July 24, 2008

Happy Anniversary you crazy bat, you

"I played 20 years in the major leagues, I did some good things, and the one at-bat I'm remembered for is an at-bat in July."
-George Brett

Unless you've been trapped in a cave (all apologies to those actually trapped in caves), you know that today is the 25th anniversary of the infamous "Pine Tar Game".

You know the story, my hero George Brett hits a home run off of Rich "I'm EVERYWHERE Nowadays" Gossage, he circles the bases, goes back to the dugout, Yankees skipper Billy Martin questions the legality of the bat, then...mayhem.

Apparently there was too much pine tar on the bat, but the funny thing...it wasn't lifelong troublemaker Martin who started the melee.

It was Graig Nettles.

Gossage has gone on record saying, "Graig knew the rule. The ump did his job. Everybody thought it was silly, but it's in the rules." Rule 1.10 (b) to be precise.
And here is that rule: the bat handle, for not more than 18 inches from the end, may be covered or treated with any material or substance to improve the grip. Any such material or substance, which extends past the 18-inch limitation, shall cause the bat to be removed from the game. Umpire Tim McClelland ruled that Brett's bat had "heavy pine tar" 19 to 20 inches from the tip of the handle and lighter pine tar for another three or four inches.

But did the extra pine tar aid Brett in HITTING the home run? Not likely. And that was the finding of American League President Lee McPhail who ordered the game be resumed.

So, three weeks, four days, four hours and fourteen minutes later the "Pine Tar Game" was resumed. The Royals ended up winning after closer Dan Quisenberry spent all of twelve minutes shutting down the Yankees to preserve the 5-4 victory.

And if you ever doubted the seriousness of the game...the Yankees "voiced" their disapproval by playing pitcher Ron Guidry in centerfield and left hander Don Mattingly at second base.

BallHype: hype it up!

1 comment:

E said...

Brett, for running out of the dugout like a madman, earned a trip to the HOF.

Nettles, for his encyclopedic knowledge of the rules of baseball, earned a trip to the Padres.

Nettles didn't seem to have a problem using a bat full of superballs, but had a problem with a bat full of pinetar.

Bravo, retard.