Nice Pitching, You Blockhead

Look, there's probably no tougher job in baseball than that of closer. But that being said, it's hard to imagine someone failing at it in more spectacular fashion than did the Giants' Armando Benitez last week. The Giants had a one-run lead in the ninth against the Mets on May 29 when Benitez was brought in to wrap things up. He proceeded to give up a walk, two balks (one of which brought in the tying run) and a home run. Mets win, 5-4. If the Giants fail to make the playoffs this season (they're currently under .500), that could be the defining moment.

The question is, how did cartoonist Charles Schulz predict all of this balk business, several years before the fact? Thanks to the McCovey Chronicles for pointing this out and digging up the comic strips. The late Schulz, by the way, lived in Santa Rosa, Calif., and was a Giants fan. And Benitez is now with the Marlins.

Balk, Balk Way Back [SFGate]
RU-49 [McCovey Chronicles]
Sent Packing [SFGate]