Welcome, sports fans! To paraphrase the old hockey or boxing joke,” I went to a baseball game last night and a slap-stick comedy routine broke out”. You never quite know what to expect from the personalities that manage our national pastime.
There are several sports tirades that need to be retired as classics. One is Indiana’s Bobby Knight throwing a chair across the basketball court. Another is the unforgettable spectacle of Mississippi Braves minor league manager Phil Wellman covering home plate with dirt and pulling both second and third bases out of the ground and hurling them into the outfield. In the second act of the show, look for Wellman’s remarkable performance as a guerrilla commando as he throws the repurposed resin bag at the umpire as if it is a grenade. This is truly a classic and classless baseball moment.
Billy Martin has to make the list because he is … Billy Martin. One of former Yankee skipper Martin’s most famous antics is kicking and throwing dirt on the umpires after arguing what he saw as a missed call. Of course, once you’ve been thrown out of the game, what harm does it do to very emphatically continue making your point?
For grossness, former major league pitcher and minor league manager Sparky Lyle “takes the cake”. Whenever a teammate was celebrating a birthday and a cake awaited him in the clubhouse after the game, Lyle was known to sit naked on the cake, leaving a memorable impression. Of course, his antics would not go unretaliated, so one of his teammates took the game to the next level and defecated on a cake intended for Lyle.
Bobby Cox, famous Atlanta Braves manager, has to make the list because he holds the record for most major league ejections: 158 lifetime, not counting post regular-season. Cox also holds the distinction of being the only person in major league ball to be thrown from two World Series games. During the 1992 World Series, Cox was ejected from the game for throwing a batting helmet onto the Skydome field.
The list wraps up with a return to the minor leagues and a look at what Joe Mikulik has been up to. During a 2006 Ashville, NC game, Mikulik starred in a remake of Phil Wellman’s baseball theatrics with a performance that included pulling up second base and hurling it into the outfield along with the use of the resin bag as a prop. Not intimidated by Billy Martin’s status, he also proceeded to repeat the performance of kicking dirt on the umpires. Fast-forward to 2012 and, following a relatively quiet five years or so, Mikulik is up to it again. This time it is third base that has a co-starring role, and Milulik appropriately tips his hat and takes a bow at the end of his performance.
Well, folks, that’s entertainment. You never know what these boys of summer might be up to next. When you buy a ticket to a ballgame, you just might be treated to some drama and comic relief, too.
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Sam Johnson is a sports enthusiast who works as a high school athletic director and enjoys sharing some of his favorite sports moments with his readers; the pleasure, pain, victories, defeats, and all out wackiest of sports. Sam was pleased to contribute to finding the top online bachelors in sports management degree programs for others who are interested in a career in sports.