If winning just three games, finishing second to last and preparing to part ways with a host of star players wasn’t bad enough, now North Melbourne is copping international burns.
The Kangaroos were unexpectedly described as “abysmal” during a broadcast of a Major League Baseball playoff game between the Oakland Athletics and the Houston Astros.
So how did we get here?
Well, one of Oakland’s star pitchers is an Australian by the name of Liam Hendriks.
Hendriks has been on fire for the A’s and so the commentators revealed a few fun facts about the 31-year-old from Perth while he was pitching.
The first titbit was pretty revealing – Hendriks celebrated Oakland’s win over the Chicago White Sox in the preceding playoff series by getting nude.
But fun fact number two was where the Roos came in. “His favourite Aussie Rules football team is the North Melbourne Kangaroos,” the commentator said. “He says they’re abysmal at the moment.”
But less about Rhyce Shaw’s basket case and more about Hendriks, who has delighted American audiences with his laid-back Aussie nature and dominated with ball in hand.
Oakland’s season was on the precipice when he strode to the mound in the seventh inning of game three with his team already down 2-0 to the Astros in the five-game series.
But three scoreless innings later they’d escaped with a 9-7 win to force game four and Hendriks was hailed a hero.
“That was incredible,” teammate Chad Pinder said. “ … You see that look in his eye and you don’t want to say anything to pull him out of that. Just let Liam do his thing.”
What made the performance remarkable is as a reliever, Hendriks rarely if ever pitches more than two innings.
But the Aussie is built different.
“People say, ‘You’re Australian, so you’re a little crazy’,” Hendriks said. “I take offence. I’m a lot crazy.”
Hendriks’ father, Geoff, played more than 150 games in the WAFL for West Perth, making Liam available to the West Coast Eagles as a father-son selection.
But he picked baseball and the Athletics are happy he did – even if North Melbourne is not.