Happy Thanksgiving! As Turkey Day is here, let’s look back at the Top 10 Turkeys of the 2013 MLB Season— the goofy plays, the dumb things, and foolish mistakes. These guys are all professionals, and everyone makes mistakes, so I am not meaning to insult anyone. But sometimes you just kind of look like a turkey!
10: The Butt Slide (Jonathan Villar)
When Astros rookie Jonathan Villar came sliding into 2nd base, he came up with a face-full of Brandon Phillips’ butt. Watch where you’re going, you turkey!
9: Intentional Plunking (Atlanta Braves)
The rivalry between the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves heated up this season. In Atlanta, they think Bryce Harper is arrogant, so a few times this year they intentionally plunked him. That’s not right. Especially after Harper’s friend, 13-year old cancer patient Gavin Rupp, passed. The next homer Bryce hit was for him, and his trot around the bases was like 3 seconds slower. And that caused Julio Teheran to hit Bryce in his next at bat. The intentional plunking continued on the next road trip to Atlanta. Eventually Stephen Strasburg hit Justin Upton and threw behind Andrelton Simmons, which caused him to get ejected. It all goes around like a web. Intentionally hitting batters is unacceptable, and the Braves showed fans just how much it made them look like turkeys.
8: The Pitching Change (Mike Scioscia)
Astros skipper Bo Porter put in reliever Wesley Wright, but before Wesley threw a pitch, Porter came sprinting out of the dugout, wanting to send Wright back to the bullpen and bring in Hector Ambriz. Angels manager Scioscia knew that MLB rule 3.05(b) says you can’t do that. But believe it or not, the umps voted against Anaheim and let Ambriz pitch. The umps are the turkeys in this one.
7: The First Pitch (Carly Rae Jepsen)
Canadian pop music sensation Carly Rae Jepsen threw a bouncer for her ceremonial first pitch that only went about 6 feet. EPIC FAIL! Call me turkey.
6: The 1-hitter (Yu Darvish, Yusmeiro Petit, and Michael Wacha)
9th inning, 2 outs, no one on, BAM! Marwin Gonzalez, Eric Chavez, and Ryan Zimmerman broke up no-hitters. It is a big no-no to give up a no-no with 2 outs in the ninth. Petit actually had 2 STRIKES when Chavez got his hit. You can’t really blame the the pitchers, but they probably felt like a turkey when they come so close to a historic game but lost it with 2 outs in the 9th.
5: The Foul-Ball Bat Flip (Choi Jun-Seok)
On Sep. 23, Korean player Choi Jun-Seok of the Doosan Bears thought he got all of a pitch, so he flipped his bat and raised his arms in triumph and admired his…foul ball. I’m sorry that in the video, the only word you’ll understand is “foul.” How do you say “turkey” in Korean?
4: The Brawl (Carlos Quentin)
Early this season, Carlos Quentin got plunked in the arm facing Zack Greinke. Normally, you take your free base and get it over with. But Quentin charged the mound, breaking Zack Greinke’s collarbone. Quentin was fined and suspended, but Greinke’s departure to the DL led the high-hoped Dodgers downhill for most of the early season. Quentin acted like a big turkey.
3: The Hidden Ball Trick (Matt Carpenter)
Down the stretch, the Colorado Rockies were playing the St. Louis Cardinals. Roy Oswalt threw over to Todd Helton to keep Matt Carpenter close. Helton faked the throw back to the pitcher and tagged Carpenter out when he stepped off the bag. You fell for the old hidden ball trick, you turkey!
2: Stealing First When You’re Already on Second (Jean Segura)
The Brewers short stop Jean Segura found himself in a weird situation. He took first, stole second base, and attempted to steal 3rd. But the trail runner, Ryan Braun, moved up to second when Segura tried to retreat. Sharing second base with Braun, the umps called the trail runner out, and Segura and ran back to first. So Segura, who was already on second, basically stole first. And on the next pitch, he was thrown out trying to steal second to end the inning. Now that was some turkey baserunning!
AND THE NUMBER ONE TURKEY OF THE 2013 MLB SEASON
1: Policing the Unwritten Rules (Brian McCann)
Braves catcher Brian McCann made himself the official policeman for baseball’s unwritten rules. He ended up looking like the biggest turkey of 2013. He did not let Carlos Gomez and Jose Fernandez step on home plate because they turned and watched the ball go for a few seconds (it was Jose Fernandez’s first major league dinger!). Every time it happened, a brawl was started. Thankfully, McCann was traded away to the Yankees. Something tells me that he’ll fit in very well with a lot of Yankee fans Enjoy harassing players of the AL now, you turkey!
Thanks for reading. I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!
Leave a comment or send me a message on Twitter if there are other turkey plays from the 2013 season that I missed.