Video Archive 41
Mike Piazza's 496-Foot Homer (9/26/1997)
Former Dodgers and Mets C Mike Piazza had as much power as anybody who's played this game—I feel comfortable saying that even having never seen Mickey Mantle or Babe Ruth or any of the top sluggers from the pre-Skillz era.
And although these days, MLB pretty much ignores any home run distance measurements pre-Statcast—which came out all of SEVEN years ago—we here at TSR do not. When we find out Piazza once walloped a homer estimated at 496 frikkin' feet, we tell you about it. We might even celebrate it if Piazza weren't a Dodger at the time.
Notes: Colorado RP Darren Holmes served up Piazza's bomb. It is mentioned that Piazza's 38 homers were an L.A. Dodgers record; today, Shawn Green owns that honor with 49 homers in 2001.
As you saw/heard, the T6th blast put the Dodgers up 7-1 over the Rockies; they went on to win 10-4. But it was the Giants who won the NL West that year!!!!
Antonio Brown Knocked Out (1/9/2016)
For the first few years of his career, then-Steelers WR Antonio Brown made no waves, at least publicly. But by 2018 he'd become a full-blown diva; in the coming years there were as many stories about Brown forcing trades, missing games, bitching about teammates, even frostbitten feet as there were stories about Brown catching passes.
Years later, as Brown's on-and-off-field behavior has only worsened, one might wonder if the changes in Brown weren't entirely his fault—he took a vicious hit from Cincinnati's Vontaze Burfict in the 2016 playoffs that left his circuits scrambled momentarily.
And it's possible they never fully unscrambled...
Notes: -The Steelers did move into FG range after the penalty, and K Chris Boswell won the game with a 35-yarder minutes later. Final score: Pittsburgh 18, Cincinnati 16.
Ben Roethlisberger is the QB throwing to Brown, who had seven catches for 119 yards. He was concussed on the play and sat out the Steelers' season-ending loss to Denver the following week.
Burfict was suspended for the first three games of the 2016 season, and in 2019 he was suspended for the final 13 weeks after continued on-field transgressions. To date, he hasn't returned to the NFL.
You see Bengals CB #37 Chris Lewis-Harris defending Brown prior to the hit, with LB #57 Vincent Rey also in the vicinity.
Mark Buehrle's Through-The-Legs Flip (4/5/2010)
Mark Buehrle threw a no-hitter and a perfect game, won 214 games over 16 seasons, made five All-Star squads and pitched in the World Series. But what you're seeing here is what Buehrle might be best remembered for.
In the 2010 season opener, Indians batter Lou Marson lined one off Buehrle's leg; despite the blow, the four-time Gold Glover Buehrle did what one might expect of a four-time Gold Glover: he recovered and got the out despite impossible odds—in spectacular fashion, no less!
Shout-out to 1B Paul Konerko for the barehand putout.
This clip was replayed on ESPN, MLB Network, you name it about 3,500 times over the next 48 hours. Somewhat understandable—we haven't seen one like it before or since.
Notes: This play occurred with one out in the T5th; Buehrle shook off the pain and delivered seven shutout innings as Chicago beat Cleveland 6-0.
As if the barehand wasn't enough, Konerko slammed a two-run homer in the B1st off Jake Westbrook.
Trevor Booker's Crazy Flip Shot (1/9/2015)
Somehow, I did not know about this no-look basket by Jazz F Trevor Booker until seven years after he made it. How on EARTH, with all the sports highlights I consume, did THIS one-in-a-million highlight slip under my radar?
In any event, Booker was the man of the hour after his Jazz took on the Oklahoma City Thunder in early 2015.
NBA rules prohibit anything but tip-ins when the clock is down to :00.3 or less—this is known as The Trent Tucker Rule—so in these situations, many teams simply eat the ball and forfeit the possession.
Not the 2014-15 Utah Jazz! Watch Jazz G Gordon Hayward inbound the ball to Booker and gawk in amazement.
Notes: This play put Utah up 50-44 with about a minute left in the 2Q. OKC, however, wound up victorious 99-94.
That is the much-maligned Thunder G Russell Westbrook who Booker flips the shot over.
Booker, who played 21 minutes off the bench, finished with eight points on 3-of-8 shooting.
Ronald Acuna Tears His ACL (7/10/2021)
Atlanta Braves OF Ronald Acuna is arguably THE brightest young star in MLB these days—there's nothing he can't do on the field and other than being intentionally drilled by the Marlins, there's nothing he doesn't enjoy on the field.
So when he came down hard after an unsuccessful pursuit of (Marlins 2B) Jazz Chisholm's deep drive to RF in July 2021, the whole league held its breath along with the rest of the Braves. In the past, Acuna had suffered injuries that looked very serious at the time, but turned out to be minor.
This time, unfortunately, the injury was even worse than it looked—a torn ACL in Acuna's right knee.
Notes: Chisholm ended up with a solo inside-the-park home run off Braves SP Max Fried, cutting Atlanta's lead to 5-3 in the B5th. Despite that, and the shock of losing Acuna, the Braves held on to win 5-4.
We see CF Guillermo Heredia finally recovering the baseball as it rests in the grass; 2B Ozzie Albies and 1B Freddie Freeman aren't far behind.
Veteran OF Abraham Almonte took over in RF for Acuna, who did not return to action until late April 2022. Somehow, even without Acuna and other key performers, the Braves ended up as 2021 World Series champions!
The Angels And Nationals Brawl (6/14/2005)
Okay, the two clubs didn't really brawl per se, but benches cleared and at least three participants were very upset. Basically, this came down to Nationals manager Frank Robinson—perhaps on a tip from former Angels OF Jose Guillen—asked the umpires to check the glove of Angels RP Brendan Donnelly.
The umpires found a "foreign substance" and gave Donnelly the boot. L.A. skipper Mike Scioscia voiced his displeasure with things to Robinson, a man who could go from 0 to 60 in a blink. You see what happened next.
As you also see, Scioscia later tried to return the favor, having the umps check on the glove of Washington reliever Gary Majewski.
Notes: You see an enraged Guillen being dragged away from the situation—a wise move by his fellow Nats. You see, Guillen had been an Angel the year before, but was traded to Washington after a serious falling-out with Scioscia over...nothing.
In fact, after this game Guillen had some VERY unfriendly things to say about his ex-manager, bad enough that I'm not even going to link to them. There is no doubt in my mind that had Guillen not been dragged away, he would have put hands on Scioscia.
Scot Shields took over for the ejected Donnelly. In the end, no one else was ejected; the Nationals used a four-run T8th to sink the Angels 6-3.
Donnelly was later suspended eight days (reduced from 10).
The Pick At The Stick Ft. NaVorro Bowman (12/23/2013)
One of my favorite plays in sports is a player coming through with a big play in the clutch after sucking or making a crucial error earlier in the game. Redemption plays, we could call them.
During his 49ers career, LB NaVorro Bowman had very little to ever redeem himself for—dude was one of the best linebackers I've ever seen. But on this date, likely the final game ever at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, Bowman had just blown the recovery of a late 4Q onside kick by Atlanta Falcons, putting them in prime position to at least tie the game...if not outright win it.
A few plays later, with some help from 49ers DB Tremaine Brock, Bowman atoned. BOY, did he ever atone.
Notes: Bowman was credited with an 89-yard return, sealing the 34-24 San Francisco win. The Niners did not play at Candlestick again, as all three of their playoff games were on the road.
Matt Ryan is the Falcons QB attempting to connect with WR Harry Douglas. Second-year WR Drew Davis is seen in unsuccessful pursuit of Bowman as he races to paydirt.
On the game's final play, Brock himself intercepted Ryan.
Kyle Seager Says Goodbye To MLB (10/3/2021)
As the 2021 season wound down, it was no sure thing that pending free agent 3B Kyle Seager of the Mariners would return in 2022 for a 12th season with Seattle.
Though the team was improving after two decades out of the postseason and would ideally want to retain a lifelong Mariner who hit 35 homers with 101 RBI in 2021, contract negotiations have been known to go askew a time or two. Tough, unpopular decisions have been made.
So in the Mariners' season finale, played in Seattle, manager Scott Servais removed Seager with one on and one out in the T9th. This allowed fans—and teammates—to give the longtime M's star a proper sendoff in the event he did not return to Seattle in 2022. As you see, it got a tad emotional.
Notes: Seager went hitless as the Mariners fell to the Angels 7-3, but that understandably didn't seem to matter much to anyone.
In Seager's place, young IF Donovan Walton finished the game, which lasted 3:56. Not just because of the goodbye for Seager, but because the two teams, for WHATEVER reason, combined to use 15 pitchers in a game that didn't really warrant it.
Brandon Marsh is the bearded Angels batter seen as the video opens.
Seager wound up retiring from MLB altogether in December 2021.
DeAndre Jordan's Only Career Three-Pointer (3/13/2015)
I'll be the first to admit DeAndre Jordan is about 8x the basketball player I am, and I was pretty good in my day. Not good enough to ever join a league or anything, but on the playground, your boy Skillz held his own until aging out a couple years ago.
I'll also be the first to admit that I could outshoot Jordan from here to, well, Los Angeles. The longtime Clippers' big man has one glaring weakness in his game, and that is an inability to put the ball in the hoop from anywhere outside the lane.
He's not the first NBA center with five-foot range, and he won't be the last.
That being said, in March 2015 at Dallas, DeAndre Jordan—for the first and ONLY time in his 14 NBA seasons—knocked down a three-pointer! It was about 87 seconds into a game the Clippers eventually lost by 30, however.
Notes: That's Clippers G Chris Paul who lost the handle, giving Jordan the opportunity to display his "range". He had been 0-for-7 from deep in his career prior to burying this shot; he's gone 0-for-4 since.
Jordan finished with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting, plus 18 rebounds. But Dallas shot 61% and won 129-99.
Tony Gwynn, Sr. Steals A Homer (6/21/1994)
At the end of his career, Tony Gwynn Sr. was a tad...rotund. But he could still hit with anybody—he'd done so with expert skill in MLB since 1982 and rode that talent to the Hall of Fame.
Unfortunately, his size limited his defensive prowess near the end, which was too bad, since in his prime the guy was a Gold Glover in the outfield. Gwynn wasn't naturally gifted with the glove; he had to work himself into becoming a fine fielder.
Perhaps his greatest defensive play was robbing Dodgers C Mike Piazza of a home run with a leaping catch at the wall of old Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego. These plays are harder to make than they look, especially for those not gifted with great athleticism such as Gwynn. But he got it done!
Notes: Padres SP Andy Ashby benefitted from Gwynn's grab, which kept the score at 2-0 Padres in the T4th. San Diego eventually won 4-3 in extras in a game that saw Ashby go nine innings but NOT get credit for a complete game...those irk me.
Gwynn wasn't done being the hero after the catch. He singled home the tying run in the B13th, then scored the winning run on C Brian Johnson's drive to right field! Meanwhile, Piazza finished 0-for-5.