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Great save! Tim Flannery saves Cody Ross’ bat from reaching fan

Considering the next Summer Olympics are just a year or so away, San Francisco Giants coach Tim Flannery might want to start moonlighting as an instructor for the U.S. men's and women's 4x100 relay teams. Heck, he might even want to consider participating given the smooth way he can receive a baton pass.

After Cody Ross(notes) whiffed on a pitch in the eighth inning on Wednesday, his bat went flying up the third-base line, landing at least 100 feet from home plate and next to the stands.

Flannery obviously had been training for the moment his entire life. (Or, maybe he realizes that Ross has a habit of letting go sometimes.) Regardless, the Giants' 55-year-old third-base coach sprinted toward the bat like speedy Darren Ford(notes) and retrieved it before it could be swiped completely by a fan who had reached over a railing and onto the field.

Phew! The guy must have been going, "Wha? Who the? Hey!"

The handoff was so smooth, so seamless, like something the finest Olympians, eh, pull off every four years.

Watch full video of the bat relay

And what did Ross do with his second-chance wood?

Great save! Tim Flannery saves Cody Ross’ bat from reaching fanRoss ended his at-bat by grounding out and ruining any chance the Giants had of winning a gold medal. (They did win the game, beating the Nationals 3-1.)

While fans have the privilege of keeping any baseballs hit into the stands — and even some bats, usually with a negotiation — they're supposed to keep hands off the field in search of souvenirs. Flannery was merely reinforcing the distinction.

Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper captioned the moment by adding:

"Hey, I appreciate you picking that up for me."

Big BLS hat tip to Find the Swagger, which uploaded the animation.

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