No Inbounder For The Bulls (12/21/2012)
At Madison Square Garden early-ish in the 2012-13 season, the usually attentive Chicago Bulls managed a one-of-a-kind blooper, waiting for an inbounds pass from...nobody.
Briefly forgetting the NBA does not use streetball rules, #2 Nate Robinson, #13 Joakim Noah, #21 Jimmy Butler, #8 Marco Belinelli and #9 Luol Deng dutifully set up their offense...uh, minus one very key element.
Notes: I can't pinpoint when in the game this goof took place, or how the possession completed. I can tell you Chicago withstood a 45-point Knicks 4Q and won 110-106. That is coach Tom Thibodeau pained by his players' idiocy.
Chan Ho Park Kicks Tim Belcher (6/5/1999)
Shortly after a Matt Walbeck grand slam left Dodgers SP Chan Ho Park trailing 4-0 to the visiting Anaheim Angels in the 5th, Park laid down a successful sac bunt; Angels starter Tim Belcher (who called Dodger Stadium home 1988-91) fielded the bunt and tagged Park out.
Apparently too hard.
Later quoted as saying Belcher tried to "hurt me", Park took offense. Belcher took offense to Park's offense, and things quickly got physical. As he retreated from a seething Belcher, Park went into a Street Fighter-esque drop kick.
Even though the kick didn't land squarely, Park was roundly ridiculed for resorting to such tactics in a common baseball skirmish. He (and he only) was ejected and later suspended seven games.
Notes: LA came back to win 7-4, as Devon White walloped a slam of his own off Belcher in the 6th. The runner Park sacrificed was C Angel Pena, who reached on an Andy Sheets error at SS; Pena did not score. Onan Masaoka took over for the ejected Park and was credited with his first (of three) major league win.
Out of whack after the suspension, Park gave up six or more runs in four of his next five starts.
Jason Kendall Leaps To Home Plate (4/24/1998)
When we think of pirates, images of wooden legs, not wings, are supposed to come to mind. That's usually the case, but on one calm evening at Jack Murphy Stadium, a Pirate flew.
Star catcher Jason Kendall, refusing to be tagged out at home plate, reached into a bag of tricks he probably was unaware of, and turned a sure out into a needed run.
Notes: Kendall's leap took place in the T6th, with his club ahead 2-1. Carlos Reyes is the Padres pitcher; Turner Ward is the Pittsburgh batter who ripped one to first baseman Mark Sweeney; few know or remember Ward was thrown out trying to advance to 2B on the play..
Carlos Hernandez is the unfortunate Padres catcher. Pittsburgh went on to a 4-2 victory.
Nick Castellanos Hit In Face By Grounder (7/19/2015)
Baseballs hurt. I know; I've been hit in the face by high-velocity batted and thrown baseballs. And as of 2015, so has Nick Castellanos.
Pressed into duty vs. Baltimore four innings into an off-day, the Tigers 3B was challenged by a bad-hop Adam Jones grounder...and lost.
Notes: Jefry Marte, the third Tigers third baseman of the day, replaced Castellanos. Baltimore went on to win 9-3, lighting up Justin Verlander (believe it or not, JV's ERA at game's end was 6.62...wow.)
Ben Simmons Inbounds Off Opponent's Back (1/1/2019)
Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers: he's one of those dudes who, when he has the ball in his hands, all eyes are usually on him. He's proven capable of a highlight-reel play at any given time.
However, on Tuesday New Year's Night 2019, two very important eyes were not on Simmons as he prepared to inbound late in a road game at the Clippers—those of young Los Angeles G Sindarius Thornwell, who was "guarding" Simmons.
What usually happens when you take your eyes off a dazzling superstar? They do something dazzling, as Simmons does here.
Notes: The slam accounted for Simmons' 13th and 14th points of the evening; he finished 6-for-13. Philadelphia led by 18 in the first half before LA rallied to make it close. Thornwell, a second-year man out of South Carolina, was scoreless in four minutes.
A Bunt Double For Robinson Cano (9/13/2013)
Whatever your stance on the current MLB trend of excessive defensive shifting, it's here to stay (unless some committee votes to ban it...don't hold your breath).
These shifts may taketh away, but it also giveth at times if the batter exercises a bit of strategy.
Yankees star Robinson Cano, who faces shifts often, takes the old adage "hit 'em where they ain't" to previously-unexplored new levels with one of the most unusual doubles you'll ever see.
Notes: Cano would be stranded when Alfonso Soriano struck out to end the inning, but he doubled two other times, scoring once and driving home two other runs as part of a four-hit day.
Red Sox involved include P John Lackey, pursuing SS Stephen Drew and 3B Will Middlebrooks taking the throw at 2B. Despite Cano's big day, Boston went on to win 8-4, with Lackey triumphing over Hiroki Kuroda.
Nori Aoki Hit By Catcher's Throw (6/5/2014)
Yadier Molina's Legacy, Chapter 2: the guy always seems to be in the middle of...something. Yadier Molina's Legacy, Chapter 1: a closetful of Gold Gloves, earned in part by his superior (and fearless) throwing.
As Nori Aoki of the Royals batted against Molina's Cardinals back in 2014, one of Yadi's throws didn't quite reach its target...uh-oh.
Notes: As you may have noticed in the graphic, this incident occurred on Cardinals SP Michael Wacha's second pitch of the game. Aoki shook off the blow and eventually grounded out; he later drove home KC's first run with a double.
Molina singled in four at-bats, but was thrown out trying to stretch it by Alex Gordon. KC would trump St. Louis 3-2 behind Yordano Ventura.
Brett Gardner Robs A Homer (8/20/2016)
A Gold Glove winner in 2015, Yankees LF/CF Brett Gardner can go get the ball. And like any true outfield Gold Glover, he doesn't let annoying obstacles like walls or gravity prevent him from making the big play.
In August of 2016, young Angels 1B C.J. Cron lost what would have been an important two-run homer because, well, Brett Gardner is awesome. Par for the course for the 2016 Angels.
Notes: New York led 5-0 at the time of Gardner's 7th-inning grab; boosted by a three-run 1st, they'd go on to win 5-1 behind Luis Cessa. Tyler Clippard was the pitcher Cron faced; thanks to Gardner, Cron finished the night hitless.
LA's lone run came on career jack #583 for Albert Pujols, who tied Mark McGwire on the all-time list.
The "GA" you see in the outfield is for Garret Anderson, the longtime Angel elected to their Hall of Fame before the game.