As soon as it happened, you knew the jokes were coming about Grandpa Rossy.
The Cubs’ affectionately-dubbed 39-year-old back-up catcher was behind the plate last night when Mike Montgomery threw a hard breaker in the dirt in the second inning, and the ball bounced up with authority. With a runner on third base, blocking the ball and securing it was of the utmost importance in that situation.
We could see clearly that the ball was stopped, resting right by the plate, but David Ross, who frantically sprung to his feet like a much younger man, could not:
In Ross’s defense there, the ball actually did get by him, but it hit the umpire, which brought it back to the plate area. Ross, knowing the ball was behind him, was ready to run to the backstop to make a play. Not being able to locate the ball back there, and then also not seeing anyone else panicking (or the runner at third moving) was probably even more unsettling.
All is well that ends well, though, as the runner at third did not score (the runner at first advanced, but that was probably going to happen even if Ross had located the ball more quickly). And we all got an enjoyable moment.
Just don’t blame it on Ross’s age. The elder statesman will be catching again today – a day game after a night game! – so clearly he’s feeling good.
(Also, don’t have flashbacks of when a ball got past Yadier Molina at Wrigley Field earlier this year, and it actually helped save the game for the Cardinals.)