Saturday, May 2, 2015

A-Rod shuts up Red Sox fans with #660, and Jesse Pinkman lookalike catches the home run ball

I was on the express bus on the way home from Manhattan last night listening to the Yankee game on the radio when the reception went out for a few minutes. Wouldn't you know it? That was literally the exact time that Alex Rodriguez was hitting No. 660! So I totally missed hearing it live! Bummer.

When I got home, I did get to see the TV clip in the postgame of A-Rod hitting it, then I stayed up late to watch the rebroadcast of the game to see the homer in context. Just seeing a clip of the homer itself really doesn't do the event justice. Red Sox fans were s on their feet, standing and booing A-Rod from literally the moment he left the dugout to pinch-hit for Garrett Jones. The boos were as loud and vociferous as I have ever heard in Boston. And sanctimonious and hypocritical, too, given that David (Failed 2003 PED Test) Ortiz is the team's biggest hero, and that Manny (Failed Three PED Tests) Ramirez helped them get two rings.

A-Rod has had some dramatic homer runs against the Red Sox at Fenway Park: the 2005 homer against Curt Schilling, last year's homer against Ryan Dempster after getting plunked, but I think last night's HR was the most amazing.  It was the baseball equivalent of Paul Sheldon telling Annie Wilkes in Misery to eat it!

Jesse Pinkman waits after the game.
The thing that made me laugh out loud when watching the replay was the fan who caught the ball. That member of Red Sox Nation was booing and doing thumbs-down gestures to A-Rod at the very same time he was hanging onto the ball for dear life.

Doesn't this fan look like a Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad lookalike or what? I half-expected him to say this to A-Rod after the game. My friend Jerome says that this fan also looks like he is saying "my precious" about the ball!

So this fan -- the New York Post says his name is Mike Shuster, and he is is 25-year-old financial advisor from Rhode Island -- wouldn't turn over the ball last night, despite both the Yankees and Red Sox offering him stuff. He also wouldn't throw the ball back, the way other Boston fans wanted him to do. My first reaction was that this guy, unlike fanboy Christian Lopez who gave up Derek Jeter's 3000th hit ball without asking for anything in return, actually had some smarts and sense. Here is some of what I wrote about Lopez then, and the same goes for this guy:
I will never believe that giving away a ball worth many hundreds of thousands of dollars for free to a guy worth hundreds of millions is somehow a moral obligation, or the right thing to do. I will never think that a guy still living at home with his parents, who has over $100K in student loans, owed the baseball he rightfully caught to somebody who just built a house the square footage of a supermarket. It's not "classy" to do that -- it's ridiculous. It's the equivalent of scratching off a winning lottery ticket and giving it away to Jeter, just because.
Shuster says he is going to sleep on it and then decide what to do. But he did tell the New York Post this, something my friend Joe predicted on Facebook last night would happen! Joe wrote this on my page around midnight last night:
Ready for this? Don't be surprised if the guy makes a YouTube video of him destroying the ball. To make a statement, for Sox cred, whatever. That's the vibe I got when I saw him acting out after he caught the ball.
Sure enough, this is what Shuster tells the Post:
“It’s a questionable ball,” Shuster said. “Throwing it back definitely makes a statement, but that’s done all the time for a lot of things. I think something different should be done with this ball with greater significance. I’m not sure what that is yet. I thought about blowing the ball up and making a video of it.”
Unless he gets paid a lot of money to do that, he would be a complete moron to do so. IMHO, the only way you should give up a ball for anything but money is if you could get something for the history books. I wrote for last fall about how the San Francisco Giants fan who caught Travis Ishikawa's pennant-winning homer ended up getting to throw out the first pitch at Game 3 of the World Series. That is something worth sacrificing the money for. This silly video idea, not so much.

In closing, check out this video, which has all of the home run calls. My favorite is the Spanish-language one. Alleluia!


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