All posts by Mike Cunningham

Opening Day 2023 Is here!

Today marks another season opener. 15 games, all the Major League teams going today.

A lot of questions to be answered this year. But here at GopherBalls there’s one question. What pitcher will give up the most Home Runs. We’ll continue to try and highlight that here.

Our 2022 GopherBall leader was Josiah Gray with 38 home runs given up. The 25 year old Washington National averaged 2.3 HR/9 in 148 2/3 innings making him tops in that category (minimum 100 IP).

Who will be our GopherBall GOAT? I mean hero this year? We’re going to predict Robbie Ray. Although, we’ll be looking at Yusei Kikuchi who while didn’t give up a homer this spring, was right behind Gary with a 2.1 HR/9. If the Blue Jays give him enough innings he’s the dark horse.

Back to Back Walk-Off

Remember this?  Delmon Young had left off the inning with a single.  Cliff Lee was brought in to pinch run, and tried to steal a base and was thrown out by Ryan Hanigan with Phillies Catcher Erik Kratz at the plate. Kratz later crushes homer against the Reds Aroldis Chapman to tie the ball game. Then Freddy Galvis hits a seeing eye line drive into the corner for a squeaker of a home run.

Free Pass becomes EZ Pass

Congrats, MLB. You just saved yourself 30 seconds per game. No more boring intentional walks, that never turned into anything exciting. Like Johnny Bench striking out. Or a walk-off.

You didn’t address mound visits. Or pitching changes. Or strike zones. Or Batter timeouts or step outs. Or Walk Ups to the plate as long as a Goldberg entrance.

You saved 30 seconds. Congrats. Now the kids will totally come back to the game!!!


Chris Davis Reaches 30; Revere Deflection

Chris Davis’ amazing year continues as he reaches 30 home runs before the all star break. We’ll spare you with the historical significance and telling you who the last Oriole to reach 30 before the All Star Break was…

Ben Revere should have been Stranded on Third

Puig deflected Revere’s base hit and the ball reached the stands. By the time the ball was deflected, Revere was almost at 2B. Rule 6.09g comes into play in this regard and it states:

(g) Any bounding fair ball is deflected by the fielder into the stands, or over or under a fence on fair or foul territory, in which case the batter and all runners shall be entitled to advance two bases;

I always was under the impression that the “Advance Two Bases” clause was explicitly there to handle situations like last night. Revere had already “safely” advanced to First. So you get the base you are going TO and the next. Revere should have been on third.

The rule does not say Advance two bases from home plate. Had the deflection occurred after safely advanced to 2B, he should have been plated.

This was a “live ball” play so where the runner was at the time the ball left the field should come into play. As opposed to the standard Ground Rule Double which often is dead before the batter is out of the batter’s box. And runners are awarded their bases based on where they when pitched.

If MLB meant for the batter to be on second base, they would state, the batter is awarded SECOND BASE. Not “two bases”. This allows the judgment of the umpires.


NL Home Run Leader Braves Justin Upton Crushes One

The Atlanta Braves haven’t lost a game this season. Well to any other team except for the Phillies. Home runs have been the key to their season so far leading the majors with 25 helping their 12-1 record.

New acquisition, Justin Upton, has been driving the dinger effort with 8 homers of his own. (We’ll ignore the season his brother is having for now.) Last night, Upton helped extend the Braves lead in the 8th with his 8th homer of the young season.


 Around the League

There were 25 home runs last night. Colorado Rockies Carlos Gonzalez hit the longest at 446 feet, according to hittrackeronline. Kansas City Royals Kelvin Herrera was tagged for three gopherballs last night.  Ouch.

Oh Just your Everyday Run of the Mill Triple Play

So I wasn’t sure when I started this blog this season how much of the Absurd we’d get to see. Sure you’ll get 8 to 12 home runs a night. We’ll cover that for sure. But where will the craziness show up? Ballgirls making defensive stabs, maybe a bro catching a ball with his beer and then chugging it or a broadcaster trying out gigantic stadium food.

Well, we’re going to get to all of these things. How about we stick to something on the field of play. Something if you are scoring at home and we know you are all scoring the game on your iPad scorecard application. Well this triple play can be scored: 4-6-5-6-5-3-4.

Fairly routine right? 4-6-5-6-5-3-4 is a lotto number not a baseball play.

Its just another day in the theater of the absurd.