Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

None of us can blame a guy for ducking-and-covering on a perfect pitch

Baseball is not easy.

In high school, I tried out for the baseball team despite having zero Little League experience (a big regret of mine, to be honest). That tryout was obviously a disaster, but I then signed up for a Saturday league that combined regular kids with no athletic skills and players from the JV and varsity teams, though it was in a "practice game" setting.

I had one at-bat in one game, I distinctly recall, and I was facing a pitcher from the actual high school team. It was a comical mismatch: Me, the kid who had no business playing against a dude who knew what he was doing. So when I actually made contact on a pitch I didn't even see, hitting a hopper foul down the third-base line, I was shocked and confused -- but hey, I made a memory, and learned an important lesson: Baseball is INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT.

Here's a replay of Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager making a memory in Monday's loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field. He thought this pitch was going to hit him, but it didn't. Instead, it was a perfectly thrown curveball for strike three from Cubs lefty Brad Wieck:

Your instinct, when seeing a sequence like this, is to laugh. Sure, it's amusing -- a Major League Baseball player of Seager's caliber, a seasoned veteran who's made his mark on the Seattle franchise over the years, ducking on a pitch that was a perfect strike -- but there's more to it than that.

Baseball is incredibly hard. Kyle Seager has seen thousands of pitches from hundreds of pitchers throughout his career, and he was still caught off guard by this nasty Wieck off-speed pitch.

Watch it again. You and I would have the very same reaction, you can't really deny it:

Watching Seager at the dish for this pitch, I was immediately reminded of that at-bat I had in my high school practice league experience. I could not tell you about any of the other pitches that pitcher threw me, as I don't think I was able to even see them at any point.

I don't even remember seeing the pitch I fouled off, so that shows you how overmatched I was.

The point is: I can't blame Kyle Seager for ducking and covering on this ridiculous curveball. He's a top-of-the-line baseball player playing at the highest level of competition in the world, and even he was completely thrown off by this one.

Nobody really can blame him for this one, and if you say you can .. you're lying.