just playing the long game, since Adell is off to an equally frigid start to the season and will need all the help he can get.
Doing It For The Fans
Ask any professional athlete, and they’ll happily tell you how important the fans are and how much they mean to them. They get called the 12th man in certain sports, players will toss them souvenirs to keep, and if you are really lucky, they’ll dive on top of you and soak you in their sweat, knocking over your beer and nachos in the process which means you get to spend another $40 to replace that one beer and one plate of nachos. Players love their fans and frequently go out of their way to show it. Matt Chapman is no exception.
Matt Chapman says he HAS been aiming for cutouts when he tosses balls in the stands and he’s found them to be very durable. Mad in Seattle one day, he winged one hard at a cutout and didn’t dent it “so I got even more mad,” he says.
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 9, 2020
Chapman is so used to tossing the fans a souvenir that he’s still doing so even though they are just pieces of cardboard! And before anyone here thinks woooosh, think about how cool of a story it would be for when you get your cardboard cut-out after the season, and it’s been dented by a major league baseball player. You’re telling me you wouldn’t show that to every single unfortunate soul that comes over, forever? I certainly would. He’s a real man of the people, that Matt Chapman.
Edinson Volquez is Getting Loosey Goosey
I learned two things today. One, Edinson Vólquez is still pitching in the majors. And two, Vólquez and I have the same dance moves. He does his before going in to pitch in a professional baseball game, and I do mine after getting up from sitting on the couch for too long, but hey, it’s something.
Michael Lorenzen is Jacked, Yo
One of the things I was really looking forward with fan-less games would be that we were going to be able to hear way more of the players than we ever have before. Some of my favorite moments in professional sports have been when mics caught players that weren’t expecting it, like trash talk on the court or when umpire Tom Hallion kept saying “ass in the jackpot.” Even in times like these, where Michael Lorenzen is clearly not having a good time, it’s still cool to get a glimpse into the heads of the players.
Also, Lorenzen has to have the biggest arms of any pitcher in baseball. Dude looks like he should be in the Olympics for weightlifting. Has he thought about reaching out to the Marvel casting people about playing a superhero, or at the very least a very intimidating bad guy who gets more than two punches in before being incapacitated by the superhero? Those arms are no joke.
Jose Ramírez Isn’t Waiting for the Storm to Pass
He’s learning to dance in the rain.