Friday, March 12, 2010

History of Baseball 301 (Part 2)

You might often wonder why there aren't more instances of bat related violence in baseball. Especially when batters are on the business end of the 90 plus mph fastballs. One reason we don't see more baseball bat bruising and bludgeoning is the very intricate and legal art of arguing with officials.

"Jane! Get me off of this crazy thing!"

Tommy Lasorda is one hell of a manager and made the practice of invading an umpire's personal space an important element of 80's and 90's baseball. However, to find the best case of a managerial meltdown you are gonna have to venture down in both professional ability and geography. This is the story of Mississippi Braves' minor league manager Phil Wellman. Ladies and gentlemen for your viewing pleasure: The Best Baseball Meltdown of All-Time:


In the opening seconds you'll see the respect to arguing etiquette as both the umpire and Wellman remove their hats. There is nothing worse than trying to scream down someone's throat only to be prevented by the bill of your own lid. It's downright uncouth and has resulted in numerous bruised foreheads and destroyed brims.

After pointing out the closest emergency exits and the size of a bass he had caught earlier in the day, Wellman takes the shtick of kicking dirt on home plate to the next level. Notice the attention to detail and to top it off he outlines a home plate more suitable for the umpire's vision. This is a masterpiece in the making folks.

Next he notices that 3rd base, while being a practical idea and solid hip-hop group, is also a tripping hazard and places it in shallow center field out the way.

Then he delivers the coup de grace. In an act of pure theater he takes cover and methodically creeps to the pitcher's mound in full Metal Gear Solid mode. He grabs the rosin bag and chucks it like a hand grenade at the umpire. Whose response is so stoic you know he had say "C'mon Son" or at least a "Child Please".

To top it off 2nd base makes the mistake of being an inanimate object that gets in his way, so he decides to take both 3rd and 2nd base with him. "What about 1st base?" you might say. The first rule of showmanship is to always leave them wanting more and thus Wellman makes his way to the waiting exit and thanks the crowd for their support.

Oh minor league baseball, no wonder you are synonymous with acts of amateurish non proffesionalism and have given us the term "Bush League". Just because you are a manager for baseball's version of purgatory doesn't mean you can't go out with a major league meltdown.

Hats off to you Phillip Wellman...where ever you are.

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