Everyone loves watching a homer video (or three big-time youngsters hitting three consecutive homers), but, aside from a walk-off or an absurdly long bomb, I think a sparkling defensive play is even more aesthetically enjoyable.
For example, Albert Almora’s incredible over-the-shoulder catch yesterday as he barreled toward the wall in center field:
Not only is it very difficult to catch a ball that has been hit that far and that high while running and looking over your shoulder, did you also notice that Almora was able to quickly check where the wall was while he was tracking the ball? And then make the catch and quickly slide so that he avoided a wall collision? There’s so much presence of mind there, combined with pure talent. No, he didn’t lay out to make the catch – he didn’t have to – but that was a super impressive catch.
In the same game, the Dodgers’ center fielder – Yasiel Puig, you may have heard of him – also made a really impressive catch:
Having watched these plays a few times (including initially, in person, when I thought Almora’s was the tougher play), I think I do give the edge to Puig. The play was a little more in front of him, but it was still a touch over the shoulder. Further, he had to reach and leave his feet to make the play, and would not have been able to make it without crashing into the wall.
Pretty fun to see two awesome plays in center field like that in the same game. So, what do you think? Puig’s catch gets the nod, yes? But Almora’s play was also very impressive and smooth?
And, was each play more enjoyable to watch, in isolation, than a long homer?