Bill Welke’s Magic Trick and 4 Fun Moments from Friday

The Phillies and umpires put on quite the show.

Yesterday featured an extravaganza of events, from a dance party in Philadelphia to a pissed-off polar bear in New York. Let’s take a look at some events that you may have missed from Friday.


Umpire Bill Welke Surprises the Phillies With a Magic Trick


In the Braves vs. Phillies game, during Alec Bohm’s at-bat in the bottom of the sixth inning, Home Plate Umpire Bill Welke debuted his latest and greatest illusion yet. His magician’s assistant: Braves reliever A.J. Minter.

Let’s break this trick down.

The Setup: Minter began the demonstration with a first-pitch fastball that was just below the strike zone. Welke then lulls both teams into a trap by audibly calling the pitch a ball.

The Great Twist: Moments later, after Bohm had spiritually accepted the previous pitch as a ball, Welke reveals the truth: it was a strike!

An instantaneous “ohhhhh!” erupts from the bench.

The Reaction: Bohm is stunned, in disbelief that Welke was capable of such a feat.

You may not be able to see it, but Joe Girardi’s jaw is dropped in shock.

Frankly, I haven’t seen anything quite as mind-blowing as this since Criss Angel’s grand Grand Canyon illusion. Congratulations to Welke on the performance!


The Phillies Celebrate With a Dance Party


If Welke’s trick was the opening act, then it was a great setup to a beautiful climactic moment. The Braves ended up tying the game in the seventh inning with back-to-back home runs. But they forgot about the existence of Scott Kingery, who came up to the plate in the 11th inning with two runners on. Kingery unloaded on a 0-2 fastball, sending it off to the left-field bleachers and giving his team the win.

This put the Phillies into quite the festive mood, and Andrew McCutchen, who also had a home run in the game, took the opportunity to show off his elite spin move.

No matter the situation, McCutchen is always so photogenic.


Did You Forget That Pete Alonso is Strong?


Yes, Pete Alonso has been struggling this year. But that doesn’t change the fact that he is literally as strong as a polar bear.

Alonso did strike out yesterday four times in seven at-bats, but he also mashed a homer to dead center.

If that wasn’t a great enough display of strength for Polar Pete, he also did his best Bo Jackson impersonation:


Hanser Alberto Does His Best David Fletcher Impression


Last week, David Fletcher made Statcast history by hitting a double on a pitch that was about 4.5 feet off the ground. This incredible at-bat must’ve inspired Hanser Alberto, who also realized that he too is not limited to a strike zone that is defined by us mere mortals.


Manny Ramirez Signs With the Sox


You heard me right. Manny Ramirez, at the age of 48, is still playing baseball. Ramirez hasn’t played in the MLB since 2011, playing his last two seasons with the White Sox and Rays (I seriously did not remember he even played for those teams). He then played seasons in a variety of different leagues, from the Águilas Cibaeñas in the Dominican Republic to the EDA Rhinos in Taiwan to the Kōchi Fighting Dogs in Japan. For all those die-hard Manny fans who have been eagerly awaiting the next chapter of his career, I have some good news: Ramirez has signed a one-year deal with the Sox.

Gotcha, didn’t I?

Alex Kleinman

Journalist who loves the Yankees and the Bears. One gives me strength, the other leads me to existential dread. When I'm not obsessing over baseball, you can find me at a concert, hiking in a National Park or chasing my dog, Frankie, who has probably stolen one of my socks.

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