The Top 10 'Strange but True' Plays of the 2013 MLB Season
The 2013 MLB season is long over, and baseball fans are dealing with a serious depression since Opening Day is still more than four months away.
However, we can still relive some of the best moments from the season that was, and that includes the weirdest, wildest, wackiest plays that future generations won't believe. Heck, fans who didn't hear about these plays won't believe you when you tell them.
Let's count down the top 10 'strange but true' plays of this past MLB season.
10. Evan Longoria Is Just Too Fast for Ben Zobrist
In April of this year, the Tampa Bay Rays found themselves down 6-2 in the bottom of the ninth inning with two men on and no outs.
Evan Longoria stepped to the plate, and he crushed a ball to deep left-center field. The ball would hit off the wall, resulting in what should have been a double.
However, because the runners were unsure of whether or not the outfielders would catch the ball, they held their ground on the bases. Because of this, Longoria would accidentally pass teammate Ben Zobrist at first base, resulting in Longoria being called out.
Longo's hit would still drive in one run, but the Rays were left with a runner on third and one out instead of runners on second and third and no outs.
The Rays would go on to lose by a score of 6-3.
9. Mark Trumbo, J.P. Arencibia Both Record 2-Run Strikeouts
Mark Trumbo and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim certainly got lucky when they scored two runs on an ugly strikeout swing by Trumbo that also allowed him to reach first base.
Trumbo swung at a horrible pitch. The pitch was so bad that it got by the catcher, which led to Trumbo reaching first safely, as two runs came around to score on the play.
Scoring on a strikeout has become less rare in MLB over the past few years or so, but having it happen twice in one season is certainly very odd.
That was the case in 2013, as the same thing happened to J.P. Arencibia against the New York Yankees in late-August.
8. Tony Sanchez's First Hit Gets Stuck in the Scoreboard
Pittsburgh Pirates rookie Tony Sanchez's first hit of his MLB career came in the form of a ground-rule double.
Sanchez's major league debut came against those same Angels, and he stepped to the plate for his first MLB at-bat in the top of the second inning with runners on first and second and two outs.
Sanchez immediately paid dividends for the Pirates, as he smashed a hit off the wall. Well, it hit the wall.
The ball looked like it would ricochet off the wall, but it ended up getting stuck in the scoreboard for a double. The grounds crew would then need to grab a ladder to retrieve the ball from it's spot in the wall, stopping play for several minutes.
For some reason I don't think Sanchez is the only person who'll never forget his first major league hit.
7. Alexei Ramirez's out Sets off the Fireworks
Alexei Ramirez hit a ball that everyone thought was a home run when it left the bat in a game against the Kansas City Royals on Sept. 27.
Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon certainly thought the ball was gone, as he climbed the wall in left field and looked up to try to rob Ramirez.
However, he appears to be the only one to have realized his mistake, as he jumped back down and caught the ball on the warning track.
Very few people realized what had happened, as they were all convinced that the ball was several rows deep in the stands. The crowd celebrated as the fireworks were set off and the organ started playing, but the umpire brought the over-excited crowd back to reality, ruling Ramirez out on the play.
After such a disappointing season, can you really blame the White Sox fans for celebrating a little early?
6. The 'Evened Out' Double Play
A game between the San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies this summer was decided by a game-winning fielder's choice with not one, but two botched calls.
Chase Headley ran from third to home on a play that looked like it should have been an inning-ending double play, but the runner at first was called safe, giving the Padres a 6-5 lead in the top of the 12 inning.
However, when you look at the play again, you can clearly see that the throw beat the runner to first, and should have been called out.
But the controversy didn't end there, as the third baseman actually threw the ball before he stepped on the bag, meaning that the runner at third should not have been called out.
In the end, the Padres won the game on the fielder's choice, but neither call was correct.
5. Jonny Gomes Completes Unassisted Double Play from Left
You might be thinking, 'unassisted double plays aren't that rare,' but I assure you they are when you're an outfielder.
In the 15th inning of a wild affair with the Seattle Mariners, Jonny Gomes of the Boston Red Sox made a nice diving catch in left field with runners on first and second to record the second out of the inning.
Gomes' momentum took him closer to the infield, and upon realizing that the runner on second wasn't even trying to make it back to second, he thought it safer to run the ball in and step on second instead of risking a throw to the infield that could have resulted in an error.
4. Rajai Davis' 'Little League Home Run'
To be completely clear, this play was not actually ruled a home run.
Now that that's out of the way, let's take a look at it.
In a game against the Boston Red Sox, Rajai Davis hit was was ruled an infield single back to the pitcher. If the pitcher had fielded it cleanly or even picked up the ball and made a good throw, Davis would have been out.
However, the throw would skirt into foul territory behind first base, allowing Davis to reach first and take second. He then tried to extend the play, attempting to take third.
Right fielder Shane Victorino had come in to back up the throw and tried to gun Davis down at third, but his throw was off target, hit off the sliding Davis, and bounced into foul territory once again.
Davis would come home to score on the play after a comedy of errors by the Red Sox.
This is the type of play that usually only happens in Little League. And we all know that if it had happened to an eight-year-old version of ourselves, we'd go home and tell mom we hit a home run.
3. The Phantom Double Play
Jesus Sucre must've been livid after being called out on this play.
Sucre hit a ground ball to first in the second inning of a game against the Texas Rangers that should have been a fielder's choice because the runner on first was thrown out at second.
The throw then came back to first, where the pitcher caught the ball instead of the first baseman, who was the one with his foot on the bag.
However, the umpire botched the call, thinking that the first baseman had caught the throw. He called Sucre out even though he clearly wasn't, giving the Mariners two outs and a runner on third when they should have had runners on first and third and just one out.
It's hard to believe that Sucre didn't argue the call as he trotted back to the dugout, but maybe he made the same mistake the umpire did.
2. Obstruction Call on the Game's Biggest Stage
The stage doesn't get much bigger for baseball players than the bottom of the ninth in a World Series game, and that's exactly the stage that was set for this wacky play.
Jon Jay was at the plate with runners on second and third and one out. However, he couldn't muscle the ball out of the infield, hitting a sharp grounder to second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who laid out to make a nice play and gunned Yadier Molina down at home plate for the second out of the inning.
Allen Craig was standing on second for the play, but he took off for third after the throw went home. However, Jarrod Saltalamacchia's throw to third went into left field, and it looked like Craig would be able to score.
It looked like Craig had come up short, however, as he was tagged out before he could reach home plate. But the umpires ruled that Craig had been tripped by Will Middlebrooks on the play, calling obstruction, giving the Cardinals the run and ending the game in one historic call.
According to Scott Miller of CBS Sports, Middlebrooks didn't think much of the call.
I was just trying to get up. I was trying to push myself up. I don't understand it. There's nowhere for me to go right there.
Miller also noted that even Craig was confused by the play.
I don't know what happened. I don't know if I was safe or out. I don't know if he clipped me or not.
Whether the call was correct or not, it was the first World Series game to end in obstruction.
1. Jean Segura's Wacky Trip Around the Bases
Jean Segura had one of the most bizarre baserunning experiences in MLB history in April, stealing second, 'stealing' first and then being caught stealing second in the same inning.
Let me explain.
In the bottom of the eighth inning of a game between the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers, Segura reached first and quickly stole second base on a 2-2 pitch to Ryan Braun. Braun would walk to end the at-bat.
Segura was standing on second with Braun on first when Cubs pitcher Kevin Gregg would attempt a pick-off throw and caught Segura between second and third. Braun then ran to second, while Segura attempted to retreat to second as well. Both players were on the bag and were tagged, which resulted in Braun being called out.
However, Segura thought that he had been called out and started making his way back to the dugout. He was about halfway back to first when he realized his mistake, and he instead stopped on first base, which is completely legal.
Segura's adventures weren't over yet, however, as he attempted to steal second base again, but this time he was gunned down.
If you can remember when this has happened to any other player in the history of the game, I'd love to hear about it.