Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Professional Courtesy Goes a Long Way

I have to say after watch Games 5 and 6 of the ALCS, being a MLB catcher looks like no fun at all. Here is one view why:


Avila would eventually leave Game 5 due to this collision with a knee injury, but return for Game 6.

Game 6 was not much fun for Avila either as besides the Tigers losing the game to put the Red Sox in the World Series, he took a wicked hit from a foul tip right in the mask. It is what happened just before and just after that got my attention though.

Immediately before the mask cracking foul tip, home plate umpire Dan Iassogna to start the inning cleaned home plate as they typically do. Well only a few pitches later, Avila was hit and clearly stunned by the foul ball. It was obvious on the video as he swayed back and fourth and went to his knees for a second.

No doubt Iassogna was concerned as you could almost make out the two talking through their masks. Now, to save the embarrassment of a trainer coming out, Iassogna himself stalled the game to give Avila a few extra moments to collect himself ... by cleaning an already clean home plate.

There was no reason for Iassogna to do this except as a professional courtesy to Avila to give him an extra second.

It to me highlighted the special relationship home plate umpires and catchers share throughout a game as so much of the game is decided right there between those guys.

It was really cool actually, and makes me wish catchers and home plate umpires were mic'ed up ... well ... maybe not after seeing this (explicit language warning ... it is funny though and highlights different traditions in different games):

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