I am guessing that Major League Baseball players think that going to the minors to rehab can be somewhat of a nuisance. They probably have guys on the minor league team asking for photo opps, autographs, tips…etc. Still players need to get back into the swing of things so they are forced to play a quick stint in the minors.
For Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano he made it abundantly clear that he could care less about playing in the minors. Last month while he was playing for a minor league team he hit a grounder to first base. The first baseman saw the turtle pace that Liriano was running and decided to throw home and get the base runner out who was going home to score. The smart defensive play is to get out the runner who is looking to score if you can make that out. So I applaud the first baseman’s actions. What I don’t applaud is everything that follows.
While this is going on Liriano is meandering to first base. He starts to jog and as the catcher fails to tag out the base runner at home and he throws to first base to at least get “Lights Out” Liriano out. The first baseman bobbles the ball and Liriano realizes that he has a chance to make it to first safely. Guess what….he does.
The play that looks like it could be on ESPN’s not top 10 list has two runners safe and the defense scratching their heads about what just took place. In all fairness Liriano was a pitcher for the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox in the American League where pitchers don’t hit. Now he will have to go to bat during a game since he plays in the National League for the Pirates.
I can guarantee you that coaches from little league to college will not be showing their players this video gem. It goes against all the baseball and sports clichés out there. Liriano gave a total of 5% on that play which resulted in a base hit and a RBI for him. I can’t wait to see if that effort works in the majors for him. I can’t be too hard on him since he won the AL Comeback Player of the Year award in 2010 and pitched a no-hitter in 2011. In those two instances I am guessing he gave 110% effort which is great and also mathematically impossible. Plus last night he struck out nine players on the Mets and helped the Pirates beat New York 11-2. So moral of the story it is okay to mail it in from time to time.