Royals eye new way to go downhill: bobsled!

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bloomquist-royals_100609.jpgI guess when you play long enough for the Kansas City Royals, you start to think about undertaking more enjoyable career paths.

Case in point: Willie Bloomquist and Jason Kendall want to be Olympic bobsledders. I’m not kidding. Rustin Dodd Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star has all the information in his blog.

In fact, Dodd Mellinger went so far as to call U.S. Olympic bobsled coach Brian Shimer to tell him about the players’ interest, then passed on Shimer’s phone number to Bloomquist. Shimer sounded less than enthused, citing concerns over the players’ age (Bloomquist is 32, Kendall 35) and speed.

Me: Yea, so the coach said if you guys ever wanted to go for a ride, he’d be more than happy to take you guys.

Bloomquist: I don’t want to ride, I want to drive the thing.

So the conversation went on for another minute. I told Bloomquist the coach was a little concerned about their ages. (Bloomquist is 32 and Kendall is 35).

And I said that coach Shimer said most of the top bobsledders start in their early 20s.

Bloomquist: We’d dominate the 22 year olds.

You’ve got to love Bloomquist’s moxie. It’s probably the biggest reason he’s stuck in the majors for nine seasons despite having a light bat and sub-par glove (yes, he plays a lot of positions, but is not particularly good at any of them).

He does have wheels, but I can’t see either Bloomquist or Kendall being able to give a bobsled much push. Bobsledders tend to be big strong dudes. For example, Steve Holcomb, who piloted the U.S. four-man team to the gold medal in Vancouver, is listed at 5-10, 230 pounds. (Bloomquist is generously listed as 5-11, 195, Kendall at 6-0, 190.)

That being said, when you’re putting together a .200/.258/.367 line the way Bloomquist is, maybe the bobsled starts looking pretty easy.

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Aaron Judge was involved in a weird play in the fourth inning

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge found himself front-and-center in a weird play in the bottom of the fourth inning during Game 4 of the ALCS on Tuesday evening. Judge drew a walk to lead off the frame. After Didi Gregorius lined out, Gary Sanchez flied out to shallow right-center.

Judge must have thought the ball had a high probability of falling in for a hit, so he was past the second base bag around the time he realized his mistake. He retraced his steps, running back to first base. Reddick’s throw hopped a couple of times but first base umpire Jerry Meals called Judge out on the tag-up play.

Manager Joe Girardi requested a review and the call was overturned: Judge was safe. However, Astros manager A.J. Hinch wanted to challenge that Judge did not re-touch second base on his way back. Rather than issuing a formal challenge, the Astros had to appeal the play by having starter Lance McCullers throw to second base, at which point second base umpire Jim Reynolds would issue a ruling. McCullers was a bit hasty, though, and made his appeal throw before Greg Bird stepped into the batter’s box. Reynolds told McCullers that he had to wait. So, McCullers again made his appeal throw.

This time, Judge was running and he was simply tagged out at second base for the final out of the inning. No need for a review.

As Ken Rosenthal explained on the FS1 broadcast, the Yankees were trying to “beat the police.” They knew Judge would have been ruled out — replays clearly showed he never re-touched the base — so they had nothing to lose by sending Judge. If he was safe, the Astros would no longer be able to appeal the play. If he’s out, then it’s the same outcome they would have had anyway.