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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Home run robbers get praise _ and swag for spectacular plays

It was late in the 2015 season when Baltimore’s Manny Machado smoked a pitch from Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer into center field at Camden Yards.

Kevin Kiermaier sprinted to the wall, turned and leaped high above it before reaching back and snatching the ball . He banged off the wall and landed on his feet with the ball firmly planted in his glove for the out.

The play sent a dejected Machado back to the dugout and left a stunned Archer simply mouthing, “Wow.”

Archer, now with Pittsburgh, was so grateful for Kiermaier’s extraordinary effort that he searched for a fitting way to thank his center fielder for keeping that run off the board.

A consideration of a rather dramatic aspect of fielding.

 

QLE Posted: August 20, 2019 at 04:37 AM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: fielding, home runs

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   1. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: August 20, 2019 at 03:36 PM (#5872953)
Grumble...grumble...Yadier Molina made Endy Chavez an asterisk...grumble...grumble...
   2. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: August 20, 2019 at 03:48 PM (#5872955)
Grump alert grump alert!

I find home run robbing catches often a lot less dramatic than others. Some of them are genuinely dramatic and impressive but a lot of them seem to be the player reaching the wall then just timing his leap. Impressive to be sure but a catch that in my opinion a major league outfielder should make.

I know I know, feel free to mock. I’m a grump. Now let me tell you how everything was better when I was a kid.
   3. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 20, 2019 at 03:49 PM (#5872956)
Good article on one of the most exciting plays in the game.
   4. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 20, 2019 at 03:53 PM (#5872959)
I find home run robbing catches often a lot less dramatic than others. Some of them are genuinely dramatic and impressive but a lot of them seem to be the player reaching the wall then just timing his leap. Impressive to be sure but a catch that in my opinion a major league outfielder should make.
You shall hereafter be referred to as JDP.
   5. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 20, 2019 at 04:06 PM (#5872964)
Grump alert grump alert!

I find home run robbing catches often a lot less dramatic than others. Some of them are genuinely dramatic and impressive but a lot of them seem to be the player reaching the wall then just timing his leap. Impressive to be sure but a catch that in my opinion a major league outfielder should make.

I know I know, feel free to mock. I’m a grump. Now let me tell you how everything was better when I was a kid.


If an outfielder positions himself at the wall in time to be able to time his leap, I agree he should catch it.

The real World Class Robberies IMO are where an outfielder has to run full speed ahead to get to the wall, and then has to crash into the wall with the sun in his eyes. Bonus points if it's at a critical point in a crucial game.

I'm talking about Joe Rudi, game 2, 9th inning, 1972 World Series, runner on 1st, no outs, A's clinging to a 2-0 lead. Take away the sun factor, and it's just an ordinary highlight play, but with the sun and the context, it's one of the greatest plays ever.

And for pure fielding skill, I still think running full speed to make a diving one handed catch on a ball in front of you is at least as hard as leaping over a wall to take back a home run.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: August 20, 2019 at 05:38 PM (#5872986)
Or this one by DeWayne Wise to save Buehrle's perfect game. (Ad precedes the video)
   7. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: August 20, 2019 at 11:40 PM (#5873094)
My all-time favorite home run robbery. It had two great things about it. First, Dave Roberts had to run up Tal’s Hill to reach it, but secondly, it preserved Eric Gagne’s save streak.
   8. SoSH U at work Posted: August 21, 2019 at 12:57 AM (#5873101)
I've never seen a wall catch like Matthews Jr.'s, and I doubt I ever do again.
   9. bunyon Posted: August 21, 2019 at 07:02 AM (#5873109)
I sort of agree with JDP, with this important caveat: watching major league players do what they should be able to do is a lot of the point. I get excited about welll hit balls and good throws, too.

That is, yeah, a lot of these guys can do this kind of thing. Isn’t that amazing?
   10. Swoboda is freedom Posted: August 21, 2019 at 10:53 AM (#5873159)
The Endy Chavez catch was a great one. He was over the wall by 2 feet, the ball snow cones, a bit, and they got a double play out of it to end the inning.
   11. Swoboda is freedom Posted: August 21, 2019 at 10:54 AM (#5873160)
   12. Karl from NY Posted: August 21, 2019 at 02:23 PM (#5873214)
Never realized this before until watching it just now, Endy didn't catch the ball in the snow-cone position. It hit low on the pocket of the glove then bounced up a bit.
   13. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: August 21, 2019 at 02:55 PM (#5873229)
That catch by Endy is one of the few times in my life I’ve yelled out watching a game I had no rooting interest in,

I was at this game.
   14. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: August 21, 2019 at 02:56 PM (#5873230)
I sort of agree with JDP, with this important caveat: watching major league players do what they should be able to do is a lot of the point. I get excited about welll hit balls and good throws, too.

That is, yeah, a lot of these guys can do this kind of thing. Isn’t that amazing?


Yeah I’ll agree with this. These guys are ####### good at this stuff.
   15. Gary Truth Serum Posted: August 21, 2019 at 03:32 PM (#5873241)
Back in the 1980s when Marv Albert would make regular appearances showing sports highlights on David Letterman, he showed a clip of a Japanese outfielder climbing a wall, planting his foot at the top and then reaching about five feet up to rob a home run. I have never seen that attempted in this country.
   16. Moeball Posted: August 21, 2019 at 08:33 PM (#5873301)
I wish I could remember the specific game when this happened, but I seem to remember a game back in the 80s - when fantasy leagues were first becoming popular - and a friend of mine was looking at box scores in USA Today (remember those days?) and grumbling how Dewey Evans was killing him in his fantasy league because he had gone 0 for 3 the day before. I pointed out that, first of all, Evans had drawn a walk that was part of the game winning rally. No, he didn't score a run nor did he have the game winning RBI (remember when people actually tracked those and cared about them?), but his walk moved a teammate into scoring position (maybe it was Boggs?) and that player eventually came around to score the winning run. Plays like this actually help teams win games in the real world, even if they don't get you any points in your fantasy league that doesn't recognize walks as a contribution to the team's offense. But secondly, Evans also made a great leaping catch at the wall to take away a HR with a runner on base, thus single handedly taking not one but two runs off the scoreboard for the other team in a game the Sox won by one run. These kinds of defensive plays really matter even though they don't get you any points in your fantasy league (at least they didn't back then; no idea how scoring in fantasy leagues works today).
   17. ReggieThomasLives Posted: August 21, 2019 at 09:12 PM (#5873307)
Dan Le Batard's crew came up with the fantastic idea that if you turn a double play with two outs, or triple play with one out, the out should carry over to the next inning. Great reward for great defense.

Now I'd like to propose the nearly as fantastic idea that a home run robbing catch over the fence is two outs. Give the defense something back from all those home runs!
   18. Sweatpants Posted: August 21, 2019 at 09:46 PM (#5873312)
Back in the 1980s when Marv Albert would make regular appearances showing sports highlights on David Letterman, he showed a clip of a Japanese outfielder climbing a wall, planting his foot at the top and then reaching about five feet up to rob a home run. I have never seen that attempted in this country.
It's not the same because he's not atop the wall, but this catch is somewhat similar.

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