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Padres’ Everth Cabrera attempts hidden-ball trick against Giants’ Pablo Sandoval

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

We don't see it attempted often, but the San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera went for the old hidden-ball trick at the absolute perfect time on Friday night.

After Pablo Sandoval doubled home a run with two outs in the top of the fifth inning, shortstop Cabrera held on to the ball unbeknownst to everyone in a San Francisco Giants uniform. After some subtle communication with pitcher Sean O'Sullivan, Cabrera patiently waited as the action settled down, Sandoval took his lead off the base and Hunter Pence stepped up to the plate to make his move.

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It worked. It really worked. Once Sandoval strayed a couple feet from the bag, Cabrera pounced and applied the tag.

Only two little problems. It actually didn't work, because first of all second base umpire Laz Diaz ruled that timeout had been requested and granted to Sandoval. Or at least that's what Cabrera told MLB.com following the game. When exactly that timeout was granted I'm not sure. It could be that Sandoval requested it following his hit, and since O'Sullivan was still milling around the hill and home plate umpire Mike Winters had yet to give the all clear, play was still dead.

The second problem, which actually renders the first one moot, is that O'Sullivan was standing on the mound when Cabrera tagged Sandoval. In order for the hidden ball trick to be legal, the pitcher cannot be standing on the mound. So yes, they were kind of close to pulling it off, yet they were still a long ways away from executing a true baseball rarity.

Better luck next time.

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