Monday Superlatives
August 10, 2020

Chargin' Ramon Laureano is the Doomed Heroic Hero of the Week

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Thearon W. Henderson

From the Light Brigade to General George Pickett to Jon Snow, there is romance in the doomed charge into the heart of the enemy, and that's especially true when it's just one dude. Which is what made this solo attack by Oakland's Ramon Laureano into the entire Houston Astros team so wonderful and hilarious:

A lot of people are grouping Laureano in with Joe Kelly as a player exacting righteous vengeance against the cheating 'Stros, but in fact this appears to have been a simple case of a hitting coach talking shit about his mom. Plus, getting beaned.

What's great about this charge is that Alex Cintron, the hitting coach, was acting all tough when it was just a matter of shouting from the dugout, but the minute Laureano came at him, he cowered. Now, yes, Laureano was completely mauled by Astros, but that doesn't change the fact that he pretty much owned Cintron and made him look scared. Anything that humiliates the Astros is good by me.

This is up there with what has to be the greatest doomed charge ever, when Amir Garrett fought the entire Pittsburgh Pirates:

Hopefully this doesn't happen again this year, because COVID, but I still tip my cap to Laureano. Screw the Astros.

The PGA Championship trophy cabal are the villains of the week

Collin Morikawa just transformed his life with his first major victory at the PGA Championship, his drive on 16 is immediately iconic, and you can read all about it on the rest of this site. I want to talk about a smaller moment that will likely live on as a .gif at least for a little while. I want to talk about TrophyGate:

Now, to Morikawa's credit, he handled it perfectly, and it turns out his absurd poise extends even to trophy blunders. He gave a self-deprecating smile, was able to laugh at himself, and didn't even seem too embarrassed. If anything, the mishap made him even more likable, and he was already very likable. This will only bolster his image, because we've all been there.

No, my complaint is not with Morikawa—this is where I depart with my colleagues—but with the trophy people. Do I know who the trophy people are? Do I even know that there are trophy people? No, I do not. But I know this: If there are trophy people, they should have told Morikawa that the lid wasn't attached.

Let me know channel my inner Costanza:

You knew Morikawa was going to hoist. You knew it. There's always a hoist. You gotta have a hoist! The hoist is the best part of getting a trophy! If you're not hoisting, what's the point of a trophy? You cannot have the trophy without the hoist! Everyone hoists! The hoist is critical! Love the hoist!

So how do you hand a guy a trophy, knowing full well he's going to hoist it, without telling him there's a part that may fly off? May I go so far as to suggest a conspiracy, to create a meme-able moment and get people talking about the trophy? And if that's the case, have I played right into their hands??

Morikawa showed great hoisting technique. Not flawless, but for his first major championship, very good. He used his quad for leverage, grabbed the Wannamaker by the handles rather than the potentially wobbly base, and he wasn't even too emphatic with his hoist. It was a very modest hoist. He did everything right.

The powers-that-be let him down. We need a full-time trophy advisor to prevent these moments from occurring in the future. They hung him out to dry, and now he's going to be a meme. A likable meme, but a meme nonetheless. And now I will go full Costanza once more and scream to the heavens:

HOIST!!!!

The Stupidly Cool Pass of the Week: Luka Doncic

This was in overtime, in a close game, against the best team in the league:

Yet again, Doncic is magic. Let's see that in slo-mo:

MA. (dramatic pause) GIC.

Dumb-Dumb of the Week: Zach Plesac, Cleveland Indians

We know the baseball season is in jeopardy. We know that caution and social distancing and a modified bubble must rule the day if disaster is going to be averted. We've seen the coronavirus race through two teams already, the Marlins and Cardinals, and cancel a slew of their games. And yet, Zach Plesac of the Indians decided to go out with friends in Chicago anyway, a decision which comes a month after he said this:

"Definitely any time you can maintain social distancing is going to be what we have to focus on," Plesac said on July 3. "There are common sense situations, where you see things are packed, or going out to the bars and drinking -- doing stuff like that isn't stuff that's really important to us right now and shouldn't be important to us right now."

To their credit, the Indians sent him home immediately in a private car, and now he's probably going to be optioned. The fact that it's taken so seriously, and that Plesac will be embarrassed publicly, is a good thing. Because if this season is going to survive, a little shame will go a long way.