I wanted to title this “First Baseman and Third Baseman Slide into Each Others’ Bags, Hilarity Ensues,” but I wasn’t sure the phrasing really would have flown. In any case, I was pretty tickled to see Murphy picked off of first in the first inning of the third and final game of the series on Thursday.
My mirth came not just from the fact that it’s always enjoyable to see the Mets fail to any degree, but rather from the fact that it just had to be Daniel Murphy. On Wednesday night, the third baseman was posterized by Anthony Rizzo, who pulled off the best slide in the history of slides. Here it is again for those who missed it or who just can’t get enough of it:
Murphy was also part of an incredibly awkward baserunning error in that same game, but that’s neither here nor there. Wait, there it is. In any case, Thursday presented him with an opportunity for redemption and he certainly looked ready to do just that with a two-out single off Jake Arrieta in the first inning.
Then this happened:
Though he was initially called safe by an umpire who was apparently not watching the play at all, replay revealed that Murphy had in fact never touched first because Rizzo was blocking the bag with his right foot. I think the lesson here is that Daniel Murphy should avoid tag plays involving Anthony Rizzo and corner bases.
Of course, the Mets broadcasters — namely Keith Hernandez — felt that Murphy should try to teach a lesson of his own the next time and go cleats-first. Because, you know, being the first guy try to spike a fielder instead of diving back to the bag head-first would be a really smart move. I might have given the other team a sure out and ended the inning, not to mention drawn a suspension, but he’s gonna think twice before making a smart baseball play and blocking the bag.
Don’t you know who I am? I’m Keith Hernandez! Is there something about being associated with the Mets that leeches common sense from people? Promoting a dirty response to a clean, and very savvy, play is the height of asininity.
On the bright side, this is the second time in two games that Rizzo has made a very smart, very sound play involving a slide and a tag. In the face of that brand of smart baseball, I can see why Hernandez and those forced to watch the Mets all the time would be upset.
So the next time you’re lamenting having to watch the Cubs eek out yet another close game, just think: it could be much worse.