For an end-of-season game between the bottom two teams in the NL East, there are sure to be a lot of eyes on Tuesday night's Miami Marlins-New York Mets contest.
The reason, of course, is Adam Greenberg, the 31-year-old former major leaguer who will get one more trip to the plate after the Marlins granted the wish of his "One At-Bat" campaign. It will have been 2,642 days since Greenberg, then a member of the Chicago Cubs, was hit in the head by a Marlins pitcher in his only major-league plate appearance.
[Jeff Passan: Miguel Cabrera sits out Tigers' raucous celebration]
Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen announced on Monday night that Greenberg would not start the game, but would instead enter as a pinch hitter at some point. Guillen seems to be approaching the at-bat like the voluntary sacrifice of one of his 27 outs — which might not be far from reality considering Greenberg could be facing knuckleballer R.A. Dickey — and so it will be interesting to see how and when Guillen elects to make that sacrifice if the game remains close.
But forget about a storybook ending with Greenberg winning the game with a key RBI in "baseball's latest storied stunt" (as SB Nation's Rob Neyer calls it).
From the sound of it, Guillen won't put him in if the outcome hangs in the balance.
Guillen said he will manage the game like he does any other game — to win. That's why he said Greenberg likely would be used without the game on the line.
"I'm not going to pinch hit him for the pitcher just because," he said.
"If I need a base hit to take the lead or something then I will figure it out another inning. I'm going to manage my game to win the game. I will figure out how to play him but if the game is on the line, I'm going to manage it to win one game."
As our pal Ian Casselberry points out, the uncertain time of the appearance is likely to provide a boost to Marlins ratings as fans will have to stick around and wait for Greenberg to enter the game rather than see him do his thing in the first inning and then head off elsewhere.
Greenberg is expected to hold a contract-signing press conference at noon in Miami. His story has attracted so much attention that a casino in Las Vegas has laid out odds for the result of his plate appearance. A strikeout is the surest bet at 7-to-5 while a home run will pay out at 50-to-1. As for getting hit in the head again, that's lumped in with drawing a walk at 5-to-1.
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