Pirates’ Oneil Cruz hits hardest ball ever


Cruz missile!

Cruz missile!
Screenshot:

If you’re reading an article about baseball to start your Thursday morning procrastinating, chances are that at some point in your life you’ve been to a bar with one of these punching bag machines. You know what I’m talking about, it looks like a huge bag of speed and you put in a dollar or whatever and it drops and you try to hit it as hard as you can.

In order to get the highest score – a 999 – you have to hit this trick like Ivan Drago. While I’m sure bartenders hate these machines like they hate a coked bachelor party who comes to watch the UFC card, it never ceases to amaze when one person hits the bag hard enough that if he was another digit on the screen, the haymaker would have registered somewhere in the 1500s.

I don’t know what it’s like to look at such an impressive radar gun, but it’s disconcerting how fascinating it is. And it looks like MLB has finally figured that out.

Whether the technology wasn’t available or the baseball marketing gurus thought sepia photos of mitts and bats would suffice, it was a smart move to contextualize baseball players’ impressive athletic prowess.

May I introduce Oneil Cruz, a Brock Samson-ian rookie for the Pittsburgh Pirates who broke the toughest baseball record ever on Wednesday with another Cruz Missithe.

You are laughing at me ? One hundred and twenty-two point four miles an hour? Have you ever been in a Dodge Stratus when it went over 100 MPH? The car slams so hard you think every bolt is going to come loose and you’re going to find yourself skidding down I-70 on a chassis.

Rip Cruz all you want not to come out of the box. He either thought the baseball was leaving the park, was going to ricochet off the wall and bounce off home plate before making a turn at first base, or was going to collapse a support beam at PNC Park.

The second piece of statistical evidence comes from Reds outfielder Aristides Aquino, who, at 6ft 4in, wasn’t tall enough for JT Realmuto’s brace against the wall at Citizens Bank Park, but responded by firing a throw from 99 MPH from the bottom right field to catch Rhys Hopkins at home.

Taking down a home base runner right across the warning track is always impressive. That said, it gets infinitely more spectacular when you learn that he threw the ball at a speed that would make veteran pitchers jealous.

Humans are simple animals. We need to see the counter hit 999 before we get dazzled. Pull the strings of nostalgia all you want, nothing beats a radar gun.

Hey, Jay Monahan, what the heck tastes like?

“You were born, you take shit. You go out into the world, you take more shit. You go a little higher, you take less shit. Until one day you’re in the rarefied atmosphere and you’ve forgotten what even shit looks like. — Eddie Temple, layer cake

The PGA Tour is increase your payments in response to the poaching of LIV Tour players, and while I despise Phil Mickelson and his posse of possessed elephants, they enacted change. It came at the expense of their integrity and legacy, and even though PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan had his cheek full of poop, if you’ve ever seen Layer Cake you know everyone dies .

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