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by Ben Burns - 06/14/2009
What in the world was in the Gatorade this week?
(Vodka goes best, by the way).
Pop-ups were causing havoc in New York and Tampa. Birds were doing the same in Cleveland. And in Chicago, Milton Bradley still doesn't have a clue.
We'll start at the backyard known as the new Yankee Stadium, where Gold Glove-second baseman Luis Castillo handed Mets' backers an atrocious bad beat that may not be topped this season.
Leading 8-7, with two outs in the ninth, the Mets were poised to take Friday's series opener against their cross-town rivals.
As Francisco Rodriguez got Alex Rodriguez to pop up weakly to shallow right field, Mets backers were looking at a plus-200 payday.
Castillo circled under it and promptly flubbed it.
Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira both scored, giving the Yankees an improbable victory.
Castillo, who is making $6.5 million this season, said he had trouble sleeping after the error.
Meanwhile in Tampa, the underdog Nationals were tied with the Rays in the eighth.
With two outs, Tampa's Gabe Kapler popped one up in foul territory. Nats' first baseman Nick Johnson had plenty of room, but overran the play and dropped it.
On the next pitch, Kapler, who was batting .173 and mired in a 3-for-31 slump, hit only his second home run of the year, which proved to be the eventual game-winner.
Anyone who took the Nationals lost a chance at a plus-230 payday. Then again, if you're betting on the Nationals, you're probably drinking the Gatorade too.
Over in Cleveland, where we're all still waiting for LeBron to admit he acted unprofessionally by not shaking the Magic's hands, the Indians are dealing with a curse that has infested their stadium with sea gulls.
On Thursday, the curse actually helped the Indians, but killed bettors who took Zack Grienke and the Royals as -147 favorites.
With the game tied 3-3 in the 10th, Cleveland's Shin-Soo Choo singled up the middle. Coco Crisp charged the ball and prepared to try to throw out Mark DeRosa, who was trying to score from second.
As Crisp approached the ball, a flock of sea gulls swooped in. The ball caromed off one the birds and past Crisp, allowing DeRosa to score.
Finally in Chicago, there was Mr. Bradley, who could put together the worst single-game performance in recent memory.
The Cubs' outfielder lost a popup in the sun, couldn't come up with an RBI bloop double and made a baserunning error. But the $30 million man wasn't through. After catching Joe Mauer's fly ball, Bradley flipped the ball into the stands for the fans. Only problem, there was just one out.
Nick Punton scored from third and Brendan Harris moved all the around from first to third
"I never made a mistake like that (losing track of the outs) in my life. Sue me," Bradley told reporters.