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Million Dollar Contracts. Ten Cent Heads.

One of the things about sports is that you can watch a sport that you love and still see something that you have never seen before.

Such is the case with a game between the Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates from Thursday, a game the Cubs won 5-3.

The play in question starts innocently enough. With 2 outs and Cubs catcher Willson Contreras on second base, Cubs shortstop Javier Baez hits a routine ground ball to Pittsburgh third baseman Erik Gonzalez. Gonzalez’s throw to first baseman Will Craig was up the line a little bit buit Craig caught the ball.

It is at this point where Craig loses his mind. Instead of just stepping on first base for the final out, Craig decides to chase Baez back to home plate in order to tag him for the third out.

While Baez and Craig are dancing backwards to the plate, Contreras on second is chugging around third base and heads for home. Craig throws the ball to Pirates catcher Michael Perez as Contreras slides safely across the plate.

Still, all the Pirates have to do is either tag Baez or just throw the ball to first base and step on the bag. The run would not score if they did that.

But the Pirates had no one going to first base. So when Baez broke for first base, there was no one there to cover the bag. The throw is horrible and heads to the outfield. Baez rounds first and heads to second base where another horrible throw results in him being safe.

Baez later scored on a single.

It was a Little League play by Major League players.

After the game, the Pirates admitted that no one – no one on the field or in the dug out – was yelling to just step on first or tag Baez even as Conteras tried to score. As long as Baez is put out before reaching first base, the run doesn’t count.

In the end, the 2 runs (the original Contreras run and Baez later scoring) are the difference in the Cubs 5-3 win.

As Harry Caray would say….”Holy Cow!”



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