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Friday, July 22, 2022

‘Everybody Needs Some Oxygen’: What It’s Like to Be a Reliever on the Run

There are two parts to every baseball altercation. One is everything that happens on the infield—where the scuffle begins and the dugouts quickly empty out. And the other is the journey through the outfield, long and traditionally futile, in which relievers dutifully cover hundreds of feet from the bullpens just to get a glimpse of the action.

Or put more simply:

“By the time we get down there, it’s all broken up,” says Pirates reliever David Bednar. “And you’ve just gotta walk back. Everybody’s out of breath, and everybody needs some oxygen.”

They realize from the start that all their effort is probably for naught: They often run all the way out there only to turn around for the walk back. While all their other teammates are either fighting or trying to stop each other from fighting, the relievers are stuck crossing the entire field. (On the rare occasion they find the brawl still going once they get there—they have bigger problems to worry about.) They realize their run is likely pointless. They know it’s a lot of ground to cover and, frankly, they would sometimes rather just not do it. But it’s an important piece of the process—complete with its own politics and plenty of space for idiosyncrasy—and relievers agree: It’s a trip they have to make.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 22, 2022 at 10:39 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: brawls

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   1. The Duke Posted: July 22, 2022 at 12:25 PM (#6087781)
Another reason why baseball is a great sport
   2. Howie Menckel Posted: July 22, 2022 at 12:30 PM (#6087784)
MLB could end it tomorrow - 7-game suspension for anyone who leaves the bullpen. nonsensical going-through-the-motions over.
   3. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: July 22, 2022 at 12:53 PM (#6087792)
Why don't the relievers pile onto the bullpen cart to take them toward the action?
   4. Ron J Posted: July 22, 2022 at 01:09 PM (#6087794)
#2 Or adopt hockey penalties. Seriously penalize instigating, third man in and leaving the bench (or bullpen)
   5. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 22, 2022 at 01:39 PM (#6087804)
Why don't the relievers pile onto the bullpen cart to take them toward the action?
There’s only 1 cart, so the home team would presumably have a tactical advantage with its ‘reinforcements’ arriving first, although that may be such a serious violation of the unwritten bullpen cart rules that no team would consider doing it.

The other question is why they don’t skip the long run and just square off with the opposing team’s bullpen squad in the outfield?
   6. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 22, 2022 at 01:43 PM (#6087806)
MLB could end it tomorrow - 7-game suspension for anyone who leaves the bullpen
Three games would probably do the trick, seven would be a ##### much given what the instigators & brawlers usually get. Serve the suspensions in groups of 3 so it would sting, but the team could still play the games.
   7. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 22, 2022 at 02:11 PM (#6087814)
Not sure how the nanny got me in #6. The forbidden phrase was “a bit much”, or so I thought.
   8. Perry Posted: July 22, 2022 at 04:03 PM (#6087832)
Not sure how the nanny got me in #6. The forbidden phrase was “a bit much”, or so I thought.


It knew what you really meant, deep in your evil little heart.

MLB could end it tomorrow - 7-game suspension for anyone who leaves the bullpen. nonsensical going-through-the-motions over.


But why would they want to? It's a fun bit of theater.

Why don't the relievers pile onto the bullpen cart to take them toward the action?


I love this image, with 2-3 guys squeezed into the seats and the rest of the guys hanging on however they can, like the last chopper out of Saigon.
   9. Mr. Hotfoot Jackson (gef, talking mongoose) Posted: July 22, 2022 at 06:15 PM (#6087851)
Substitute clown cars for bullpen carts.
   10. SandyRiver Posted: July 23, 2022 at 10:59 AM (#6087953)
In "The Long Season", author Brosnan describes Solly Hemus triggering a fight that clears the benches. Brozz and several other bullpen denizens choose to stay out of the comedy, which is noted in the next day's pre-game meeting by manager Hemus, who says there would be fines for non-participants in the next dust-up. (With Hemus, there would always be a next one.)

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