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Bob Costas botches first pitch, asks for second throw (Video)

Bob Costas threw out the first pitch prior to Tuesday’s Cardinals-Reds game … and he also threw out the second.

The noted broadcaster and St. Louis native went all the way to the rubber and did a half windup for his first pitch, but he flung it wildly to the left.

Bob Costas pitch

Dissatisfied with his errant toss, Costas asked for a do-over and did much on his makeup toss.

He had a lot of sink action on the second pitch, too.

Only Costas would demand a mulligan on his ceremonial first pitch. I mean I probably would have, too, but then again I would have thrown a strike on my first attempt.

Mo’Ne Davis shares how she got started in baseball

Mo'Ne Davis Taney

Mo’Ne Davis has become the sensation at the Little League World Series this year after pitching a 2-hit shutout in her Philadelphia-based team’s opening game win at Williamsport last week.

Davis is the star pitcher on her Taney Little League team, which is 2-0 through two games and will face Las Vegas on Wednesday with a trip to the US championship game on the line. Davis, 13, has been playing baseball less than six years. She was the subject of ESPN’s Sunday Conversation and was asked by Karl Ravech how she got started playing baseball.

“I actually started playing baseball at seven. I wasn’t really a big baseball fan but I had a strong arm, so then I knew I had to practice more,” Davis said.

“I was playing football and I was tackling the boys and I was throwing spirals, so coach Steve (Bandura) came up to me and said you have to play baseball. So I played baseball and I was an outfielder and that was kind of how it went.

“I started pitching at like the of age 8 or 9. I wasn’t the best, but I threw strikes so I would start a lot. And then my arm started getting stronger and stronger, so then I started throwing gas — like my fastball started speeding up. So that’s how I got started.”

In an interview with CSN Philly prior to the start of the LLWS, Bandura recalled how he discovered Davis.

“A lot of our kids were still hanging around, they were out in left field throwing a football around,” he said. “There was this little girl in the group with them, and I’m watching her throw perfect spirals every single time, and throwing them a good distance. I was like, ‘What is that?’”

Bandura is the coach of a youth travel team called the Anderson Monarchs. It was after one of his Monarchs practices that he spotted Davis. He also had great praise for her.

“At this age, she’s the best pitcher I’ve ever had,” Bandura told CSN Philly. “I’ve had pitchers that are now in the minor leagues, but at this age, no one’s had the control to go with the velocity that she has and the command.”

Even though Davis is 13, she says her teammates view her more as like a mother rather than sister. She believes a lot of that has to do with her calm attitude on the field.

Davis is not just comfortable on the field but also off of it. She shows some charm and humor in interviews. When asked what are some things people don’t know about her, she gave a typical 13-year-old answer.

“I laugh a lot and I joke around a lot, too. I also eat and sleep a lot.”

According to ESPNW, Davis dreams of playing point guard for UConn’s women’s basketball and has no desire to switch to softball. Why should she? The way she’s going, she can continue to excel at baseball.

Joe Mikulik strips in latest ejection meltdown (Video)

Joe-Mikulik-stripsJoe Mikulik is one of the most famous minor league baseball managers in the country. Why? Because he has a knack for throwing some downright epic temper tantrums. Mikulik was at it again on Sunday, this time stripping some of his clothes off and leaving them at home plate after being ejected.

Mikulik, who is currently managing the Class A Myrtle Beach Pelicans, was furious after infielder Luis Mendez was called out at home plate. He proceeded to imitate Mendez’s slide into home two times to make his point while screaming at the umpiring crew. Mikulik then took his shoes and jersey off, dropped them on home plate and made an emphatic safe sign.

Mikulik first became famous in 2006 when he dumped water all over home plate after being run from a game. Several years later, he picked up third base and handed it to a fan after being ejected. The guy obviously knows he’s a YouTube sensation.

H/T Deadspin

Jose Reyes unveils new dyed hairstyle

Jose-Reyes-dyed-hair

Say whatever you want about Jose Reyes’ new hairstyle, but I’d be willing to bet he is the only person in professional sports who has it. When the Toronto Blue Jays shortstop was wearing a hat over the weekend, it may not have looked like he was hiding some sort of exotic hairstyle. When he took it off — BAM.

Reyes has a thick patch of hair on the back of his head that he has dyed blond. Why? We have absolutely no idea, but we have never seen anything quite like it.

This isn’t the first time Reyes has decided to go blond, but it is probably the first time he has featured two different hairstyles on top of his head at the same time. Power move? Eh…

Photo via @GoldAndOrSmith

Joe Maddon thinks Rays fans are cheering too much for Derek Jeter (Audio)

Joe MaddonWhen Derek Jeter made it known 2014 would be his last in Major League Baseball, it was expected the treatment he would receive as he visits ballparks for the final time would be similar to that of Mariano Rivera last year.

Throughout the season, Jeter has received gifts from opposing teams and rousing applause from fans in cities outside of New York.

This weekend, the Yankees were in Tampa for a three-game series against the Rays. Not surprisingly, fans of both teams acknowledged Derek Jeter when the opportunity presented itself.

Farewell tour or not, Joe Maddon took the opportunity after Saturday’s 3-2 loss to remind Rays fans it’s okay to root for the Rays when the Yankees are in town.

The Rays are currently 6.5 games back in the American League wildcard race and eternal optimist Joe Maddon would be appreciative of support to urge his guys during their uphill quest for a spot in the postseason.

Unfortunately for Maddon, the Yankees will be back in town September 15-17. That will be Jeter’s last trip to Tropicana Field so Maddon can probably expect more of the same a month from now.

H/T NJ.com

Mike Scioscia: Josh Hamilton not the same player he was with Rangers

Josh HamiltonMike Scioscia isn’t exactly thrilled with the type of production — or lack thereof — he’s received from Josh Hamilton.

Hamilton is only hitting .216 with a .630 OPS since the All-Star break and went 1-for-5 with 4 strikeouts Friday against the Rangers. That prompted Scioscia to say Saturday that Hamilton isn’t the player he was with Texas when he was a 5-time All-Star, won the 2009 AL MVP and commanded a 5-year, $125 million contract from the Angels.

“Josh is not the same that we saw when we were looking at the other dugout,” Scioscia said via the Dallas Morning News. “He’s not in the batter’s box with the confidence we know he has. He’s not attacking the ball like he can. He’s working hard to try to find it …but we need him to do what he’s capable of doing, or close to that.”

Despite being exasperated with Hamilton, Scioscia says he is not moving the outfielder from the cleanup spot in the lineup.

Though Hamilton has struggled lately, his regular season numbers could be worse. He’s batting .266/.339/.414 this season and was really scorching before going down with a thumb injury. Sometimes that’s all it takes to take a player out of his rhythm.

If Scioscia maintains confidence in Hamilton, I’m sure the outfielder will come around. He’s always been a streak hitter and will likely get hot again before too long. Maybe Scioscia is trying to motivate Hamilton by talking him down.

Barry Larkin got calls from agents, execs on Pierce Jones

Pierce Jones LLWS

Pierce Jones was the talk of the Little League World Series after going 4-for-4 with 3 home runs and a triple in his first game at Williamsport Thursday. He played so well and looked so good that MLB personnel took note.

Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin, who was serving as an analyst for ESPN for Jones’ Jackie Robinson West Little League game Thursday — a 12-2 win over the team from Washington — said on the air the next day that he was hearing from agents and MLB executives who were asking about Jones.

Jones is still a good 5-6 years away from being draft-eligible, but this gives you an idea of how much he stood out. It also gives you an idea of how aggressive some agents and execs can be when it comes to spotting and signing talent.

How good will Jones be a handful of years from now? Nobody knows. Some kids are stars at 12 years old because they are bigger and stronger than their competition at that age, but once everyone else catches up, they’re no longer great. It doesn’t look like that will be the case for Jones; he looked legit.