Celebrating the 30th anniversary of Disco Demolition Night

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Sunday is the 30th anniversary of the infamous “Disco Demolition Night.”
For those unfamiliar, it went down like this: Doubleheader between the
White Sox and Tigers. Disco backlash reaching its apex. Local DJ
convinces the Sox to stage a promotion for which people bring unwanted
disco records to the game in exchange for a 98 cent ticket, the records
get collected, placed in center field, and blown up by the DJ during
the intermission between the two games. Totally foreseeable, but
seemingly unforeseen side effect: the cheap tickets and disco
demagoguery draws lots of people who usually don’t go to baseball
games, and those people proceed to use their tickets savings to buy
lots of beer. Well, at least the people who weren’t baked out of their
gourds did (I’m guessing nacho sales were pretty brisk). There’s no
dispute, however, that it was a crazy scene that evening.

Then came the explosion, which tore a big chunk out of the outfield
grass. Then thousands of fans rushed the field, lighting fires,
throwing firecrackers, and making general asses of themselves. The
batting cage was pulled down and wrecked, bases were ripped off the
infield, and the place was generally torn to shreds. Everyone was
having a grand old time until the riot police showed up. Man, those
guys can be buzzkills.

Anyway, the guy whose bright idea this all was — Steve Dahl — now writes for the Chicago Tribune, and today has an interview with . . . himself. It’s pretty good reading, actually:

So you had no idea that DD was going to be as big as it was?

No, I thought it was going to be a failure. Even if I drew 10,000
fans, the place would have still looked empty. I was just hoping I
wouldn’t be too embarrassed. I mean, I was dressed up like a fat G.I.
Joe, singing “Do You Think I’m Disco” a cappella and running around
blowing up records.

When did you know that it was going to be bigger than you had ever imagined?

When I finally got down on the field and felt the beer-fueled energy
of he crowd. I might have also smelled a little pot. They were throwing
cherry bombs at me. Never schedule an event that close to the 4th of
July.

You mentioned alcohol and drugs. Were you high?

I don’t think so. I feared for my life and my career.

Some people may look back at Disco Demolition Night as an
unmitigated disaster. I choose to remember it fondly. After all, at
least in those days there was a sense of community. In today’s
uber-fragmented world — a world in which a given band’s perceived
coolness is directly related to how obscure it is — we can’t get
anyone to agree on anything, and there’s something quite sad about
that.

I guess.

Video: Odubel Herrera’s glorious bat flip

DETROIT, MI - MAY 25: Odubel Herrera #37 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a three run home run during the fourth inning of the inter-league game against the Detroit Tigers on May 25, 2016 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
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Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera, playing in his second game since being benched for a lack of hustle, hit a three-run home run to extend his team’s lead to 5-1 in the fourth inning on Wednesday afternoon. After putting a sweet swing on an Anibal Sanchez 2-1 slider, Herrera flipped his bat in grand fashion. It wasn’t quite as emphatic as Jose Bautista‘s from last year’s ALDS, but it was glorious nonetheless.

To the Tigers’ credit, Herrera’s bat flip didn’t result in any shouting or fighting or throwing intentionally at hitters. So that’s nice.

Herrera is now batting .327/.440/.461 with five home runs and 17 RBI on the year. The Phillies selected him in the Rule 5 draft from the Rangers ahead of the 2015 season and he’s proven to be the lifeblood of the offense thus far.

30 years ago, Dave Kingman sent a live rat to a female reporter

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Someone on Reddit’s /r/baseball page linked to this New York Times article from June 1986.

Dave Kingman, then with the Athletics, was 37 years old and playing in what would be his final season. He was fined $3,500, which is a little over $7,600 in 2016 dollars, for sending a live rat in a pink box to a female reporter, Susan Fornoff of The Sacramento Bee. The rat wore a tag that said “my name is Sue.”

Kingman refused to apologize, saying, “I’ve pulled practical jokes on other people and I didn’t apologize to them.”

According to Fornoff, Kingman had said to her that women don’t belong in the clubhouse, and Kingman had been harassing her since she began covering the team in ’85. The Athletics didn’t keep Kingman around after the season, and he ended up hanging up the spikes.

Pete Dexter wrote in more detail about the incident at Deadspin a few years ago. It’s a good read.

I wasn’t familiar with this story as I was still more than two years from being born when it happened. Sports media has made strides towards being more inclusive of non-white cisgender straight men, especially compared to 30 years ago. But, of course, we’re still a long ways away from an ideal world in which everyone is treated equally and everyone has equal access. Some of the best baseball reporting and analysis these days is being done by women and it’s nice to see sites, especially FanGraphs recently, make a concerted effort towards diversification.

D-Backs mulling optioning Shelby Miller to the minors

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 24:  Shelby Miller #26 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches in the first inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on May 24, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller continued to struggle on Tuesday, serving up six runs on eight hits and four walks with three strikeouts over five innings against the Pirates. His ERA, in 10 starts this season, stands at an unsightly 7.09 with 30 strikeouts and 29 walks in 45 2/3 innings.

The D-Backs acquired him from the Braves over the winter, sending 2015 first overall pick Dansby Swanson to Atlanta along with pitching prospect Aaron Blair and outfielder Ender Inciarte. It’s a trade they’d most likely take back if they had the luxury.

Instead, GM Dave Stewart is considering optioning the right-hander to Triple-A Reno to figure things out, Jack Magruder reports for Today’s Knuckleball. Stewart said, “We want to get him on track the best way we can. We will figure it out and do what’s needed.”

Miller is currently slated to start against the Padres on Sunday, so the club has a few more days to consider what to do. Josh Collmenter will likely be activated over the weekend, which would create a convenient way to put him back on the roster and deal with Miller.

Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Xander Bogaerts both extend their hitting streaks

BOSTON, MA - MAY 24:  Jackie Bradley Jr. #25 of the Boston Red Sox returns to the dugout after scoring in the second inning during the game against the Colorado Rockies at Fenway Park on May 24, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. Extending his hitting streak to 28 games.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
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Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. and shortstop Xander Bogaerts both extended their hitting streaks on Wednesday night against the Rockies, and both did it in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Bogaerts led off the inning with a solo home run to left-center off of Chad Bettis. After David Ortiz walked and Hanley Ramirez grounded into a fielder’s choice, Bradley laced a single to left field. Bogaerts’ streak now stands at 18 games and Bradley’s is at 29. Bradley is tied with Johnny Damon for the fourth-longest streak in Red Sox history. He trails Tris Speaker and Nomar Garciaparra at 30 and Dom DiMaggio at 34.

The Red Sox entered Wednesday’s action averaging 5.87 runs per game, the best mark in baseball. The major league average is 4.28. Bogaerts and Bradley, unsurprisingly, have been a big part of the offense’s success thus far.