August 11th, 2005

Koufax

The Big Con

The hidden ball trick is a rare and often beautiful thing, baseball's ultimate con. It's usually just a simple grift. Matt Williams got a couple of guys by simply asking them to raise their foot off the bag so he could dust it off. Manny Ramierez got caught once after sliding safely into second on a hit and run play when the second baseman assured him that the batter had fouled off the pitch. Manny started trotting back to first, and was promptly tagged out. The best ones, though, require a subtlety that very few players can pull off. One of those rare few is Mike Lowell, the Marlins' third baseman. It was the top of the seventh last night, and the Marlins were watching their five run lead over the Diamondbacks evaporate. With four runs in, a runner on second, and only one out, Tony Clark lofted a soft wedge shot into short left field for a single, moving Luis Terrero over to third. The leftfielder tossed the ball back into Lowell, and things got interesting.

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