Who ordered the MLB video with everything on it?
In the bottom of the first inning in a spring training game between the Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday, Mike Trout smacked a pitch from former teammate Dan Haren to center field.
Normally, the ball would fall lazily to the ground, something that happens often during the ho-hum serenity offered in March. Thankfully, the men on the field chose to act like this game was being played in October.
Yasiel Puig obviously decided that it was the perfect time to lay out for a fly ball and nearly grabbed it. Instead of making a "Web Gem" catch, however, Puig had to get up and sprint to the ball that skipped past him.
Sensing an opportunity for a rare inside-the-park home run, Trout rounded third, ignoring what would have been a lovely triple.
Puig, ignoring his propensity to throw passionately with his eyes closed, actually hit the cutoff man, helping the Dodgers throw out Trout at home.
[Pause for breath]
Without anything more, this would already be a video that should keep baseball fans fat and giggly until Opening Day. To make matters better, we then got to see the newfangled replay system, which was already tested earlier in the spring, in action.
Orel Hershiser, who was calling the game in the booth, offered, "We're gonna get our first replay here, Charley (Steiner). And there's nothing wrong with using it and getting used to the system. I think my old battery mate, Mike Scioscia, might just do that."
Scioscia did just that, giving the umpires a chance to make an impressive play in a video that already has plenty.
And they hardly disappointed, upholding the play before any of you could run to the fridge and crack a beer.
Fox Sports West's Patrick O'Neal tweeted the following:
Confirmed Trout out. Scioscia loses another challenge. Looked safe, but @AJEllis17 gets the call. Challenge took a minute 12 seconds.— Patrick O'Neal (@Patrick_ONeal) March 6, 2014
If that weren't enough, Steiner stated, "And the other part about this replay, you also have the play-at-the-plate rule, so you have two new rules out at the plate."
Steiner was referencing the new rule that a catcher can block the plate with the ball but can't do so without it. While the play never looked to be in danger of calling that particular item into question, it's interesting that it may have even been considered.
And so, in the first inning of a meaningless exhibition game, some familiar names came together for something that was far more entertaining than The Expendables.
If this is what we get on March 6, imagine the type of tremendous plays we'll see when we finally get to the games that matter.
Puig hustled and made a splash; Trout flashed speed and passion and the replay rule was employed smoothly. Remember, this was just MLB players, coaches and officials getting some work in, the figurative equivalent of a bullpen session for a staff ace.
Opening Day can't get here soon enough, because this is promising to be one memorable season.
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