What Had Happened Was: 6/8/16
Oh, you don’t know? We got you.
Welp, at least baseball was Made Fun Again on Tuesday night.
In the fifth inning of Tuesday’s game between the Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals, Kansas City pitcher Yordano Ventura reared back and fired a 99-mph fastball into Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado’s back. Machado flung his helmet to the ground and charged Ventura, intent on letting his fists fly. They flew, all right. Check it out (narration provided by the homie, Jim Ross):
— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) June 8, 2016
Now, if the idea of pummeling a pitcher for one errant pitch seems odd, you don’t know Ventura terribly well. Machado’s own manager, Buck Showalter, admitted after the game that he talked to Machado before this at-bat and warned him that he thought Ventura had been trying to plunk him earlier in the night. Showalter was correct. Baseball has long been accused of having an “unwritten rules” problem — don’t flip your bat, don’t enjoy your celebration too much and please don’t hurt the pitcher’s feelings — but it’s fair to ask now whether baseball has a different problem: A Yordano Ventura problem.
Check out this dude’s resume: Once upon a time, Ventura called Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays (a man with nearly 300 home runs to his name) a “nobody” and dared him to “keep running your mouth” before promising “you’re gonna get it from me.” One time, Ventura got really mad at Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels for hitting a ball off of him too hard. Another time, he got pissed at Adam Eaton of the Chicago White Sox for merely existing. Another time, for good measure, he rifled in his trademark 99-mph fastball to the back of then-Oakland Athletics third baseman Brett Lawrie. Yahoo’s Jeff Passan even reported in his column this morning that Ventura has been telling anyone in his clubhouse who’d listen that he was going to wack Bautista with a fastball the next time he saw him. His teammates rolled their eyes.
But as Passan also points out: Does a player get to be this petulant when his performance is this bad? “After tonight, though, his ERA is 5.32, his strikeout rate 92nd of 107 qualified starters, his walk rate 105th of 107,” Passan wrote. “And this with a guaranteed three years and $21.25 million left on his contract.”
Who’s the nobody now?
— HuffPost BlackVoices (@blackvoices) June 7, 2016
Congratulations to Machado for achieving the Super Saiyan God level of Marylanders … free crabs for life.
Free crab cakes, steamed crabs, and meal prep FOR LIFE for Manny Machado. Real man – definitely not SAWFT!!! pic.twitter.com/00Qq3JCV93
— Jimmy's Seafood (@JimmysSeafood) June 8, 2016
If the free food wasn’t enough (something Rougned Odor of the Texas Rangers knows about, too), Machado’s teammate, Adam Jones, said after the game that he’d pay any fine his third baseman incurred.
“I’m glad for Manny for defending himself,” Jones said. “Screw it. Defend yourself. If somebody’s trying to hurt you maliciously, you go out there and you defend yourself. I hope the league goes and sees and reviews exactly what happened, because you can’t go out there when you’ve got a weapon or something at 100 miles per hour, you don’t have to hit and you’re trying to hurt somebody. That’s not part of the game. If you have to hit? All right, cool. The tables can be turned, and he can get his fair share at the hitting.”
As for Ventura, the Dominican pitcher said this about Machado through an interpreter after the game: “Everybody knows what kind of player he is. One just got away and he came at me, and I have to defend myself at that point.”
Is now a good time to remind Ventura that everyone knows what kind of player he is?
FOR THE CULTURE
- Melissa Harris-Perry announced, and simultaneously released, her article on Serena Williams for Glamour. Queen Serena drops some gems in the story.
- The New York Daily News spoke to Brian Banks, the former high school football standout who was wrongfully put in prison for five years and two months after a woman lied that he raped her, about the Brock Turner case. Banks was appalled by the handling and conclusion of this case regarding the former Stanford swimmer who was convicted of rape.
- Next Tuesday, first lady Michelle Obama and the White House staff will host the first-ever United State of Women Summit.
- Kamala Harris, California’s attorney general, advanced in the U.S. Senate race and will compete against Loretta Sanchez for a seat.
TOP THREE TWEETS
Every morning we’ll hit you here with the best of what we saw on social media the previous night. Why? Why not?
They do EVERYTHING together. pic.twitter.com/MHpWjcWc2X
— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) June 8, 2016
2. WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE
When your parents been saying "they bout to leave now" for the past 30 minutes then start up another conversation pic.twitter.com/e2NCXdENC7
— ❧νєηυѕƒℓутяαρqυєєη☙ (@BeeNasty_) June 7, 2016
3. YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!
A year after the Charleston church massacre, our own Aaron Dodson spent time with one victim’s son who has found refuge through baseball:
Singleton didn’t wear a cross until after his mother’s death. Now, he’s always fiddling with it. He’ll swing it around to make sure it’s straight or puts it in his mouth during conversation. He touches it so much that at times it seems as if he just wants to make sure it’s still there. “I feel like if I wasn’t a believer in God, then this would have been 10 times harder than it was,” he said. “Than it is.
“I was never mad at Him. Obviously, you’re going to be like, ‘Why does this gotta be my family? I knew this is part of Your plan, but why does it have to happen to my family? Why does it have to happen right now?’ I just used to have to keep this in mind that God makes no mistakes.”
We re-visit a conversation we had with the late Kimbo Slice last year, he showed us a side we rarely got to see.https://t.co/529l7ra9nX
— Highly Questionable (@HQonESPN) June 7, 2016