Saturday, July 22, 2017

Aaron Judge hits Statcast-breaking home run nearly out of Safeco Field

Aaron Judge broke out of his nearly two-week home run slump in a spectacular way against the Seattle Mariners Friday night.

The big guy's three-run bomb against Andrew Moore in the fifth-inning — his first homer since July 7 — and 31st overall — landed at the back of the second deck in left field of Safeco Field helping lead the Yankees to a 5-1 victory over the home town Mariners.

Judge's powerful blast went so far it reportedly broke Statcast, which couldn't even get an immediate measurement of the moonshot. The Mariners estimated the ball traveled 440 feet — a conservative guess at best if you went by the reaction of the crowd or announcers.
Judge came up to the plate in front of a mostly cheering crowd of 34,073 and crushed the 2-1 breaking ball from rookie Moore three rows from the top of Safeco's left field’s upper deck. 

According to a Mariners’ official, nobody has hit a ball out of Safeco Field during a game since it opened in 1999.

But this was about as close as they come. Ask Statcast...well maybe not.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Rays' Logan Morrison angry about Yankees' Gary Sanchez being invited to Home Run Derby

Logan Morrison sounds a little peeved that two New York Yankees players will be jacking balls over the fence at next weeks' Home Run Derby during the All-Star Game festivities in Miami while the Tampa Bay Rays' first baseman might be sitting at home swatting flies.

Morrison, who is tied for third in the majors with 24 home runs, doesn’t think Gary Sanchez is deserving of a spot at next week’s Home Run Derby especially when the Yankees are already sending MLB's home run leader Aaron Judge.

“Gary shouldn’t be there,’’ Morrison told the Tampa Bay Times. “Gary’s a great player, but he shouldn’t be in the Home Run Derby. I remember when I had 14 home runs,’’ Morrison said. “That was a month and a half ago.’’

Sanchez does have a less than spectacular 13 homers this year, but remember the Yankees catcher spent a month on the disabled list.

Morrison, however, wasn’t suggesting that he should take Sanchez’s spot.

“It’s not even about that,” he said. “(Royals third baseman Mike) Moustakas should be there.

“I’m not disappointed. It’s par for the course. I play for the Rays. I get it. They can’t even get my picture right. When they put my name up there, they put Corey (Dickerson’s) picture up there ... on MLB Network.’’

It is somewhat unfair that the Yankees did get two players competing in the contest although Morrison would even have to admit that Sanchez is a real bomber. The Yankee slugger averages a true home-run distance of 420.9 feet — second only to Blue Jays' Kendrys Morales and even further than the powerful Judge.

So while Morrison does have a valid argument, it's time for him to put on his big boy pants and worry about making the AL All-Star squad via the Final Vote.

That is, of course, if they get his name right.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Tim Tebow adds wall crashing catch to his minor league highlight reel

Tim Tebow continues to simultaneously blur and highlight his reputation as minor league baseball's most intriguing player — making it hard for anyone to hate the guy.

Since being called up to the New York Mets' Single-A St. Lucie team — and on the same day Mets GM Sandy Alderson admitted Tebow was more of a gimmick than a latent talent — the former NFL star is starting to look like he deserved the promotion even though it might be better suited to the gridiron than the diamond.

On Friday night, a day after Tebow homered in his second game, the bruising outfielder went Wildcat and can now add a wall crushing catch to his baseball reel.
Alderson was pretty blunt on the Tebow signing claiming the Mets didn’t sign the former quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner because they saw some hidden talent in him. It wasn’t a “baseball decision,” as Alderson said at the time.

“Look, we signed him because he is a good guy, partly because of his celebrity, partly because this is an entertainment business,” Alderson said. “My attitude is ‘Why not?’ ”

Despite his paltry .220/.311/.336 stats and only three home runs in 64 games with Single-A Columbia, Tebow was conspicuously promoted last week. 

Tebow went 0-for-2 last night but, like Alderson said, it's all about the show.  And if the losing Mets continue to be as entertaining as they are now, expect to see Tebowing (remember that?) at Citi Field this fall.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Aaron Judge quiets heckling White Sox fans with 418-foot home run

Once again Aaron Judge used his bat to make noise and with one giant swing Wednesday night also silenced some loudmouth White Sox fans who had been yelling "Aaron! Aaron! You suck!" all game long from the right-field stands where he stands guard.

The big guy slammed a 418-foot, two-run homer to left in the sixth inning of the Yankees’ 12-3 victory over Chicago but the shot left a mouth gag that covered the other side of Guaranteed Rate Field as well.

After the game the usually humble Judge admitted that he looked toward the rowdy fans as he rounded the bases after hitting his 27th homer of the year.

“I did. I did. I like having some fun with the fans,” Judge said. “They were heckling me pretty good out there. I’m not going to say anything to them. I just gave them a little peak as I rounded the bases. I was just having some fun with them. They were kind of razzing me when I got back out there.”

“Just smiling, having a good time,” Judge said. “It is fun to play this game. Someone razzes you a little bit, just having fun. It was all good. They were getting on me pretty good.”  

Joining Judge in the shushing was Masahiro Tanaka who won a game for the first time in nearly two months — keeping the Yankees in the top spot of the AL East.

Monday, June 26, 2017

UFC fighter gets the crap choked out of her...literally

Justine Kish not only got the crap choked out her by Felice Herrig in their UFC Fight Night showdown at UFC Oklahoma this weekend, she even left the skid marks inside the Octagon to prove it.

In an embarrassing moment Kish probably wishes she could wipe away, the corn-rowed warrior apparently lost control of her bowels during the fight while trying to escape a vicious rear-naked chokehold from Herrig. The exertion Kish used to escape the grasp of Herrig most likely brought about the unfortunate incident.

And, even more unfortunately for Kish, her octagon accident was not lost on viewers at home. Replay of Kish’s attempted escape confirmed that a nasty brown substance was left behind on the canvas.
The previously undefeated Kish was praised for the courage she showed in escaping the deep choke from Herrig.

“I have no idea how Kish got out of this,” UFC analyst Kenny Florian said. “Just pure toughness and strength. Just amazing determination from Justine.”

But her real fortitude showed when the straw-weight took to social media following the contest, humorously owning up to her Depends moment, and telling her fans that she will return to fight again for the throne. 

That's when #ShitHappens started trending.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Michael Phelps will race against a great white in Shark Week event

By Tony Mangia

Without an Olympics this summer and no other human being to beat in the pool, it seems only logical that Michael Phelps takes on one of the fastest and, just for fun, one of the most fearsome swimmers on the earth, namely the great white shark.

In what could possibly be described as Shark Week jumping the shark, the Discovery Channel announced that 23 time Olympic gold medal winner  Phelps will race a great white shark as part of its popular summer series on July 23:

"They are one of the fastest and most efficient predators on the planet: Sharks. He is our greatest champion to ever get in the water: Michael Phelps. 39 world records. 23 Olympic golds. But he has one competition left to win. An event so monumental no one has ever attempted it before. The world’s most decorated athlete takes on the ocean’s most efficient predator: Phelps V Shark – the race is on!"

According to, sharks cruise around at around 5 mph, but great whites can reach top speeds of 25 mph — about "10 times faster than the typical human swimmer" when they are in attack mode.

One can only guess that Phelps is hoping against attack mode and won't be paddling for his life since the the Olympic chum, I mean champ, has only been clocked at a top speed of 6 mph.

But it's not like Phelps hasn't been training and researching his competition. Last week the 31-year-old went cage diving with some great whites hopefully to get a leg up and keep one out of his toothy rival's mouth:

The network is hyping this broadcast as a once in a lifetime event and is hoping their viewing audience bites.

But just in case you don't remember other "monumental" Man vs Beast competitions like Nat Geo Wild's Man vs Cheetah back in 2014 when a couple of NFL players raced a spotted speedster in separate enclosures which ended up about as exciting as watching the big cats napping at the zoo.

And speaking of dozing, there were high hopes in 2014 for the Discovery Channel's Man Gets Eaten Alive By An Anaconda which ultimately turned out to be one of TV's most laughable and epic fails.

Either way, real sports fans know a race doesn't count if the players don't compete on the same field of play, bumping shoulder to shoulder,  leg to leg or, in this case, arm to fin.

I'm sure plenty of people will tune in to watch the colorfully named Phelps Vs. Shark: Great Gold Vs Great White. Just don't expect to see any red — especially in the accounting books.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Congressional Baseball Game will go on Thursday in light of GOP shooting

The annual Congressional Baseball Game will go on as planned, Rep. Martha McSally announced in an all-member briefing after House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and four others were shot by a deranged Bernie Sanders supporter while the Republican team was practicing Wednesday morning at a Virginia ball field.

"It will be play ball tomorrow night," Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) and manager of the GOP squad, confirmed later in the day. 

Despite the cowardly armed sneak attack aimed at Republicans, it won’t stop the annual charity match-up from being played 7:05 p.m. on Thursday at Nationals Park, according to the game organizers from both parties.

During a solemn address to the chamber Wednesday afternoon, House Speaker Paul Ryan injected a moment of levity – joking that the wounded Congressman's biggest complaint will be having to spend time on the disabled list.

“Knowing Steve Scalise as we all do, he is likely really frustrated that he’s not going to be able to play in the baseball game,” Ryan said of his friend — who is still listed as in critical condition.

Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), manager of the Democrats, invited all players from both teams to dinner at Democratic headquarters on Wednesday night.

“We’re united not as Republicans and Democrats but as United States representatives,” said Barton during the joint appearance with his Democratic baseball rival Doyle.

The annual congressional baseball game dates back to 1909 and is considered a bi-partisan event open to everyone.

Every year Senate and House members of each party fortify friendships off the floor and on the field. Members usually wear the uniform of their home states and districts, and although proportional representation is not required, elected officials of many states play to bring home the victory trophy.

Rep. Eric Swalwell, (D-Calif.), who is on the Democrats’ baseball team said the Democratic team practices at a different facility than where the shooting occurred. Swalwell noted that they usually have security, but the Republicans likely had “even more” due to Scalise’s rank in the House Republican Leadership.

President Trump touted the "heroism" of Capitol Police officers, and said their presence prevented what would have been a "massacre."

There is expected to be an increased number of fans in the stands — and more security at the gates— this year as the game has now taken on national significance.

More importantly, the sportsmanship represents the hopes of an America that is striving for unity.