The AL wild card game last night between the Blue Jays and Orioles was decided on a strange managerial decision for which the only explanation has been“confusion.”
With one out in the bottom of the 11th in a win or go home scenario where a run means the end of the season for the Orioles, the Blue Jays were threatening with runners at the corners and their three-hitter, Edwin Encarnacion, at the plate. Orioles manager, Buck Showalter, had the option of using Zach Britton, his other worldly closer who is a Cy Young candidate posting the best ERA ever, 0.54, and going 47 for 47 in save opportunities, or literally anyone else. In a surprise move, he chose to give the ball to Ubaldo Jimenez who is best known for being a pitcher not having the greatest year ever.
After Encarnacion hit a three-run home run ending the Orioles season, Showalter had some interesting words.
“I got confused,” he said in statement after the game.
When asked if he knew the runner on third represented the winning run and thereby the end of the Orioles’ season, Showalter replied, “I thought that might be the case. But then I saw in the stands a little kid accidentally blew a bubble gum bubble into his mother’s face and so I giggled and then I don’t know, I blacked out I think and got a little discombobulated if you know what I mean.”
A reporter then inquired, “didn’t one of the other coaches mention that runner could end the season?” “No,” Showalter replied. “They were looking at the kid in the stands too, it was really funny, you had to be there though.”
When asked if he knew that Britton had been having the best season ever and would have been the best pitcher in baseball in this spot he responded by saying, “Someone mentioned that but I forget who. I thought he [Britton] had a dentist appointment that day so I wasn’t sure he was around. But what can I say? I was getting hungry and I kept on thinking about the free pizza we get after the games. Did you know they give us free pizza? I got olives on mine. But hey I don’t know, I got mixed up, but it happens. It’s just the playoffs ya know?”
Dentist appointment or not, it seems Showalter may regret not having inquired about Britton’s availability as the Orioles spend the long off-season thinking about what could have been.
“You really should of seen that kid with the bubble gum. Just the cutest thing. Did they catch that on TV? Man, what a night.”
What a night indeed.
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