Basebrawl

Baseball has been my favorite sport since before there was a designated hitter, but I have zero interest in the Olympics competition because the best players in the world --major leaguers-- aren't involved. I haven't watched so much as a second of any of the games. Apparently, the United States v. China game was like an old Dodgers and Giants basebrawl, though fortunately, there was no Juan Marichal-clubbing-John Roseboro-with-a-bat (opens in a new window) kinds of mayhem.

A quick summary is in this video clip (opens in a new window). It begins with what looks like a 50/50 play at the plate. I'd say there was no reason for Matt LaPorta of the United States to not do a hook slide, the hit on the Chinese catcher Wang Wei seems kind of gratuitious; Wang would think so, since he left the game. Of course, baseball code meant that an American player was going to get hit in the next inning and sure enough, Nate Schierholtz got plunked. Then it got ugly!

Later on, barreling home on a sacrifice fly, Schierholtz took a total cheap shot at the replacement catcher, the wonderfully named Wang Wang and sent *him* flying. He made no effort for the plate, he clearly meant to punish the guy and his claim that the guy was blocking the plate wasn't borne out in the replay I just saw on TV. What happened next is in dispute: intentional or just poor control? In any case, Matt LaPorta was hit right where the helmet meets the shoulder and he was down, quick, causing a trip to the hosptial with a concussion. Of course he was going to get hit, but baseball protocol mandates you don't throw at the head.

Luckily, the game didn't go extra innings, because with his team down 9-0, Wang Wang hit a home run, then hotdogged it around the bases like he'd hit a walk off homer. An ugly game, one sure to have lots of "Third World War!!!!!" bullshit written about it in the next few days. By the way, if anyone watched the whole game or saw the incidents I wrote about, please correct me if the reality was different from what I was able to glean from a 30-second video and three newspaper reports.

Oh and....Go Angels!

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