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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Twins broadcasters miffed at White Sox for swinging at 3-0 eephus pitch in blowout

On Monday night, the Chicago White Sox did what they’ve been doing all season long…beating up the Minnesota Twins. Trailing 15-4 in the top of the 9th inning, the Twins sent catcher Willians Astudillo to the mound. Their fifth pitcher on the evening, the team clearly decided to consider this game a lost cause and go with a position player instead of wasting an inning from someone on their staff. Fair enough. With two outs, Astudillo was facing Yermin Mercedes when he got behind 3-0 on the count. Assuming that Mercedes would let the next pitch go, Astudillo effectively threw an eephus pitch, which Mercedes promptly clocked into centerfield for a solo home run.

After a little bit of bemused chuckling, the Twins broadcast went silent as Mercedes circled the bases. As he reached home plate, play-by-play announcer Dick Bremer asked the question, “Does it matter that he swung on 3 and 0?” His booth partner, Roy Smalley, responded by saying “I don’t like it….at 15-4, I don’t like it. You’re gonna get the same pitch after this.” Smalley punctuated the moment by noting the pitch was “47 miles per hour.”

 

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 18, 2021 at 02:28 PM | 72 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: twins, unwritten rules, yermin mercedes

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   1. . . . . . . Posted: May 18, 2021 at 03:56 PM (#6019433)
Stop complaining about it. Next game, drill him in the ass. Problem solved.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 18, 2021 at 04:06 PM (#6019436)
Why is this Mercedes fault? If you throw a position player out there he takes his lumps.

It's better to have hitters swing; get the game over. The last thing anyone should want in a 15-4 game is a walk.
   3. Nasty Nate Posted: May 18, 2021 at 04:35 PM (#6019441)
Mercedes himself has pitched this year, FWIW.
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: May 18, 2021 at 04:46 PM (#6019445)

Stop complaining about it. Next game, drill him in the ass. Problem solved.


Regardless how one feels about baseball justice, I don't think Roy Smalley should be doing any ass drilling.
   5. Nasty Nate Posted: May 18, 2021 at 04:55 PM (#6019447)
   6. Tyhand7 Posted: May 18, 2021 at 04:56 PM (#6019449)
So, what are the unwritten rules? I would think in a 15-4 blowout players should be swinging on pitches that are close to the zone.
   7. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: May 18, 2021 at 05:00 PM (#6019451)
After a little bit of bemused chuckling, the Twins broadcast went silent as Mercedes circled the bases. As he reached home plate, play-by-play announcer Dick Bremer asked the question, “Does it matter that he swung on 3 and 0?” His booth partner, Roy Smalley, responded by saying “I don’t like it….at 15-4, I don’t like it. You’re gonna get the same pitch after this.” Smalley punctuated the moment by noting the pitch was “47 miles per hour.”


As criticisms go this is hardly strong. I don't have a strong opinion on swinging there but that's not exactly the Twins booth getting all worked up.
   8. Hombre Brotani Posted: May 18, 2021 at 05:07 PM (#6019455)
At that point, anything the White Sox did that wasn't a routine ground ball out was going to irk the Twins broadcast crew.
   9. Dr. Pooks Posted: May 18, 2021 at 05:25 PM (#6019459)
If it's poor sportsmanship to swing at a 3-0 pitch past a certain point in a game,

then MLB should either

A) implement a mercy rule
Or
B) give the pitcher an automatic strike at 3-0 when their team is down by X amount of runs to make it 3-1 so the batter can resume playing baseball
   10. Walt Davis Posted: May 18, 2021 at 05:27 PM (#6019460)
Joke pitcher throws joke pitch in joke game ... kerfuffle ensues!
   11. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 18, 2021 at 05:32 PM (#6019462)
If your team is way ahead in a blowout, the most sportsmanlike thing you can do is swing at every pitch that's even close to the plate.
   12. Kiko Sakata Posted: May 18, 2021 at 05:39 PM (#6019465)
What #6 and #11 said. I always thought the "gentlemen's agreement" in blowouts was that the pitching team will throw strikes and the hitting team will swing at anything remotely close with a goal of finishing the game as quickly as possible. I haven't seen video of the first three pitches of the at bat, so maybe Mercedes violated that rule too by taking the first three pitches. But swinging at the fourth pitch seems to fall within what I understood the "unwritten rules" to be in that situation.
   13. SoSH U at work Posted: May 18, 2021 at 05:52 PM (#6019469)
This came up a few years ago, and we expressed the same confusion that players should be taking pitches in a blowout.
   14. RickG Posted: May 18, 2021 at 06:03 PM (#6019472)
I'd like to ask those who are offended by this (not on the board, but, like, the Twins broadcasters) if they would support a White Flag rule...allowing any team to throw in the towel, for any reason, at any time, once a game becomes official.

And if they don't support it, then I want to know why the other team is supposed to quit before their team did.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: May 18, 2021 at 06:11 PM (#6019473)
Well, Astudillo to the mound is a white flag.

Anyway, I suppose the issue is this. It's a blowout but the count has still gotten to 3-0. At this point everybody is screaming in their heads "just throw one over the plate at 75 MPH!" and the batter is not supposed to swing at the 75 MPH pitch with a 3-0 count in a blowout. So "swing at anything close except the 75 MPH 3-0 pitch."

On the other hand, if Yermin had swung and missed the 50-MPH eephus pitch, he'd have been on the highlights. (He probably was anyway, eephus pitch is automatic highlight much less in a Astudillo-Mercedes match-up.)
   16. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: May 18, 2021 at 06:26 PM (#6019476)
We have a mercy rule in Little League to spare teams having a bad day from straining their pitchers' arms and from embarrassment. The latter shouldn't apply - these are grown men being paid to be here. Suck it up. Unfortunately, it seems the former applies as teams have 15-man pitching staffs and yet don't have enough pitchers to get through a 9-inning game. I don't mind position players pitching as an rare novelty or if the position player is legitimately decent at pitching. But it's gotten out of hand, particularly when bullpens are half the roster.
   17. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: May 18, 2021 at 06:41 PM (#6019482)
Apparently Tony LaRussa is pissed about it too, which is even more reason to think it's ok.

What gets me is that if the result was a routine fly ball rather than a home run, no one would really care.
   18. Rowland Office Supplies Posted: May 18, 2021 at 06:43 PM (#6019483)
And if Mercedes pops that pitch up, then it's Rizzo Strikes Out Freeman, Part Two and it's delightful, good for baseball, and running on every highlight reel for a week.

(Edit: Enjoy your Coke, Fred...and do The Snake for me.)
   19. 57i66135 right now is attacking rest Posted: May 18, 2021 at 06:57 PM (#6019485)
tony larussa can eat a bag of dicks.
   20. JJ1986 Posted: May 18, 2021 at 07:03 PM (#6019489)
Putting a position player in signals that you aren't taking the game seriously, but god forbid the other team not take it seriously.
   21. McCoy Posted: May 18, 2021 at 07:05 PM (#6019490)
You know, if the only thing you read or heard about the White Sox was from the baseball writers you would think the White Sox don't have the best record in baseball. In fact your think they would be playing terrible and have a losing record. They really hate Tony.
   22. Lars6788 Posted: May 18, 2021 at 07:21 PM (#6019493)
I think LaRussa is an ass who has done unsavory things and may have said uncouth things - but I have respect for the guy between the lines and I think all the things about his age and how he is old school have been overblown.
   23. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 18, 2021 at 07:23 PM (#6019494)
tony larussa can eat a bag of dicks.
Paired with three bottles of Napa Cabernet.
   24. The Duke Posted: May 18, 2021 at 07:32 PM (#6019497)
TLR is right again. I don’t think you are swinging on 3-0 there. The goal at that point is simply not to embarrass anyone. I could see an argument that swinging actually gets it over faster but generally you don’t swing on 3-0 in a blowout. If the hitter had said, I’m trying to end it as quickly as possible rather than, and i paraphrase, “ I do what’s good for me” TLR likely wouldn’t have said much.

The writer immediately shifted to “TLR has lost the dugout” and speculating on his imminent demise. Has the writer checked their record and their overall play? Save the “dump TLR” articles until they at least lose a few in a row.
   25. Perry Posted: May 18, 2021 at 08:06 PM (#6019504)
Yeah, and TLR wasn't pissed at the homer per se, but that Mercedes blew off a take sign and then basically said "that's how I roll" afterward. I mean, I love Mercedes and his story, but that stuff can't fly and I'd be pissed too.
   26. McCoy Posted: May 18, 2021 at 08:37 PM (#6019511)
But you don't go running to the press about it.
   27. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 18, 2021 at 08:45 PM (#6019513)
Yeah, and TLR wasn't pissed at the homer per se, but that Mercedes blew off a take sign and then basically said "that's how I roll" afterward. I mean, I love Mercedes and his story, but that stuff can't fly and I'd be pissed too.
Wasn’t that part of the Tatis grand slam story that people just decided to ignore?
   28. Cblau Posted: May 18, 2021 at 09:04 PM (#6019516)
It wasn't even an eephus pitch, it was just a lob.
   29. Walt Davis Posted: May 18, 2021 at 09:21 PM (#6019523)
The goal at that point is simply not to embarrass anyone.

Then don't put a position player on the mound which embarrasses anybody he gets out. And don't throw an eephus pitch (which may not have been an eephus pitch, let's get a replay review or are the unwritten rules not reviewable?)

Or just chill cuz it's joke pitcher throws joke pitch in joke game
   30. SoSH U at work Posted: May 18, 2021 at 09:29 PM (#6019525)

Yeah, and TLR wasn't pissed at the homer per se, but that Mercedes blew off a take sign and then basically said "that's how I roll" afterward. I mean, I love Mercedes and his story, but that stuff can't fly and I'd be pissed too.



If he was given the take sign and ignored it, then TLR should be pissed.

   31. McCoy Posted: May 18, 2021 at 10:10 PM (#6019534)
What the bleep is Tony doing managing a pitch in a blowout win?
   32. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 18, 2021 at 11:53 PM (#6019564)
C'mon, he wasn't pissed about missing the sign. He apologized to the Twins. For his own player missing a sign?

@RyanMcGuffey
TLR says "I don't have a problem with how the Twins handled it," in regards to Duffey throwing at Yermin Mercedes.


Good to see he has his team's back.
   33. SoSH U at work Posted: May 18, 2021 at 11:58 PM (#6019566)
C'mon, he wasn't pissed about missing the sign.


If what Perry said is accurate in 25, Mercedes didn't miss the sign. He ignored the sign. Regardless whether you think the Sox should be giving signs in that situation, intentionally ignoring one is grounds for a skipper to be pissed.
   34. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 19, 2021 at 12:07 AM (#6019568)
If you're in the final innings of a blowout against the Twins, or are playing for a team managed by Tony La Russa, let this be a lesson to you: Take as many pitches as you can.
   35. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 19, 2021 at 01:00 AM (#6019572)
Twins reliever Tyler Duffy, along with Manager Rocco Baldelli, was thrown out of tonight’s game for throwing behind Mercedes. MLB has to suspend the Twins broadcasters for instigating, too, eh? Twins got their revenge with a comeback win, aided considerably by Miguel Sano’s 3 HRs.

   36. bunyon Posted: May 19, 2021 at 09:32 AM (#6019593)
The whole world has gone crazy.

There is no unwritten rule about 3-0 counts in blowouts. There never has been. This is just everyone getting to declare ancient unwritten guides to stuff that pisses them off. Everyone needs to stop ######## and moaning and just play.

If your player ignores your signs, punish him. Don't tell the other team they can drill him.

TLR is a fantastic manager and baseball mind. He's also a melodramatic sensitive #######.
   37. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 19, 2021 at 09:50 AM (#6019597)
If he was given the take sign and ignored it, then TLR should be pissed.


I don't know. If I were a manager, I'd lean towards, if you ignore the sign and make out, you're in deep ####. If you hit a HR (or a double, etc.) I was wrong and you were right, no foul.
   38. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: May 19, 2021 at 09:54 AM (#6019598)
Get worked up over unwritten rules violations continue to be dumb, especially for fans and other bystanders not actually involved in the game.

Just my two cents.
   39. Bull Pain Posted: May 19, 2021 at 10:12 AM (#6019602)
There's no chance any sign was given with 2 outs in a 15-4 game. Get up, get out, get it over. If you happen to get a hit, so be it.

LaRussa going anti-Ozzie Guillen and selling out his players for doing good things is exactly what every gotcha sportswriter joked would happen when he was hired. At least 3 other White Sox players including grizzled veteran white guy and former Cardinal Lance Lynn have already publicly defended Mercedes.

The White Sox have the best record in the AL but also are tied for the MLB lead being 3 games under their pythag thanks to being 0-3 in extra inning games and 9 blown saves that can be heavily linked to poor bullpen and late lineup decisions and at times not knowing the rules. They could easily have 30 wins with someone like Terry Francona in charge.
   40. Nasty Nate Posted: May 19, 2021 at 10:12 AM (#6019603)
What the bleep is Tony doing managing a pitch in a blowout win?
Yeah. Once a position player is pitching against you, do teams really keep giving signs? There's obviously never going to be a bunt or hit-and-run called.
   41. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 19, 2021 at 10:34 AM (#6019609)
White Sox players seem to back Mercedes.

https://twitter.com/RyanMcGuffey/status/1394861686130151424

https://twitter.com/fuzzyfromyt/status/1394801912436850689

https://twitter.com/ChicagoSports17/status/1394774261961789441
   42. pikepredator Posted: May 19, 2021 at 10:58 AM (#6019617)
A forfeit ending in 9-0 is currently the only option for a team that wants to just quit, right?

Sounds like we need another option, where a team can voluntarily say "we give up" and just walk off the field.

That would prevent everybody from having their feelings hurt when the winning team, you know, keeps playing baseball.

If I'm batting, I want to see if I can hit a HR off an eephus, just for the fun of it.

Or maybe I go up and try hitting lefty. That would probably also be considered "showing up" the other team.
   43. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 19, 2021 at 11:05 AM (#6019621)
Sounds like we need another option, where a team can voluntarily say "we give up" and just walk off the field.


Hard no. Teams will be giving up down 7-2 in the 6th to "save the pen". You charge admission, you finish the game.
   44. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 19, 2021 at 11:09 AM (#6019625)
Or maybe I go up and try hitting lefty. That would probably also be considered "showing up" the other team.
Javy Baez has done that a couple times, and people seemed to be fine with it.
   45. Perry Posted: May 19, 2021 at 11:37 AM (#6019631)
There's no chance any sign was given with 2 outs in a 15-4 game.


Once a position player is pitching against you, do teams really keep giving signs?


From the Sun-Times:
“Big mistake,” La Russa said. “Just about the time the guy started making the pitch, I took several steps toward the field, yelling, ‘Take, take, take!’ It looked to me like he was going to swing. I was upset; that’s not the time to swing, 3-0.”

La Russa said third-base coach Joe McEwing gave Mercedes the take sign.
   46. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 19, 2021 at 11:47 AM (#6019633)
Wait - THIS is the sign he missed? You start hollering at the hitter from the dugout while the pitcher is in his windup, and you get mad at him for missing that "sign"?

Tony really needs to shut up about this.
   47. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 19, 2021 at 12:20 PM (#6019637)
Wait - THIS is the sign he missed? You start hollering at the hitter from the dugout while the pitcher is in his windup, and you get mad at him for missing that "sign"?

Tony really needs to shut up about this.


Concur.
   48. Baldrick Posted: May 19, 2021 at 12:20 PM (#6019638)
If you don't want your players to try to hit home runs off position players who are pitching, you should pinch hit with your pitchers.
   49. jmurph Posted: May 19, 2021 at 12:51 PM (#6019646)
I feel like the only blowout unwritten rules that make any sense to me are don't bunt and don't steal. But I don't really think it's fair to expect guys to not attempt to get on base given that not getting on base has an impact on their numbers, which has an impact on their careers, salaries, etc.

Also the reason teams use position players on the mound in blowouts is to gain an advantage by saving their actual pitchers. There's no reason to privilege that advantage over your own guys.
   50. pikepredator Posted: May 19, 2021 at 12:54 PM (#6019647)
Hard no. Teams will be giving up down 7-2 in the 6th to "save the pen".


100%, I was being facetious. I don't think any team would actually admit they are giving up to the point of walking off the field (even though putting a position player on the mound is doing just that), which is why I get annoyed when they expect the winning team to do so.
   51. pikepredator Posted: May 19, 2021 at 12:55 PM (#6019649)
I don't really think it's fair to expect guys to not attempt to get on base given that not getting on base has an impact on their numbers, which has an impact on their careers, salaries, etc.


exactly.
   52. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: May 19, 2021 at 12:58 PM (#6019651)
I don't know. If I were a manager, I'd lean towards, if you ignore the sign and make out, you're in deep ####. If you hit a HR (or a double, etc.) I was wrong and you were right, no foul.


As a manager, if I give a take sign, that needs to be followed, regardless of the result. If I'm giving stupid take signs, then the GM should talk to me or fire me. But my job is to manage, and if players ignore my directives, that's a problem.
   53. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: May 19, 2021 at 01:04 PM (#6019653)
Hard no. Teams will be giving up down 7-2 in the 6th to "save the pen". You charge admission, you finish the game.


Yes, but nowadays, the 6th inning in a blowout game is probably 3 and a half hours of baseball.
   54. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 19, 2021 at 01:39 PM (#6019658)
TLR has no problem with the Twins throwing behind his player. What a douche.
   55. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 19, 2021 at 01:46 PM (#6019659)
TLR is a lying douche.

Here is the entire at bat on youtube

Astudillo threw 4 pitches in 22 seconds! There weren't any signs from the 3rd base coach. There were 6 seconds between the final two pitches.

I'm sure TLR is telling the truth about yelling insanity from the dugout as Astudillo was throwing the final pitch.
   56. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: May 19, 2021 at 01:58 PM (#6019664)
As a manager, if I give a take sign, that needs to be followed, regardless of the result. If I'm giving stupid take signs, then the GM should talk to me or fire me. But my job is to manage, and if players ignore my directives, that's a problem.


For the record, this applies in general, not necessarily to this specific situation where it seems TLR might be talking out of his butt.
   57. Rally Posted: May 19, 2021 at 02:00 PM (#6019665)
If I’m pitching, and fall behind 3-0, I’m happy when the batter swings. Especially in a blowout situation where I’m just trying to get the ball over. Last thing I want to see is a batter trying to work me for a walk there.
   58. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 19, 2021 at 02:04 PM (#6019667)
Astudillo threw 4 pitches in 22 seconds!
Put that man in the starting rotation. Of every team.
   59. bunyon Posted: May 19, 2021 at 02:10 PM (#6019670)
If that AB is the option, a forfeit is better entertainment. I’ve no problem with position players pitching but they should be able to throw 60 mph strikes. I’m not kidding when I say I could pitch that well right now. Surely the Twins have someone better.
   60. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 19, 2021 at 02:17 PM (#6019673)
If I’m pitching, and fall behind 3-0, I’m happy when the batter swings. Especially in a blowout situation where I’m just trying to get the ball over. Last thing I want to see is a batter trying to work me for a walk there.


If Astudillo had ended up walking a couple of guys, I'm sure the Twins (and LaRussa) would have been all over the Sox hitters for taking too many pitches against a guy who couldn't find the strike zone.
   61. winnipegwhip Posted: May 19, 2021 at 02:28 PM (#6019679)
If anyone knows to follow a stop sign or red light it is Tony LaRussa. Especially with a Mercedes

   62. winnipegwhip Posted: May 19, 2021 at 02:33 PM (#6019682)
Maybe Tony was yelling after he got his wager in on the at bat result.
   63. phredbird Posted: May 19, 2021 at 02:51 PM (#6019690)

i'm basically on board with #36 ...

i really liked TLR as a manager, everything else meh.

   64. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: May 19, 2021 at 03:32 PM (#6019700)
If LaRussa is really just upset about a batter missing a take sign, then you don't publicly apologize to the opposing team.

This is ridiculous. This is LaRussa turning a non-story into a story and making it a multi-day story while he's at it.
   65. sunday silence (again) Posted: May 19, 2021 at 04:01 PM (#6019709)
Isnt LaRussa doing exactly what he should be doing? WHich is to take blame away from MIN. MIN is last place and has little to play for other than getting worked up about "billboard" material and takign out their frustrations on some other team. Meanwhile COWS are in first place and they need to keep people from getting into altercations and getting hurt.

So he's being consistent both with the made up "take sign" as well as not getting into any dispute about them throwing behind Mercedes. It makes sense from his stand pt.
   66. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: May 19, 2021 at 04:11 PM (#6019713)
47 miles per hour

What would be the absolute slowest you can throw a pitch and still have it pass through the strike zone? 40 mph? 30?
   67. JJ1986 Posted: May 19, 2021 at 04:24 PM (#6019715)
Isnt LaRussa doing exactly what he should be doing? WHich is to take blame away from MIN. MIN is last place and has little to play for other than getting worked up about "billboard" material and takign out their frustrations on some other team. Meanwhile COWS are in first place and they need to keep people from getting into altercations and getting hurt.
I'm sorry, but this is the craziest thing I've ever read.
   68. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: May 19, 2021 at 05:21 PM (#6019739)
Concur whole heartedly with 55.

I would love to see the footage of 80-year old TLR keenly observing Mercedes loading up to swing, then sprinting "several steps" onto the field and yelling instructions . . . all within a span of one second, in the ninth inning of a blowout.

I'm not convinced it would be physically possible for an able-bodied person to pull that off in the required timeframe.
   69. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 19, 2021 at 06:41 PM (#6019756)
I'm sorry, but this is the craziest thing I've ever read.
New here?
   70. McCoy Posted: May 19, 2021 at 07:54 PM (#6019773)
Re 52. It's a problem but it's a problem with your manager not your players.

Managers that make stupid decisions, get ignored, get publicly ticked off about it are the problem not the players that wisely choose to ignore them.
   71. Jay Seaver Posted: May 19, 2021 at 08:34 PM (#6019782)
The commentators on NESN are talking about how they wouldn't have swung 3-0, but would have after taking a pitch to go 3-1, and I suppose I can thread that needle if I really try, but it is ridiculous.
   72. gef the talking mongoose, peppery hostile Posted: May 19, 2021 at 08:46 PM (#6019785)
Dear Tony LaRussa,

STGDMFHU already, you drunken lying POFS.

Regards,

Me

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