For the first weekend since March, I didn't watch a lot of baseball. And that means I'm in one of those dreams where I don't have my homework, or I slept through a test, or I'm sitting in class in my underwear. As of this opening paragraph, I have very little idea what happened in the world of baseball.
But I know where to find out. The Internet. So I'll be right back and fill you in.
Goodness, Braves, leave something for the other teams
The Atlanta Braves have won 10 in a row.
There are about, oh, 16 to 20 teams that are feeling a little maudlin about their season. If only player x did what he was supposed to and player y didn't get hurt and player z wasn't so awful, why, we coulda been contenders! Every baseball season, the rivers run speculative with the woulda coulda shouldas.
Except the Braves' big free-agent signing is having one of the worst seasons in recent memory. Their veteran horse is out for the year, Jason Heyward has been hurt and disappointing, a key setup man is out for the year, and Andrelton Simmons isn't hitting nearly as well as he did in his rookie season.
That's a lot of bad news. Except the Braves are in first place, and they're 12½ games ahead of the Nationals, the team that was supposed to win the N.L. East without too much help. Every year, all of our preseason predictions look stupid. The Braves are the team that gets to remind us every day throughout the rest of the season. Well, them and the Pirates. And the Giants. And the Indians. And the Orioles. And the Red Sox. And the Nationals. And the Angels. But mostly the Braves.
The Braves are going to win the division for the first time since 2005, which was also the end of their amazing stretch of division championships that started in 1991. No, no, I hear you Expos fans, but blame the streak on Bud Selig. Blame all sorts of things on Bud Selig, really.
Shuck 'n' dive
Have you seen the J. B. Shuck catch? Oh, good gravy, if you haven't seen this catch …
That's the kind of stuff you practice in your backyard, diving over a pile of cardboard boxes. And if you're looking for a way to immortalize the catch, this will do fine. From Reddit:
And that kid who said "Holy cow!" … ended up working for The Batman. That's how good that catch was. It made children into superheroes in an alternate future that hasn't happened yet but came about in the alternate past by way of the current present.
Good catch, J.B. Shuck.
Matt Garza is the worst defender on the planet, but he'll call you a name if you exploit that
Matt Garza is the worst defender on the planet. He fields like Charles Barkley in a full hockey-goalie outfit. Look:
Really, the whole sordid mess is here. Jeff Sullivan broke it down pretty well, just a couple months after he broke it down the first time. And Billy Beane, or someone in the A's organization, reads Jeff Sullivan. Or maybe they have "scouts," but they probably read Sullivan. So when Garza was traded to a divisional rival, the A's were like, okay, we'll bunt him to death because he fields bunted balls like they're goblin sharks covered in anthrax.
Where I come from, If my wife spoke up for me, so give your husband his balls back! It's a mans game and keep you trap shut!
I … wait … I went to get some help on diagramming those sentences, but this site had a PowerPoint on sentence diagramming with headings in Comic Sans, and it rebooted my computer. So I can't parse what he was trying to say, exactly, so we'll have to play Mad Libs with the missing clause in that first sentence.
If my wife spoke up for me, you would take your husband's testicles even though that has absolutely nothing to do with my wife speaking up for me but, whatever, I am absolutely against that sort of gonad-napping, so give your husband his balls back!
Oh. Well, when you put it like that.
Learn to field, Matt Garza, and take the easy outs the other team is giving you. Also, about that goatee ...
The Dodgers swept the Cubs over the weekend, and Yasiel Puig did this:
I found the GIF floating around the Internet, but the original URL makes me guess that the original came from Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness. It wasn't an out. But holy heck. Dammit, Puig. Stop that.
He's a real-life Bump Baily, except he's eventually going to run through the fabric of time and destroy us all. Until then, though, he's hurt himself diving for another ball and is day-to-day. One of these days, the bricks at Wrigley won't be so friendly.
Until then, holy heck. Dammit, Puig. Stop that.
A minor-leaguer struck out on one pitch
Rob will have something later on the troika of AL Central teams that can't lose, so that leaves room for this: A minor-leaguer who picked the wrong battle at the wrong time. Deadspin has the video, and Crawfish Boxes has the write-up:
That's an umpire pointing at the batter's box. When an umpire points at the batter's box and you don't step into said batter's box, you're treading on dangerous ground.
Indeed. I can't stand umpires who take over the game because they crave attention. But in this particular tinkling match, I'm almost on Blue's side.
I just want to see it happen in Game 7 of the NLDS because that would be hilarious. If it happened to a team I wasn't rooting for. Hilarious.