Mon Jul 18 09:15am EDT
Where have you gone, Roy Hobbs?
Sean Rodriguez(notes) of the Tampa Bay Rays tried to recreate the climax of the classic baseball film "The Natural" on Sunday night, hitting a ball that shattered a light bulb, sending glass falling into the stands and onto the field — which made a coach run for cover.
Only the Rodriguez ball went foul, produced no elaborate fireworks display and his team lost.
Meh, it's an overrated movie anyhow.
The game lasted longer than most epic films, taking 16 innings with a running time of 5 hours, 44 minutes before the Boston Red Sox finally put down the Rays 1-0. Dustin Pedroia(notes) hit a homer single that broke a scoreless tie, along with some hearts at Tropicana Field.
The wacky evening also featured two ejections — Rays manager Joe Maddon and coach Dave Martinez — a fan in Red Sox gear wandering onto the field, Boston players wearing rally caps like they were in college or high school, and lots of missed scoring opportunities on both sides.
Rodriguez hit a pop-up against Josh Beckett(notes) in the eighth inning that hit a light tower suspended from one of Tropicana's infamous catwalks (yeah!). The piece of bulb shown above was too hot to pick up with bare hands, as the person's fingers are about to realize.
The shattered glass sent Rays coach Tom Foley (right) running for cover and at least one person in the Red Sox dugout covered his head with a towel to protect from shrapnel. Note some of the fans are ducking as well.
The Trop's catwalks usually are fun for confusing the umpires about home runs. This time, it was just a foul ball. Kevin Youkilis(notes), along with other players and members of the Tropicana grounds crew picked up debris as the iconic theme from "The Natural" played on the public address speakers. After a delay of about three minutes, the game continued.
That's not how the movie ended, of course:
They're never going to call him "Hollywood" Sean Rodriguez.
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