Friday, September 16, 2005

Perception

When the age-addled husk of Vinny Castilla hobbled to the plate in the 10th inning of yesterday's game, there was a runner on third with two outs. This is the same Vinny Castilla who constantly, to my great frustration, hacks away at the first pitch, and who has hit at a Guzmanian level for the past three months.

On deck was a college baseball coach.

Despite the ample evidence that Vinny is playing with a large metal untensil in his lumbar region, the announcers were universal in their belief that this was the Vinny Castilla of my High School days stepping to the plate.

The Mets' pitching coach came out to speak with Roberto Hernandez. They, like the announcers, were discussing the Intentional Walk -- after all, Vinny is a Major League Hitter, and the guy on deck already has press releases written about him in the past tense.

Unlike the announcers, Hernandez declined.

Vinny, as he does, swung at the first pitch. Only, he made contact, lining a hard shot into the outfield. Around came the winning-run. Nats Win! Bang! Zoom! And all that crap.

At that moment:

Charlie Slowes to Dave Shea, "Do you understand that?" (Not IBBing Vinny)
Dave Shea to Charlie Slowes, "No, I don't understand it!"

Ron Darling (while talking all over Mel Proctor's play-by-play), "I don't get that." (I'm assuming he's referring to the IBB, but with Ron, it could probably apply to lots of things.)

Ted Robinson (on WFAN), "I don't understand what they were thinking there."

Perception counts for a lot, despite the lack of performance.

But you know what? As bad as he's been, and as much as I abhor the intentional walk, I probably would've walked him too. What about you?

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