Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The cruel humor of baseball

Posted By on 05.30.07 at 10:08 AM

Joe Crede missed the first game of the recent interleague series between the White Sox and Cubs after he was hit in the face by a bad-hop grounder during batting practice. Crede had been taking grounders at third base, and Channel 9 actually captured the shot -- chairs had been set up for the pregame show near the third-base coaching box, and Crede could be seen in the background. The station showed the incident during the game, and all week long I waited for someone to post it online -- on YouTube, if not on the Channel 9 or White Sox web sites -- but nothing doing. (What, doesn't anybody have last Friday's game DVR'ed?) So I'll have to share the next day's vignette -- caught by no cameras and noticed only by a few -- the old-fashioned way, in words only. Crede was cleared to play -- the worse only by a fat lip -- so as usual he came out before his turn in the cage and took his position at third to field grounders. Third-base coach Razor Shines trickled a grounder so slow it barely rolled out to Crede's feet. You'd hit one harder to a 7-year-old fielding his first hardball. Crede scooped the ball with a shit-eating grin and threw it across the infield, and then Shines, laughing heartily, started hitting real grounders to him. Crede went on to have a pretty good game in a losing cause, with a homer and three runs batted in -- no doubt thanks in part to Shines's ice-breaking joke. 'Twas ever thus in baseball: if you make a mistake of any kind, you better be ready to be teased about it. 

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