clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The true star of NLCS Game 4 was Rich Hill taking his anger out on dugout candy

What did that candy ever do you to you, Rich?

Rich Hill (AKA Dick Mountain) is a very intense baseball player. If you’ve seen literally five seconds of any of his starts over the past few seasons you know this. He reacts, he grunts, he lives and dies with every pitch before focusing on the next one. He takes it very personally when he messes up or doesn’t come through for the team.

None of this is new, and every game Hill pitches we can delight anew in his intensity on the mound. He knows it too! After Game 3 on Monday night in Los Angeles, Hill said

It’s something that I think when you talk about somebody’s passion, when they’re passionate about what they do, they get very intense and excited about what they’re talking about, what their passion is. And I think that’s something when I go out there and I think that performing or doing this art form or whatever you want to call it, playing this sport, is something that I am very passionate about.

...That’s the biggest thing is just having that intensity when you go out there. People want to see the players go out there and give everything they’ve got. They want to see that intensity. They pay a lot of hard-earned money to come out and watch us play. So I think it’s something that when we give everything we’ve got every time we get out there, it’s appreciated.

All reasonable sentiments, especially for a professional athlete who has to balance being focused on the mound and his natural propensity for being extremely amped all the time. We like both sides of Rich Hill, but sometimes that intensity can truly explode and then we get a moment like Hill leaving Game 4 after allowing a tying run to score and going HAM on some dugout candy that was just minding it’s own business.

You might be saying “but Whitney, the game went 13 innings. How is this moment the true star of the game when there was so much free baseball?” And to that I say this game, despite being super long and featuring Manny Machado once again adding to his baseball villain pedigree, was extremely boring and not fun baseball. It was bad baseball. Rich Hill hurling candy everywhere was good baseball.

If you missed it, here’s a recap of the attack on innocent Hi-Chews.

This is a top tier dugout blowup. There’s an art to this and Hill has really mastered it here.

  • He managed to get his anger out without actually breaking anything.
  • It’s better in slow motion.
  • He yells at the candy after he throws it everywhere, which is a nice touch.

Here are all the best parts of his candy meltdown after leaving the game.

His range of motion on the cooler slam

Hill threw 71 pitches in five innings on Tuesday, so we can’t exactly expect his arm to be fresh after that. But the slamming of the cooler to expel candy everywhere was emphatic and at one point he was bringing it up to head height. That’s some real adrenaline boost candy slamming.

In other news, candy slamming sounds like something the local paper wants to warn you about your kids doing on Halloween without you knowing.

That the Dodgers keep their Hi-Chews in a small cooler

This is an underrated aspect of this whole thing and I hear that this is the usual dugout setup, but why were the Hi-Chews in a cooler in the first place? Do the Dodgers players eat their Hi-Chews slightly chilled? Do they not have any other containers in the clubhouse to put candy in for the dugout bench? Can they not have a random bag of candy just sitting around because then it would be an endorsement of a non-sponsor? It’s probably that last one but the cooler is an absurdist touch to this whole thing that can’t be overlooked.

Rich Hill yelling at the candy

After he was done tossing the candy everywhere and hurling around a cooler, Hill then gave a shout towards the damage he’d done. This is obviously just him getting the last of his frustrations out before he de-Hulks but it mostly looks like he’s especially mad at a few specific pieces the candy. They have affronted him personally, in some way. A cavity in the past perhaps, or getting stuck in his teach during media availability once.

...and Nathan Lucero standing there like nothing’s happening

Lucero is a pro’s pro here. A Dodgers assistant trainer, he wants absolutely none of what’s happening to his right. He is correct. Focus on the game, Nathan. Just hang out and pretend Rich Hill isn’t destroying the team’s delicious dugout snacks in a burst of fury. There’s baseball happening! You don’t even know a Rick Hill. The candy police will ask you who committed this crime and you’ll say you saw none of it. Smart man.

For the next few highlights, we’ll need help from a gif. It really drives home the beauty here.

The amount of candy in the cooler

Once Hill gets going that candy goes flying. And then it keeps going! How much candy do you need for one baseball team for one game!? There’s so much in there. This has to be against baseball diets on some level. This is a whole Halloween night’s worth of delicious sweets for a postseason roster worth of guys. Maybe Dave Roberts has an uncontrollable sweet tooth when he’s stressed.

Rich Hill kicking the cooler

The kick is the star of the show here really. Just about a third of the way through the full video, Hill boots the cooler that he had thrown on the ground as his last act of frustration. And it’s impressive, given the circumstances. First of all, it reaches a pretty decent height for being a solid, dense cooler — even if small. Secondly, the angle at which Hill kicks it makes the aerial results even more impressive.

He’s standing pretty close to the dugout bench still, and kicks it without a full windup or follow through. An NFL team should see about signing Rich Hill as a kicker after he retires from baseball, it might be a worthwhile stunt.

How much ground the candy covered

This is a nice note to end on. Just the sheer amount of candy all over the floor of the dugout after Hill was done. It’s under the bench, it’s behind him, the camera can’t even capture it all. This is a nicely composed shot though, Hill should get it framed and hang it in his home gym as motivation. The Dodger blue really jumps off the screen when seen against the bright pink, yellow, and green of dispersed Hi-Chews. The white and brown of the pants and bench provide neutral offsets that make you appreciate the candy’s fate all the more.

But mostly it’s just a lot of candy all over the place. Hill was nothing if not thorough.