Rogue bald eagle flies out of Dodger Stadium


There’s a longstanding myth that Benjamin Franklin proposed that the turkey, not the bald eagle, be the national bird. This is not, in fact, the case. Rather, upon seeing the depiction of the eagle on the new Great Seal, he wrote a letter to his daughter saying it looked more like a turkey, followed by musings about how brave and noble a wild turkey actually is and how bald eagles are jackass scavengers. Put differently, Franklin was, in the best and most enduring tradition of America, mocking something done by the United States yet basically going with it.

Still, if Franklin had argued for the turkey and if his arguments had been successful, perhaps we wouldn’t have had the scene we had at Dodger Stadium yesterday. The scene: two bald eagles from the Los Angeles zoo being released in a pregame swoop-by from the top deck and trained to land in the outfield, where they’d be collected by their trainer. They both soared regally enough, but one of them — the male, naturally — went off-script and flew right out of the ballpark through the gate in center field:

Like most dudes, his big talk about “freedom” didn’t contain much in the way of follow through. Rather than becoming a free citizen of the world, unshackled by the tyranny of his captors, he landed near the zoo van and waited for them to take care of him.

Can’t say I blame his impulse to escape, really. He probably had to fly while accompanied by that bad Lee Greenwood song or something and that’d make me want to bug out too.


Dodgers place pitcher Noah Syndergaard on injured list with no timetable for return

dodgers syndergaard
Katie Stratman/USA TODAY Sports

CINCINNATI — The Los Angeles Dodgers placed pitcher Noah Syndergaard on the 15-day injured list Thursday with a blister on the index finger of his right throwing hand.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the timetable for Syndergaard’s return is unknown despite the 15-day designation.

“The physical, the mental, the emotional part, as he’s talked about, has taken a toll on him,” Roberts said. “So, the ability to get him away from this. He left today to go back to Los Angeles to kind of get back to normalcy.”

Syndergaard allowed six runs and seven hits in three innings against the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night, raising his ERA to 7.16.

Syndergaard (1-4) has surrendered at least five runs in three straight starts.

Syndergaard has been trying to return to the player he was before Tommy John surgery sidelined him for the better part of the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

Roberts said Syndergaard will need at least “a few weeks” to both heal and get away from baseball and “reset.”

“I think searching and not being comfortable with where he was at in the moment is certainly evident in performance,” Roberts said. “So hopefully this time away will provide more clarity on who he is right now as a pitcher.

“Trying to perform when you’re searching at this level is extremely difficult. I applaud him from not running from it, but it’s still very difficult. Hopefully it can be a tale of two stories, two halves when he does come back.”