Sports Medley: Police Report on Dodgers Homicide 24 Aug 15
by Tony Medley
This is the City:
I’m a detective-sergeant working the day watch out of Homicide. My
partner is Frank Smith; the Chief is Bill Alvarez. My name is Thursday.
It’s 10 a.m. on Monday. Somebody is killing the Dodgers. My job: find
10:43 a.m., Monday. I interviewed Dodgers insider John Doe.
Thursday: Who is killing the Dodgers and how is he doing it?
JD. I didn’t have anything to do with it. Why are you talking to me?
Thursday: I just want the facts, sir. What did you see?
JD. Tuesday night the Dodgers were leading Oakland 4-1 going into the
bottom of the 8th inning. Clayton Kershaw, reputedly the best
pitcher in baseball, had pitched seven innings, allowing only one run
and five hits with 7 strikeouts and 2 walks. Then suddenly there was
another guy in there pitching and nobody knew where Kershaw was.
Thursday: Kershaw disappeared?
JD. As if off the face of the earth.
Thursday: Then what happened?
JD. Oakland came to life and murdered a guy named Baez. In the flash of
an eye Baez had allowed three runs on three hits, getting only one out.
Between 9:57 p.m. and 10:06 p.m. the Dodgers used two more pitchers to
finally get out of the inning, inserting Yimi Garcia to lose the game at
10:17 p.m. in the 10th inning without getting anyone out in
Thursday: Is that all?
JD: No. Five days later Kershaw had Houston eating out of his hand,
leading 2-1 after eight innings scattering 7 hits while striking out 10
with zero walks, and suddenly there was another guy pitching the ninth
inning instead of Kershaw, someone named Jansen. Single, stolen base
(off of Jansen’s lackadaisical delivery), single, and the game’s tied.
In 1/3 of an inning Jansen had allowed as many runs as Kershaw in 8
innings. Next inning a guy named Hatcher, with an ERA of 5.41, was
pitching. Strikeout, home run. Dodgers lose again. Houston was dead meat
against Kershaw, but they murdered Jansen and Hatcher.
Thursday: Murdered them? In cold blood?
Thursday: Did Oakland and Houston have an accomplice?
JD. A guy named Don Mattingly, aka Donnie Baseball.
Thursday: Had you ever seen this Mattingly before?
JD. Many times.
Thursday: What was he doing?
JD. Helping other teams to murder the Dodgers.
Thursday: How did he do that?
JD. He sees starting pitchers who are dominant and gets them out of the
game when the game is on the line to bring in guys he calls “closers.”
Thursday: How many times has he done this?
JD. Whenever he gets the opportunity, every day.
Thursday: So what is Mattingly guilty of?
JD. You’re asking me? I’d say murder of a baseball team in the first
Thursday: Well, I know one thing for sure.
JD. What’s that?
Thursday: Remove one letter from “closer” and you have “loser.”
Learn the Rules!:
Many athletes have more ability than sense of the game they play. When
Houston’s Carlos Gomez tried to steal home against Clayton Kershaw on
Sunday, Dodgers catcher AJ Ellis jumped out in front of the plate and
caught Kershaw’s pitch before it crossed the plate to make the tag. All
batter Evan Gattis had to do was take a swing at the pitch and hit Ellis
with the bat to get an obvious call of catcher interference on Ellis and
also make it difficult for Ellis to get in position to make the tag.
Instead, he moved out of the way so Ellis could make the tag. That’s not
the way it used to be. In early 1957 I saw New York Yankees Billy Martin
try to steal home with Gil McDougald at bat. McDougald hung in there and
didn’t move, even took a half swing at the pitch so the catcher had to
remain where he was to catch the pitch before trying to tag Martin, and
Martin was safe. A batter has the right of way in the batter’s box when
a pitch is coming until it crosses the plate, even if a runner is trying
to steal home. But apparently Gattis didn’t know this.
“One of the most amazing games I’ve ever saw in person…” Mark Gubicza,
Angels commentator Sunday on Fox Sports West.