The protocol is simple. Typically, if a guy loses a bat and it goes into the stands, said batter will make a trade with the fan who retrieves the game-used piece of lumber with another stick. The only problem: nobody gave a certain fan the memo.
With the Mariners visiting the Cubs in Mesa for a Cactus League tilt on Thursday, Kelly Shoppach lost the grip on his bat during a swing. Thankfully, no one was harmed as the piece of equipment was flung into the stands. What happened instead? A random passer-by corraled the bat and just kept walking! He handed out a couple high-fives - and that was that. It appeared Shoppach never got his bat back! Only in spring training.
Moving to Thursday’s NCAA tournament action, No. 4 seed Syracuse knocked off No. 1 Indiana 61-50 in the East Region. The ‘Cuse will face Marquette in an all-Big East Regional Final by virtue of the Golden Eagles 71-61 victory over Miami. Meanwhile in L.A., it’ll be Ohio State and Wichita State in Saturday’s West Regional Final from Staples.
Finally, a couple notes from the ice. Pavel Datsyuk deked Logan Couture to his keister in the Red Wings-Sharks game. San Jose shut out Detroit 2-0. And Evgeni Malkin returned to the Penguins lineup to help Pittsburgh beat Winnipeg 4-0 for the Pens’ 14th win in row.