The most exciting play in baseball

It happened again last night. Mark Teahen can motor around those bases. He has a pair of inside-the-park homers this season. Teahen’s gallop around the base paths was the icing on the cake for a come-from-behind win over the Sox.

A lot of plays in baseball can be exciting. Around the Horn double plays are a favorite here, for obvious reasons. Triple plays are much rarer and maybe more exciting.

7-11 Teahen.jpgAround the Horn did a little informal Internet research today, scouring a few Internet message boards, random polls and listening to some talk radio and the consensus is in on baseball’s most exciting play. To find out what we found, let’s go Around the Horn…

First
The common theme for the most exciting play was quick action. Close tags, snap throws, quick thinking in tight games and late innings were present in almost every answer Around the Horn found. Teahen’s journey last night provided a little of all of that.

During the eighth inning, with Jose Guillen on at second after doubling Mike Aviles home for the go-ahead run, Teahen laced a 3-2 pitch into the right-center gap that bounced to the wall. Guillen scored easily. Teahen got on his horse (we love that phrase!). He said he was looking for a triple. So did some of the White Sox fielders.

When Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski tagged Teahen on the forearm, it was just after the Royals’ right fielder touched home. And the crowd exploded.

In a matter of five batters and almost no time, the Royals scored four runs and were set to win the game. After all, we have an All-Star named Joakim Soria to bring in for the ninth.

Teahen’s inside-the-parker was his second this season and the second of his career. His first was May 27 when the Twins were in town. The last Royal hit a pair in a season was Brian McRae in 1992. Willie Wilson holds the Royals inside-the-park records with 13 during his career and five in 1979 alone. So Teahen has some running to do.

But what does he think about them?

To quote MLB.com: “They’re starting to get kind of boring,” Teahen deadpanned.

For some fun stats about inside-the-park homers, check out Baseball Almanac.

Second
Not to be overlooked in last night’s eighth inning heroics is Jose Guillen. The Royals slugger had a hand in two of the runs the team scored. He has 22 go-ahead RBI which is first in the American League (tied with Texas’ Josh Hamilton). San Diego’s Adrian Gonzalez has 24 RBI to lead the Majors, with Guillen and Hamilton tied for second. Hamilton and Gonzalez are heading to New York next week.

His RBI-double was his 29th, which is fourth in the Majors and it came with two outs. Guillen has been exceptional with two outs, knocking in 29 RBI with two men down. That’s third in the A.L. He’s also tied for third in the League with 65 total RBI.

Short
The Royals have snagged two pitchers in the last few weeks off waivers with Robinson Tejeda already making a difference in the bullpen and now lefty Josh Newman being assigned to Omaha today after Colorado put him on waivers…Zack Grienke, who sits at 104 K’s, is the 13th pitcher in Royals history to top 100 strikeouts before the All-Star break(he’s 10th on the list and Dennis Leonard holds the record with 133 in 1977)…Notes from Trey Hillman’s pre-game press conference: Hillman and his staff have already started evaluating the first half of the season. They had a three-hour meeting last Saturday in Tampa to begin the process…Mark Grudzielanek when 0-for-4 last, still leaving him two hits shy of 2,000. Around the Horn blames itself for jinxing him with yesterday’s post. Our bad, Grud.

Third
Limited spots remain for the Royals charity golf tournament. It will be held on August 7 at The National in Parkville, Mo.

7-11 Hats off.jpgTwo more games follow tonight for the “Hats Off” weekend. That also means two more games of relief support and one more night of discounted “relief tickets.”  Make it a point to get out here (if you can) and support your fellow Midwesterners in need.

Extra Innnings
The Royals are working on a number of things for Military Appreciation Day, which is August 2. Around the Horn would like to request some help from our faithful here at mlblogs.com. If you have pictures of loved ones overseas wearing Royals gear, you can send them to blog@royals.com and we might be able to use them for a presentation during that day’s events.

If not, Around the Horn is also working on a special post for that day and may post some of these photos right here. Please include the name of the person, hometown, where they are stationed and what branch they are in.

Thanks for your help.

Questioning the Call
Around the Horn would like to ask you, what do you think is the most exciting play in baseball?

Tonight’s Lineup (a change from earlier):

DeJesus LF
Aviles SS
Teahen RF
Butler DH
Grudzielanek 2B
Gordon 3B
Gload 1B
Buck C
Gathright CF

Hochevar P

Here’s today’s Official Game Notes.

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