Milwaukee Brewers manager Ken Macha repeatedly tried to reach someone in the Milwaukee bullpen last night to get some pitchers warmed up, but the bullpen coach and relievers let the calls go to voice mail each time.
“He kept calling and bothering us all the time at all innings – the third inning, fourth inning, fifth inning. So we got caller ID,” said reliever Claudio Vargas. “Now when he calls we usually let it go to voice mail. It’s let us just relax, hang out with each other and watch the game like the fans.”
Macha's first call came last night in the fifth inning after starter Doug Davis walked his fourth batter of the night.
“Um, hello? Is anyone there? Pick up, pick up, pick up, pick up,” he said. “Well, hmm … maybe you guys stepped out for a minute. I’ll try back a little later. Oh, this is Ken Macha.”
The manager’s next call came three batters later when Davis gave up an RBI single.
“Yeah, you guys there? Anyone? Anyone? I had called earlier. It’s Ken. Your manager. Pick up the phone if you’re there, please,” Macha said. “I had called earlier and I really need someone to warm up for Doug. So if you get this message, please get warmed up. Okay, thanks. Have a good one.”
Four pitches later, after Chipper Jones hit a ball to the warning track, there was another call.
“Okay, really. Please pick up if you are there. I’m starting to get worried,” said Macha. “Doug is getting rocked and I need to talk to you guys. Is this the right number?”
Middle reliever Todd Coffey says the bullpen made the right decision in getting voice mail.
“Really, who calls before the sixth inning? That’s just rude. We’re all just sitting down, getting situated and the phone is ringing off the hook,” said Coffey. “We work so hard supporting our crappy starting rotation, sometimes we just need a little rest, you know? If there’s a big emergency or they really, really need us, I’m sure someone will come out and get us. But until then, we’re going to see how many messages our voice mail memory can hold.”
To Hernandez's credit, he fell asleep instead of leaping out of the press box to his death. He's a Mets broadcaster, after all. And in case you were wondering, when Keith Hernandez sleeps, his head goes down and to the front. (VIDEO)
Oakland's Dallas Braden pitched just the 19th perfect game in major league history on Sunday. Perfect games are a rare. But a few baseball occurrences happen even less frequently.
Here they are.
One day after Commissioner Bud Selig announced cocaine use would be legalized and encouraged for every remaining Yankees-Red Sox series this season, the two teams played Sunday night’s matchup battle in just under 46 minutes, the shortest recorded game in modern MLB history.
The decision was a reaction to yet another pair of marathon contests between Boston and New York during the opening games of the weekend series, as both Friday and Saturday’s meetings lasted well over three hours.
“This ensures the youngest generation of MLB fans will have an opportunity to see baseball played at a reasonable hour," said Selig. "And sometimes the theft of youthful innocence as they witness their heroes lit up and out of their skulls is the price we have to pay. Although, more specifically, a grand per kilo is really the price we have to pay. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to use the bathroom.”
Dirt from the pitcher’s mound was replaced by pure, uncut blow direct from Bogota, Colombia. And while Sox starter Jon Lester’s first 17 pitches each topped 113 MPH, the lefthander proceeded to give up five home runs in the first inning alone, with each clearing the stadium and landing well past Lansdowne Street. In fact, the sheer force of Alex Rodriguez's home run left the slugger's right and left shoulders completely dislocated, though the third baseman didn’t seem notice what had happened as he sprinted around the base path, stopping only at second base to high five Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia reciprocated enthusiastically and followed Rodriguez into the bathroom before the inning was finished. Pedroia was replace by Marco Scutaro, who spent the rest of the inning looking for helicopters and asking Kevin Youkilis if he was a narc.
KC and the Sunshine Band were given the honors of playing the seventh inning stretch, but their set was marred by the ESPN cameras spanning across Fenway’s right field to reveal both team’s bullpens engaged in an orgy, which, by all accounts, had been going on for the previous two hours.
The rule change seemed to visibly affect Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon the most of anyone, as he was the most abrasive and idiotic player of all. Asked after the game why he though the drug had such an impact, the Sox closer replied: “OH SHIT THERE’S COKE?! WHERE?”
The Tampa Bay Rays hit for the 19th imperfect game in baseball history on Sunday, failing to have a single batter reach base against Oakland pitcher Dallas Braden. It was the first imperfect game since last year when the Rays also achieved the feat against Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox.
"This is something I'll remember forever," said Rays first baseman Carlos Pena, who only saw seven pitches in going 0-for-3. "For us to do it once is pretty remarkable, but twice in back-to-back years? Wow. Just wow."
Rays manager Joe Maddon echoed Pena.
"I'm just I'm at a loss for words," he said. "I don't know what to say. This team has the potential to do this on any given night. We can come out and put up 10 runs, or we can fail to reach base. It's amazing."
Oakland's Braden tipped his cap to the Rays.
"All credit to them," he said. "They were just terrible. Falling behind in counts, swinging at obvious balls, trying to pull everything. They deserved it. I could tell from the first time through the lineup that they were capable of doing this today. And they did."
A's manager Bob Geren said he hopes Braden's role in Tampa's imperfect game is not overlooked.
"I know this is an offensive-focused game," he said. "But I thought Dallas pitched pretty well. And, really, even if Tampa had been able to get a hit or two, it still would have been a pretty imperfect game on their part. Maybe we should consider honoring the pitcher instead for these kind of games."
All of the bats used in the game by the Rays are being sent to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
"It will make for a beautiful display," said Hall of Fame director Bruce Akers. "There's hardly a mark on any of them."
Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Kukulcan Tlacolotl, the only current Mayan player in Major League Baseball, touched off a panic throughout the game and across the globe today when he rejected a multi-year contract extension that would pay him through the 2012 season and into 2013.
"I just don't see the point," said Kukulcan.
The young Mayan has become a fan favorite in Pittsburgh since joining the team, due to his production on the mound, big smile and proclivity to sacrifice a steer on the field after a win.
"We are trying to build this team around our young, successful players," said Pirates general manager Neil Huntington. "We had hoped Kukulcan would be part of that group moving forward. Also, we had hoped the world wouldn't end on December 21, 2012. Looks like we're screwed on both accounts."
Kukulcan's decision has led to a flurry of trade activity, as teams that believe they are contenders look to add talent and win before the world ends after the 2012 season, as predicted by the Mayan calendar.
But the pitcher's Mayan agent, Gucumatz Cu, said his client's rejection of Pittsburgh's contract extension has nothing to do with the end of the world.
"A lot of GMs think we are backwards and not modern just because we're from an ancient civilization," he said. "But nothing could be farther from the truth. We rejected their contract offer simply because it was below market value. And if we are disrespected in this way again, I will cut off Neil Huntington's head and throw it into a volcano."
Kansas City ace Zack Greinke pitched the first perfect game of the 2010 season last night, and the first of his career, setting all 27 Chicago White Sox batters in order. Greinke also struck out 13 batters in the Royals loss to fall to 0-4 on the season.
"It's tough to keep losing like this," said Greinke, who entered the game with a 2.27 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. "But I'm trying not to get down. I just have to go out my next start and do better."
Greinke's teammates apologized for their continued lack of run support for the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner. Kansas City had scored 12 runs in Greinke's six starts so far this season. That number dropped to 11 runs following last night's game.
"We just can't seem to string any hits together when he's on the mound," said Royals manager Trey Hillman. "It's just one of those things. Tonight was a great example. We had a guy on second with no outs in the third and didn't score, and we also had the bases loaded in the fifth with one out and didn't score. And then, of course, was the negative-run seventh inning, which really hurt."
The negative-run inning was a first in major league history. It's still unclear exactly what happened, but Royals third baseman Alex Gordon was at the plate and did something so incredibly awful that both teams agreed that Kansas City should be deducted a run.
"I didn't argue the decision," said Hillman. "Even for Alex it was pretty bad. It's a new low for him. Hopefully this is the bottom and it's only uphill for him from here."
The Royals hope the same for Greinke.
"I'd like to win a game this season. I really would," said Greinke. "That's my goal for the season: win one game. I think I deserve the right to be put into the lineup on the nights I pitch. I want a chance to help my own cause. I hit .279 my senior year in high school, you know. That's better than anyone else on this team can say."