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"Friendship is one mind in two bodies.'" --  Mencius, Chinese author

Taking Defense Too Far (4/7/2017)

Ever seen a couple of guys fight, and the winner of said fight is still so amped up, that he starts trying to fight bystanders?

Well, this video isn't quite so extreme, but basically what you'll watch is Knicks big man Kyle O'Quinn so determined to stop Grizzlies star Marc Gasol that he fouls the snot out both Gasol...and his own teammate Marshall Plumlee.

Yes, one guy fouling two guys at once. As far as I know there is no rule against fouling your own teammate, however, so O'Quinn was only penalized with one personal foul for going upside Gasol's head.

Notes: Plumlee stayed in the game, which at the time was led by the Knicks 72-70 with about 10:36 left in the 4Q. But Memphis—which had blown an earlier 12-point lead—soon went on a run and wound up with the 101-88 victory.

 

O'Quinn finished with nine points and four fouls (not counting the one on his teammate) in 20 minutes. Plumlee played 15 minutes and scored four points. Gasol would score nine of his 16 points during Memphis's 4Q push.

 
Harm For Parmelee (4/25/2012)

In his second major league season, Chris Parmelee was seeing a fair amount of run at 1B for the Minnesota Twins; by the time he suited up against Boston 4/25, he hadn't homered yet and was in a mini-slump.

That day, Minnesota fell behind 7-1 but had rallied for four runs in the 6th when Parmelee stepped up with two on. He needed a big hit, maybe more than anyone else on the team, but sadly, the universe had other plans for him. Painful plans...

Notes: It was rookie Red Sox lefty Justin Thomas who plunked Parmelee; he was removed from the game having failed to retire either of the two LHH he faced and only lasted two more weeks with Boston. Minnesota scored one more run that inning, but ultimately fell 7-6.

I agree with the announcer; WHY is the umpire blocking Twins manager Ron Gardenhire from his fallen player?

Danny Valencia pinch-ran for Parmelee and took over at 3B, with Sean Burroughs moving over to 1B. This wound up being Burroughs' penultimate major league game.

Parmelee was not diagnosed with a concussion; he returned to action on 4/30 (and according to baseballreference.com, was hit by another pitch...not sure where).

 
Mark Quinn's Near-Miracle (8/30/2001)

To say Mark Quinn was a free-swinger is to say George Brett got a little mad when they negated his pine-tar home run.

Quinn drew a walk on 5/8/2001, and then went nearly four months before drawing another unintentional walk. Granted, he was not on the Royals' roster that entire stretch, but that is still a lonnnng time to go without letting four bad pitches go by.

In anticipation of his streak ending, a couple of Royals with pull arranged for a show, of sorts, to take place whenever Quinn received his next free pass. Finally, in late August of 2001, Angels SP Jarrod Washburn put Quinn on for free; check out what happened in response...

Notes: The announced crowd was just over 12K; credit them for being knowledgeable about the walk-less streak and reacting accordingly. I'm a Giants fan who's seen a lot of Pablo Sandoval's flailing, so I can relate to what they probably went through with Quinn.

Quinn finished the game 0-for-3 with the BB, but was on base in the 9th (FC) when teammate Gregg Zaun's walk-off single gave KC the 2-1 victory over Anaheim. Quinn finished the '01 season with 12 BB in 118 games.

 
Moises Alou's Brakes Fail (9/16/1993)

Sports fans might still be reeling from the grotesque leg/ankle injury suffered by Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott in mid-October 2020...it was unpleasant to view, to put it mildly.

Today, unfortunately, Prescott is just the latest athlete I've seen go down in such a way. The first reaction-inducing leg injury of my sports fandom, however, was suffered by young Expos star Moises Alou back in 1993.

Alou, whose career had already been sidetracked by a freak shoulder injury in 1991, had just singled to left off Cardinals RP Lee Guetterman in the 7th; the big fella made a big turn around first base before deciding to hold up. That decision proved painful, as you'll see.

 

(Apologies for the French media; no other video of this play is available online and I wasn't up for editing.)

Notes: Cardinals 1B Gregg Jefferies was tasked with the awkward duty of tagging out the fallen Alou, who was replaced in LF by Lou Frazier.

Alou finished the game 2-for-3 with a HBP as Montreal eked out a 4-3 victory. He soon underwent surgery and was ready for Opening Day 1994!

 
An Awful Break For The Blazers (3/25/2019)

From Paul George to Gordon Hayward to Victor Oladipo, a spate of NBA players have endured major leg injuries in recent years—some of them very nasty to look at.

The nastiest injury of them all may have been suffered 3/25/2019, to Trailblazers C Jusuf Nurkic. In the game's second overtime, the veteran big man was attempting to tip in a teammate's miss when, just like that, his fibula and tibia both fractured—compound-style.

It was rough to see, but thanks to Nurkic's compression sock (or whatever it is), the world was spared direct view of bone-through-skin.

Notes: If you blinked, you might have missed referee Tyler Ford accidentally kicking Nurkic's injured leg as he stepped over him. Much was made online of Ford's decision to step over, rather than around, the fallen big man—Nurkic later said he did feel the kick. A petition calling for Ford's job even appeared on Change.org.

I have no intel on Nurkic's popularity with his teammates, but none of the several shown on camera looked particularly torn up, nor did coach Terry Stotts. Just an observation.

Portland did pull past the visiting Nets 148-144 in double overtime; Nurkic finished with 32 points in 34 minutes that night. His original comeback date was set for 3/15/2020 but the pandemic pushed his actual return back to 7/31/2020.

 
Ward Visits The River (7/6/2002)

You know that river that runs behind right field at Pittsburgh's PNC Park? It's the Allegheny River, and it's 443 feet from home plate. It is far more challenging to deposit a baseball into this body of water than at San Francisco's Oracle Park—only four men have ever reached the Allegheny on the fly (one of them twice).

The first of those men, and to date the sole visiting player, was Astros OF/1B Daryle Ward back on 7/6/02. On that day Ward faced Pirates SP Kip Wells with the bags full in the 5th, and absolutely creamed one.

Ward's overall career could be described as disappointing, but he'll always have the memory of crushing a grand slam into the river outside PNC Park.

Notes: The other Allegheny splashers are all Pirates: Garrett Jones in 2013, Pedro Alvarez in 2015, and Josh Bell twice in 2019.

The three runners on base? The infamous Killer B's: Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio and Lance Berkman. This has got to be the only time somebody else ever drove all three of them in at once.

Ward's shot knocked Wells out of the game; Houston went on to win 10-2 behind Nelson Cruz the pitcher.

 
Hee's Unconscious (6/7/2003)

2003 Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood (6'5", 210 lbs.) is a big person.

2003 Cubs first baseman Hee Seop Choi (6'5", 240 lbs.) is an even bigger person.

And when big persons such as Wood and Choi are running blindly in pursuit of a popped-up baseball, bad things can happen.

Case in point: that day the Cubs hosted the Yankees in an interleague clash at Wrigley Field in 2003.

Though Choi did indeed catch Jason Giambi's 4th-inning popup, he was accidentally leveled by his teammate Wood—which, as we alluded to, is not advisable. Choi was knocked out on the field and suffered a concussion.

Notes: Though I personally feel a pitcher should be allowed to field popups in his clear jurisdiction, after watching this play I now understand why some managers/coaches instruct pitchers to concede to a regular infielder (a.k.a. get the hell out of the way).

The Cubs did beat Roger Clemens and the Yankees 5-2, as Choi's replacement Eric Karros belted a go-ahead three-run homer in the 7th inning. Choi would miss three weeks on the DL.

 
Bonds' Easiest RBI Ever (5/28/1998)

Barry Bonds was a scary hitter. We all know that.

By the early-mid 2000's, it was nothing to walk the guy 200 some odd times per year. Throwing him a strike was, well, not advised. Not if you were trying to win the ballgame, anyway.

The "cautiousness" (cowardice?) of opposing pitchers/managers reached a point where fans began bringing rubber chickens to what is now Oracle Park. Anytime Bonds got a free pass, a chicken would be hung from the wall.

It should be known that well before Oracle Park opened, however, Bonds received one walk that stood out from all the other 2,557. He drew an intentional walk...with the bases loaded...in a tight game.

The perplexed superstar dutifully took his base, then watched as teammate Brent Mayne lined out to right field, ending the game.

Notes: Buck Showalter was the Diamondbacks manager making the unusual decision. Just one other batter in the past 65 years has been IBB'd with the bags full (8/17/2008 Josh Hamilton, per MLB.com).

Jeff Kent, who had doubled and moved up, scored the Giants' seventh run when Bonds walked. Bonds had entered the game as a PH in the 8th inning.

RP Gregg Olson and C Kelly Stinnett make up the Arizona battery. Mayne, the final batter, was a teammate of Olson with the 1995 Royals. Brent Brede is the RF snagging Mayne's liner.