Video Archive 23
"Friendship is one mind in two bodies.'" -- Mencius, Chinese author
Dwayne Wade Dunks On Varejao (11/12/2009)
Dwayne Wade, especially the younger version, could get to the hoop. And if not met with an effective defense, Wade could finish over, under, around, and in this case, through, most anybody.
First quarter of a close game; Miami's Jermaine O'Neal forces an inside miss from Cleveland's LeBron James. Wade picks up the rebound and glides upcourt. Around the three-point line, Wade senses an opening, shifts into another gear, and goes strong to the basket.
Cleveland F/C Anderson Varejao steps up, but all he manages to do is land on SportsCenter for a couple nights.
Notes: Wade did make the free throw, and though he ended the night with a game-high 36 points, the Cavaliers ultimately won 111-104. Varejao finished with four fouls and two points in 15 minutes.
I should remember this game/highlight better, since it took place the night before my daughter's birth. Oh, well, guess I was preoccupied.
Expos Infield Fly Gaffe (5/13/2003)
Getting Barry Bonds out from 2000-04 was, well, difficult. By my estimate, about 17 pitchers were able to do it. Or so it seemed.
Anyone—especially a righty—who managed to get Barry Bonds out with men on base in a close game damn near deserved a medal. Montreal reliever Dan Smith was presented with that very challenge in the 5th inning of a May 2003 game in San Francisco.
Smith did his part, inducing a high popup from the superstar. But before anyone could present his shiny new medal, chaos erupted.
Notes: Because the infield fly was called, Bonds was automatically out whether or not the ball was caught, and any runners advanced at their own peril—basically, all the Expos had to do was tag runner Neifi Perez for an inning-ending double play. With Bonds out, the force play was NOT in effect.
The Expo defense consisted of Smith, catcher Michael Barrett, 3B Fernando Tatis Sr. and 1B Wil Cordero. No RBI was awarded on the play. Smith retired the next hitter, however, and Montreal still won 6-4.
Gary Sheffield Vs. Fausto Carmona (9/19/2008)
In this game, Tigers star Miguel Cabrera homered twice off Indians SP Fausto Carmona (later known as Roberto Hernandez). Two batters after the second homer, Carmona came up and in on Tigers DH Gary Sheffield—plunk. CLEARLY displeased, Sheffield ambled slowly to first base, bat in hand, simmering.
But when Carmona then tried to pick Sheffield off, he boiled over (Note: I might have, too.) Words flew, and in seconds control was totally lost. Say what you will, but you can't deny Carmona had guts to challenge Sheffield after the pickoff throw; he is not a person one would normally want to upset.
Notes: Carmona, Sheffield, Indians C Victor Martinez and Tigers IF Placido Polanco were all ejected. Carmona received six games off, Sheffield four, and Martinez three; Indians IF Asdrubal Cabrera also received a three-game suspension after being seen on video making things worse.
Carmona finished with five ER allowed in 6.1 innings, receiving a no-decision in Cleveland's eventual 6-5 win. Sheffield finished 0-for-2 with the HBP.
Eric Sogard Beaned (9/3/2019)
It's not easy being a major league hitter. If a pitch is coming right at you, it's not as simple as "getting out of the way". Because there's such a thing as curveballs and sliders that may well just break over the plate and leave you the hitter looking silly.
Such was the case with veteran Rays IF Eric Sogard in September 2019. Facing tough Orioles lefty Paul Fry, Sogard couldn't immediately duck the heater coming at his dome because...he couldn't be sure it was a heater.
As a result, ball met head. I shudder to imagine what this beanball could have done to Sogard.
Notes: The HBP occurred with one out in the B8th inning. Daniel Robertson pinch-ran for Sogard but was stranded. Orioles C Austin Wynns tends to Sogard.
Tampa Bay went on to win 2-0; seven pitchers.combined on the shutout.
Ricky Davis's Triple-Double Fail (3/16/2003)
Cleveland was a 17-win team in 2002-03, so celebratory moments were few and far between. One night vs. Utah, however, G Ricky Davis had a shot at a triple-double late in the game and knew it—he was short one rebound.
Davis was not up on basic basketball rules or decorum at that time, so in order to secure that last rebound, he shot at the wrong basket with his team up by 25 points in the 4Q. And you thought Anthony Bowie's Orlando Magic calling a timeout to finish off his triple-double in 1996 was bad.
Notes: Third-year Jazz reserve G DeShawn Stevenson applied what ESPN described as "a cross-body block" to Davis after the attempted field goal. Which, according to NBA rules, wasn't technically an attempted field goal. Or rebound. Davis did tack on the two free throws for a final score of 122-95 in Cleveland's favor.
Davis was fined by the Cavs for his actions. Here's a good article responding to the play.
Two Braves Score At Once (9/3/2019)
In baseball, nothing amuses me more that two baserunners chugging home at full speed within about six feet of each other. Such plays only happen about a handful of times each season, so they never really gets stale. (The greatest all time? Carlos Lee and Hunter Pence in 2007; sadly, I never saved the video and now it isn't available anymore.)
Here, facing Toronto's Tim Mayza in the 8th inning, Tyler Flowers has just ripped a double past the outstretched mitt of Toronto CF Teoscar Hernandez. What happened next triggered a full minute of hearty laughter from yours truly.
Notes: The bases were actually loaded at the time, with Josh Donaldson, Matt Joyce and Dansby Swanson. It is Swanson you see running up Joyce's back. All three men scored, punctuating a 7-2 Braves win.
Cabrera Singles During Intentional Walk (6/22/2006)
The play you're about to view (or have just viewed) is no longer possible due to rule changes from a few years back. But we'll always have this glorious video of the intentional walk that wasn't.
Sometimes, in the days you actually had to pitch the intentional walk, you'd see the pitcher fire one past the catcher, allowing runners to advance for free. But you never saw the batter actually take a hack at any of the four wide ones, no matter how tempting the floater might have been...
...until Miggy Cabrera came along.
You can't understate the sheer fortitude Cabrera had to have to even think of doing this, what with the risk of him swinging and missing, or worse yet, hitting the ball into an out. From his standpoint, it had to turn out one way, and thankfully, it did (go-ahead RBI single).
Notes: Todd Williams is the Orioles pitcher serving up Cabrera's single, which followed a Hanley Ramirez bunt single and a groundout which advanced him to 2B. Cabrera's knock put Florida up 6-5 in the 10th, and they'd go on to an 8-5 victory.
(In 2016, Gary Sanchez of the Yankees turned an IBB into a deep sacrifice fly vs. Tampa Bay.)
The Chris Coghlan Leap (4/25/2017)
It's a close game. You're a fringe player running toward home plate, which is blocked by one of the great defensive catchers of all-time. It doesn't look like you're going to be safe without a miracle. You have two choices:
1) Accept your fate, and go get 'em next time.
2) Risk it all, throw your body through the air like a missile, and hope for that miracle.
Toronto's Chris Coghlan chose Option #2. When all was said and done, the miracle came to be—Coghlan was safe, and nearly a decade after being the NL Rookie Of The Year, he was famous again. "The Leap" may well have been the play of the 2010's.
Notes: Coghlan scored on what ended up as a go-ahead triple for Blue Jays OF Kevin Pillar; Cardinals RP Matt Bowman served it up in the 7th inning. Yadier Molina was the dumbfounded catcher; Stephen Piscotty was the Cardinals RF.
There were multiple Cardinal comebacks throughout this game, including in the 9th inning, but Toronto ultimately won 6-5 in 11 innings. Coghlan injured his wrist in June, was activated to AAA in August, and then cut a few days later. He hasn't played in MLB since.