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Pirates first baseman Will Craig explains the Javier Báez play

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“I just kind of lost my mind for a second,” he said.

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No doubt, you have seen Javier Báez’ crazy baserunning play in Thursday’s Cubs/Pirates game many times by now.

After the game Thursday, Pirates first baseman Will Craig wasn’t made available for comment. He did talk about the play before Friday’s scheduled Pirates game, which was rained out. We’ll hear from Will in a moment, but first let’s look at the play again [VIDEO].

Honestly, I can’t ever get enough of that. It’s something I don’t think had ever previously happened on a major-league baseball field, and probably never will again.

Here are Will Craig’s comments about the play [VIDEO].

The bottom line is, apparently, that what Javy did was so odd, so unusual, so different from baseball norms that it not only flummoxed Craig — who won a Triple-A Gold Glove in 2019! — but the entire Pirates team, none of whom yelled, “Step on first!” As you might have heard, “THERE WERE TWO OUTS” wound up trending on Twitter after that play.

I feel for Craig, who has talent — he was the Pirates’ No. 1 pick (22nd overall) in 2016 — although not too badly, because the misplay helped the Cubs win the game.

One other note about this play. Here’s how it was originally scored:

Later, that was changed:

So poor Will got charged with a “missed catch” error, though he didn’t really “miss” a catch. The effect of this was to make both of the runs in the inning unearned, a technical change, really.

Long ago, I heard the aphorism, “If you watch baseball long enough, you’ll see something you have never seen before.” Never was that more true than for this play. We will likely never see anything like it again.