The most important lesson baseball fans should learn is that you haven't seen it all and you likely never will. Understand the lesson and accept it because just when you think you have seen it all on a baseball field, something like Jean Segura's baserunning adventure during Friday's night Brewers-Cubs game at Miller Park happens, and then you attempt to convince yourself again at that very moment that now you've seen it all.
You'll still be wrong. Trust me.
Now, before I go any further, I think it would be best for you to view the video in its entirely once, and perhaps twice, because if you don't, everything I write from this point on will make little sense.
Here's what happened step-by-step.
• Segura, the Milwaukee Brewers new starting shortstop who was a terrific base stealer in the minors, successfully swiped second base in the eighth inning.
• After Ryan Braun walked, the Brewers had runners on first and second with no outs and elected to call for the double steal.
• The double steal is thwarted by Shawn Camp, who attempts to pick Segura off and start a good old-fashioned game of pickle.
• Segura instinctively retreads to second, which by that time is occupied by Braun.
• Segura's instincts quickly vanish, because even though he made it back safely, he incorrectly assumed the bag belonged to Braun. As the lead runner, it actually belonged to him, so the moment he touched, Braun was out.
• Usually when we see the two runners occupying a single base situation play out, it ends with the two players standing hands on hip staring at each other for a few seconds. As you'll notice in the video, Braun plays his role perfectly. Segura, however, takes off for the first base dugout meaning he's at risk of being tagged out. Luckily for him, the initial rundown had moved all Cubs defenders out of the area, and with no one in the stadium expecting a baserunner to willingly run from second base to first base, he was able to get there safely once he realized his predicament.
Long story short, Segura successfully stole second base, and then for all intents and purposes successfully stole first base as well. Of course he won't get credit for it, but poor Ryan Braun does get a caught stealing for his unfortunate involvement.
That's a lot of information to process and may lead to questions about the baserunner's rights to run the bases in reverse order, especially after he'd already established himself at another base prior to the play in question. There's actually a rule that addresses that, and we're thankful the Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan looked it up.
Rule 7.08 (i) allows runner to run bases in reverse order unless it's "for purpose of confusing the defense or making a travesty" of game.
— Paul Sullivan (@PWSullivan) April 20, 2013
We know for sure Segura wasn't attempting to confuse Chicago. He was the one confused. I'll let you debate whether or not it was a travesty to the game.
Of course these highly unusual circumstances also had people rooting for Segura to attempt stealing second base twice during one trip around the bases. He tried. He really did. But Wellington Castillo ruined the moment by throwing him out.
Oh what could have been.
But even without that extra twist, I'm pretty sure this adventure (or travesty) will go down as the strangest, most unusual play we see during the 2013 season. At least until the next one.