Guy Boucher: The League’s Newest Inefficiency

Boucher warms up for his first inning.

“There’s no rules that say a pitcher can’t use a hockey stick,” said umpire Tony Randazzo before Friday’s game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays. “I don’t make the rules; I just sometimes enforce them.”

Two hours before Friday’s game, Andrew Friedman of the Rays signed Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher to make his major league debut — as the league’s first hockey-stick pitcher. Boucher lasted three scoreless innings before being ejected in the fourth inning for throwing off his gloves and engaging in a five-minute one-on-one brawl with Blue Jays outfielder Colby Rasmus.

The event marks the first time in baseball history that not only an NHL coach has played in the majors, but also completed an inning using a hockey stick and wearing blue jeans.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Blue Jays manager John Farrell said after the game. “All you can do is tip your cap and say, ‘Well done,’ to both [Guy Boucher] and the Rays front office.”

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Bradley writes for FanGraphs and The Hardball Times. Follow him on Twitter @BradleyWoodrum.

12 Responses to “Guy Boucher: The League’s Newest Inefficiency”

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  1. Aaron says:

    Boucher has excellent command

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  2. Kyle says:

    That. Is. Awesome.

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  3. Schide says:

    This is now my favorite baseball gif beating out the Pablo Sandoval cake gif by a slim margin.

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  4. Eric says:

    Suddenly the world seems like a slightly better place.

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  5. Bob Davidson says:

    Balk! Neither of Boucher’s feet was on the rubber.

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  6. ben says:

    that was maybe the only perfect strike i’ve ever seen on a first pitch.

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  7. jcxy says:

    would pitch f/x classify that as an eephus or a vulcan change?

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  8. Hey guys, Knucklepuck time.

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  9. Zdeno Chara can light it up around 106.

    How far one conceivably bat a puck?

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  10. Tim says:

    I think I remember seeing a goalie do what Vogt is doing in a classic video game. I wish I remembered which one. I don’t think it ever happened in real life before, though.

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