One of the main characters in the 1989 movie Major League is Charlie Sheen’s Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn, the pitcher with a hot arm and hotter temper. Watching Cleveland Guardians reliever James Karinchak pitch, it’s easy to compare him to the Wild Thing — and not just because he pitches for the same franchise and wears No. 99.
Nursing a 3-2 lead over the Detroit Tigers, the Guardians called upon Karinchak to handle the eighth inning. He got himself into a jam, surrendering two hits and hitting another batter with a pitch to load the bases with only one out. At that point, Karinchak went to work. He battled through a nine-pitch at-bat against Detroit’s Eric Haase, finally striking him out. That brought up Kerry Carpenter. The rookie was no match for Karinchak, who locked Carpenter up on a 2-2 curveball to end the inning.
Then, the fun began, as Karinchak was animated in his walk back to the dugout.
WE ARE FIRED UP! 🔥
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) August 11, 2022
Baseball fans loved seeing the raw emotion from Cleveland’s star relief pitcher.
James Karinchak is his own hype man 😤
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) August 11, 2022
A James Karinchak sizzle reel would have a length that rivals The Irishman pic.twitter.com/ymwjAAZhK7
— Casey Drottar (@CDrottar19) August 11, 2022
James Karinchak is absolutely nuts pic.twitter.com/vobzLZrs1C
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) August 11, 2022
the second coming of rick vaughn is here and his name is james karinchak, america
— John Fanta (@John_Fanta) August 11, 2022
— George Coulouras ☘️ (@georgecoulouras) August 11, 2022
James Karinchak is unhinged. pic.twitter.com/8ZoJisWFse
— La Mole (@FranmilsEyebrow) August 11, 2022
— Nick Pedone (@NickPedone12) August 11, 2022
Emotion like this — as well as Atlanta Braves rookie Vaughn Grissom’s epic bat flip following his first career home run — is good. It’s not a bad thing for fans to see some significant emotion from players. It’s not only fun but is a good reminder that these players really do care about these games.
Plus, it can create an extra layer of tension between Karinchak, his opponents and their fans. That only makes the games feel more exciting.