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Big League Stew

Umpire C.B. Bucknor punches out Coco Crisp (figuratively)

David Brown
Big League Stew

Remember the baseball scene in "The Naked Gun" when Leslie Nielsen's character Lt. Frank Drebin went undercover as an umpire at an Angels game so he could search all of the players and get the queen's assassin before he kills her? And in the meantime, he takes some wacky liberties in calling the actual game?

Well, that essentially was umpire C.B. Bucknor in Game 2 of the Detroit Tigers-Oakland Athletics' AL Division Series during certain moments Saturday night, minus the whole Reggie Jackson assassination plot. It might have gone unnoticed at the time (except for @CespedesFamilyBBQ on Twitter/Instagram), but Bucknor got all fancy when "punching out" Coco Crisp of the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the fourth inning. Justin Verlander's ca-raaaaazy curveball for strike three made Bucknor turn into a Golden Gloves champ, hammering Crisp's reflection with a stylish right hook/uppercut to the jaw.

Ouch, babe! It wasn't necessarily Verlander's stuff that put that grimace on Crisp's face, but instead Bucknor's figuratively powerful fist.

The hitters for both teams got knocked out plenty by Verlander and A's rookie Sonny Gray, who combined to strike out 22. Stephen Vogt finally stood up for the batters and applied the knockout punch for A's, driving in the winning run — the only run — in Oakland's 1-0 victory.

It would have been viewed as poor form, but Bucknor standing over Jim Leyland counting to 10 would have been amusing.

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