Welcome to the Rays Tank, where the stats are made up and the jokes don't matter. Before we get to the Link Dump and the Banal Chatter, let's take a look at what happened on This Day In Baseball. Ladies, Gentlemen, and Rays fans, I give you: August 12th.
Our first stop takes us to 2011 and a memorable Rays moment, when five different Rays took CC Sabathia deep in the same game on our way to a 5-1 win in the Bronx.
Casey Kotchman, Kelly Shoppach, Johnny Damon, Elliot Johnson, Evan Longoria: One of these things is not like the others.
For our next stop, we go to a 1984 Braves/Padres game, where a hockey game broke out.
Kids, violence is never the answer to your problems. But dang if it isn't fun to watch sometimes. For those of you didn't watch the whole thing, this apparently started because Pascual Perez hit Alan Wiggins with the first pitch of the game. The Padres then spent basically the rest of the game trying and failing to retaliate by hitting Perez (it's the NL, remember, so pitchers bat). The Friars managed to get several pitchers ejected, but no justice, until, finally, Craig Lefferts got the job done -- because of course he did. I mean, did you see that mustache? -- and then slowly backs away while all hell breaks loose around him. Craig Lefferts, he may be a goofy lefty, but he's ain't stupid.
Later, Donnie Moore (rest in peace) would hit Graig Nettles as payback for Lefferts hitting Perez. More ruckus ensued. The benches cleared a total of four times over the course of this game, leading to 13 players ejections, two manager ejections, multiple fines and suspensions, and five fans arrests. Plus a gratuitous Hitler ref from Braves manager Joe Torre.
Oh, and Atlanta won 5-3.
So how do top the greatest basebrawl of all time? With one of the most brutal ex-Ray highlights ever. Here's a Pat Burrell slam for the Giants, not long after being discarded by the Rays for being terrible.
I hate you, Pat Burrell. And your ugly dog too.
Sorry that the last stop is anticlimactic, but I couldn't find a video of the moment I wanted. So let's watch the second greatest leadoff hitter I've ever seen go yard for his 2000th hit.
Like a Rock.
Here's some other stuff that happened on August 12th:
- 1921: George Smith of the Phillies takes the dead ball era to extremes, spinning a 12-hit shutout of the Braves.
- 1948: The Cleveland Indians beat the St. Louis Browns 26-3. 14 different players have a hit for Cleveland.
- 1964: Mickey Mantles homers from both sides of the plate for the tenth and final time.
- 1966: Art Shamsky has a 3-homer game for the Reds in an 14-11, 13-inning loss to the Pirates. Shamsky had entered the game in the 8th for defensive purposes. Because baseball.
- 1970: Curt Flood looses his anti-trust suit against baseball and the reserve system remains intact. Within six years, there will be substantial changes to the system, including the institution of free agency, thanks to a strong players union. But this will not help Curt Flood, who after sitting out the 1970 season, played just 13 games for the Senators in 1971 before retiring at the age of 33.
- 1974: This is the clip I wanted to post up above. I don't know how the internet doesn't have a record of Nolan Ryan fanning 19 Red Sox while walking only two, but apparently it doesn't. Sad face. Angels won, 4-2. Bonus trivia fact: Ryan struck out 19 in a game three times in 1974 (though once was in extra innings). It's too bad he didn't have a decent change to go with that heater. He coulda been somebody.
- 1987: The Braves send Doyle Alexander to the Tigers for a minor leaguer arm. The 36 year-old Alexander goes 9-0 with a 1.36 ERA and leads the Tigers to a division title, making Tigers GM Bill Lajoie the clear winner of this trade.
- 1994: The players go on strike for the eighth time since 1972. This stoppage will lead to the first ever World Series cancellation. It will also lead to me not watching any baseball at all for four years before gradually being seduced again by her wanton charms.
But enough about ancient history. What's going on with your Rays right now? As promised, here's your Link Dump:
- Chuck Hildebrandt on the little league home run. This first part is setting the stage, and today will come part two, diving into the actual plays. I'm drawing a blank. Have the Rays scored on a little league home run (defined as at least two errors and the batter scoring on the play)? Have they given one up? When?
- Since leaving the Rays, David Price has continued to throw his changeup more in every successive year.
- Over the past two days we've linked to two articles about ball-in-play data. Well, Tango evidently reads the Rays Tank, and he has thoughts.
- Baseball America asked triple-A managers and coaches to rate the best tools in their leagues, and Richie Shaffer was called the best power prospect in the International League, which is not entirely surprising. What is surprising is that Shaffer was rated as having the best of a different tool, also. I don't watch many Durham games, so I didn't see this one coming.