Watch Pirates' Ke'Bryan Hayes eat mid-play snack as run scores originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Perhaps the Pittsburgh Pirates should just empty their pockets before games.
Five weeks after Rodolfo Castro was suspended after his cell phone fell out of his pocket as he slid into third base, Ke’Bryan Hayes is under fire for pulling sunflower seeds from his back pocket in the middle of a run-scoring play.
With the Pirates and Mets scoreless in the bottom of the third on Friday night, New York's Eduardo Escobar was on first with one out and Tomas Nido at the plate. With the hit-and-run on, Nido singled to right field. As Escobar rounded third and headed home, Hayes stood in place on the base path holding his glove in one hand while using the other to retrieve seeds from his pocket.
Todd Zeile, a Mets analyst on SNY, noticed Hayes' mid-play snack break and did not approve.
"This play is going on, he's in the big leagues, and he doesn't even have a glove on," Zeile said. "Why doesn't he have a glove on? Because, if you watch a little longer, he's pulling sunflower seeds out of his back pocket. Oh yeah, and during the play he's going to have some sunflower seeds and spit them on the floor while Escobar runs in. That's September baseball when you're in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization right now."
In recent weeks, the Pirates organization has been criticized for...well, it's lack of deep pockets.
With a payroll of approximately $66 million, the Pirates were called a "hodgepodge of nothingness" by Boston Red Sox analyst Dennis Eckersley last month.
"You talk about a no-name lineup. There's no team like this," Eckersley said. "I’d love to see some of the service time when you add it all up. It’s not much. We just came from Kansas City, seeing all of those young kids. This is different, though. Doesn’t it seem different?”
“This is a hodgepodge of nothingness," he added. "It's ridiculous, it really is. Pathetic."
After an error by Kevin Newman cost the Pirates a run in a 7-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Aug. 26, analyst John Kruk said, "This is like an exhibition game between a big-league team and a college team.
But Hayes, having signed an eight-year $70 million extension in April, happens to be the Pirates highest-paid player. While he wasn't directly involved in the run-scoring play, he at the very least could have been backing up a bag. Instead, he was more like a spectator watching the action unfold on the field while enjoying a snack.
The Pirates lost to the Mets 4-3, dropping their record this season to 55-90, third worst in the league.