Saturday Notebook: Burton Punches, New Rules, The Talk About PEDs, "Fountain Mom," Garza Losing His Mind, and More

How did this bespectacled man anger Matt Garza, and why did his wife get involved? - David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Saturday Notebook looks at Jared Burton's thrown punches at Brian Duensing, some new rules we can dream up for baseball, the oddity that the majority of Biogenesis players suspended were Hispanic and what 3 Blue Jays think about it, a Royals fan's escapades into the Kauffman Stadium fountains, and Matt Garza losing his cool after Eric Sogard's wife said some mysterious things to him on Twitter.

If you happened to watch either of the Twins' games during their doubleheader against the White Sox yesterday, you may have spotted a funny occurrence happening in the bullpen. In Game 1, right as a home run by Chris Colabello hit an awning over the Twins bullpen, we spotted Jared Burton committing a cardinal sin by throwing a punch with his throwing hand. Just as bad was that he struck Brian Duensing in the face.

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Then in Game 2, we saw Burton throw yet another punch, again with his pitching hand, but this time it was more violent and unclear if he actually struck someone.

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So what was with the violence from Burton? Well, it appeared as though the bullpen guys were doing a video bomb of sorts. Apparently the idea came from Matt Maloney (remember him?) and on Colabello's home run, Brian Duensing was actually shouting "Punch me! Punch me!" to Burton. I mean, if you're going to be on TV, and your other option is to just celebrate the home run like normal human beings, you might as well have some fun with it no?

  • David Temple of NotGraphs originally posed an idea that some of us have likely considered before: What if we could change some of baseball's original rules? For example, Temple cited a panel presentation at the SABR convention in Philadelphia that discussed that very thing. Some of Temple's own thoughts ask if home runs were instead outs, or if foul balls didn't count as strikes. He also links to two other articles, of which I found both very interesting. The first is from Craig Robinson of Flip Flop Fly Ball, where he wondered what baseball would be like if there were five bases (a pentagonal infield) instead of the standard four. Robinson looks at how that would affect the foul lines, runners in scoring position, and the defense with the shortstop and second baseman now covering their own base instead of sharing one. The second article is Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus, and he went a more hilarious route: Adding pits to the field. What do you think, would you make some changes to baseball? Would they be serious considerations or something that would just be for your own enjoyment?
  • On the heels of the Biogenesis scandal and the suspensions handed out, we learned something about the demographics of those players involved with Tony Bosch and his clinic. Of the 18 players penalized, nearly all were Hispanic and over half were from the Dominican Republic. Three Dominican-born Blue Jays players (Jose Bautista, Jose Reyes, and Edwin Encarnacion) offered up their opinions to the startling statistic, including Bautista who said that turning to PEDs gives a young baseball player the chance to escape poverty on the island and Encarnacion believing that a better support group would help players stay away from steroids. All together, the three players said that would consider speaking with the rest of the Spanish-speaking Blue Jays players within the organization to warn them of the dangers and risks of using PEDs. This, combined with what we've heard from many other baseball players around the major leagues, makes it seem that there has been a definite culture shift in the pros when it comes to using steroids.
  • Earlier this week the Twins were in Kansas City, and we're all aware of those fountains that sit beyond the outfield fence at Kauffman Stadium. Well, a female Royals fan chose to go swimming around in one of those very fountains, and it led to one of my favorite pictures from this whole season. Too bad it was caused by her being a drunken hot mess. What's even funnier is that this very woman was shown on the FOX 4 news in Kansas City while she was tailgating before the game. And to top it all off, the best part is learning that she was not only charged with trespassing and resisting arrest, but also soliciting an officer. Fantastic.
  • The Matt Garza & Jason Bartlett for Delmon Young and Brendan Harris (and more from each side) trade with the Tampa Bay Rays will go down as one of the poorer decisions in recent franchise history, but Garza managed to remind us that Delmon wasn't the only headcase involved in the swap as he absolutely lost his mind on Twitter. Last Saturday, Garza was pitching for the Texas Rangers against the Oakland Athletics when A's infielder Eric Sogard dropped down a squeeze bunt, which was successful. For the whole game, the A's dropped down 4 bunts on Garza, who took out his frustrations while yelling at Sogard after the squeeze. Something then happened after the game, as Garza was spotted tweeting at... Sogard's wife? Now, it's entirely possible that Kaycee Sogard did tweet at Garza and then deleted it before anyone could screenshot it, but Garza lost his marbles in tweeting both of the Sogards that Eric needed to fight his own battles and shut up his own wife. It was that attitude of Garza's that helped convince the Twins to trade him away and take on a different headache in Delmon Young. Oh, and if you're wondering about that "So no place to eat in Oakland huh!" tweet from Garza, he claimed to the media that he asked for dinner recommendations from Sogard when he yelled at him after the squeeze play.
Now it's on to my favorite part of the Saturday Notebook, the Lightning Round (not an official name of this portion of the Notebook). It's a little small this week, but I did give you two Jared Burton punch-GIFs above, so...

  1. After pitching a game with his zipper down, naturally someone put that picture of Glen Perkins onto a t-shirt. Also, yes, you can buy it (click the t-shirt link).
  2. Mets fans are tough, as David Aardsma blew a save for the Mets and then his bed went missing.
  3. Mariners pitcher Oliver Perez made a pickoff attempt by literally running at the runner.
  4. Just revel in this box score from a Single-A game between Lancaster and High Desert in which the final score was 30-8. How did these teams - in particular High Desert - score so many runs? Let's let Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage of Mythbusters explain.
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