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?)
"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.
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