What's Buzzing:

Big League Stew

Al Alburquerque kisses ball before throwing it to first, angering A’s (Video)

Big League Stew

Hey, there's no kissing the baseball! Not while it's in play, anyway.

Needless to say, Oakland's ballplayers were a tad unhappy with the amorous interlude that Detroit Tigers reliever Al Alburquerque had with a baseball just before recording a key out on Sunday afternoon. After inducing a comebacker from Yoenis Cespedes, the right-hander pressed his lips to the ball and then threw it over to first to complete the play, violating what is no doubt an unwritten rule in the process.

The Kissing Bandit's throw,  no doubt contaminated with reliever cooties, went for the third out in the top of the ninth inning and ended a two-runner scoring threat from Oakland in what was a tie game. The Tigers went on to win 5-4 in the bottom of the frame.

To hear Oakland's ballplayers tell it, Alburquerque's premature celebration added insult to injury as they head back to the Bay Area trailing the Tigers 2-o in the ALDS. Kissing a baseball before throwing it isn't against the rules, but it probably should be.

USA Today tells us about Oakland's objections:

"I didn't appreciate it," A's outfielder Josh Reddick told reporters afterward. "I thought that was immature. It was not very professional. That's all I got to say about it."

[Said] designated hitter Jonny Gomes to USA TODAY Sports' Bob Nightengale: "He must not believe in baseball gods. Because baseball gods take care of that stuff."

Alburquerque refused to comment, but the Tigers, Nightengale reports, plan to talk to him about the gesture.

There's very little chance for direct retribution on the A's part, seeing as Alburquerque probably won't see the inside of a batter's box during the series, if ever.

So Oakland will have to rely on karma, as Gomes alludes.

View photo


(BLS Illustration)

Granted, the A's were upset they had fumbled the game away and are facing three straight must-win games at home this week in order to stay alive. So some of their displeasure stems from sour grapes. The A's have also been accused of having a little too much fun on the field this season. New York's Eric Chavez, notably, complained about their exuberance.

But their response to critics has been, pretty much, "tough luck if you don't like how we act."

The A's have a legitimate beef about this, though. If it had been the last out of the game or series, we could maybe overlook Alburquerque acting foolish. But the game was continuing. It wasn't very sportsmanlike. The ball is community property, even if the defense controls it. It is not Alburquerque's to kiss, nor should he have risked a big error by adding an extra action into recording a key out. (Two runners were on base for Oakland at the time in a tie game.)

He should just leave the annoying antics to closer Jose Valverde, who's also known as the Big Potato. There's no room for a Small Potato in the Detroit bullpen, too.

Love baseball? Ready for the postseason?
Follow @AnswerDave, @bigleaguestew, @KevinKaduk on Twitter,
along with the BLS Facebook page!

More news from the Yahoo! Sports Minute:

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
Drew Brees sets new touchdown standard
Massive crash takes out field in final lap at Talladega (w/video)
Little-known player comes up big in Tigers' ALDS win
GrindTV.com: Angry deer forces man to find an escape

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
View Comments (3037)
  • Sepp Blatter appeals FIFA suspension - NYT

    Sepp Blatter appeals FIFA suspension - NYT

    Sepp Blatter has filed an official appeal against his suspension from football by FIFA's ethics committee, the New York Times reported. Blatter, the Swiss who has been president of the global football body FIFA since 1998, was suspended on Thursday … More »

    Reuters - 4 minutes 12 seconds ago
  • Kane in pole position to lead line for England - Hodgson

    Kane in pole position to lead line for England - Hodgson

    (Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane is in "pole position" to succeed Wayne Rooney as England's main striker, manager Roy Hodgson said, while casting doubt on Theo Walcott's prospects of leading the line against Estonia in Friday night's Euro … More »

    Reuters - 8 minutes ago
  • Battle of defenses: No. 13 Northwestern vs No. 18 Michigan

    Battle of defenses: No. 13 Northwestern vs No. 18 Michigan

    Northwestern and Michigan have made steady climbs up The Associated Press poll due to their defenses. If the Wildcats win Saturday at the Big House, they will be 6-0 for the first time since 1962 when Ara Parseghian was their coach. ''Everyone's … More »

    AP - Sports - 10 minutes ago
  • Broken Texas tries to fix season against No. 10 Oklahoma

    Broken Texas tries to fix season against No. 10 Oklahoma

    Everything about Texas football seems broken right now. The Longhorns are 1-4, off to their worst start since 1956 and coming off a humiliating 50-7 loss to TCU. Now, Longhorns mascot Bevo the steer is critically ill. … More »

    AP - Sports - 16 minutes ago
  • Things to Watch: Unexpected matchups and rivalries

    Showdowns between surprising teams in the Pac-12 and Big Ten highlight Week 6 of the college football season. … More »

    AP - Sports - 17 minutes ago