Baseball is a funny game. From play to play, anything can happen. Just because you make a heroic play doesn’t mean you’re immune to doing something embarrassing later in the game. Or, if you’re Texas Rangers center fielder Ian Desmond, it doesn’t mean you’re immune to doing something embarrassing on the very next play.
This is a tale of two plays, both which happened in the bottom of the third inning of the Rangers’ game against the New York Yankees on Monday night. In the first one, Desmond showed off his best outfield defense. Brett Gardner lined a pitch from Chi Chi Gonzalez directly to center field, and it was sinking fast. Desmond saw the ball coming and ran in, making a forward dive as he slid his glove between the ball and the grass right before it touched the ground. It was a fantastic play.
But on the very next play, things went wrong. Carlos Beltran hit a fly ball to center field, which should have been an easy catch for Desmond, right? But as he ran over to get under the ball, he slipped and fell down. It didn’t look like he tripped on anything (other than his own feet), he was just suddenly on the ground. He got up right away and kept on running for the ball, but his pratfall had taken up too much time and the ball dropped in front of him for a single.
What a roller coaster of emotions for Ian Desmond. In the span of just a few minutes he experienced the thrill of making a spectacular catch and the agony of taking an embarrassing fall. Not many players get to experience the highs and lows of baseball in such a short amount of time. That makes Ian Desmond special, even though he probably doesn’t want to be special for that particular reason.
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