Video Archive 17
The Spinal Assist (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.
Maikel Franco Cries FOUL! (7/14/2018)
Larry Walker had a near Hall-of-Fame-caliber career and yet, he never lived down giving a live ball to a fan in 1994—the clip is in every baseball blooper package produced since that day and will continue to be until the end of time.
A similar mistake was made in 2018 by Phillies 3B Maikel Franco as he pursued what really looked like a foul ground ball. (Even the batter thought the ball was foul.) Franco's attempt to be generous to a young boy may have earned him a permanent spot next to Walker in the blooper reels.
Notes: The batter was Miami's Starlin Castro; the Phillies pitcher was Aaron Nola. Castro—who probably earns an infield hit had he run out of the box—was stranded on that 6th-inning play, but his RBI grounder in the first inning helped Miami to the eventual 2-0 victory behind Trevor Richards. Franco finished 0-for-3 with a BB.
Kobe Bryant And Chris Childs Square Off (4/2/2000)
For any of you believing young Kobe Bryant did all his sparring with Shaquille O'Neal...you are mistaken. Toward the end of their first championship regular season, the Lakers hosted the reigning Eastern Conference Champion Knicks.
According to Chris Childs himself, Kobe got a bit too carefree with the elbows during the evening, and despite Childs' warning, it didn't stop...at least not until Childs started swinging.
Notes: On the floor for the Knicks along with Childs were Allan Houston, Marcus Camby and Patrick Ewing. O'Neal later wrote in his first book badly wanting to drop Ewing in retaliation for a past slight, but ultimately holding back.
The Lakers won going away, 106-82. Childs and Bryant were suspended for two and one games, respectively.
Gattis Goofs Houston Out Of The Inning (4/19/2018)
Evan Gattis, an unsigned free agent as I write this in June 2019, will play professional baseball again for somebody. What I don't expect he'll ever do: live this play down.
One might expect the lowly Astros of the decade's first half to screw up in such a way, but not the defending World Champions. But Gattis, mountainous as he may appear, is human, and capable of making a mental error.
Notes: Gattis finished 1-for-4 with a walk on the day; Houston scored nine times in the final five innings to beat Seattle 9-2. Marco Gonzalez is the Mariners pitcher, while Dan Vogelbach is the Mariners 1B who tags Gattis out.
Bonds And Gagne's Epic Faceoff (4/16/2004)
I'd originally hoped to post this video back in 2014, in conjunction with Barry Bonds' 50th birthday—to me, it is the most impressive of his 762 home runs.
Eric Gagne was an absolute beast at the time (like Barry, with the help of PEDs, but still), bringing 100+ MPH gas to the 39-year-old superstar. Power vs. power, macho vs. macho, this is one of the greatest at-bats in big league history.
Notes: Bonds, who walked 232 times in 2004, was only allowed to hit because of the Dodgers' three-run lead. Both "homers" were hit off triple-digit fastballs. Jeffrey Hammonds, who scored ahead of Bonds, had reached with a leadoff walk.
The Dodgers hung on to win 3-2, as Gagne retired Pedro Feliz and Edgardo Alfonso without much fuss. LA's Odalis Perez threw eight zeroes for the win, while SF's Jason Schmidt went seven in a hard-luck loss.
There Are NO Sure Outs (4/7/2018)
My daughter is a fledgling baseball player. Whenever she makes a mistake, I'm quick to remind her that even the big leaguers aren't above committing goofs, and not to get down on herself. Sometimes the message has an impact and sometimes not, but the statement is true—even in the majors, no out is guaranteed.
Just ask the 2018 Padres—after inducing a popup from the tough Astro Alex Bregman, the battle seemed won. But 1B Eric Hosmer made an oopsie...
Notes: PR Derek Fisher is who you see racing home with the deciding run; he ran for C Brian McCann following McCann's single earlier in the inning.
Other infielders converging: P Phil Maton and 3B Christian Villanueva. As the box shows, Hosmer's goof led to a 1-0, 10-inning Houston win. Bregman was credited with a single (I disagree).
Ayton Loses His Ankles (11/27/2018)
We're in an NBA era where it is common, even expected, for smalls to guard bigs and bigs to guard smalls on any given possession. Bigs who lack the versatility to switch onto smalls are gradually being phased out of the league.
Incoming bigs, such as 2018-19 Suns rookie DeAndre Ayton, are having to make the adjustment. Sometimes, things go decently. Other times...ankles get broken.
Notes: Veteran Pacers PG Darren Collison is the ballhandler who sent Ayton to the floor. Those ended up being two big points, as Indiana won 109-104. Collison finished with 11 points, while Ayton scored 18 with 12 rebounds once his ankles healed.