Andre Ethier helped the Dodgers put the screws to the Angels. The White Sox and Cubs had a little dustup. And some dude tied some other dude's home run record. In other words, it was a wild three days – perhaps even worthy of the "Rivalry Weekend" hype – in the MLB.
Left-handed left fielder Andre Ethier (.319/.365/.553), called up by the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 2nd, was a dominant force in two of the Dodgers' victories over "geographic rivals" the Los Angels Angels of Anaheim. Ethier, who came to the Dodgers in the off season as part of the deal that sent outfielder Milton Bradley to the Oakland A's, hit the ground running on Friday night with a 5-for-5, 4 run performance – including a solo home run – in the Dodgers 16-3 pasting of the slumping Angels. Not content with Friday's play, Ethier showed another flash of power in Sunday's 7-0 victory with a 3-run homer with 2 out in the bottom of the first inning off the struggling Ervin Santana (4-1, 5.02 ERA). Prior to being called up, Ethier hit .349 with .447 OBP and .500 Slugging Pct. in 25 games with the Dodger's AAA affiliate, the Las Vegas 51s. If Ethier continues to swing the bat as he has shown he is capable of, the Dodgers will be hard pressed to send him back down when Ricky Ledee is ready to return.
In case you missed it, tempers flared in the ChiSox/Cubs series on Saturday night. White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski (.338/.386/.462) got punched in the head by Cubs catcher Michael Barrett, (.284/.354/.500) who was then wrestled to the ground by speedy Sox outfielder Scott Podsednik (.290/.370/.421). Meanwhile, Sox outfielder Brian Anderson (.170/.267/.310) got into it with Cubs first baseman John Mabry (.193/.246/.246). Pierzynski, Barrett, Anderson and Mabry were all ejected from the game and Barrett may face disciplinary action from the league.
The biggest story on Saturday, of course, was the home run hit by Barry Bonds (.242/.486/.485) in the second inning of the San Francisco Giants' 4-2 win over the Oakland A's. In addition to being the 29th home run starter Brad Halsey (1-2, 3.15 ERA) has given up in his 3-teams-in-3-years career, it was also the 44th home run the A's had allowed this season. Rumor has it this was also the home run that tied Bonds with the second highest number of home runs hit in baseball history, 714 – a mark previously only reached by two other American baseball players, the great Babe Ruth and reigning MLB home run record holder, Hammerin' Hank Aaron. Some people don't believe that news. Others do.
It's expected that roughly 50% of fantasy owners will rush to the waiver wire to try to grab Andre Ethier. Fantasy teams that were desperate enough to have Brad Halsey will likely not notice his performance on Saturday as being out of the ordinary. Owners of Michael Barrett may miss a game or two of his solid efforts depending on the League's reaction to Barrett's Pierzynski punch. Owners who drafted Pierzynski will continue to be insufferable.