The Gif That Should Be Saved Forever
Javy Baez Made Me Feel Things, And I'm a Cardinal Fan
By: Jeffrey Wright
As frequent listeners know, I have no life.
Upon leaving work on Tuesday, I went home and fired up ESPN's 30 for 30 Feature about the 1983 North Carolina State Wolfpack's improbable run, Survive and Advance until I flipped over to TruTV to get ready for some NCAA Tournament Play-In Game action. In fairness, The NCAA no longer still calls the "First Four" the "play-in game", but actually that makes perfect sense because since when has the NCAA been about calling something what it is?
After watching Kansas State put away Wake Forest/Wake Forest decide not to show up thanks to clutch free throw shooting down the stretch/perhaps the weakest technical foul call ever, I noticed on Twitter that my favorite baseball player “Post-Pudge”, Yadier Molina, and the Puerto Rican National (?) — I mean it’s technically a territory and officially a commonwealth, but that’s a mouthful — Team were taking on the Dominican Republic (defending champion and winners of 11-straight games) during the World Baseball Classic.
“Eh, you’re white, you can watch baseball during basketball season free of judgment,” I thought to myself before changing the dial to MLB Network.
When I reached for that remote, I instantaneously became Matthew McConaughey/Ben Williams reaching for a rocket hit off the bat of the dangerous Asher Lazzato when Angels in the Outfield guide me to the right spot.
I could not have timed the channel change more perfectly.
First, I got to watch Tony Pena get ejected in spectacular fashion, and then I got to see heaven on earth.
As I’ve seen for 11 years, Molina knew that the run at first was running on the pitch. Rather than call a pitchout, he knows that he’s the best defensive catcher alive, even at 34 going on 35, so he called for an outside fastball from a guy that can throw 97 MPH. Knowing that all he has to do is get a good handle and clean release, Molina did his part and gets the ball out of his hand quickly to where Javy Baez can handle the throw. At that moment I heard the chorus of Berlin’s Take My Breath Away strike up.
Baez legitimately took my breath away with his part.
Anyone that has ever played catcher knows that the only feeling that rivals seeing his first pair of live boobs is a middle infielder pointing to him after delivering a strike to throw out a runner, Baez decided that what Molina did was worthy of more, so he decided to point before the runner had even started his slide.
Words cannot describe to a guy that played catcher (very poorly) how significant of a gesture this was.
Sure, Baez could have revealed in the fact that the throw took him up the baseline, but no, he chose to give credit where it was due.
Molina’s effort can’t be understated either.
Molina will turn 35 in July and has logged 13,245 inning behind the plate in only 11 seasons. He knows that his days are numbered and that he has to give some shine to the up-and-coming Puerto Ricans. He did his job and made a throw that allowed Baez to get his shine.
The average fan will notice Baez's pointing, but what made the play truly remarkable was that despite the throw’s taking him away from the base runner, he was still able to apply the tag with his momentum moving away from the play. However, Baez didn’t let his moment outshine Molina’s, and as soon as he could, he gave love to his catcher.
I understand Major League Baseball has its flaws, but moments like this one make me believe that the future is still bright.
My name is Jeffrey Wright, and these are my thoughts.
PS — I’m going to have to start looking into the PR farm system for a new catcher soon because my favorite player of all-time is Pudge Rodriguez (Yes, Dad, he’s better than Bench), and he was followed by Molina, my second-favorite player.