When the San Francisco Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-2 on Friday night, it ended the D-Backs' nine game winning streak as well. Going into the game, there was naturally the desire to win, as this would push the Giants closer to elimination. However, there was a conflicting interest -- that of general manager Kevin Towers and team president/CEO Derrick Hall.
When the win streak reached six games, Hall and Towers agreed to shave their heads if the win streak reached ten.
Apparently, the team just was less enthused at the sight of their bosses sporting the Matt Williams look.
An unnamed source with no connection to the team came forward and explained simply, "They really didn't want to see Derrick Hall's bald head, and they played like it."
"They weren't going to go out and simply throw the game," the source said after the game. "But the players and coaches had a message going around that was to the effect of, 'we want to win, but if we fall behind and it is in the later innings, we won't kill ourselves to come back.'"
That strategy could be seen. The team did get out to a first inning lead, but Joe Saunders started walking guys and then the struggling Carlos Beltran started not struggling.
With the game in reach, Kirk Gibson went with Sam Demel in the seventh inning instead of his regular arms. Demel was just called up from the minors with September callups. In a normal game, Brian Shaw, Micah Owings or even Zach Duke might have gotten the call, or Brad Ziegler would have gone another inning, but instead it was the guy who struggled with his command earlier this season.
Demel gave up two more runs and the game was over. The bosses' heads were saved.
Sure, you can argue that Gibby was just trying to get Demel into the fire since he had been pitching better or that he wanted to save his good arms for when his team was in the lead. "That is what makes the the plan so subtle," explained the source.
Regardless, now we will never know. No clippers or razor blades will be needed. But now the team can play loose again because the threat of more bald heads is now off the table.