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Oh, no, he didn’t: Peña misplays tag at plate, lets Napoli slide safely

David Brown
Big League Stew

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Kansas City Royals catcher Brayan Peña swears that recent injuries to other catchers on plays at the plate had nothing to do with how he tagged Mike Napoli.

Instead, Peña says, he just had a case of wandering feet.

Peña appeared to be in perfect position to tag out Napoli in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday, but a last-second shift of his feet — along with Napoli's great limbo slide to get low as possible — led to a safe call and the winning run for the Texas Rangers.

Watch a lumbering Napoli sneak past Peña

Peña, via the Kansas City Star, said he simply lost track of where he was in relation to the plate.

"No, I thought I had home plate covered," Peña said. "When I was ready to tag him, I saw he was a little bit closer to (the plate) than I thought. I feel terrible about it. It was a mistake."

Just double-checking here: So, what happened with Buster Posey (and, to a lesser extent, Humberto Quintero), had nothing to do with it? Peña wasn't worried about breaking a leg?

"No," he insisted. "I know you have to ask that question, but no. That's part of my job — to go out there and get hit. I just really thought I had home plate blocked. But I guess not."

Admittedly, that wasn't the first thought I had. But if Peña says he wasn't worried — he is 29 years old and has logged 229 career major league games as a catcher — then fair enough.

And yet, this play is notable not only for Peña's poor footwork before the slide, but also his breakdancing ability during and after it. Check it out, yo's: {YSP:MORE}

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As this GIF shows, Peña's reaction was epically awesome.

I counted three 360-degree turns (that's 1,080 degrees!). That includes a 360 as Napoli spilled him at the plate, along with 720 more breakdancing degrees on the spins — and ball spike on home plate — in reaction to umpire Mike Estabrook's call.

Yo, he just got served, yo.

Umpires often give fielders the benefit of the doubt on plays at second base — the "neighborhood play," it's called — but no such luck for the Royals here.

The reaction of closer Joakim Soria — his hands locked above his head in incredulous mourning — also will go down in history. Hey, someone also needs to look into why Soria has blown four saves in 11 opportunities. I'd hang my hands above my head, too.

But I'd rather go breakdancing.

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