Kazmir, Kershaw, Kings, and Krazyness
May 19, 2014

They say that one of the beauties of baseball is that in any game, you may see something that you have never seen before. Who knows, it could be a triple play, or a no-hitter, or just some idiot fan running out onto the field and being tackled by a security guard. Or, in the case of Saturday night, something you would never even think about.

The interesting evening, to say the least, begins in Cleveland. Left hander Scott Kazmir is on the hill for the Oakland A's against his old team (or least his most recent old team), the Cleveland Indians. With two outs in the second inning and a 3-2 count, Kazmir's pitch is ruled to have just missed the strike zone. It's ball four, Kazmir stretches out his arms and gestures to home plate umpire Jerry Layne as if to ask what he had to go to get a strike. Layne didn't like that, and threw Kazmir out of the game.

Now when was the last time you've seen a pitcher ejected for arguing? Hitters and managers, yes, but pitchers? Usually they get tossed for hitting a batter or throwing at one. Furthermore, when A's manager Bob Melvin went out to argue, he was not ejected. Perhaps a sign that Lane felt he either blew the call on the 3-2 pitch, or had second thoughts of sending the starting pitcher to the showers. The A's went on to win the game 6-2. We still don't know what Kazmir said, but fans have heard more than a few times, that players are not supposed to show up the umpire. I guess that's what happened there.

Later that evening, the Dodgers were facing the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Dodgers have owned the D-Backs this year, taking seven of the first eight games between the two, including two in Australia. Los Angeles ace and two-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw on the hill. So what could go wrong?

Let's look at it from this angle. You go to a ball game, you see a triple. They happen, but they're not that common. So how about two triples? Or three triples? In an inning!! In an inning against arguably the best pitcher in the game today. Kershaw was KO'd in the second inning. The Dodgers would lose 18-7.

By the way, in that same game, catcher Drew Butera would pitch for the second time in three games—something else you've probably never seen. He did great until he gave up a mammoth home run to Paul Goldschmidt, but lots of pitchers have done that. The way the Dodgers are playing right now, Butera seems like one of the better options in the bullpen. Certainly better than Brian Wilson.

Sox Show Starts Soon: The Marysville Gold Sox begin the 2014 Thursday night, and as usual, I'm not ready. There are always lots of notes to over and people and faces and stats to learn. That's part of the fun, but you can never feel you are ready. I'm always reminded of what Lorne Michaels says about Saturday Night Live, “We don't go on when we're ready, we go on at 11:30.” I guess that means for me, it's now 11:25.

Kings win!: More hockey hysteria in Los Angeles. Down 3-2, the Kings came back, took game seven from the Ducks, and have moved on to the Western Conference Finals against Chicago. The Kings have the Black Hawks right where they want them. LA lost game one.

Clipped: Last week I pondered whether I should be watching the Clippers. No need now after their game six loss to Oklahoma City, and their elimination. I wouldn't exactly call it watching the game, but I actually did have the game on in the fourth quarter and kept checking the score. That's the most NBA basketball I've watched since Christmas Day, when I caught the first quarter of the Lakers-Heat game.

Laker Lottery: Fans of the Sacramento Kings have made this an annual tradition, but this year, the Lakers get to join in America's favorite basketball game show—the NBA Draft Lottery. The ping pong balls will drop, and the winner of the first pick of next month's draft will be announced tomorrow at 5pm Pacific Time. I believe it's the first NBA lottery ever without commissioner and everybody's favorite envelope opener David Stern.

Other sports: May is a good month for the sports that otherwise don't get that much attention. The French Open Tennis Championships began this morning, the Indy 500 is Sunday, and California Chrome won the Preakness Stakes Saturday, and goes for horse racing's triple crown in three weeks.

Horseplay: To conclude the craziness that is sports this week, this idea from Gold Sox manager Jack Johnson. To honor Kentucky Derby (and possible triple crown) winner California Chrome, one of whose owners is from Yuba City, Jack would like to have the horse stand in the outfield during the game, and at some point, have outfielder Steven Lozier crash into him while chasing a fly ball. Lozier, who is returning this season, crashed into a car that was parked in the outfield as a promotion. I guess that's putting the car before the horse.

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