The Reds had their annual Caravan thingie over the weekend. Stops in Columbus and Dayton with appearances before thousands of fans. I didn’t go this weekend, but I’ve been to it and other things like it before. They’re cool enough.
But I’ve never witnessed quite this level of adoration:
Fans lined up in the bitter cold a full four hours before the event started. At other stops a woman fainted and girls cried in the presence of Reds all-star second baseman Brandon Phillips. On Sunday, he received a marriage proposal.
Phillips isn’t married, but I wonder if he was whether they’d hide his wife like Cynthia Lennon so as not to disappoint all of the screaming girls.
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.
According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.