San Diego Padres right fielder Chris Denorfia was barely settled into his seat after the top half of the first inning when he had to bail out of the way of an incoming object.
The object: The bat of teammate Everth Cabrera's after the lead-off hitter had just wildly and authoritatively swung and missed a Tim Lincecum 1-0 fastball, losing his grip in the process.
The projectile traveled a pretty good distance and didn't lose a lot of steam as it neared San Diego's first base dugout. Thankfully, Denorfia, who found himself directly in its path, got his head tucked in safely, but he still took a pretty solid shot on the back.
Needless to say, he was not happy. In fact, his reaction would indicate he was something quite the opposite of happy, and it appears he's referencing a previous occurrence in which Cabrera lost the bat and nearly took his head off. The Padres broadcast looked into the matter briefly and never followed up with a report, so we'll have to assume it happened in spring training or perhaps even batting practice.
Regardless, Denorfia needed a cup of water and a moment or two to gather himself, but he was back to smiles before the Cabrera at-bat concluded. No harm, no foul, I suppose, but a couple good lessons are reinforced here.
1. When they say "grip it and rip it" they really do mean GRIP it.
2. As Padres color commentator Mark Grant said on the broadcast, keep your head on a swivel at all times. That's on the field, in the stands and even in the dugout. Those baseballs and especially the bats are dangerous objects when flying around major league ballparks, and sometimes the professionals even struggle handling them.
Bottom line, just pay attention and be ready to move. That goes for the folks in Miami, too.