Catching

The other day, the Mariners scored a run and continued a rally because Josh Willingham dropped a routine fly ball in the outfield. He just dropped it. He didn't lose it in the sun, he didn't stumble right before the ball arrived, he didn't have to watch out for another outfielder nearby -- he just approached the ball and didn't catch it. It hit the top of his glove webbing and fell to the ground.

I didn't .gif the play, but I'm sure that somebody did. I'm sure that somebodies did. This is the year 2012, and people .gif it when baseball players make embarrassing mistakes. It's easy to take those .gifs as an indication that baseball players are just constantly making embarrassing mistakes.

The truth is that they aren't, of course. The truth is that baseball players aren't perfect, and they're given a zillion opportunities to perform should-be routine acts, and in performing every single one of those routine acts there exists some non-zero probability of failure. The probability each time is very small, but they add up as you consider the number of chances and the number of players around the league. The odds of there being an embarrassing mistake on a given routine play are quite low. The odds of there being an embarrassing mistake within a given game or on a given day are much higher. And then there are .gifs that get made.

Sometimes there are players who are more prone to embarrassing mistakes than others. There's a reason we have a whole wall of Raul Ibanez defensive footage. But a .gif on its own is not proof of anything and there are .gifs of good players and bad players alike screwing up for no reason other than being human. Below, you will find a .gif of a fine player screwing up inexplicably late in Saturday's game between the Mariners and Angels. This sort of thing does not happen very often and especially not to this particular player. This .gif on its own does not assert that the player is bad. It just shows that the player did something bad, and it had to be .giffed. It just had to be .giffed.

Jasopb

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