photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
It’s not even that he got a win, at this point, it’s just that he got a DECISION. What UTTER MADNESS. It was starting to look like Bondo going to make it through the entire month of April without having a record, but he managed to sneak in just under the wire.
So, so much weirdness in this game. I very badly need to write about the magnificence that was Sunday’s game, and post my photos from it, and BRANDON INGE WALKOFF HOME RUN HOLY FREAKING CATS, but this game was so completely bizarre that I’ve got to give it its proper due.
Let’s start with Pudge breaking his bat. No big deal, right? Ha ha, that is where you are MISTAKEN, my friends. For Pudge did not break his bat on a Daniel Cabrera fastball or anysuchthing… no no, that would be too sane. Pudge broke his bat by HITTING HIMSELF IN THE HEAD WITH IT.
I am not kidding.
He swung, and missed. The bat came around on the follow-through, he cracked himself in the back of the helmet with it, and the barrel shattered off. I have never in my LIFE seen anyone do that. I don’t think Pudge himself quite knew what had happened, although that could have had something to do with the fact that he had just hit himself in the head hard enough to snap his own bat. Because he is Pudge, however, and Pudge Rodriguez does not come out of baseball games unless (his) internal organs are strewn all over the infield, he stayed in, and indeed hardly even took half a minute before stepping back into the box.
You are a crazy little nutter and one of these days you are going to give us all a heart attack. There is no shame in walking off the field if you’re hurt. This isn’t hockey.
Then there was that OTHER broken bat, the one that set us off towards an almost-brawl. Bonderman came inside to Miguel Tejada…. WAY inside. It seems to be the only way he knows how to effectively pitch him, but this ball was so far inside that it hit Tejada’s bat only just barely above his hands. The bat shattered into a billion pieces, the ball bounced in front of the plate, and Pudge scooped it for the out. Miggy went back to the dugout, steaming mad about the call.
Daniel Cabrera hit Sheff in the back. Payback, or not? It was kind of hard to tell, because he wasn’t exactly displaying a lot of control out there either.
Next time Tejada was up, Bondo pitched him inside AGAIN, this time real low, so that it skimmed the dirt and Tejada had to do a little dance to avoid getting it on the foot. He was not having any of it, pointed his bat at Bondo, and started jawing. Pudge immediately raced in and started screaming at Miggy while umpires held Bondo back.
Benches cleared, bullpens cleaedr (FSN Detroit had a nice inexplicable shot of Jason Grilli running out to get into the fray… um, because he was WAY INVOLVED in this, natch), everyone stood around chatting. Oh, baseball. Cabrera and Sheffield nearly got into it, but were restrained by a combination of officials and fellow older teammates. Zumaya came roaring out of the bullpen at high speed and also had to be restrained by several people….. he’s young, and this, I think, would’ve been his first real brawl. He seemed very excited and fired up for that. I’m awfully glad he didn’t pitch today, because I would hate to see what a cocky AND obscenely fired-up Zoom pitches like. (I’m seeing balls thrown into opposing dugout, and Zoom screaming at the ump for not calling then Ks).
All this utter bizarreness got Sheffield boiling, and he ended up with a HUGE home run. You don’t want to mess with Daniel Cabrera in a fight, since he’s so effin’ massive… physically… but you don’t want to mess with a pissed-off Gary Sheffield at the plate. Because I may resent him and his former inherent Yankeeness, but… dude’s gotta bat when he feels like swinging it.
Finally, finally a win for Bondo. He probably hasn’t sighed easy in weeks, but hopefully he’ll sleep in contented comfort tonight. Tomorrow probably will not be any weirder, if only because it can’t possible be.