Test your baseball Jeopardy! skills

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Alex Trebek.jpgI tried out for Jeopardy! when I was in law school.  I passed the quiz
and got to play the little pretend Jeopardy! game with the real buzzers
and everything and was put in the contestant pool. Sadly — and unlike my former boss and unlike long time CTB reader Sara K — I never got the call. I suspect they found me to be too annoyingly clicky with the buzzer during the audition. The jerks.

In light of that experience, Jeopardy! has always been something of a sore spot for me. I’m a trivia fiend, and every time I set aside my grudge and watch the show I run the freakin’ board. In light of this, I was drawn to ‘Duk’s latest post over at Big League Stew, in which he searched the Jeopardy! archives for all Final Jeopardy answers that had to do with baseball. He reproduces them for us in the post, with the questions at the bottom.

While it was mostly a fun time waster, he really did it in order to figure out if his gut instinct — to bet all the money he had, regardless of the strategy involved if the category was baseball — was the correct one:

“Let’s say you’re on Jeopardy and you’re absolutely routing your two
opponents. You have $40,000 going into the final round, while one of
your opponents has, let’s say, $15,000. You’re guaranteed to move onto
the next day, but the final category comes up and it has something to
do with baseball, which is your favorite sport. How much — if anything
— do you risk?”

Despite my considerable Jeopardy-fu, I’ll admit that my answer to that question was to play it conservative. But then I read the ten answers he found and got all ten right before the thinking music in my head stopped.  Since they’re not that hard, I’d have to change my strategy and wager it all.

How about you?  And don’t cheat.  And when you’re done, follow ‘Duk’s link to all of the baseball-related Jeopardy! answers going back to 1984.  Or better yet, save them until Sunday so you’ll have something to do while the rest of this demented country watches five hours of commercials and claims that it’s the greatest sporting event in the world.

There was another miscommunication between the Phillies and Pat Neshek

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Back in June 2017, then-manager of the Phillies Pete Mackanin and reliever Pat Neshek had some miscommunication. In a series against the Cardinals, Neshek worked a five-pitch eighth inning and it was believed he would come back out for the ninth inning, but he never did. Mackanin said Neshek said he didn’t want to pitch another inning. Neshek said he was never asked. There was also some miscommunication the game prior. Neshek thought he had the day off; Mackanin said Neshek said he wasn’t available to pitch.

Mackanin is no longer the Phillies’ manager, but the miscommunication between Neshek and the team apparently persist. Neshek was notably absent during the Phillies’ hard-fought 5-4 win over the Cubs on Monday night. The game featured a struggling Seranthony Domínguez pitching two innings, yielding three crucial runs in his second inning of work.

Manager Gabe Kapler called the bullpen and instructed Neshek to begin warming up to prepare to face Albert Almora, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Kapler rang the bullpen after Domínguez walked Jason Heyward, who batted ahead of Almora. Neshek wasn’t warmed up yet. Domínguez was able to retire Almora on a sacrifice bunt, which was reviewed and gave Neshek some extra time to get ready. He was ready for the next batter, Daniel Descalso, but at this point Kapler no longer wanted to bring Neshek into the game. Descalso lined a triple to left-center field, scoring two runs and came home himself when shortstop Jean Segura‘s throw caromed off of his foot out of play.

Recounting the situation, Neshek said, “I got on the mound and threw two pitches. [Kapler] said, ‘Is he ready?’ And I said, ‘No. I’m not ready yet. I’ve thrown two pitches.” Neshek was asked how long it takes him to get ready. The veteran said, “A minute. Not 20 seconds. I’m, like, the best in the league at getting ready. My whole career has been coming in like that.”

The Phillies were able to eke out a 5-4 win. Had they lost the game, Kapler and Neshek would likely have been under the microscope for the awkward situation leading to a crushing defeat. Kapler drew plenty of criticism over his bullpen management last year in his rookie managerial season. That included bringing in lefty reliever Hoby Milner into a game in which he hadn’t yet warmed up.

Maybe it’s just a coincidence that the manager who struggled with bullpen management last year nearly mucked up a win last night, and maybe it’s just a coincidence that a reliever who’s had prior issues with communication had another communication mix-up. Maybe it’s not. It’s worth noting that the Phillies needed three innings from the bullpen to protect a 2-1 lead over the Cubs on Tuesday. Kapler called on rookie Edgar Garcia for two outs, lefty José Álvarez for four, and then brought in Juan Nicasio to close things out in the ninth. No Neshek, even as Nicasio got into trouble. Nicasio would surrender the tying and go-ahead runs, resulting in a deflating 3-2 loss.