M's bullpen catcher Jason Phillips is one smooth operator

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Rob Dibble once threw a ball at a lady in the stands and all he got for
it was a couple of decades of well-deserved scorn.  Mariners’ bullpen catcher Jason Phillips does
it and he gets married
:

“If we go extra innings, I’m gonna make a move,” Phillips said. “If
we go to extra innings, that’s gotta be a sign.”

The game with the Oakland A’s went into extra innings. Phillips
grabbed a baseball, scribbled his number on it, got the woman’s
attention and tossed it to her. And for the rest of the game, he was
left to wonder how she’d respond. He couldn’t wait to return to the
clubhouse and check his messages. Naturally, the game would drag for 15
excruciating innings.

But by then, she had sent him a text message: “My name is Molly. Nice
to meet you.”

Now Molly and Phillips are getting married.

Four years ago Craig Burley of The Hardball Times determined that Phillips was the slowest player in baseball.  But while his feet are
slow, his moves are are pretty fast, no?

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.

Manny Machado teaches us to never give up

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The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.

Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.

Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:

Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.