photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
Last night was a total image cop-out, so today you get THREE!
Jeremy Bonderman’s magical happy hitting world, otherwise known as Tonight’s Game.
It is imperative that I first point out that the Phillies announcers on Philly Comcast SportsNet (don’t know who they are) are UNSPEAKABLY BORING. Their voices are so… slow… and dull… and low… it’s like they’re actively trying to put the entire audience to sleep. The conjecture in my house is that they were selected precisely for their soporific announcing qualities, in order to keep homebound Phillie fans sedated.
This game saw yet another historical Tigers event occur: Bondo’s first big league hit ever! It was about the ugliest damn single you’ll ever see in your life; the ball scuttled past Lieber, the third baseman had to come running way in to get it and threw it just wide of the base. It could have been a hard-luck error on the third baseman, but the scorers were feeling generous and gave Bondo his hit.
Even making contact with the ball was a big step for Bondo, who usually either stands and watches strike three float by or swings wildly at a ball two feet off the plate. The fact that he managed to get the bat around on the ball is a little shocking, because connecting bats and balls is pretty low on the overall spectrum of Bondermanian behaviors (unless it’s the first inning, and the bats aren’t his).
The Tigers dugout started loudly agitating for the ball, which had ended up in the Phillie dugout, and the Phillies threw it over. They were probably equally amused…maybe less amused when the Tigers continued to hit and Bondo came around to score.
Verlander, upon receiving Bondo’s precious first ever hit ball, doffed his cap and waved it at the Phillies in sincere thanks. Now that, my friends, is sportsmanship. On both sides.
When Bondo came around on his run (eeee!), of course everyone greeted him at the dugout steps. The best though was Pudge, who very very badly suppressed laughter, doing that “snerk, snerk” thing before giving up and laughing his patented thousand-toothed crazy Pudge laugh. Then all the pitchers had to come over and congratulate him when he was in the dugout. I believe that last year Jeremy Bonderman was declared the worst hitting pitcher on the team, so this was a big moment for everyone.
Phillie announcer: “I’m really impressed, how they don’t chase a lot of pitches. You can see why they’re such a good-hitting team.” Really a shocking turnaround from the Tigers teams of not-so-long-ago. Comparing ’em to the rest of baseball, Tiger strikeouts are relatively down (21st in the league) and walks are relatively up (13th in the league). So weird to see that.
Jose Mesa got into the game, reminding us all how o-so-pleasant it is to be on the other side of that particular reliever. Of course today is the day that Tim Byrdak decides to be not-so-hot… and then Fernando. You all know my feelings on Fernando Rodney. I could repeat them over and over again, but at this point the only way I could mix it up would be by using some words I’m not really allowed to use here on the MVN.
Jimmy Rollins hit his “league leading” 9th triple of the year because it bounced off the wall over Sheffield’s head. For a second there I forgot that this was interleague and was all… “HELL NO. CURTIS GRANDERSON LEADS THE WORLD IN TRIPLES.” Which is still probably true (I do not know who the triples leaders in the various Asian and Central/South American Leagues are, so I can’t QUITE say ‘world’).
I think those were the high points of the game. Really it was all about Bondo and the sparkly magical occurrence that is him getting a hit.
Roman Colon has a temper, photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
In other Tigers news! Roman Colon goes crazy, alternatively titled “Get Your Filthy F-ing Hands off of My iPod or I’ll Break Your F-ing Face… LITERALLY.”
Literally, literally. I wish this was another one of my insane imaginary baseball world things, but it is not. Here’s how it apparently went down.
Virgil Vasquez, a right-handed pitcher, turned down the music on Colon’s iPod before Tuesday’s game.
Colon admonished Vasquez, prompting infielder Kevin Hooper, one of the team’s clubhouse leaders, to intervene. Hooper asked Colon to relax, at which point pitcher Jordan Tata became involved.
Colon and Tata engaged in a brief shoving match, prompting Karnuth to step in and attempt to break it up. Karnuth was then punched in the face.
Karnuth, the Mud Hens’ closer, sustained broken bones in his face when he was punched during the fight.
Karnuth… is due to have plastic surgery Monday. Screws will be inserted into his cheek, and it’s possible he will not pitch again this season.
Detroit Free Press article
Colon LITERALLY broke his face. Because he had the audacity to try to keep his teammates from killing each other over iPOD VOLUME. I mean, how disruptive could the thing have been anyways? If he had it plugged into speakers I feel like they would’ve said “they wanted him to turn his music down”, not iPod… this makes me think they could hear it while headphones were plugged in, in which case… c’mon, Roman, don’t you realize you’re making yourself deaf with those shenanigans?
Wait, though, it gets ‘better’.
Colon is believed to have thrown the punch, although when reached by telephone Thursday night, he said, “To be honest, I don’t even know if I hit him or not. I swear to God. I saw the trainers the next day, and I have no scars on my fingers.”
“I didn’t even know he was hit,” Colon said. “I was surprised. I just said, ‘Jason, I’m sorry. I’m real, real sorry.’ I called him the next morning. I apologized to him.”
Detroit Free Press article
Karnuth got punched in the face hard enough to require RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY, and you expect us to believe you had no idea whether or not you hit him? No. Sorry. Not buying it. And if Colon’s punch managed to miss Karnuth’s teeth (which it sounds like he did, what with the screws needing to be put in Karnuth’s cheek and all), it’s definitely possible that even a forceful punch would not have ‘scarred’ his knuckles.
The fun, unfortunately, just keeps on coming.
“I should not be the only one suspended,” Colon said. “Why would I be suspended when they were calling me a (expletive) to my face?”
Asked why he believes he was the only player suspended, Colon said, “When they called people into the office to ask what happened in the fight, there were no Latino people in there. So, I was alone.”
Detroit Free Press article
I’m not sure what exactly was said that made him think DIE FACE PUNCHY PUNCH was an appropriate reaction, due to newspaper censorship. I’m also not sure what, uh, being the only Latino player in the office when suspension was discussed had to do with anything. It sounds like he thought if they had called in a bunch of other Latino players as witnesses to the fight, they would have backed up Colon’s claims that he… blacked out and Karnuth’s face imploded all by itself? I don’t know. I guess he wanted some of the other guys to get suspensions too, or at least Tata, and… other Latino players would have made it clear that Colon wasn’t the only one throwing fists?
Or maybe he felt it was unfair that it was a bunch of American guys and their word up against his, and he was all alone, and… Dominican… and what that has to do with anything I do not know, but Colon seems to think it important. Maybe he wanted a translator and they didn’t let him have one? That would not have been OK… but he seems to get by with the newspaper guys well enough…
I can only say that I don’t think he was singled out here because he’s Latino. I think it’s much more likely that he was singled out because he’s the only one who BROKE THE CLOSER’S FACE.
I guess there is a lesson here for us all: Don’t Touch Another Man’s iPod.
The catcher’s race is really close right now, and if you want to see the REAL best catcher in the AL go to the All Star game, you had better get your rump over to the ballot right now and cast some votes for Pudge! Remember, you can vote up to 25 times (per email!), and voting goes on until 11:59 pm, June 28. VOTE POLANCO. VOTE MAGGS. VOTE PUDGE.