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Big League Stew

Fly ball hits Twins’ Oswaldo Arcia in the face

David Brown
Big League Stew

"Yes, in the face!"

— Prince Akeem in "Coming to America"

Dark and domed conditions make playing the outfield at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. one of Major League Baseball's tougher tasks. So while it's funny and embarrassing that Minnesota Twins outfielder Oswaldo Arcia misplayed a foul ball that hit his jaw, just remember — as Homer Bailey might put it: "I just lost a [redacted] ball in the ceiling. This game's pretty tough, you know?"

Jose Lobaton of the Tampa Bay Rays isn't known for putting a certain kind of spin on his fly balls, so we should assume that Arcia lost the ball in the dungeon-like conditions of Trop's lid, or in the lights, or a combination therein.

The Twins announcers don't make note of it, but the ball appears to glance off Arcia's glove before smacking him in the jaw. So he was much closer to catching the ball than upon first inspection! Just trying for a silver lining here. Another: That ball's coming in hot; If it had just hit his face without being misdirected by his glove, Arcia likely would have broken something. So there's that.

Also: The best part of the entire episode might have been the reaction of right-hander Josh Roenicke:

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(MLB.tv)

Is he saying, "That was close, my teammate almost hurt himself"? Or is he saying, "This is a dangerous place to play baseball"? Or is he saying, "Josh Willingham would have had it"?

Other than to add some levity, Arcia's facial did not seem to affect the Rays 4-1 victory. Lobaton's at-bat ended with a taken strike three.

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