You remember playing baseball in the street with your siblings? Your brother or sister would also play the role of both announcer and pitcher. They’d toe the rubber and come up with some absurd scenario every time like “Two outs, full count, bottom of the ninth, down by three, bases loaded, Game 7 of the World Series, and the fate of the universe will be determined by the outcome of this game.” Then, even with all that imaginary pressure facing you, you’d swing for the fences and knock the ball into your neighbor’s front yard, which was considered far enough for a home run, and you’d round the bases while jumping for joy and pumping your first into the air. After that epic triumph, mom would call both of you in for dinner and you’d talk about how you won the World Series and how good victory felt, and even though your parents told you not to gloat, the sad look on your sibling’s face only made victory that much sweeter. You officially had bragging rights, and nothing could take that away from you.
That was one of the best feelings in the world, right? Well, I think Cleveland’s Bradley Zimmer just took that feeling to the max.
During the eighth inning of yesterday’s Indians-Royals game, Cleveland outfielder Bradley Zimmer came up to the plate to face his brother, Kyle Zimmer, and launched a solo shot to give his team a 7-3 lead. If I were Bradley, I would’ve immediately asked the Indians to save that clip and send it to me. I’d want to cherish that moment forever. I’d send it to my brother every day afterwards, and twice on his birthday. I’d tweet it out any time my brother did anything of even the smallest significance, because I hit a nuke off my brother, and he can’t do anything about it.
This was the first time a “brother-off-brother” home run was hit in an MLB game since 1975, and just the fourth time since 1900.
Also, credit where credit’s due, this wasn’t the first time the two Zimmers squared off against one another at the Major League level. In fact, the two of them had faced off twice prior. In their first two meetings, Kyle actually held the advantage, as he hadn’t allowed his brother a hitand actually sent Bradley down on strikes once. I’m sure Kyle has reminded his brother of that in their text exchanges this morning though.
What would bother me if I was Kyle though, is that even if you look up “Kyle Zimmer strikes out his brother” on YouTube, all the top results are either of someone else striking out their brother, or Bradley Zimmer’s home run. That’s just salt on the wound.
Hopefully Kyle gets a shot at redemption with his brother as the Indians and Royals start a three-game set at Kauffman Stadium tonight. If I’m Kyle, I’m throwing everything and the kitchen sink I have at Bradley. I’m talking first-pitch sliders, filthy breakers into his backfoot, I might even consider throwing something I’ve never thrown before just to confuse my brother. The Royals have nothing to play for right now, so why not have a little fun in such a wholesome moment, right?
As for Bradley, he’s got to make sure he never lets his brother live that homer down. He has to make sure Kyle never forgets what he did. He needs to hang a framed picture of that swing above his mantle and create a custom doormat with the date it happened, because I guarantee if the tables were turned, Kyle would be doing the exact same thing.