June 07, 2006

What are the odds: a seagull would choose this exact moment to land on the field in this exact spot?

posted by cybermac to baseball at 10:38 AM - 23 comments

Must be bad karma. Perhaps a reincarnation of Walter Johnson? I'd also like to know how the inning turned out. Just out of curiosity.

posted by cybermac at 10:43 AM on June 07, 2006

278,348,624,137 to 1. Shoulda had a dollar on it.

posted by JJ at 10:48 AM on June 07, 2006

I know I have seen replays of a bird being hit by a pitch before. Only all you saw were feathers that time the bird kind of disintigrated. If I remember correctly it was Randy Johnson pitching. Anyone else remember seeing that highlight? If not I would bet ESPN will drag it back out and show it again since it happened again. Now there are some odds, what do you think the odds are of this happening not only once but TWICE?

posted by T.C. at 10:56 AM on June 07, 2006

choose this exact moment to land on the field in this exact spot I haven't seen video but from the description it sounds like he knocked the bird out of the air.

posted by Amateur at 10:58 AM on June 07, 2006

it was defenily johnson

posted by Barry-from-H-town at 10:59 AM on June 07, 2006

"it was defenily johnson" ...and it was a smaller bird on the receiveing end of a randy johnson fastball......and yes, that bird disintegrated. at least this one was still in one piece.

posted by ksb122 at 11:10 AM on June 07, 2006

I remember the Johnson incident. I think it was during spring training. I always thought that scenario was also one of those "what are the odds"-type ponderances. I mean, of all the pitchers to get in front of, Randy Johnson is a baaaaaad choice. But that is one funny video (though I believe Randy didn't think so). Paff!

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:12 AM on June 07, 2006

Here's the video of Randy Johnson hitting a bird.

posted by hootch at 11:14 AM on June 07, 2006

There was also an incident in Toronto on August 4, 1983 when Dave Winfield of the Yankees hit a seagull with a between-innings warm-up throw. The bird was walking in right field in Exhibition Stadium. He was accused of doing it intentionally and the good people of Toronto, through the Metropolitan Toronto Police, charged him with cruelty to animals. (No kidding!) The charge was eventually dropped. I wasn't at the park that day, but people I know who were there say it ws pretty clear that Winfield was aiming for the bird. After all, it was walking, not flying, and warm-up throws back to the infield aren't ususally made on a bounce.

posted by hexagram at 11:32 AM on June 07, 2006

I remember the Winfield seagull incident. The most priceless part of that was Billy Martin's defense of Winfield: "He couldn't have hit the seagull on purpose. He hasn't hit the cutoff man all year." :-)

posted by TheQatarian at 11:36 AM on June 07, 2006

through the Metropolitan Toronto Police, charged him with cruelty to animals. I bet they almost choked on their chicken tenders as they watched this horrible scene.

posted by Bill Lumbergh at 01:21 PM on June 07, 2006

"Pow" ... "This is what it sounds like when Doves cry - I guess"

posted by zippinglou at 01:30 PM on June 07, 2006

I bet the expression "caught between Bisons and Bulls" becomes a popular colloquialism among seagulls.

posted by BullpenPro at 01:31 PM on June 07, 2006

Do you think there were a bunch of other gulls up in the rafters: "Go on, Fred. Do it! What are ya, chicken? Not like it's Randy Johnson on the mound." Oh, and the RJ video - priceless! Thanks, hooch. Just a puff of feathers!

posted by cybermac at 01:45 PM on June 07, 2006

I bet when the gull got back to the rafters, he was asking for a Tylenol. This was while his buddies laughed their feathers off at him.

posted by dbt302 at 02:07 PM on June 07, 2006

Actually if you watch the video closely, the bird doesn't disentergrate. Johnson just knocks all the feathers off it. The bald bird can be seen hitting the ground a few feet away. This is the most exciting thing that happens in baseball (yawn) too bad it only happens once in every 1.4 million games. You know in a similar occurance, when a bird is in just the wrong place at the wrong time it can bring down a commercial jet liner. Its a good thing the odds are highly against it.

posted by Atheist at 02:16 PM on June 07, 2006

You gotta admit that's some skill though - knocking the feathers off a bird with a baseball.

posted by squealy at 04:03 PM on June 07, 2006

The bald bird can be seen hitting the ground a few feet away. The dead, bald bird. I heard this seagull had been heckling the Durham Bulls the entire game, and this was deliberate, pre-meditated retaliation. Video actually shows the Bulls pitching coach in the dugout giving the sign to the pitcher to bean the bird.

posted by irunfromclones at 04:05 PM on June 07, 2006

I dug-up the randy johnson video, if you guys want to see it . . . Rady Johnson video

posted by awrigh01 at 04:06 PM on June 07, 2006

what do you think the odds are johnson ate it afterwards?

posted by SavyMcSaverson at 05:18 PM on June 07, 2006

The intersting part for me (well, ok, the umpire part of me) is that the boys in blue may have gotten the ruling wrong. In school the subject of animals on the field came up, and the consensus of the instructors was that they were part of the field. Now, to elaborate on this, the question at the time was about a land-bound animal either in front of or behind an infielder other than the pitcher. The ruling was that it would be the same as if the ball hit an umpire, if in front of the infielder, base hit, all runners return unless forced. If behind the infielder, live ball. Since this was NOT a batted ball, but a pitched ball, I would think that it should have been the same as a ball that strikes the ground before it reaches the plate, that is, it is a live ball, but cannot be a called strike regardless of whether it crosed the strike zone or not. In other words, if the batter doesn't swing, it's a ball, but since he swung, dropped strike three, play continues... I will see what I can find out from contacts and questions to see if this will become the new ruling.....

posted by elovrich at 09:59 PM on June 07, 2006

Upon further review...... Here are the relevant rules citations that SHOULD have been referenced by the officiating crew Rule 2 Definition of Terms: A BALL is a pitch which does not enter the strike zone in flight and is not struck at by the batter. Rule 2.00 (Ball) Comment: If the pitch touches the ground and bounces through the strike zone it is a “ball.” If such a pitch touches the batter, he shall be awarded first base. If the batter swings at such a pitch after two strikes, the ball cannot be caught, for the purposes of Rule 6.05(c) and 6.09(b). If the batter hits such a pitch, the ensuing action shall be the same as if he hit the ball in flight. Combine above with: IN FLIGHT describes a batted, thrown, or pitched ball which has not yet touched the ground or some object other than a fielder. So, third stike, in this case, of a pitch that was not caught, by rule it COULD NOT have been caught. Time should not have been called at the time that the ball hit the bird, the only thing that happened is the pitch was no longer "in flight".

posted by elovrich at 02:03 AM on June 08, 2006

Interesting stuff, elovrich. Thanks for the effort.

posted by BullpenPro at 11:02 AM on June 08, 2006

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