Rod Serling’s Baseball 101: MLB Twilight Zone

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Billy Martin arguesTHE TWILIGHT ZONE – Baseball can be a strange game at times, where things happen as if out of a Twilight Zone episode. This date, July 14th, is one of such days, filled with the dubious and even decorated with milestones. Today’s schedule can be one of those we remember for a long time and sets the table for the funky – along the lines of the following head-scratchers in days gone by:

1956 Red Sox pitcher Mel Parnell no-hits the Pale Hose in a battle of socks in which Chicago had holes in their hose and the lumber they were swinging. Today, Bobby Parnell (related?) of the Mets goes out and pitches nine innings of hitless relief after starting pitcher Dillon Gee gives up back-to-back-to back dingers to first three batters. Mets lose 3-2.

1972 Other than the error of being in what seemed like every pack of Topps trading cards in the ’70’s, Juan Beniquez, then of the Red Sox, had the distinction of ending this day having committed the second of two consecutive three error games at shortstop. Today’s Sox SS Jose Iglesias, might be singing a song like “For All The Balls I’ve Missed Before” at days end… Also in ’72, the Haller boys – catcher Tom of the Detroit Tigers and the Bill, an umpire, both were behind the plate for Detroit 1-0 loss. To be a fly on a batter’s helmet that day as the brothers probably argued every called ball and strike among who Mom loved more.

1974  In what could be one of those baseball records never broken – since conventional baseball doubleheaders are a thing of the dodo bird –  Billy Martin was ejected from both games of a double-dip while managing the Texas Rangers.  Apparently, it took seven innings of the opener for Billy The Kid to realized he was in the beer capital of the U.S., Milwaukee, and lasted all of the first inning in order to get a prime bar stool at a local watering hole.  Count on something ridiculous happening in today’s tilt between the Rangers-Tigers game since Martin managed both.

2002  As a member of the Kaycee Royals in between stints with the Seattle Mariners, Raul Ibanez had seven ribbies in the first two innings of a game after grand slam and three run homers.  Today, in his third stint with the M’s, facing the Angels and the abysmal Joe Blanton (2-11) sporting a trazillion ERA, Angry Ward hopes for a similar first two AB’s out of the ageless wonder.  Why didn’t the pitcher throw at his bald head eleven years ago after that first jack, anyway?

Billy Martin A's Manager Card Meet_The_MattsThe milestones:

1967  Braves slugger Eddie Matthews hits HR # 500 and one year to the day, Hank Aaron follows with his 500th

1988  Ken Griffey SENIOR, 2000th base knock

1994  Ozzie Smith becomes All-Time assists leader passing Wayne Gretzky

1997  Rickey (3rd person) Henderson steals 1200th base

2013  West Coast Craig and his 3,oooth hit column

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A man amongst men. Cheesy Bruin kicked cancer to the curb - twice. The Cheese Man's a big, tough teddy-bear who survived the Bronx despite being an unabashed Boston Bruins fan and Sargent-At-Arms for Angry Ward's Urban Spur Posse. Nuff said. Doctors have taken most of this throat and had to make him a new tongue from thigh-meat (his own) and still he won't shut up about the Bruins, Cowboys, Pirates and Cleveland Cavaliers. And yes, his kids do love him.

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