Follow the Bouncing Ball….Sunday’s Photo Collage
It was just one of those odd days around Major League Baseball. And the muddled complexion of the white sphere made by Rawlings played a major role in the outcomes, and suspense surrounding so many games today. The top photo shows Red Sox CF Jacoby Ellsbury barreling in for a ball hit up the middle in PNC Park against the Pirates, but the ball had a mind of its own.
As is my new Sunday routine, let’s take a gander at some of the photos and mishaps pertaining to that always elusive white sphere. Let’s start with the “hide-and-go-deep” ball hit by Tampa Bay Rays slugger Evan Longoria that was deemed a double. Longo finally got to complete his round tripper trot after the Umpires conferred in the dugout tunnel and further reviewed and reversed their initial decision.
Then you got the ball that tried to initiate gravity top an extreme and would not stay up long enough for Cincinnati Red starter Homer Bailey to catch it as it tumbled to the grass infield thus awarding an infield single to Orioles OF Adam Jones in the 4th inning. The Orioles ended up pushing across 4 runs in that inning with this dying quail hit by Jone leading off the highly productive inning.
We all remember the first time a Little League Coach put a ball in the air towards us and we either closed our eyes or flopped after the ball like we had been shot the moment it hit our gloves. Sometimes those same moments happen at the M L B level, but tens of thousands of fans in attendance, or at home get to witness the malfunction of ball into glove technique taught to each of us so long ago.
Take Washington Nationals CF Roger Bernadina’s attempt at trying to snag a hard hit double by Chicago White Sox CF Carlos Quentin that tried to make an exit stage right in mid-flight. Over playing a ball hit hard, in the bright mid-day Sun is not abnormal at all, but not getting at least a tip of your leather on it….That makes the Nats possibly more eager to entertain a trade with the Rays for CF B J Upton.
But if you can’t get to a well hit fly ball, or maybe make the error of taking a wrong route to the ball is bad enough, what harm is providing a few moments of over-animated movements for the nightly goof/highlight reels. I mean we all saw the red-tipped wings sprout from the baseball’s hide and propel that ball away from Morgan’s glove.
That is the only summation I can come up with involving the huge error in judgment made by Milwaukee Brewers CF Nyer Morgan on a blast off the bat of Minnesota Twins infielder Danny Valencia. As you might imagine, Valencia ended up with a triple to lead off the second inning. That fielding f aux pa by Morgan set up the struggling Twins with a 1-0 lead that escalated to the Twins stamping their 18th road win of the season (18-28), 4 victories better than their home mark (14-16).
Still, balls fall to the ground every day/night around the M L B, it is a given, but some of these Sunday just somehow seemed to have minds of their own. On Sunday some balls needed the human eyes to discover their illusions were not founded and reversals in calls were made. Others seemed to spark offensive powers and promote runs, scoring chances and eventual victories. Then others just seemed to come in pairs.
Remember the top photo of Ellsbury having a devil of a time trying to corral a sharply hit ball against the Pirates. Well, Ellsbury got a doubler dose of white ball fever as another one handcuffed him totally in the bottom of the fifth inning when Pirates SS Ronnie Cedeno hit his own dying quail sacrifice fly to Ellsbury to tie the game up at 1-all.
I remember as a kid one of my Coaches telling me that even as the ball is round, it has a mind and flight pattern all its own. It doesn’t go oblong in flight after being crushed, or sprout wings and fly over you head, but tell that to these M L B players today. Until next Sunday, I am out of here like Long’s 2-run shot against the Houston Astros…without further review.