Monday, June 17, 2013

Bull's Revenge

Season: 44-26; Home Stand: 3-1
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun

The important question at hand last night, the 25th Anniversary of the opening of the movie “Bull Durham”, was not who was going to win the baseball game, but whether or not “Nuke” was ever going to win a race against either “Crash” or “Annie”. And so when the moment came and Nuke came out and simply blew ahead of Crash and Annie we thought, “OK, smart move, let Nuke win one. He’s gonna go to the show after all.” But, in a move of minor genius on the part of the Bulls staff, the bull from the original Bull Durham (or a close approximation) came out and took revenge for being hit by Nuke all those years ago. He body-blocked Nuke. Nuke went down as Crash and Annie skipped by. Crash won last night.

Well, maybe that wasn’t the most important event last night. For a Bulls fan, the biggest deal was probably the Bulls taking 3 of 4 games from the Indianapolis Indians, the team with the best record in the International League. It helps to be well out in front in the South Division as the Bulls approach mid-season (that would be tomorrow!). Of course, by September both teams will be very different, but the Bulls can hope that J.D. Martin will still be around. (Note: J. D. just name IL Pitcher of the Week!) And if he is, along with some of his colleagues from last night, players like Leslie Anderson, Vince Belnome, and Brandon Guyer, things look good for the playoffs.

For thrills, maybe the biggest deal was that spectacular behind-the-back catch in center field by Jason Bourgeois in the 5th inning. One of those moments you hope to see when you come to a game.

Certainly the oddity of the night was Indianapolis manager Dean Treanor getting ejected before the game even started, just after presenting his lineup card to the umps. Guessing was that Trainor was still upset about a call that ended the game on Saturday. Have to say that even for a boy’s game like baseball that seems a bit petulant on Treanor’s part.

A close second as far as oddities go would be the decision by the radio station that broadcasts Bulls games to instead broadcast the U.S. Open golf tournament. Now, who in the world listens to golf on the radio? Especially within the rather limited radius of “AM 620 The Buzz!”

The scary moment of the game came when Vince Belnome appeared to have twisted his ankle on a play at 1B in the 5th inning. At that moment there was, by my count, exactly one player on the bench, catcher Craig Albernaz. Now Albernaz is one heck of a ballplayer, but I’m guessing that at 5’8" he doesn’t have a lot of playing time at 1B.

Another highlight for Bulls fans was seeing Chris Gimenez back in catching gear and on the field for the first time in what seems like a very long time. Welcome back, Chris!

A confusing moment in the 3rd inning was the shuffle of Brandon Guyer from left to right field, Leslie Anderson from 1B to left field, and Belnome coming in from his off day to play 1B. Then the twitterverse blew up with the story, the call-up of Wil Myers. We’ve had a lot of fun watching Mr. Myers this year. He has one of the most interesting swings that I’ve ever seen and the sound off his bat is unique. I’m betting he will do just fine with the Rays. And what better place to begin his career than Fenway? Good luck, Wil.

Outside the game —
  • In the 32nd transaction involving a pitcher this year, Josh Lueke has been called back up to the Rays. At a guess there are two more Bulls pitchers ”on the bubble“ to join the Rays today — Jake Odorizzi (did he even make it back? Guess not. He's reportedly starting today in Fenway.) and Alex Colome. We’ll see. But it does explain why Kirby Yates had back-to-back saves over the last two games. Good for Kirby!
  • Infielder Ryan Roberts has been optioned down from Tampa Bay to make room on the 25 man for Myers. Roberts hasn’t been in the minors since 2010. The 32 year old usually played 2B for the Rays, but had a few games at 3B and 1B. At $3 million, I’m guessing he will be the highest-paid Durham Bull by a few bucks.
  • Lastly, yesterday was Father’s Day and I want to point you over to this amazing unattributed [Update: by Alex Harris, see comments] image at Bull City Summer. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. In fact, if I’m not breaking any copyright I think I’ll just put it up. I’ll take it down if there’s a problem.

Photo by Alex Harris: From Bull City Summer


  1. That Bull City Summer photo is by Alex Harris. Thanks for visiting us!

    1. Attribution added. Thanks for info. Terrific photo and posting.

  2. Kind of "bullheaded" of the Bull considering Crash TOLD Nuke to hit the mascot, right? :)

    1. Turns out that was the original costume! Will try to get a posting, with Video up in a while. they are are: and if you can't wait. I didn't mention the opening pitch, partially because Nuke missed the bull this time.

  3. As an FYI, Odorizzi was in the dugout last night. So I guess he did make it to town just in time to be sent back out to Boston.