Chris Coghlan artfully dodges the pointy end of a shattered bat

Big League Stew

Sometimes, we don’t fully appreciate the reflexes that ballplayers have. They pluck line drives out of the air, make a split-second adjustment to turn on a ball and hit it out of the park, and brace to hit a wall while they’re running full-force to make a catch. But never are those finely honed reflexes more on display than when a ballplayer is trying to avoid being pierced by a shattered bat.

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On Monday night, Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Chris Coghlan showed off those bat-avoiding reflexes when the Jays were taking on the Los Angeles Angels. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Albert Pujols was batting, and he hit a bouncing looper right toward Coghlan between second and third. The ball was an easy grab for Coghlan, but he didn’t count on battling a flying sharpened bat shard. Because when Pujols’ bat connected with the ball, it exploded, and the top 2/3 of the bat sailed point-first toward Coghlan.

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Coghlan was rushing forward to snag the ball, and didn’t seem to notice the bat right away. Once he saw it coming toward him, Coghlan did a little duck-move to get away from it. The bat punctured the ground and stayed there, sticking out of the grass like a javelin.

The bat that Chris Coghlan dodged was so sharp that it stuck right in the ground. (MLB.TV)
The bat that Chris Coghlan dodged was so sharp that it stuck right in the ground. (MLB.TV)

And not only did Coghlan artfully dodge the bat, which would have skewered him, he also kept his wits about him to make the catch and throw to first to get the out.

The way Coghlan dodged the bat, it almost looks like a cartoon. Like Bugs Bunny got lost on his way to Palm Springs and ended up on the field during the javelin event at the Olympics. He pops up, wonders where he is, and then suddenly a long, sharp stick spears the ground in front of him. “Should’ve taken a left at Albuquerque.”

Shattered bats are scary because they’re unexpected and dangerous. So stay vigilant, ballplayers! No one wants to see you get pierced by a broken bat.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on twitter! Follow @lizroscher

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