We feel compelled to preface everything you’re about to read with this: This is a weird baseball moment. It’s ridiculous and odd and glorious all at once. Its beauty lies in its weirdness. So in a way we should be thanking Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Josh Bell for breaking one of baseball’s golden rules and giving us this wonderful moment.
That being said, none of this would have happened if Bell would have just done like so many Little League coaches have said over the year and … kept his eye on the ball.
ok. so. Blanco's bat goes into the stands. pick off throw to first heads down the line like a screaming double. Knapp scores from first. pic.twitter.com/H3v85LH37k
— chris jones¯_(ツ)_/¯ (@LONG_DRIVE) July 6, 2017
Here’s the scene: The Phillies were playing the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night and Andres Blanco was at the plate in the third inning. Blanco swung and let his bat go flying into the stands. Bell, the Pirates first baseman, did what many people would do in that situation — he watched the flying bat.
But he didn’t watch the ball.
So when Pirates catcher Elias Diaz tried to throw to first to pick off the Phillies’ base runner, Bell wasn’t anywhere near ready to catch it. He was looking into the stands. Should have been watching the ball. Always watch the ball.
Andrew Knapp, the runner on first for the Phillies, did exactly what Little League coaches tell you when a ball is thrown toward the stands. He ran and ran and ran — and kept going until he scored.
The error, ultimately, was charged to Diaz on this one, rather than Bell. But he’s the one that baseball coaches will tsk-tsk. Give Bell a little bit of credit, though. He hit a two-run homer in the next inning to give the Pirates the lead.
Guess he kept his eye on the ball that time.
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