After James Karinchak got out of an eighth inning jam, the real fun began.

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.


Baseball fans loved seeing the raw emotion from Cleveland’s star relief pitcher.

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.

[Bally Sports Cleveland]

About Michael Dixon

Michael is a writer and editor for The Comeback Media. Fan of most sports, nerd when it comes to sports history. Bay Area based for now. Likely leaving sometime early in 2023.

Other loves include good tacos, pizza and obscure Seinfeld quotes.

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Twitter: @mfdixon1985