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When fringey players demand trades

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One of my favorite things in baseball is when a guy who has no business making demands of his team makes demands of his team.

Maybe the most famous example of this was when Derek Bell told the Pirates in early 2002 that he was NOT a bench player and that if they didn’t start him he was going to go into “Operation Shutdown.” The Pirates eagerly took him up on that offer. As of this writing, Operation Shutdown is fifteen and a half years old and still going strong.

More often you see marginal guys demanding trades, as if they had some sort of leverage. Today over at Baseball Prospectus Ben Carsley chronicles some of the more notable recent examples of that dynamic. The most recent one being Asdrubal Cabrera. Carsley analyzes these instances to determine whether the player had a legit gripe and tells us what ended up happening with our presumptuous heroes.

Oh, and he leads with Operation Shutdown, which I must once again stress, is one of the best stories in baseball in the past quarter century.

Nationals’ Strasburg ejected for arguing from the stands

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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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.