Remember that one time you jumped out to the rope swing at summer camp and missed everything?
That’s a bit like this batter’s bunt attempt—except where you fell in water, he fell in the dirt in front of thousands.
According to Dayn Perry of Eye on Baseball (h/t Stephen Douglas of the Big Lead), the perpetrator of this disastrous bunt attempt is Kensuke Uchimura. Uchimura is an infielder for the Yokohama BayStars of Japan’s Central League, and the 27-year-old is now culpable for what might be one of the most atrocious sacrifice bunt chases in history.
GIF via Reddit, /u/C-Jack
The squeeze play is on, and the pitcher is looking to pitch out and potentially get an out on the runner on third. Uchimura tries to stretch the bat to protect his teammate from possibly running into a pickle, but falls woefully short.
Somewhere there’s a montage to be made of how Uchimura came to this point.
I picture his beginnings: Uchimura showing up early to practice and staying long after the rest of the team has left, throwing his body horizontally across home plate in the deepening gloom of the Yokohama twilight.
He stretches to full extension and pings the ball off the tip of the bat before crashing down into the dirt. That was five in a row, his best yet. The pitching machine whirs its quiet approval. He’s getting better.
There isn’t time to congratulate himself now, however.
Night is falling, and, if he’s lucky, he’ll have time to stop by his girlfriend’s house for a quick dinner before his journey continues. She works long hours at the hospital but always makes him food and listens thoughtfully as he talks about his dream to become the best jump-bunter in the world.
He stops by for a quick plate, but then it’s off to night class, where he furiously scribbles notes on aerodynamics and Bunt-Flight Theory.
Cut to the big game. He sits with his lucky bunt bat, nervously spitting sunflower seeds as the time for him to take the field nears. He’s been waiting for this his whole life. What did he go to college for—spending countless hours diving and dusting himself—if not for this exact moment?
He gets up to the plate, feels the catcher clamber to his right. The ball is coming, and he leaps with all his strength. Whiff.
Next time, Uchimura. There’s always next time.
I believe you can fly, Uchimura.