Wednesday, January 12, 2011

YouTube BATTLE: Both Runs Count, Which is More Impressive?


These two players both manage to score a run while making the catcher look downright foolish. They both look dead in the water on their way toward home, and let's face it- the above videos should be of two routine outs at the plate. But they're not. These players thought outside the box and did everything they could to affect the scoreboard, and it's their unorthodox scoring methods that have made them fan favorites and YouTube sensations.

This battle is a case of quick wit versus instinct. The Durham Bulls player took a risk on a passed ball- he should have been toast. So he runs past the plate and has an epiphany: "If I act like I'm already out, the catcher will feel a false sense of security. He will lose all urgency, and mosey over for the insurance tag, assuming I won't resist. BUT, as he makes his way over, BOOM, I will spring to life, give a little juke, and beat him back to the plate! The run will score and the manager won't be up my ass about taking a chance on a ball that only rolled 5 feet away from the plate. Ok, here goes nothin'!" Pretty quick thinking.

Fordham's Brian Kownacki didn't have that kinda time. While running full speed toward home, he sees the catcher receive the relay throw about 8 feet in front of him. Can't slow down. Plate's pretty well blocked, can't try either side. But wait. The catcher caught the throw in some sort of crouch. Queue the Superman dive.

I gotta give this one to Kownacki. This kid had essentially no time to react and just let his instincts take over. 'Left, can't. Right, can't. Up? Let's go.' He did the only thing possible to avoid the tag, and you can't really point the finger at the team in the field either. Sure if the throw home was higher the catcher could have handled it in a more upright position, giving the runner no option- but still, the throw was there on time, Kownacki just outright beat it.

While I love the craftiness and execution of the Bulls player, he had more time to produce a plan of attack. The WOW factor goes to the superman dive. The Bulls' play likely had fans scratching their heads: "Wait, what just happened? Wasn't he out?" or maybe even laughing at the runner's ingenuity, or perhaps mocking the dreadful 30 seconds the catcher had just experienced- botched throw back to the mound followed by 3 missed tags? Come on, pal.

But those in attendance at the Fordham game likely only reacted with several variations of "Whoah!" The play was simply more eye-catching, and judging by the thousands of times it was shown on TV, I think ESPN agrees.

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