Yesterday, on these fine pages, our own Jack Moore wondered aloud about what constitutes the “play of the year”. Even excluding his Brewers fandom, I think Jack would agree that Carlos Gomez‘s game-saving catch against the Reds all but certainly qualifies. The stakes are high enough (game on the line) and the catch was certainly special enough. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it a “walkoff catch” because that is dumb (very dumb) but the idea is similar.
There were many exciting things which happened last night, including Tim Lincecum making a rare re-appearance in his old form against the Mets – a game his Giants eventually lost in a most “2013 Giants” fashion. Sadly, I saw none of it, as much of Toronto is a very wet place and the flow of electricity was less than reliable.
So this post will stand in as Getting Blanked dries out and figures out what happened last night. Enjoy Carlos Gomez, I know I do.
I got to thinking of this question Sunday afternoon, when I saw loads of hype over a Manny Machado play at third base against the Yankees. The inevitable comparisons to Brooks Robinson piled after this one: “You’re gonna see that one for a few years!” Really, Gary Thorne? It was a great throw — somewhere around 150 feet, according to the SportsCenter highlight — and Machado has obviously become a great third baseman. But I have a hard time putting this specific play in any pantheon wider than, say, one of the top plays of the day.
I think the issue, for me, is one of novelty. Blame the 162 games season — with 2,420 games and some 131,220 outs (give or take, depending on extra innings and such) total — almost every play will have a little overlap with something else we’ve seen elsewhere. But Machado’s play, for example, is basically this playEvan Longoria made against Machado earlier this year without the bobble.
You know that hill in centerfield at Enron FieldMinute Maid Park? It’s pretty much the dumbest thing in baseball and the worst part of the tricked up (but lovely, I’m sure) ballpark in Houston.
One day, somebody less capable than Carlos Gomez is going to run up that hill and they won’t make a terrific catch, as Gomez did. Some poor schmuck will traipse up that incline and everything will go horribly wrong, resulting in naught but twisted limbs and ligaments rather than the wry smile/look of amazement worn by Gomez after reeling in this long drive.
And then, somebody will realize this goofy gimmick in the goofiest, gimmickiest park in the league should go.
It will be too late for that chump but not too late to admire Carlos Gomez for making a great play. Way to go, Carlos. That was pretty cool.