Welcome to The Walk-Off Balk, a different kind of daily recap. You can find a rundown of yesterday’s scores anywhere, but from the eccentric to the exciting, the WOB will ensure you don’t miss any of the moments that really matter. And because Twitter makes everything better, we’ll check in regularly with baseball Twitter as we go.
Let’s begin with easily the biggest story of the young baseball season.
Baseball fans were just minding their own business yesterday afternoon when Marc Topkin dropped a bombshell.
There were plenty of initial reactions to this news. Baseball Twitter was confused, bewildered, and maybe even a little scared. To be fair, it was 40 degrees and overcast at the start of the Yankees/Rays game, and apparently, this is a legitimate way to keep warm in the bitter cold.
Still, Kevin Kiermaier was quick to squash this story.
Ben Diamond, do you have a counterpoint?
So maybe we didn’t get to watch Kevin Kiermaier play a game slathered in Vaseline. At least we’ll always have the memories.
Who wants a Platinum Sombrero?
You have to imagine Yankees fans were excited for the home debut of Giancarlo Stanton. The Yankees acquired Stanton in December for Starlin Castro, Jorge Guzman, and Jose Devers. Through the first four games of the season, Stanton was hitting .286/.444/.857 with 2 HR and 4 RBI.
However, the New York fans were less than excited about Stanton’s production on Tuesday.
Obviously, it wasn’t the home debut Stanton was hoping for, and the home crowd made their displeasure known.
A Better Home Debut
Shohei Ohtnai stepped up to the plate for the first time at Angel Stadium last night. It went pretty well.
Ben Zobrist vs. the Reds Groundcrew
The weather has been a big story during the early portions of the MLB season. Snow and rain have already caused the cancellation of seven games in baseball’s opening week.
Yesterday, the Reds and Cubs were postponed in Cincinnati, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t action on the field.
In a standoff between Ben Zobrist and the Reds groundcrew, Ben Zobrist blinked first.
Speaking of the Reds and Cubs, if you’ve ever wondered what the Reds play on the big screen during a rain delay…it’s this:
Odds and Ends
Chris Sale made a funny face yesterday
The King celebrates The Kid
LeBron James sported Ken Griffey Jr. inspired shoes on the 29th anniversary of Griffey’s debut.
- That makes me feel very old.
- Those shoes are pretty great.
Bryce Harper can’t stop, won’t stop
The free-agent-to-be hit his fourth home run in three days.
It’s so much fun watching Harper when he’s locked in…for now.
Ryan Braun walks it off
Any day the Cardinals lose is a good day.
Christian Villanueva homers three times
If you happened to be awake after midnight (eastern time), then you had the opportunity to see Christian Villanueva homer not once, not twice, but three times.
Your bat flip of the night by Didi Gregorius
It wasn’t all bad news for the Yankees on Tuesday. Yes, it was cold. Sure, Giancarlo Stanton struck out five times. But Didi Gregorius did his best to send the fans home happy with a 2 HR, 8 RBI, 1 awesome bat flip performance.
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