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Nick Martinez's Ill-Advised Pickoff Throw (5/17/2015)

 

After a few seasons pitching overseas, SP Nick Martinez recently signed a multiyear deal with the San Diego Padres. He will certainly get opportunity with San Diego, and hopefully he's able to capitalize on said opportunity (but not enough to impact my Giants).

Over the next few years, Martinez hopes to rack up enough praiseworthy on-field moments to push this particular "highlight" waaaaaay down in YouTube's catalog.

Notes: The Indians runner Martinez is trying to erase is Jason Kipnis, who advanced to third (with back runner David Murphy advancing to second), but Martinez was able to retire batters Lonnie Chisenhall and Brandon Moss with no damage done.

The confused Rangers infielders are Adam Rosales (2B) and Elvis Andrus (SS). 

Despite the goof—and five walks—Martinez still earned the 5-1 victory, going five innings and striking out six. Cleveland SP Carlos Carrasco took the CG loss.

 
Theo Maledon Bricks Two Dunks (3/22/2021)

 

As some​one who played regular competitive basketball from ages 14 through 38, I can tell you there is such as thing as being "too" open. Even right near the bucket.

Young Thunder guard Theo Maledon found himself unable to convert not one, but TWO back-to-back, high-percentage shots against the Timberwolves during his rookie campaign, partially explaining his .368 FG% that year. (Adding insult to injury, he turns it over on the next possession, too.)

If there's any consolation, Russell Westbrook, one of the best PG of his era, misses a lot of dunks, too.

Notes: Ricky Rubio is the Minnesota defender who hits the floor; we also see #20 Josh Okogie bothering Maledon on the second attempt.

In the end, however, OKC got the last laugh, beating Minnesota 112-103. Maledon, who started and played 33 minutes, finished with nine points on 3-of-12 shooting (including 3-of-7 from deep). He dished out five assists.

 
Kike Hernandez Beaned; Stays In (6/12/2021)

 

In his first year with the Red Sox, ex-Dodger Kike Hernandez got to play nearly every day for the first time after years in a supersub/utility role. I suppose when you've waited so long to get such an opportunity, you're not going to let little things such as 97-MPH fastballs off your dome knock you from the lineup.

Rookie Toronto reliever Anthony Castro fired the errant pitch, obviously without intent. Hernandez took a few moments to collect himself, then simply took first base, seemingly no worse for wear. Question the man about anything, but don't question his toughness.

Notes: Reese McGuire is the Jays catcher. Hernandez was hit with two outs in the B6th, and Castro was then removed in favor of Tim Mayza, who induced an inning-ending FC grounder from Alex Verdugo.

Hernandez played all nine innings, finishing 0-for-3 with a K as the Red Sox fell 7-2.

 
Richard Rodgers WIDE OPEN (11/23/2014)

 

It's commonly known, at least in the San Francisco Bay Area, that when the Oakland Raiders intercepted Houston's Matt Schaub to seal the win in their first game after legendary owner Al Davis's passing in 2011, they only had 10 men on the field.

The 2014 Minnesota Vikings had all 11 men on the field in their clash with Green Bay, and still executed possibly the worst blown coverage I've ever seen. Literally, Packers TE Richard Rodgers could have caught two or three passes before a defender reached him.

Notes: Rodgers' 2Q score put the Packers ahead 14-7; they went on to win 24-21. Rodgers finished with no other offensive statistics that afternoon.

The closest Viking to Rodgers in the end zone is #50 Gerald Hodges, who's still about 15 yards away at least. That's #96 Brian Robison bringing down QB Aaron Rodgers as he throws.

 
Pedro Guerrero Hurls His Bat (5/22/1988)

 

A lot was said about Dodgers/Cardinals slugger Pedro Guerrero during his playing career, and not all of it was complimentary. One thing everybody agreed on, however, was that Guerrero was not high atop the list of professional baseball players you'd want to upset.

In late May 1988, budding Mets star P David Cone upset Guerrero, though not by intent.

Notes: Mets C Barry Lyons intercepts Guerrero, who was ejected and replaced by PR Jeff Hamilton. The fracas took place with one out in the B6th and New York ahead 5-0. 

Though Guerrero was 0-for-2 in the game to that point, the man was batting .326 for the year, so this wasn't a clear case of pent-up frustration. The Mets held on to win 5-2, and three days later Guerrero was hit with a four-game suspension and $1K fine.

 
David Ortiz Predicts Ball Four (7/1/2014)

 

David Ortiz could mash a baseball. David Ortiz could fire up a club. David Ortiz could charm the fans. David Ortiz could run a little hot.

And as we see here, David Ortiz could also see into the future.

The 2022 Hall-of-Fame inductee, apparently seeing no point in pretending Neil Ramirez wanted to throw him a strike on a 3-0 count, simply headed to first once the Cubs reliever began his motion. Sure enough, Ramirez delivered Ball Four not even really close to the zone.

 

I've never seen a similar act from a batter before or since—not even from Barry Bonds, who probably saw 12 total strikes from 2000-2004.

Notes: The walk advanced runner Dustin Pedroia into scoring position, but Ramirez got the next batter, Mike Napoli, to ground out, preserving the 1-1 tie after seven innings. Chicago eventually won on a sac fly in the T9th; Ortiz was left on deck in the B9th after a tense replay review declared Pedroia out by an eyelash at first base.

 
Danilo Gallinari HEAVES! (3/1/2015)

 

Before Stephen Curry developed into a superstar, successful halfcourt heaves were not regular occurrences in the NBA. So when the Nuggets hosted New Orleans in March 2015 and Denver's Danilo Gallinari let one fly during the final seconds of the 3Q, few expected a "swoosh".

But that's exactly what they got. For Norris Cole, the Pelicans G whose pass was intercepted just before Gallinari's heave, I can't imagine him approaching his bench with his head any lower than after this play.

Notes: Gallinari's improbable hoop tied the game at 65 entering the 4Q (not a misprint; it was only 37-37 at halftime!). The Nuggets eventually fell 99-92, however. Gallinari finished with 21 points on 7-of-18 shooting.

That's "The Manimal", Kenneth Faried, grabbing Gallinari after his successful heave. When was the last time I thought about that guy?

 
Turner Ward Goes Through The Wall (5/3/1998)

 

This wall-busting catch attempt didn't get a fraction of the pub that Rodney McCray's did seven years prior, and I don't really know why. Maybe because Ward actually had a serviceable MLB career, while McCray would be totally forgotten without his highlight.

In any event, Ward—in his ninth of 12 MLB seasons—risked it all in an effort to haul in Mike Piazza's deep drive to RF.

Notes: Pirates RP Elmer Dessens appreciated Ward's effort, which occurred with one out in the B7th. Dodger runner Thomas Howard tagged up and scored from third on the play, putting Los Angeles up 9-0. They eventually won 10-5.

Ward, who went 0-for-1 with a walk offensively, was replaced in RF by Jose Guillen. Though it appears he messed up his shoulder, Ward was back in the lineup three days later vs. St. Louis.

 
Emmitt Smith Knocked Out (11/23/2000)

 

As a 49ers​ fan in the 1990's, I was predisposed to dislike the Dallas Cowboys, and I did. But since I'm not a sociopath, I never wished harm on any of them—just poor performances.

So when legendary Cowboys RB Emmitt Smith took a serious blow from Minnesota's Robert Griffith (#24) and Ed McDaniel (#58) in their Thanksgiving 2000 clash with Dallas, I was just as concerned as anybody. Smith was out momentarily and motionless for minutes, but eventually left the field laughing...much to everyone's relief.

Notes: Obviously, this play and the aftermath would have worried Cowboys fans regardless of its timing, but after watching superstar WR Michael Irvin's career end due to a neck/spine injury just the year before, no one could blame anyone for fearing the worst for Smith. 
Ultimately, he was diagnosed with a concussion and did not return to the game (which was won by Minnesota 27-15). Smith, who finished with 100 yards on 12 carries, was back in action the following week against Tampa Bay. 

 
Nolan Arenado's Tarp Grab (4/14/2015)

 

My memory can be suspect. I can remember the horrifying scene where a murderous robot extracted itself from Kristi Swanson's corpse in a movie that came out when I was six (nevermind why I was ALLOWED to see said scene from A Deadly Friend). Yet I cannot remember a single scene from The Big Short, which I saw just a while back.

But one thing I DO remember vividly—and doubt I'll ever forget—is the AMAZING catch then-Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado made against my Giants at then-AT&T Park seven years ago (though it feels like about half that time). I can still recall the batter, the game situation, the reaction of the crowd and the announcers.

We need to truly appreciate these pro athletes, people...they're incredible.

Notes: Rockies RP Rafael Betancourt sure appreciated Arenado's effort, which turned Gregor Blanco's harmless foul into the first out of the B8th. That's Angel Pagan who dangerously moved up to third base on the play—with San Francisco down 3-0 at the time, that decision could have been catastrophic.

Colorado LF Corey Dickerson (#6) checks on/praises Arenado following the catch. The Rockies went on to win 4-1.