You’re probably familiar with the idea of a TOOTBLAN – when a player is “thrown out on the bases like a nincompoop.” It is a handy acronym busted out when a player, well, is thrown out on the bases like a nincompoop. It is usually reserved for egregious acts of baseball running negligance, ignoring good sense and smart baseball in pursuit of personal glory.
This very unusual play involving David Murphy of the Texas Rangers is not a TOOTBLAN so much as it’s a WOTBLAN – Murphy “Wandered Off the Base Like A Nincompoop.”
Murphy took off for second base as batter Jurickson Profar faced a full count. Profar checked his swing on Phil Hughes‘ pitch, taking it for ball four. Yankees catcher Austin Romine proceeded with his throw down to second base, hoping for a strike’em out, throw’em out double play.
With the call at the plate being “ball”, David Murphy is entitled to second base. Which he takes and promptly abandons, believing himself out on the steal attempt. He is, of course, not out until he starts off towards the visitors dugout at Yankee Stadium, when Jayson Nix dutifully tags him and sends Murphy into a pit of despair.
The millennial voice in the back of my head feels for Murphy, who plaintively looks to the ump for sympathy. Maybe a head’s up about the call at the plate? Luckily I am not a millennial and feel zero pity for David Murphy. He gets what he deserves for wandering off the base like a nincompoop.