OBSERVATIONS: Somebody Needs To Get Mad

By Hal McCoy

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, wondering why I am staggering a bit lately when I walk and the Tito’s has not come off the shelf. Ain’t it awful getting old?

—JUST GET MAD, ELLY: Former Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jesse Winker is a guy not only with a short fuse, it is usually lit. And it was aflame over the weekend.

Winker is now paid by the Washington Nationals and the league will take some of that money after Winker was called out on strikes and bellowed belligerently at the umpire and was ejected. Then he had to be restrained.

When is the last time a Cincinnati Reds player protested a called third strike so vehemently he was ejected. Can’t remember? Me neither.

Isn’t about time one of them loosens some dander? How about Elly De La Cruz? Over the weekend, he became the season’s first MLB player to reached 100 strikeouts.

Statcast says De La Cruz also leads MLB is getting called out on strikes on pitches out of the strike zone. Isn ’t that enough to draw anger. The Reds definitely need to show fire, if not some brimstone.

The only guy to show emotional displeasure is manager David Bell, as he did Sunday. When he thought umpire Todd Tichenor was missing Nick Lodolo’s close pitches, Bell expressed his volatile opinion and was ejected.

It was Bell’s 30th career removal from games, tying Sparky Anderson’s club record.

—OBER AND OUT: It isn’t often a pitcher throws a complete game these days. It has to be done the way Minnesota’s Bailey Ober did it against the Oakland
A’s. He did it with 89 pitches.

He threw 70 strikes and only 19 balls while striking out 10. Since pitch counts began being tracked in 1988, only Ober and fire-breathing Randy Johnson pitched complete games and struck out 10 in less than 90 pitches.

It was done in mostly empty Oakland Coliseum. So it is like a tree falling in the forest with no sound if nobody was there to hear it. Fortunately, it was on TV and the A’s hitters can testify that Ober worked so efficiently and effectively they wondered if he was throwing them baseballs or ping pong balls.

—BASEBALL’S ‘BEAT THE CLOCK’: Now we have baseball’s version of the old TV show, ‘Beat The Clock.’ And Washington Nationals pitcher Kyle Finnegan is a nine-time loser.

The game was tied, Colorado 7, Washington 7. The Rockies Ryan McMahon was at the plate.
Bases load. Two outs. Full count. Nationals pitcher Kyle Finnigan was standing on the mound.

So what happened? Strikeout? No. Walk? No. Base hit? No. Ground ball? No. Fly ball? No.

What happened was that Finnegan remained standing, holding the ball. The time clock expired. Automatic ball. . .ball four, forcing in the winning run.

It was MLB’s first time clock violation walk-off. And it was Finnegan’s ninth time clock violation, four more than any other pitcher in MLB. Is it time to strap a stop watch on Finnegan’s wrist?

—OH, OH OHTANI: The Los Angeles Angels are seeing what they missed by not re-signing Shohei Ohtani, although they saved $700 million.

Is two home runs that traveled 914 feet worth $700 million. The Los Angeles Dodgers believe so and 23 home runs so far this season are paying off.

While playing against his old Angels team Friday, Ohtani first showed respect to his old team by bowing in front of their dugout before stepping into the batter’s box.

Then he hit a 455-foot home run, longest in Dodger Stadium history since distances began being tracked in 2015..

The record lasted less than 24 hours. Not satisfied with 455 feet, on Saturday he nearly reached Redondo Beach with a 459-footer.

Of the 10 longest home runs hit in Dodger Stadium this year, Ohtani owns eight..

TIE ONE ON: Back when few players made more than $100,000 per annum, the los Angeles Dodgers signed pitcher Don Sutton to a one-year $115,000 contract.

Asked what he was going to do with the money, Sutton said, “Invest in Tom Seaver.”

Speaking of Seaver, when he pitched for the Reds he was quite the cut-up. . .literally.

There was a writer from Hamilton named Joe Minster who wore a tie every day. His wife tied it for him. One day, as Minster interviewed Seaver, he took a pair of scissors and snipped off Minster’s tie just below the knot. Minster was livid and called Seaver every name, not only those in the book, but some not in it.

The next day, Seaver handed Minster three silk ties and promised to hide the scissors.

—MORE RULE CHANGES?: During a game against Boston, Cincinnati’s Jake Fraley had a 12-pitch at bat and fouled off nine pitches. They call that a quality at bat. Commissioner Rob Manfraud calls it delay of game.

Reader Conley Hall, tongue and cheek, said to speed up the game, Manfraud probably will implement the softball rule: “If you foul off a two-strike pitch, you’re out.”

And my great friend and former journalism compadre, Pat Rini, said Manfraud might put in the rule we had as kids when we didn’t have enough players to have a right fielder: “If you hit the ball to right field, it’ an automatic out.”

—THE JACKSON SEVEN: Raise you hand if you have heard of Jackson Merrill. Put your hand down, Mrs. Merrill.

Merrill is a 21-year-old rookie outfielder for the San Diego Padres. In a recent span of 10 games he hit seven home runs. The seventh was a 440-footer last seen headed for Tijuana without a passsport.

And in the same game he worked a 13-pitch walk. He is hitting .290 and is in conversations for the All-Star game and Rookie of the Year.

So what, he says. “I couldn’t care less about that stuff,” he said. “I don’t even care about that stuff. I care about my team. I care about winning.”

Now there’s a kid with his head screwed down tight.

—DOGGIN’ IT: Rap artist Snoop Dogg was in the broadcast booth in Milwaukee last week on Fox’s Baseball Night in America.

When he saw shortstop Elly De La Cruz unleash a bullet throw to first base he said, “That man has a rocket in his pocket.

If he had seen De La Cruz blaze around in the bases he could have said, “That man has gas in his. . .” Well, y’know.

—PLAYLIST NUMBER 66: Finally running out of tunes, can’t find any more in my iPod. But try these of what I’m told are 4,000 popular songs:

Time After Time (Cyndi Lauper), I Can’t Help Myself (The Four Tops), The House Of The Rising Sun (The Animals), Midnight Train To Georgia (Gladys Knight & The Pips), Crying (Roy Orbison), Summertime Blues (Eddie Cochrane), California Dreamin’ (Mammas & The Papas).

Gloria (Van Morrison & Them), Free Bird (Lynyrd Skynyrd), Go Your Own Way (Fleetwood Mac), Hungry Like The Wolf (Duran Duran), Lola (The Kinks), Up On The Roof (The Drifters), I Can’t Make You Love Me (Bonnie Raitt),




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