Umpires are in play, even as they rarely come INTO play. But in tonight’s Midwest League playoff game between the South Bend Cubs and the Cedar Rapids Kernels, the third base umpire just gave the Cubs a huge assist.
Not that he intended to, of course. He was just in the wrong/right place at the wrong/right time. And the Cubs got appropriately clever to get the out:
So that’s a rocket up the line, with the batter undoubtedly putting his head down and sprinting for second base on a likely double. The only problem? He didn’t see at first that the ball had actually hit the umpire, and third baseman Luis Verdugo very wisely and sneakily threw back to first base. He kept it kind of casual, too, so that the runner wouldn’t be alarmed. I love it.
It was as if the umpire had passed the ball to the third baseman. Assist!
Thus, the confused runner, wondering what had just happened, was called out. Hilarious and wonderful.