Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
March 23, 2007: Tampa Bay Devil Rays 15, Cincinnati Reds 1
This may be the ugliest game I have ever seen. (Well, listened to). Just about everything that could have gone wrong did. Harang was shelled, and so were the other Reds pitchers, including Burton and Coutlangus, who had been doing well until last night. Machado dropped a ball, getting yet another error. The outfielders couldn't seem to catch anything (and unfortunately, they had a lot of chances). Denorfia made a terrible throw. Enrique Cruz, star of the previous day's game, floundered on offense and defense. It just went on and on.
As if that weren't enough, Bellhorn whacked the plate umpire in the head with his bat. (Accidentally. I guess Bellhorn has a big follow-through.) He went to the hospital to get checked. For the rest of the inning, there was no plate umpire. Seriously! One of the umpires stood behind the mound to call balls and strikes as well as cover 1B, while another of them changed into protective gear. The crowd helpfully tried to take over. Calling everything a strike, of course.
So there were only two umpires on the field during the rest of the inning. Wise hit a ball ruled foul, and was quite irate that no one was in a position to really make the call. (Not that it mattered by then, except to Wise's stats.)
The low point of the game was in the 8th inning. Minor leaguer Wes Wilkerson gave up a three-run homer to Gomes, making it 15-1 Rays. Wilkerson then tried to bean the next batter. He missed the first time, then hit him with the second pitch. Benches emptied, and Wilkerson was ejected.
They later changed the ruling, saying the pitch hit the bat and bounced off it, hitting the batter in the head. So no BB. But Wilkerson was still ejected, for pitching inside.
They also said the coaches came out to hold Hamilton back, to keep him out of the fray. (No word on which side he was going to jump in on. ;-)
The only good news last night was for Tampa. The Rays have apparently been on a winning streak. When last we saw them, they were 1-12 - the proud owners of a 12-game losing streak. They are now 7-16, with a six-game winning streak.
And it is kind of funny, the way they introduce Bellhorn with the sounds of a bell ringing and a horn blowing.
According to John Fay at the Enquirer, Bubba was available to play last night, and did accompany the team to St. Pete. He didn't get into the game, though. It sounds like the outfield is immense in St. Petersburgh, so maybe they didn't want Bubba trying to cover that much ground. Hamilton, Freel, Wise, and Deno seemed to have a lot of trouble with it; the balls kept dropping in between them or going over their heads. Anyway, by the late innings, when Bubba would usually come in, the game was hopelessly out of reach, and Narron put in a bunch of non-roster players.
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