The 6 Best MLB Moments from Friday

Gio Urshela is capable of some mind-breaking delusions.


Joey Votto: The Broadcaster


Joey Votto is a regular feature in the Best MLB Moments articles. Every single week, he does something off the field that just makes him more and more likable (if that’s even possible).

On Friday, Votto spent some time calling the game with the Reds radio team. And not surprisingly, since he is Joey Votto after all, he showed he has the broadcasting chops needed for a post-playing career as a play-by-play commentator.

Votto seemed like a natural in the booth! Being a good radio commentator requires having the right radio voice, and Votto has it down pat. His pitch-by-pitch play-calling and inside analysis stood out as well!

With his contract ending after a team option in 2024, will Votto become the next Joe Nuxhall or Marty Brennaman?


The Phantom Ball Four 


There are a lot of pitches thrown in a game. Like over 300 by both teams combined. In yesterday’s Yankees vs. Tigers game, there were 345 pitches total. So it’s not inconceivable that someone may accidentally lose track of one of these pitches. But was it is inconceivable is to have literally everyone imagine that ball four happened.

This glitch in the Matrix happened during Gio Urshela’s sixth-inning AB against Kyle Funkhouser.


Urshela tosses his bat and gear away and walks to first without a moment’s hesitation. Derek Jeter already showed that if you flaunt your acting skills, you can steal first base. Let this be a lesson to you all: exude confidence and you can literally make anything happen—even if it breaks the rules! Perhaps that’s why pitchers have gotten away with throwing globs of pine tar on themselves for everyone to see. An ump looks at that and thinks, “ya’know, it may be against the rules… but they do it with such brazen confidence that I gotta allow it!”

Here’s a look at all 12 pitches from this AB.

Clearly only three balls. No one, not the pitcher, announcer, umpire, or maybe even Urshela himself realized what just happened.


Christian VĂĄzquez Tries Stealing Bogaerts’ Job


Christian VĂĄzquez has gotten bored working behind the plate. It’s the same thing day after day, ball comes in, ball goes back out. He needs some excitement, something different. VĂĄzquez has already tried his hand at first and second this season, and he already experimented with third base back from 2017 to 2019. But shortstop? Never has he played a game there before.

But watch out Xander Bogaerts, Våzquez has called you out. Yes, you may be the best shortstop in baseball so far this year. But how can you compete with this type of glove work?


Charlie Montoyo’s Excellent Multitasking Skills


Charlie Montoyo had plenty to be happy about after his Blue Jays’ 11 – 2 shellacking of the Cleveland Indians.

Their pitching? Stout. Their bats? Loud. Montoyo’s son? Graduated.

During his post-game press conference, Montoyo displayed some pure wholesomeness by bringing in a laptop to watch his son’s high school graduation while fielding questions from reporters.

Following a pandemic-shortened 2020, it honestly seems like there are a lot more wholesome highlights this year in baseball. Everyone is just super excited to have a full season of baseball!


How to Show Off Your Beach Bod at a Ballpark


Speaking of wholesomeness, who doesn’t like a nice swim? We need more bodies of water in the outfield… To replace Tal’s Hill, why didn’t the Astros put a 20-foot deep pool? That way outfielders could make epic diving plays in centerfield! Just imagine this catch by Jim Edmonds, but with a dramatic splash at the end.

Wondering what that would look like? Just check out this graceful dive from a fan on a quest to capture Dylan Carlson’s ground-rule double at Chase Field.



Friday’s Spirit Fan of the Day


Unfortunately, not every stadium is in sunny Arizona where pools are aplenty. The semi-annual Pitcher List award for “Spirit Fan of the Day” goes to one very cold person in Cleveland who epitomized how I felt about the ugly weather that seemed to affect nearly every game on Friday.

Watching late-May baseball with temperature in the 40s and 20 MPH winds? Yeah, I feel you.

Photo by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns of Twitter)

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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