Big League Stew

Was Josh Thole tricked into a baserunning blunder by Jimmy Rollins? (VIDEO)

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

Has Jimmy Rollins mastered the Jedi mind trick?

It certainly looked that way on Friday after the Philadelphia Phillies shortstop simply held up his hand — a gesture that's often used to signify a dead play —  to possibly force New York Mets catcher Josh Thole into making a pretty amusing baserunning error.

Watch what happens in the second inning as Thole moves into second base after R.A. Dickey successfully lands a sacrifice bunt in fair territory.


And here we thought Boston's Kelly Shoppach had dibs on Friday's most embarrassing play around second base. At least he got his first stolen base for all the laughs he caused.

So was the miscue really a result of Rollins' deception? We can't be sure if the gesture was intentional as it appears Rollins didn't speak with reporters after the game. But Thole did acknowledge that Rollins' hand wave did play a part in his brain cramp. (Also, we're wondering what Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee was thinking, too. Why did he throw to second when Thole was headed back to first?)

[ Video: Red Sox catcher gets first stolen base despite embarrassing slide ]

From the Star-Ledger:

"I don't know," Thole said. "I was coming in to second. And Jimmy put his hands up, like 'Come in easy. You can come in easy.' I knew the ball was fair. I even looked down. You can go watch the video. I checked in. The ball was on the floor. I just took off running back to first. I've got no other explanation."

When did he realize his gaffe?

"I realized when I was jogging back to first," Thole said. "After I looked at the umpire, and got a weird stare from him, and then I looked back and the ball was on (its) way to first. I didn't know what else to do. I just kept running."

Luckily for Thole, it was an incident that he and his teammates could joke about later. The Mets beat the Phillies 5-2 behind seven strong innings behind Dickey, who was only too eager to remind Thole that his gaffe had brought the pitcher's batting average down as his bunt was scored a double play instead of a sacrifice.

[ Jeff Passan: Royals finally have hope but face huge financial gap ]

Want more baseball fun all season long?
Follow @bigleaguestew@KevinKaduk and the BLS Facebook page!

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
NBA decides it won't prevent Kings from leaving Sacramento Position U.: Where NFL QBs are made | Video: Trojans top list
UFC on Fuel main card preview Undercard
Y! Autos: Researcher's physics paper gets him out of a ticket

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • Fun-loving wolf named as World Cup mascot

      Zabivaka the wolf followed in the footsteps of Naranjito the orange, Footix the football-playing rooster and Fuleco the armadillo by being named as the official mascot of the 2018 World Cup on Saturday. FIFA described its latest creation, unveiled … More »

      Reuters - 12 minutes ago
    • New Zealand overcome Australia for record 18th straight win

      WELLINGTON (Reuters) - World champions New Zealand were challenged for 50 minutes but still ran in six tries to beat 37-10 Australia in Auckland on Saturday to become the first top tier nation to win 18 consecutive test matches. Less than a year … More »

      Reuters - 26 minutes ago
    • Stokes takes four to hand England lead of 45

      Ben Stokes triggered a Bangladesh batting collapse by taking four wickets on a pitch unresponsive for pace bowlers to help England claim a first-innings lead of 45 runs in the opening test on Saturday. The hosts looked as if they would get their … More »

      Reuters - 45 minutes ago
    • Kerber seeks reversal of fortunes in Singapore

      Kerber seeks reversal of fortunes in Singapore

      By John O'Brien SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Angelique Kerber showed more passion in the media centre than on the court when she crashed out of last year's WTA Finals, the German angered by the format and frustrated by her inability to win the set off an … More »

      Reuters - 46 minutes ago
    • Urawa beats Niigata 2-1 to maintain lead in J-League

      TOKYO (AP) -- Shinzo Koroki scored both goals on Saturday as Urawa Reds beat Albirex Niigata 2-1 to maintain its lead in the J-League. … More »

      AP - Sports - 50 minutes ago