Pitcher says prank bat­tle will con­tinue

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - THE SECOND PAGE -

Tampa Bay Rays start­ing pitcher Chris Archer served Hous­ton Astros mas­cot Or­bit with a “Dec­la­ra­tion of Un­friend­li­ness” be­fore Mon­day’s game at Minute Maid Park in Hous­ton.

Dur­ing pregame warmups, Archer ap­proached Or­bit and handed him an of­fi­cial-look­ing, typed doc­u­ment that read:

“A state of dis­cord has ex­isted be­tween Chris Archer of the Tampa Bay Rays and Or­bit of the Hous­ton Astros.

“Whereas gen­eral mis­chief and ras­cal­ity has been among Or­bit’s re­peated tres­passes, Chris Archer is hereby re­solved to carry on a cam­paign of pranks, gags and hi­jinks in re­tal­i­a­tion which in­clude, but are not lim­ited to, use of ob­jects such as:

■ Wa­ter bal­loons

■ Whipped pies

■ Silly string

■ Small mo­tor­ized ve­hi­cles ■ Bub­blegum

■ Hand-crafted sig­nage

And any of the con­sid­er­able re­sources of a Ma­jor League club­house.”

Or­bit ar­gued with Archer, then wadded up the dec­la­ra­tion and threw it on the ground.

Or­bit de­cided to take mat­ters into his own hands. Be­fore Archer’s start against the Astros on Tues­day, Or­bit gave him a choco­late bar and “elec­trolyte for­mula,” along with a card that read, “Since you’re start­ing to­day, please ac­cept this to­ken as an ‘olive branch’ for to­day. En­joy this peace of­fer­ing as you fuel up for the game.”

Rays nu­tri­tion­ist Ryan Har­mon con­fis­cated the items, then tweeted a photo that showed the “elec­trolyte for­mula” was ac­tu­ally a lax­a­tive.

“Some­times you have to in­ter­vene when a team mas­cot tries to sab­o­tage your start­ing pitcher,” Har­mon tweeted with the photo.

Archer got a mea­sure of re­venge be­fore Wed­nes­day’s game, pre­sent­ing Or­bit with a de­gree from the “Univer­sity of Ray­mond,” a nod to the Rays’ mas­cot Ray­mond. While Or­bit was dis­tracted, Archer and his team­mates bom­barded him with wa­ter bal­loons.

Or­bit re­turned the fa­vor dur­ing a game of “Or­bit Says,” in which he tricked Archer into ad­mit­ting he had passed gas.

Noth­ing to it

Hit­ting a hole-in-one is re­ally, re­ally hard. Hit­ting one in the mid­dle of a professional golf tour­na­ment with TV cam­eras and spec­ta­tors star­ing at you makes it even harder. And hit­ting one with a brand new Porsche Panam­era Turbo Sport Turismo on the line? It’s down­right dif­fi­cult (well, it would be for this writer).

But ap­par­ently none of that fazed Ger­man professional golfer Mar­cel Siem as he strode up to the 17th hole at the Porsche Euro­pean Open in Ham­burg, Ger­many on Satur­day. Porsche promised the keys to the Panam­era to the first man at the tour­na­ment to hit a hole-in-one on the 170-yard hole. There was even a gi­ant back­drop be­hind the tee with the words, “It al­ways seems im­pos­si­ble un­til it’s done.”

Siem took that phrase to heart and re­sponded in dra­matic fash­ion, hit­ting the ball straight into the cup. No bounce, no roll — a bonafide slam dunk. As ex­pected, Siem was more than a lit­tle ex­cited, danc­ing and high­fiv­ing ev­ery­one in the crowd.

Never mind that this is Siem’s sec­ond time to win a car with his in­cred­i­ble aim. In 2014, Siem sunk his sec­ond shot on a par-4 at the Ned­bank Golf Chal­lenge in South Africa to win a Volvo V40 T5.

AP/STEVE NESIUS

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer wasn’t a fan of the Hous­ton Astros’ Or­bit’s “ras­cal­ity,” so he drafted and car­ried out a “Dec­la­ra­tion of Un­friend­li­ness” against the mas­cot.

Siem

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