The Wickman Intentional Balk

“What in the cockeyed hell was that?”

That was my reaction when I saw Bobby Wick balk Mike Cuddyer of the Twins from 2nd base to 3rd in the bottom of the ninth inning in a 4-2 game that he was trying to save on May 3rd.

“Wick doesn’t balk!” And it looked so goofy.

Turns out that Bob was having a flashback to a blown save on April 21st against the Angels in which Garret Anderson, with Darin Erstad on 2nd base,  reached out and blooped a low and outside pitch into center field to tie the game. Anderson seemed to know where the pitch was going, and the Tribe eventually lost the game 6-5 in 10 innings. He wasn’t going to let it happen again.

I did it on purpose,” explained the Wickster. “I didn’t want him calling pitches at second base. The run means nothing. If he goes to third he can’t call pitches, can he?”

Turns out that Bob ended up walking Shannon Stewart (at the plate) anyway, but then struck out Matt LeCroy to earn save #6 on the season and career save #175.

“It was my only balk my whole career,” Bob said after the game with a smile on his face.

It was another fine display of the depth of the veteran’s baseball knowledge, and his showmanship came at a great time. The Indians badly needed this win against their division rivals. 

Anyone who thinks baseball is boring sure ain’t a Bob Wickman fan. 

J. Ladd – 5-5-05