Baseball had itself a night last night. Let’s start in DC where Bryce Harper came up in a 2-2 game with runners on first and third in the bottom of the eighth. He took a first-pitch ball and the next pitch was a called strike, which old Bryce didn’t care for at all.
Then came the 1-2 pitch and then came the chaos.
Harper and home plate umpire Chris Segal were going at it. Chest to chest jawing. Serious adrenaline. Afterwards, Harper said he needs to change things up. Starting with his music. “I think I need to change my playlist, because I get a little fired up. ‘5AM’ really got me fired up, by Logic. I called my brother and was like, ‘Man, I’m so fired up to play today.’ I guess it got me a little too fired up. I guess I need to mix in some Temptations and some of those jazz bands to calm me down a little bit.”
Uhhh, okay, whatever works. But if you’re going that route, you can’t do the Temptations. You’ve got to speed right past that and end up in Smooth Jazzville USA. I’m talking Kenny G. None of this adult contemporary or yacht rock, that’s just playing with fire. Anything in the Easy Listening family will be your friend from now on, Bryce. In fact, if you’re really serious about it, you’ll skip right over the smooth jazz and the easy listening and go straight to Muzak. Just bump some elevator music in your headphones before games. That’s the solution.
But as weird as that ejection and Harper’s explanation was, it had nothing on Adrian Beltre getting run in Texas. Last night, the legend was trending on twitter and usually if he’s trending it’s because he just went yard off one knee. Or because Elvis Andrus is messing with him in the field or rubbing his head in the dugout.
But not this time. Beltre went three for three last night with two doubles and a homer, bringing him to 2,996 career hits. But that wasn’t the notable part of the night. No, that honor goes to the fact that he was ejected from the on-deck circle. Truly one of the weirdest moments ever.
Let me set the stage: Bottom of the 8th, Miami leading the Rangers 18-6, but Texas has the bases loaded and Beltre on deck. Well, not close enough to on deck for second base umpire Gerry Davis. So Davis walks towards Beltre and tells him to get back in the on-deck circle. And I’ll let the announcers take it from here.
Let me try to recap that and make sense of that whole thing. Beltre was taking a couple warm-up hacks, but he wasn’t in the on-deck circle. Gerry Davis told him to get into the on-deck circle. Right, because that’s a super-important thing in a 12-run game, to make sure that guys are in the on-deck circle.
Beltre then dragged the on-deck circle a few feet to where he had been standing and then stood in the on-deck circle and continued swinging. And then was ejected. And then Rangers manager Jeff Bannister was ejected as well.
Please, for the love of all that is holy, do not try to tell me that this is part of the code. I know that umpires never want to be shown up, but how big a redass is Gerry Davis if he’s running Adrian Beltre in a 12-run game for having fun like that?
And if you listen to Beltre, he’s pretty clear that he wasn’t showing up Davis. He wasn’t trying to be funny, he was just standing in the same spot that he’s stood for most of his career, including earlier in the series when Davis was the home plate umpire. In other words, he doesn’t know what the hell was going on. Just like the rest of us.
I’m with you, Adrian. I don’t understand what his problem was, but nobody anywhere should have any problem with Adrian Beltre last night. Dude is an absolute treasure and if he wants to drag the on-deck circle all the way out to the pitcher’s mound for his warmup, that’s fine by me.
So thank you, Gerry. Glad you’re out there looking out for us.
Now get back to righting the rest of the wrongs out there. Like those JERKS who slide into a parking spot with time left on the meter that THEY DIDNT PAY FOR. Or filling out the survey card at TGI Fridays after your French Onion soup comes out cold. Or complaining about puppies and children laughing too loud. And tonight, or whenever you step between the lines next time with that badge on your chest and the game of baseball’s integrity on the line. You protect that on-deck circle like your life depends on it.