A catcher and his body are like the outlaw and his horse: He’s got to ride that nag til he drops.
— Johnny Bench
Because it means Braves games aren’t on TBS every ten seconds, and since I don’t live in Atlanta, I don’t get to see many games on TV anymore, which means I missed this on Thursday night:
That is, as you may have realized, my baseball boyfriend Brian McCann, legging out his first major league triple. I must have watched it 15 times already, and I still laugh every time. That’s some funny stuff. The article that led me to search for footage of it began this way:
Chipper Jones had another birthday to remember, right down to teammate Brian McCann’s belly flop of a slide.
So it turns out that Chipper, in his major league career, is batting .500 on his birthday, which I think is kind of cool. As you can see in the video, Chipper got a kick out of Brian’s baserunning:
Jones nearly buckled over in the dugout, laughing at McCann’s inelegant work on the basepaths.
“That was just pure poetry in motion,” Jones said, still chuckling about it in the clubhouse. “That’s pretty much how Pete Rose used to draw it up.”
Later, the article cracked me up:
McCann’s triple was his first since he had two for Double-A Mississippi in 2005.
“There’s no cameras?” he said after arriving at his locker. “I may never get another triple in my life, so I’m excited.”
Is your base-running underrated?
“No,” McCann replied. “I’m as slow as it looks.”
Yeah, that about sums it up. Catchers are generally the slowest runners on a baseball team, and Brian is, I would wager, one of the slower catchers in the league. I didn’t realize that he’d never hit a triple in the majors before, though.
My favorite part of the video, besides the actual slide and Chipper cracking up, is that you can see the third base coach take a knee to tell Brian to slide, but you also see that the second baseman cuts off the throw from right field and never even makes an attempt to throw to third, and the third baseman isn’t anywhere near the bag looking for a throw. The play was never going to be close, so the slide was entirely unnecessary. That’s kind of a mean trick to play on a guy!