It’s possible to have a good Major League Baseball career that Marlin’s replacement, Richard Bleier, had without ever really making it into history. It’s significant enough — difficult enough and remarkable enough in its own right — to even make it to the majors, and certainly during the eight seasons Bleier spent in the minors there were moments before he’d be 29 years old Made his big league debut when even that seemed in doubt. Before throwing his first MLB pitch in 2016, Bleier was a member of three different organizations; He had been a minor league draft selection under Rule 5 and had been released twice. Of course, the Yankees released something in him that the Rangers, the Blue Jays and the Nationals had missed, and Bleier has been an effective left assistant in the bigs ever since – first in those 23 games with the Yankees and then in six separate seasons between Orioles and marlins. And it was the Marlins whose 6-3 lead he defended in the eighth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Mets.
Bleier did so as a 35-year-old man in his 303rd MLB game and is still the dependable, if decidedly non-electric, bullpen-arm he’s been during his seven seasons in the majors. In that moment, it was possible to see how he made it into what was once an unlikely career, spanning a decade without ever becoming quite memorable. But no matter how many years Bleier still has in the tank, the last bit is now firmly on the boards. He’s in history now.
Here’s how it went: After Bleier gave up a two-out single against Jeff McNeil in the eighth inning, Bleier was called to a bale by first base umpire John Tumpane. Then, just two pitches later, it happened again.
Two pitches later, Bleier, or rather the uneasy partnership between Bleier and Tumpane, finished the job of stopping McNeil around the bases. Marlin’s manager, Don Mattingly, was then ejected, and Bleier became one of seven pitchers to commit three beams in an inning. Nobody had done it in 34 years.
Perhaps most notably, Bleier truly deserved it. Every one of the bars he walked while McNeil was on base was verifiable a Lock–apparently even from my seat in section 335 of the ballpark. And yet they weren’t more obvious or outrageous balks compared to the many, many similar moves pitchers make in every game that aren’t labeled as balks. Both may be true, but it was Bleier’s unwillingness or inability to adjust to that reality and Tumpane’s unwillingness to let that stubbornness slide that lifted the moment. Together, if not entirely cooperatively, the two made a moment of red history in the middle of a game that even those present were already trying to forget.
“It’s the same move I’ve been making for 300 innings, and here we are,” Bleier said after the game. He had never once been called to a balk as a big league player, and the Tim Robinson-style faces and reactions he gave after each call conveyed the confusion and desperation he must have felt as he did so figured out far into his career. that he actually didn’t know how to be fully ready before delivering a pitch to home plate with a runner on base. “Maybe I refused,” admitted Bleier. “I watched the video. I totally disagreed, but I’m biased.” To understand how completely Bleier disagreed, you just have to know that after Mattingly knocked himself out, Bleier took it upon himself after the inning — he just let it go the one run he prevented – to be thrown in turn.
Or, if you prefer pictures, you can refer to the photos taken at the game by Getty photographer Sarah Stier. Each one looks like the lead singer of Future Islands demanding that the Turbo team be brought to justice.
It’s important to note how insignificant it all was. The game had long since entered a kind of terminal orbit; People left or had already left. A fan seated behind us, wearing a Yankees hat and sweatshirt printed with the design of the purple Takis bags, loudly listened to a Fat Joe song just as Bleier began his personal journey through the escalation his cell phone Vince McMahon Face Reaction Meme. Somewhere in there he also went.
None of it felt meaningful while it was happening, or anything but ridiculous. And yet it also arrived as a gift, to be there on a beautiful autumn night, first appalled and then delighted that such a lousy baseball game had found such a silly and wonderful way to justify its existence. The Mets’ loss coupled with a Braves win put the two teams in first place. As Mets first baseman Pete Alonso later pointed out, another game today. It’s tempting to say that nothing happening in Wednesday’s game will be more silly than Tuesday’s all-timer, but of course, there’s no telling. If something this stupid could happen once, it could happen twice; what could happen to Richard Bleier could happen to anyone.
https://defector.com/richard-bleier-balked-himself-into-red-ass-history/ Richard Bleier sneaked into the history of the Red-Ass