FanPost

B.J. Surhoff - Rally Killing Home Run Hitter

dfa's mention of Adam Dunn's rally-killing home runs reminded me of something I heard Tim McCarver say eight or nine years ago about a B.J. Surhoff home run.

I live in New York and McCarver had been the color-commentator for the Mets until 1998 or 1999 when he was fired and immediately hired by the Yankees to do games on YES with Bobby Murcer.  That was rich because I got to listen to him sourly bitch about how the Yankees didn't play the game the right way as they were dominating baseball like no one had done so since the 1970's Oakland A's (who he probably didn't think played the game the right way either, playing the game the right way isn't always compatible with winning baseball, you know).

Anyway, at some point during his stay on YES I was watching a Yankees-Orioles game where the Yankees were (surprise) beating the shit out of the Orioles something along the lines of 8-0.  At the top of the sixth inning B.J. Surhoff came up to bat and cranked one into the seats.  This set McCarver off for the rest of the game about how he didn't see the point of  B.J. Surhoff's home run and didn't understand why he didn't get a walk or hit his way on base so he could start a rally.  He was complaining about this until literally the final inning when he said that Surhoff killed any chance of the Orioles coming back by hitting a home run in the sixth.

Now this cracked me up for a several reasons.  First, the whole idea that there was  a better thing for Surhoff to do in that situation than hit a home run.  Last time I checked, an inning that starts with a rally-killing home run is guaranteed to produce at least one run for the team at bat.  An inning that starts with anything else is not guaranteed to produce at least one run.  Second is the idea that Surhoff "meant" to hit a home run.  It's like Surhoff saw the pitch and thought to himself "hmm, I could do a few different things with this pitch, I think I'll hit a home run."  If that were the case, why would he ever chose anything but hitting a home run?  That makes no sense.  Now I've never played professional baseball but I'm going to guess Surhoff really thought something along the lines of - "That pitch is right in my wheelhouse, I'm swinging!  Holy shit, I hit a home run!"  Finally, I was amused by the whole idea that the Orioles were going to come back after being down by a lot in the sixth inning against the World Series champs and that that whole effort was derailed by Surhoff actually scoring.

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