Friday, July 24, 2009

How to get yourself a free dinner in Chicago

Today you will be introduced to DeWayne Wise, Mark Buerhle's new best friend. Now, I've seen my fair share of defensive plays in my day, but this one has to be near the top. Just a few that I can think of (disclaimer: of course theres been some even more amazing catches in baseball history, but this is what my brain, and free internet video, have limited me to on this rainy Friday)...
- The Gary Matthews catch - I remember seeing this for the first time and thinking it was one of those Powerade commercials when they sumperimpose impossible shots or throws.
- David Wright bare-handed catch - maybe not up there with Kevin Mitchell, but still one of the tougher plays for a third baseman.
- Coco's diving catch behind him - consequently off the bat of David Wright, and I'm not sure how he got a glove on this thing. (someone help me out with the video here, I want to relive that one)
- Coco's catch to end the 2007 ALCS - meh, lets give Coco more love. horrible video, but you get the idea. The catch itself won't be as memorable because they were clobbering the Indians in that game 11-2, and won the World Series a week or so later, but still good stuff.
- The Endy Chavez catch - I remember getting goosebumps when he made that catch. Game 7 of the NLCS, 1-1 score, 6th inning, steals a home run away and then doubles the guy off first.
Pokey Reese also made a phenomenal jumping catch at 2nd in 2004 against the Dodgers that I will always remember (a Sunday night ESPN game, Jon Miller made the call). Strangely enough, it was off the bat of Dave Roberts and Pokey got a good 30-40 inches off the ground to rob him of a single or likely a double. Of course, I can't find a video of it anywhere.
Also, Ozzie Smith made a great diving bare-handed play with the Padres (playoff game?) that I also can't seem to find video of. One of many made by Ozzie, but I remember this one particularly because the infield dirt looked like a construction site, making the play that much more difficult.
But saving a perfect game like Wise did yesterday was remarkable; robbing the home run and having the presence of mind to keep the ball from falling out of his glove. And Buerhle deserves most of the credit for pitching the actual perfect game, one in which an average at bat against him lasted just 56 seconds (he struck out Longoria once on 4 pitches in 33 seconds). Stuff like that puts me in a giddy mood, makes you love baseball in that James Earl Jones kind of way. /cheesiness
Meanwhile, the Red Sox were off yesterday but I'm sure they found a way to lose at something.

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