Miami Marlins shortstop Jose Reyes committed the 500,000th error in baseball history Saturday night, capping 136 years of blunders, screw-ups and varying fielding faux pas with the most simple of E-6s: a bobble.
In the top of the seventh inning, Cincinnati Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs hit a two-hop groundball to Reyes, who fielded it cleanly before juggling the ball trying to hurry a throw. There were no celebrations, no confetti showers and no Champagne spraying to mark the occasion.
Reyes' prize: His name trended on Twitter nationally – and ignominiously.
In the meantime, the handful of people who cared about such milestones scrambled to make sure Reyes was indeed the culprit. Sean Forman, the proprietor of Baseball-Reference.com – which has tracked the march to half-a-million dutifully – had written a program to inform him when an error showed up on a scoreboard page. At 9:19 p.m. ET, two errors pinged: one from the Marlins and another from the San Francisco Giants, committed by shortstop Joaquin Arias. According to the program, Arias was the owner of No. 500,000.
Turns out computers make errors, too.
Data from MLB's PITCHf/x system showed the pitch on Arias' error was thrown at 9:17:33, while Reyes' came at 9:18:17. Marlins starter Mark Buehrle, who works faster than anyone in the game, was 44 seconds too slow.
Reyes' error was the 2,677th in the major leagues this year and his 16th of the season. It took more than five months, but Reyes finally has done something notable after signing with the Marlins for $106 million this offseason.
The march to 500,000 started strong Saturday, with 13 errors in afternoon games. Arizona outfielder Adam Eaton looked to have No. 499,996 until a scoring change reversed it. The honor went to Kansas City second baseman Johnny Giavotella. Then came 499,997 (Cincinnati pitcher Tony Cingrani) and 499,998 (Philadelphia third baseman Kevin Frandsen) before the mad scramble for the historic gaffe.
In the minutes after Reyes' gem came a deluge of errors, from Daniel Descalso's throw to another by Giavotella, a blown pick-off from Jarrod Parker to a standard-issue Chris Johnson flub. None, however, was 500,001. That came 47 seconds after Reyes', in the same game.
Now, with the way scoring changes can work – players complaining to the league and asking for overrules on errors – there is a chance that one of the errors leading up to 500,000 gets changed to a hit. And should that happen, No. 500,000 would belong to Marlins first baseman Carlos Lee.
Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan sent a pop-up down the first-base line. Lee chased it and squeezed it in his glove for what appeared to be an out. Then, as he tried to transfer it to his throwing hand, Lee dropped the ball. First-base umpire Alfonso Marquez seemed not to care that Lee had actually caught it. He ruled it a drop and the Marlins' official scorer called E-3.
In a staggering coincidence, Marquez's blown call was the millionth error in umpiring history. That number could not be verified by Yahoo! Sports.
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