Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson was ejected after one at-bat on Saturday afternoon, and his 0-fer stalled Beat the Streak leader, @Manincharge623, a.k.a. Mick Ciallela, in his quest for the $5.6 million grand prize.Now Ciallela will have to go back to the beginning on the road to 57 consecutive
Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson was ejected after one at-bat on Saturday afternoon, and his 0-fer stalled Beat the Streak leader, @Manincharge623, a.k.a. Mick Ciallela, in his quest for the $5.6 million grand prize.
Now Ciallela will have to go back to the beginning on the road to 57 consecutive correct selections -- one more than Joe DiMaggio's famed hitting streak in 1941 -- and the grand prize that no participant in the previous 15 seasons of BTS has reached.
• Play Beat the Streak, win $5.6 million
Having a BTS player topple the marvelous mark of 56 would be particularly fitting this season -- the 75th anniversary of DiMaggio's streak, which began on May 15, 1941, and is being honored with daily recaps on MLB.com and @TheStreak on Twitter.
If nobody wins the grand prize in 2016, the player with the longest streak still gets a $10,000 consolation prize. Two million other prizes also were given out last year for streaks as small as five.
Ciallela has the longest streak this season at 39, which he reached on Friday night by using the "Double Down" strategy, whereby a BTS participant selects two players on the same day. If both get a hit, the streak advances by two. If either goes hitless, the streak ends.
The 38-year-old resident of New London, Conn., didn't utilize that feature on Saturday, instead choosing Donaldson as his lone pick.
Donaldson had just one chance to get a hit on Saturday, and he grounded out to shortstop in the first inning. On his way back to the bench, Donaldson engaged in a short discussion with home-plate umpire Toby Basner and was thrown out of the game.
Winning BTS is easier than ever now, thanks to features such as the "Mulligan," which is a one-time streak savior that can be used specifically on runs that are 10-15 picks long, and the aforementioned "Double Down." Players can also take as many days off as they want during a streak if the matchups aren't attractive, as long as they reach 57 by season's end.
Of course, as Saturday showed, building a lengthy streak still takes some luck.
Time will tell if anyone can topple Ciallela's 39 for the longest streak this season -- and then become the first participant in BTS history to top Joe D.
Thomas Harrigan is a fantasy editor for MLB.com.