This has been one confusing week for Cincinnati Reds outfielder Shin-Soo Choo.
On Wednesday night in San Francisco, he was forced to step into an awkwardly drawn batter’s box that was clearly not up to MLB standards. As I noted then, that’s enough to throw any creature of habit (aka baseball player) out of whack for awhile. And though it didn’t necessarily hold true in that game — both teams combined for 28 hits — it may have carried over into Thursday night in Los Angeles, because Choo was all out of sorts while attempting to run the bases in the eighth inning.
The baserunning in question was actually quite hilarious, and the credit for faking Choo out should really go to Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez, second baseman Skip Schumaker and perhaps even centerfielder Andre Ethier.
It started innocently enough with Choo breaking for second base on a hit-and-run that Joey Votto executed flawlessly by dropping a single in center. However, Ramirez used a token fake to his advantage by coming across the bag and acting as if he was about to catch the ball. In the words of Vin Scully, Choo was fooled completely by the fake, and since he seems to recall hearing the crack of the bat, he assumes his next move should be retreating to first.
The next thing we know, Choo is making that u-turn while Skip Schumaker runs at him as if he‘s holding the baseball. This further confuses Choo, and it also momentarily shields him from noticing that Ethier has the ball in center field. This cost him three, maybe four big steps into no man‘s land, and by the time the ball was thrown back in, he was a dead duck at the bag.
If you’re scoring at home, that goes as a single for Votto since Choo advanced safely initially. The assist goes to Andre Ethier. The putout, fakeout and perhaps an Oscar go to Hanley Ramirez. The embarrassment and dedication of a blog post go to Shin-Soo Choo.
He’s had better days I'm sure, but at least it didn’t cost Cincinnati in the outcome. They went on to win Thursday night's game 5-2.
Big BLS H/N: Deadspin
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