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"That play will be on SportsCenter tonight!"
It's the phrase announcers love to use after extraordinary plays, and a saying players love to hear about their work...usually.
So why is Gregg Zaun making highlights?
He is a 15-year veteran catcher, who has hit over .300 in a season only once, and has essentially been a decent fill-in player on 10 different teams over his career. Has he found a new beginning on the struggling Milwaukee Brewers?
Well, not really.
Though Zaun may love to see his name out there, since even during good seasons, he has largely gone unnoticed, he is getting media attention for all the wrong reasons.
Just yesterday, while catching for Carlos Villanueva, who was brought in for relief in a one-run game, Zaun poorly blocked a pitch in the dirt that struck out Chase Utley. Unfortunately, his misplay got Utley to first on the wild pitch and poor play by Zaun, and allowed Shane Victorino to score.
It opened up a two-run game for the Phillies, with only two innings left for a stagnant Brewers offense to come back.
Admittedly, that was a tough pitch for Zaun to handle, but since Utley chased on the pitch, which would have ended the inning, it's a play he needs to make. Just to add insult to injury, Zaun led off in the ninth inning with a chance to create some offense, and grounded out.
Okay, so Zaun messed up one time. What's the big deal?
Well, this is the second time so far in this young season that Zaun has made highlights—for something that's just downright embarrassing for a catcher.
When facing the Pittsburgh Pirates, Zaun ran into some troubles that may seem unexpected for any catcher. He had difficulty throwing the ball, not to catch a runner stealing, but just to throw the ball back to the pitcher .
And, it wasn't just once, or a couple times in a few games. He completely missed Brewers' pitcher Yovani Gallardo three straight times!
Zaun shouldn't feel terribly though.
ESPN, and a number of other sports sites, reported that Texas Rangers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (you know, the guy Padres+v+Texas+Rangers+acss_FBZFmWl.jpg">whose name wraps all the way around his shirt ) was performing excellently on offense in his rehab in the minors. However, the problem for Saltalamacchia was throwing the ball back to the mound.
According to ESPN's report , Saltalamacchia missed the pitcher 12 times in one game! That's pretty amazing considering he has been a catcher for his major league career, and how easy it is just to get the ball back to the pitcher.
Maybe it isn't as easy as it seems, which is why the kids and the veterans are having trouble doing it correctly.
Hey, at least Zaun and Saltalamacchia can enjoy a little more face-time on ESPN during this stretch.