James McCann hit a bird with a foul ball

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Invoking the spirit of former big league pitcher Randy Johnson, Tigers catcher James McCann (no relation to fellow catcher Brian) hit a bird with a foul ball in Friday’s Grapefruit League action against the Braves. WDIV Local 4 in Detroit has video of the incident.

The bird was perched atop the protected netting behind home plate. McCann hit a foul ball and the bird was immediately struck in a stroke of bad luck. The bird landed in a fan’s lap, MLive.com’s James Schmehl reports. McCann eventually reached on a single and was informed of the damage he had inflicted by first base umpire Joe West.

Some may recall Hall of Famer Randy Johnson, then with the Diamondbacks, hit a bird while delivering a pitch during a spring game against the Giants in 2001. Baseball isn’t safe if you have wings, apparently.

McCann’s incident isn’t even the strangest foul ball story. On August 17, 1957, Phillies center fielder Richie Ashburn struck a fan (Alice Roth) with a foul ball, breaking her nose. As she was being carried off in a stretcher, Ashburn hit another foul ball back, hitting her a second time.

Nationals’ Strasburg ejected for arguing from the stands

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NEW YORK — A pitcher getting ejected for arguing balls and strikes – on his day off? And, from the stands?

Nationals star Stephen Strasburg earned one of baseball’s most unique ejections – probably ever – in the third inning of Washington’s game against the New York Mets on Thursday.

Strasburg was sitting in Section 121 at Citi Field in this socially distant season because he’s scheduled to start Friday against Baltimore Orioles. He was apparently unhappy with the strike zone of plate umpire Carlos Torres after Austin Voth‘s 2-2 pitch to Pete Alonso on the outside corner was ruled a ball.

Moments later, Torres ejected last year’s World Series MVP, though it took a few seconds to realize who had been tossed.

Someone was heard yelling: “You’re (expletive) brutal” shortly before television cameras captured Strasburg doffing his cap as he walked up the staircase on his way out of the park.

“Sorry, folks – sorry, FCC,” Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen said on SNY.

The usually stoic Strasburg appeared to be grinning underneath his blue mask as he made his exit.