August 12th, 2005



There was nasty, nasty collision in the outfield at PETCO Park yesterday between the Mets' Carlos Beltran and Mike Cameron. It was on a short fly ball that was dropping quickly in right-centerfield. Both men were running flat out, and both leapt, extending their bodies in trying to catch the ball. Imagine Superman flying headlong into Captain Marvel, except without the invulnerability. They hit face first, and dropped like stones as the ball scooted past them to the wall. Cameron had to be taken from the field on a stretcher half conscious. He broke his nose and both cheek bones, suffered a concussion, and also has some neck and back injuries. He'll probably miss the rest of the season. Beltran was able to walk off the field, but later went to the hospital for observation. He injured his shoulder, and probably has a mild concussion.

I heard about this when I turned on the end of the Mets game on my ride home last evening. Both announcers were sort of stunned. I tried to watch the replay, but had to turn away just at the moment of impact. (As the link notes, it's not for the faint of heart.) Even then you can tell how bad it was going to be. It's the worst baseball collision I can recall seeing. Fortunately, Beltran should be okay, depending on how bad his shoulder is. Cameron is another matter. The good news is that he was fully conscious last night, and the fractures will heal. The back and neck injuries are another matter.

More Baseball...

...mostly because it's been a week of really bizarre plays, and I really don't have much else going on in my life other than playing Civ III and occasionally watering my rhododendrons so they don't die of thirst. It's been awhile since we last had a good rain. Anyway, yesterday the A's won their game with the Angels of Anaheim (and coincidentally took over first place from the AoA) when the AoA's pitcher muffed a return throw from the catcher. I was over reading Dodger Thoughts at the time, and suddenly there were a bunch of WTF posts by folks who'd been following the game on MLB Gameday, and saw the following notation pop up on the screen:

"Jason Kendall scores. Missed catch error by pitcher Francisco Rodriguez.
With Eric Chavez batting, Bobby Crosby advances to 2nd on defensive indifference."

WTF? Here's the situation. Bottom of the ninth, tie score, runners on first and third, two outs, Chavez at the plate, Frankie Rodriguez on the mound. Rodriguez throws a curveball right on the outside corner of the plate that the ump calls a ball. Rodriguez, upset at the call, stares at the ump for a sec as the catcher throws the ball back, a soft, looping toss. As the ball nears him, Rodriguez turns his back to the plate, swiping backhanded at the ball with his glove as he does so. He's not actually looking at the ball any more, just doing it on instinct, and he misjudges the ball's trajectory. It tips off the bottom of his glove, and scoots off into no-man's land behind the mound. Kendall, the runner standing at third, is doing exactly the opposite of what Luis Terrero did the other night in Florida, watching the pitcher intently. As soon as he sees the ball get past Rodriguez, he lights out for home. Rodriguez retrieves the wayward ball and rushes a throw home, but it's off line and too late, and Kendall slides in with the winning run as Rodriguez watches helplessly from his seat on the infield grass (where he wound up after throwing home). What a way to lose a game.