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Big League Stew

Beekeeper emerges from Angel Stadium stands to help wrangle bees during 23-minute delay

David Brown
Big League Stew

In the official box score from the Seattle Mariners 3-2 victory against the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday afternoon, M's right-hander Danny Farquhar was credited with his 15th save. But the real game-saver was an Angels fan/apiarist Johnny Poto of Pacifica Honey, who emerged from the stands in the third innings after bees swarmed the field and stands at Angel Stadium.

[Photos: MLB players getting swarmed by bugs]

Angels manager Mike Scioscia, via the Los Angeles Times, put it all into perspective:

"Thank God we had a beekeeper in the stands," Scioscia said.

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Clad in only in a golf shirt, cap and shorts, and handed a medium-sized broom, water jug and cardboard box, Poto went to work. With his help (and after a 23-minute delay), the M's and Angels were able to resume. Some of the bees returned an inning later, but authorities knew how to handle them by then, so the second delay was brief.

The players seemed to take it in stride. Angels lefty C.J. Wilson was a regular comedian about it:

''That dude just came out of the stands and said 'It's OK. I'm a beekeeper,''' Wilson said. ''It was like a 'Seinfeld' episode. Do you tip a bee guy? Throw him a 20? I don't carry cash on me when I'm pitching, so it wouldn't have been me.''

Yeah, you definitely tip the beekeeper. Felix Hernandez of the M's, who was on the mound when the bees came, was ready to abandon his post if the bees could not be persuaded to leave:

''It was a little different with the bees. I was talking to the guys: 'I'm going to be in the clubhouse if they come over here.' "

Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun "was freaking out," Wilson said. Calhoun re-enacted his reaction when the bees returned in the fourth inning:

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''I thought they had gotten rid of all of them, and then when I got out there, all the fans were yelling: 'They're on the ground! They're on the ground!''' Calhoun said. ''So I'm looking around and I see them swarming and stuff, and then I see a pile of bees on the ground - hundreds and hundreds of bees. There were bees everywhere. I had to call (umpire) Jim Joyce over there.''

A quick blast from the fire extinguisher dissuaded the bees from sticking around.

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Everybody knows that bees like baseball. When they come to ballparks, however, they tend to congregate around TV camera lenses, or under scoreboards, or by open equipment bags. Shiny things. These bees seemed attracted to the players (Mike Trout?) or even the field itself. Perhaps they were scouting the teams in order to aid their own game, which, of course, is known as beesball.

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