Sometimes in baseball, a great play isn't necessary if you can simply fool an umpire into thinking you made one instead.
That is exactly what Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cesar Jimenez was able pull off at umpire C.B. Bucknor's expense against the Miami Marlins on Wednesday.
With the score tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Christian Yelich came to the plate with two outs and runners at first and third. Yelich hit a slow roller down the first-base line and appeared to beat out a throw from first baseman Kevin Frandsen to Jimenez covering the bag.
However, Jimenez tried applied the bare-hand to tag Yelich, despite the fact that the ball was in his glove hand. Bucknor could not tell the difference, and he called the out to end the inning.
Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News discussed how impressive the play was:
Cesar Jimenez, by the way, is a magician. Tagged him with the hand without the ball!— Ryan Lawrence (@ryanlawrence21) September 26, 2013
Christopher Kamka of CSN Chicago also did not have a problem with how things turned out:
Good for Cesar Jimenez for pulling that off.— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) September 26, 2013
Bucknor has been a major league umpire for almost 20 years, so he is bound to make a few bad calls. But this one definitely ranks among his lowlights.
Fortunately for the Marlins, they were able to get the go-ahead run an inning later to secure the victory. Otherwise, there might have been more of an uproar.
Then again, a game at the end of September between two of the worst teams in baseball probably would not cause much of a stir regardless.
Still, this ends up being a lesson to anyone who plays the game—when you cannot make the play, just fake it.
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