Dan Iassogna is often referred to as "the Jeff Triplett of the AL." And with good reason. The worst umpire in the bigs prompted a classic Oswaldo rant the other night, the outburst officially going into the books as "arguing balls and strikes."
We here at HPO have always felt that arguing balls and strikes was the best way to get tossed from a game. It is a showcase of opinionated bickering, a child-like degeneration into a "I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I" argument, a total regression into the realm between feeling and understanding that only grown men with short tempers share; a cold war of the nerves.
The best ever at arguing balls and strikes? "Sweet" Lou Piniella. Best there ever was. Nobody will ever top his ability.
In related news, Toronto skipper John Gibbons also lost his cool the other night, but the umpires didn't have anything to do with it. A man with a history of random violence, Gibbons has alread had his share of altercations this season.
A while back, he challenged Shea Hillenbrand to a fight after Hillenbrand admitted to writing "The ship is sinking" on the clubhouse bulletin board.
Hillenbrand: Yeah, I wrote it. So what? You wanna take this outside, old man?
Gibbons: Whats wrong with inside? (swings)
This is how it all started.
Ted Lilly is pitching with an 8-0 lead in the second inning, only to give up seven runs. This prompted the mound visit seen in the picture above: Words were exchanged, and Lilly was yanked. In Gibbons' own words: "He thought he should have stayed in the game. I didn't think so."
So, an outraged Lilly exchanged some heated words with Gibbons, and then left the dugout and went to the clubhouse. Gibbons, wanting a piece of Lilly, followed him into the tunnel!
We would like to remind you all that this is all happening during the game.
But Lilly had an ace up his sleeve. According to eyewitness reports, he was waiting for Gibbons in the tunnel! Gibbons confronted him, pushed him, and then all hell broke loose. In the words of Canadian journalist Aaron Harris:
Gibbons just went at him... Gibbons grabbed him and they disappeared. Then the whole dugout emptied in there.
Unfortunately, no cameras seem to have captured the punch-up. But, shortly after the incident, Gibbons was seen with a bloody nose. Also, numerous web polls show that Lilly won the fight. After the fight, Gibbons claimed that "everything was fine" and that differences had been resolved.
Gibbons is making a strong push for a high seed in the MFT. We don't know how we omitted him from the original rankings.
What balls! Gibbons has shown the world exactly how big his khram is. Leading by example is one thing. But earning the respect of your players through a long-established pattern of repeated assault is another. We salute you, John Gibbons.