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DAGGER!!! - 2/28/13

 

Perhaps one day a Pistons/Wizards battle will carry all the pomp of a Lakers/Celtics battle of yesteryear—who knows.

What is known: in the year 2013, that day had not yet arrived. With the possible exception of Motown groupies looking to score with Trevor Booker, nobody circled this date on the schedule when it was released.

 

Thanks to Wizards broadcaster Steve Buckhantz (and to a lesser degree, partner Phil Chenier), at least one memory from an ordinarily ho-hum matchup will live on indefinitely.

 

Detroit (23-37) is clinging to a one-point lead vs. Washington (18-38). As you'll hear, John Wall is the initial ballhandler; the ball passes through Beal and Martell Webster before landing in the hands of Trevor Ariza stationed in the left corner.

 

In fairness, that shot really did look good. If I hadn't known the outcome in advance, I'm wondering why the heck Ariza's teammates hate him so much as to not celebrate the "dagger" I just marked on my scoresheet.

 

"They're saying it didn't go in" tied with "The dagger has been retracted" for my favorite part. It should be stated the Pistons' announcer was also fooled on-air, though not as enthusiastically. Note: Kyle Singler is the defender flying at Ariza as he launches.

 
David Huff Taken Out By A-Rod - 5/29/10

Alex Torres recently made news for becoming the first pitcher to wear a protective hat on the mound in an MLB game. Goofy as it looked, it's really hard to blame the guy. Numerous careers have been altered, even ended, by 120-mph lasers up the middle. I personally have had it happen. It's no fun. 

 

In 2010, Cleveland's David Huff fell victim to such a laser, off the bat of Yankee Alex Rodriguez. He stayed near motionless for several moments, more due to protocol than actual damage, it was later learned. 

 

Notes: Huff, a second-year big leaguer, didn't even miss a start! He never lost consciousness and showed no concussion symptoms. He would go on to become Rodriguez' teammate in late 2013 (and kind of in 2014.)

 

Through research, I believe (though am not 100% sure) the broadcaster who turned out to fortunately diagnose Huff incorrectly is Matt Underwood of SporsTime Ohio (partnered with ex-Indian Rick Manning.)

 
Rob Dibble Plunks A Runner - 7/23/91

 

As a broadcaster, ex-Reds reliever Rob Dibble seems pretty subdued. Not particularly talented, occasionally controversial. But in control, if nothing else. There was a time in the not-so-distant past that the idea of a cool, calm and collected Dibble offering insight on anything was simply laughable.

Dibble had the deserved reputation of a ticking time bomb during his Nasty Boyz days, a 76-inch-tall stack of C4 set to blow at any moment.

 

In this video Dibble, pitching for the first time in a week, is squeeze-bunted on by Chicago Cub Doug Dascenzo late in a clash at Wrigley Field. A no-hitter is not in progress, the game is close—and yet Dibble takes offense to Dascenzo's bunt and drills him as he runs to first. 

You read that correctly. This happened in a major league game.

 

Dibble got the thumb from Joe West and was fined, but amazingly avoided suspension—a decision so unpopular that players around the league wrote to NL President Bill White in protest. Apparently throwing balls into the crowd (as Dibble did a week later) merits suspension, as does throwing bats onto the field (as Cubs legend Andre Dawson, upset over a called K, did earlier in the game.)

 

But at least in the year 1991 it was perfectly acceptable to throw at a defenseless baserunner from behind in retaliation for his...bunting on you in a close game.

 

Notes: the play put Chicago up 6-4; they won 8-5. Rick Wilkins is the runner who scored on Dascenzo's bunt. Jack Armstrong succeeds Dibble after his ejection; they both throw to Joe Oliver behind the plate.

 
Pujols Triumphs Vs. Lidge - 10/17/05

 

Albert Pujols hits one of the most impressive postseason bombs in history off what's known as a "buddy" slider. This means Brad Lidge may have one of the best sliders in the game—buddy hung that one. BOY, did he.

 

It was October 17, 2005 in Houston. Despite one of the best October performances of all-time by Carlos Beltran, St. Louis had knocked out their rival Astros the previous fall but were on the verge of elimination on this night when Pujols dug in against supercloser Lidge with two men on in the 9th inning of Game 5.

 

On an 0-1 offering, Pujols put a Lidge slider onto the train tracks in deep, deep left field, ruining Andy Pettitte's effort (hence the camera shot of he and Roger Clemens in the dugout) and sending the series back to St. Louis—where, contrary to popular belief, the Astros still closed out the Cardinals for their first ever pennant.

 

Lidge struggled the following year, and many blamed mental fallout from the home run. (One ESPN writer described the post-homer look on Lidge's face this way: "It was as if his career flew out of the stadium with the baseball.")

 

But he himself dispelled any logic behind that notion and eventually righted things—saving all 41 chances for the champion Phillies in 2008. He retired in mid-2012.

 

(Notes: the baserunners Pujols drove in were David Eckstein and Jim Edmonds; Brad Ausmus is the catcher.)

 
Livingston's Awful Injury - 2/26/07

 

DISCLAIMER/WARNING: If you've seen Napoleon McCallum and Bryant Young's legs break, if you've seek Kevin Ware's compound fracture, if you've seen Joe Theismann get LT'd—you might be able to stomach this. If not...you might want to consider browsing another part of TSR.com.

 

If you follow the NBA, or at least the Warriors, you're aware of the Golden State's' recent acquisition of veteran ex-Net Shaun Livingston. Casual fans won't know the name, but they possibly know the clip of a young (21) Livingston managing to wreck his knee on a botched layup against Charlotte in February 2007. (Believe me, if you watched SportsCenter that night, you haven't forgotten.)

 

The big guard has made it all the way back from what could have been a career-ending, even crippling set of injuries to his left knee (the announcer had it right—he did dislocate his patella and kneecap, along with full tears of the ACL and PCL plus a bad sprain of the MCL for bad measure.)

 

Warrior fans: if you thought Andrew Bogut's injuries were gruesome, wait'll you see this. No word as to whether the Dubs are interested in bringing Marquis Daniels in for a workout.

 

Notes: Derek Anderson committed the turnover leading to Livingston's breakaway, which is defended by Ray Felton. Again, if you are queasy at the sight of contortion, do not watch this video.

 
Milton Bradley Defined - 9/23/07

 

This video was supposed to be originally posted three months ago...but we ran into difficulties editing the clip and ultimately had to dig up another. 

This sequence summarizes Bradley's entire 12-year MLB career in about 120 seconds:

 

The outfielder displayed his talent (smacking a base hit), his temper (raging out-of-control at an umpire), and his frailty (blowing out his knee attempting to break from manager Bud Black's grasp).

 

TSR wanted the original game broadcast for the (Padres) announcer's exasperated classic "Oh, GOD, Milton. Not again. What is it NOW?" but it was not available.

 

Here's a detailed timeline:

 

  • Rockies P Jeff Francis strikes out Bradley looking to end 5th. 1B umpire Mike Winters believes Bradley flips his bat at HP ump Brian Runge.

  • Before his 7th-inning AB, Bradley learns Winters told Runge about the alleged bat flip. He proceeds to single to CF.

  • Upon reaching first base, Bradley questions Winters about his comment to Runge. Winters, among other things, proceeds to call Bradley a "f-----g piece of s---", which obviously upsets him.

  • The video tells the rest.

 

Notes: In fairness to Bradley—who tore his ACL but returned on Opening Day 2008—MLB deemed Winters to be in the wrong and suspended the umpire for two weeks. The lone Padre run up to this point came on a Bradley solo home run in the 3rd. Francis went eight IP for the 7-3 win over Greg Maddux. Termel Sledge pinch-ran for Bradley.

 
Big Mac Vs. Big Unit (6/24/1997)

 

In the 1984 Olympics held in Los Angeles, young USC Trojans Mark McGwire and Randy Johnson repped Team USA—here's proof!

 

13 years later, the two were major league superstars in Oakland and Seattle, respectively—their June 24, 1997 showdown at Seattle's Kingdome was probably, oh, the 100th or so between the division rivals. It is also the only one that anyone is still talking about 18 years later.

 

6'10" Johnson had long been the top mound intimidator in the game; only his triple-digit heat could thaw his icy glare. 6'5" McGwire was an anatomic marvel whose arm strength could be measured in horsepower.

 

When you combine a Johnson fastball with a perfectly-timed McGwire swing, then eliminate any weather influence, you get this video. 

 

(Note the warm-and-fuzzy Bash Brothers moment afterward; if only Mac knew what Canseco had in store for him eight years later...)

 

Notes: McGwire's shot was a 5th-inning solo that was officially measured at 538 feet, though other credible folks disputed that. Oakland won 4-1 behind Steve Karsay; Johnson lost despite going the distance, walking none and whiffing 19. It was his second loss of the entire season!

 
Schierholtz Uses His Head (8/25/2013)

 

There's bad at-bats, and there's bad at-bats. Short of a beaning, the veteran outfielder Nate Schierholtz will be hard-pressed to put together a worse sequence than this one.

 

With the bases loaded and zero out in the 13th inning of a scoreless game at Petco Park, the Cubs outfielder—facing Brad Boxberger—grounds to Padres 1B Jesus Guzman, who attempts to turn a 2-3-2 DP. Schierholtz tweaked his back charging from the box...the video completes the story.

 

Notes: Darnell McDonald, who led off the 13th with a pinch-hit, trotted home on the play and took over in right for Schierholtz—who returned to the lineup the next day—in the bottom half. 

 

Chicago totaled two runs in the 13th and Kevin Gregg gave them both back in the home half; San Diego finally won in the 15th on a Nick Hundley walk-off single against Hector Rondon five hours and 13 minutes after the first pitch.

 

Chris Rusin (6.1 IP) and Andrew Cashner (7 IP) started for Chicago and San Diego, respectively.