Sunday, August 11, 2013

Tampa Bay Rays pull off hidden ball trick against Los Angeles Dodgers

By Kyle Mennig

For the most part, yesterday was humming along as just another day at the office. I had just returned from Gravity Fest in Munnsville and was working with Sean down in New Haven on laying out our pages for Sunday's Dispatch.

As I often do, I had a baseball game on TV. Usually it's a Mets game, but with Terry Collins and company in Arizona playing later that evening I went with FOX's game of the week between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays.

To be fully honest, I wasn't paying much attention to the game. That is, until the fourth inning. I kind of noticed there was some confusion about a play involving Juan Uribe. Still only half-listening, I quickly snapped to full attention when I heard those three magic words: hidden ball trick.

Oh the hidden ball trick (or as Gob Bluth would prefer, illusion). Baseball fans often talk about the rarity of hitting for the cycle or pitching a perfect game, but there may be nothing as rare as the hidden ball trick. It does for baseball fans what a good set of twins does for Dwight Schrute.

Isn't it magnificent?! Why do we love this play so much? It's incredibly rare and there's something about seeing professional athletes pull of Little League plays that's hard to beat.

But perhaps the best part of the play is Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach. Perhaps he should have been more keen to his surroundings, but watching him catch Evan Longoria staring intently at Uribe's foot and moving in for a closer look himself is absolutely priceless.

Fortunately, this tale has a happy ending for Uribe and the boys in Dodger blue. L.A. won 5-0 and Uribe's teammates helped make sure he'll never fall victim to the hidden ball trick again.