Big League Stew

A whole new rock bottom: All nine Colorado Rockies’ defenders lose track of outs

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

We've seen a number of major-league players lose track of outs over the years. I don't think anyone will forget then Montreal Expos outfielder Larry Walker catching a fly ball near the stands at Dodger Stadium and then handing it away to a fan before being reminded it was only the second out of the inning. Walker then retrieved the ball from the youngster, but base runner Jose Offerman had already been awarded two bases (first-to-third) on the miscue.

Or how about the defining moment of Milton Bradley's short stint with the Chicago Cubs in 2009 where he posed after catching a routine fly ball and obliviously tossed the ball into stands while nearly 40,000 at Wrigley Field screamed there were only two outs.

Funny, frustrating, inexplicable moments — depending on your connection as a fan — of forgetfulness (or lack of focus) that always elicit some type of reaction, as Tim Lincecum recently found out in Philadelphia. But with those past mental breakdowns in mind, I believe we may have witnessed a first — and new low — in the history of forgotten outs on Sunday afternoon at Coors Field.

Have a look at the embarrassing moments:

Yes, all nine Colorado Rockies defenders remained in their positions after reliever Carlos Torres struck out Chris Heisey for the third out of the inning. All of them. Catcher Ramon Hernandez even started tossing the ball around the infield until home plate umpire Cory Blaser intervened with the good news.

Honestly, I've never seen anything like that even in my Little League days, and we didn't have fancy scoreboards that kept track for us.

As color commentator George Frazier pointed out in the clip, what a truly embarrassing sequence for manager Jim Tracy. Those in Colorado who are less than pleased with Tracy's seemingly secure status — which is pretty much everybody — now have a little more fuel for their unhappiness.

Baffled Rockies play-by-play man Drew Goodman didn't hold back in his commentary, either, pointing out how we've seen a major leaguer or two lose track of outs, but never have we seen nine players not budge after a third out was recorded. Just a complete mess of a situation for a team that also fell to 26 games under .500 with its 7-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.

Some would say there's no way to go but up for the Rockies at this point. After watching Jonathan Sanchez pitch on Sunday afternoon, though, along with this little debacle, I'm not so sure I agree. They seem to be a team in a constant, desperate search for rock bottom, and 100 games in they still don't know which direction is down.

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