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.
The Athletics tied a league record on Saturday thanks to Stephen Piscotty, who launched a two-run, 396-foot home run off of the White Sox’ Dylan Covey to put the club on the board in the second inning. The homer may not have erased the five-run deficit the A’s were working against, but it extended their home run streak to 24 consecutive road games — tying the 1996 Orioles for the longest home run streak on the road in 22 years.
Following Piscotty’s blast, they eventually tied things up in the fifth inning with a sac fly from Dustin Fowler and a two-run double off the bat of Jed Lowrie. Daniel Mengden, meanwhile, was forced off the mound after just two innings; he expended 44 pitches and gave up five runs on four hits and two walks.
The Athletics are currently tied with the White Sox 5-5 in the fifth. They’ll attempt to get a leg up in the series finale — and earn the standalone league record for most consecutive road games with a home run — when right-hander Paul Blackburn and southpaw Carlos Rodon go head-to-head on Sunday at 2:10 PM ET.