I remember in the good old days before instant replay (actually, I greatly prefer the good new days of replay), when a player made a ridiculous defensive play in the infield, it seems like the umpire at first base was just a touch more likely to call the runner out, even if it was very close. It was kind of a, “Hey, I saw what you did – that was crazy, and here’s an out. You deserve it.”

I had that feeling last night as I watched Javy Baez make an utterly absurd play and throw at third base last night, on which the runner was clearly safe, but was first called out. Baez deserved it, because I think it was the most incredible play you’ll see this year:



To initially get to that ball, to be able to track it into the air, to be able to concentrate enough and hold your body in position to grab it barehanded, and to be able to turn from your hindquarters and get enough on the throw to even get it to first base at all? And it was a strong, accurate throw!

The Marlins announcer there gets it right: that’s the best play I’ve seen all year, even if the runner was safe.

That last part is a bit of a bummer, because if Baez does get the out there, that might be the kind of play you see for years. As it stands, I don’t know what the legacy of this play will be, but, for me, it’s the signature play of the season so far.

And that’s saying a lot when you consider that Baez, himself, has already pulled off an unbelievable magical slide not once but twice!

This young man is simply magic in baseball form. He’ll get a little wild from time to time for that reason, but you also never know what you’re going to see him pull off on any given night.




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