In a sports day that also saw Byung-Hyun Kim lead the Rockies to establishing a new Coors Field record for shutouts in a season, Portugal and Holland drag the World Cup's good name through the mud, and a major league team give Russ Ortiz money to pitch, one story trumped all. Have you seen the Joe Mikulik footage yet? Go watch it now. If you edited together a career's worth of Lou Piniella's greatest tirades, you might still not be able to equal Rockies minor league manager Mikulik's single sequence from Sunday's Asheville-Lexington game. I don't want to dissuade you from watching the action for yourself, but it's worth breaking down in detail, just so I can confirm to myself that Joe didn't miss any of the time-honored go-to managerial tirade moves.
Note that all of this takes place after Mikulik was ejected for arguing that Koby Clemens was picked off second. Talk about getting your money's worth.
1) Hat toss
2) Headfirst slide into base at which contested play took place
3) Removal from moorings of base
4) Toss (underhand style) of base
5) Kicking dirt on home plate
6) Kneeling down and using hands to complete covering of home with dirt
7) Chucking of several bats onto field from dugout
8) Return to field from dugout to empty water bottle on home plate
9) Blown kiss to umpire
10) Crouching behind home catcher-style into grand finale spike of water bottle
Mikulik managed to accomplish all of the above while never actually making physical contact with any of the umpires. Watch his body control between 1 and 2 and then again after 10. The Rockies organization should be proud to call this guy one of their own, and be careful to make sure he's not snatched up by an offer of a higher-level job somewhere else.
I'm still pretty angry about Rick Morrisey's ignorant anti-soccer column from Saturday. If you are too, here's some counterprogramming: a nice Gwen Knapp piece that argues that part of soccer's greatness is connected to its players refusal to conform to macho stereotypes. Also, has Morrisey been watching the NFL at all? There are some quarterbacks in the league right now whose response to the new protect-the-passer rules has been to put on flopping clinics that would put the Italians to shame. Oh, wait, the Italians have no shame. Well, I hope you see my point anyway.