Seven of baseball's best ridiculously silly pickles and rundowns
The baseball pickle is, arguably, the silliest moment in the game. The runner misjudged his options, choosing risk over safety and now is trapped. It's a game of children's tag played out in front of thousands of people between professional adults worth millions of dollars. It's beautiful and dumb -- like all the best things in life.
I mean, there's a reason why "The Naked Gun" knew this was the play it needed to lampoon:
So, in honor of National Pickle Day on Wednesday, let's look at a few of our very favorite pickles. Because every day is a day to enjoy madcap, high-octane comedy.
The King of the Pickle
Everyone is the best at something. Sometimes it's a skill like throwing a baseball harder than anyone else. Other times, it's being the best at driving a remote control car.
Harrison can extend the rundown and avoid the tag better than pretty much anyone on earth. Just look at these moves -- he chucks the helmet, shucks multiple tags and (I don't care that he went on the grass, this is cooler than your baseline rules) dives into third base. Oh, lordy.
The Triple Rundown
Sometimes people get out of the rundown because of amazing skill and flexibility. And other times, three runners get out of the rundown because the defense is just gobsmacked into inaction.
The White Sox lucked out on the latter here:
This is what it looks like to get bailed out of a TOOTBLAN. pic.twitter.com/uHRdjgb6k4— Cut4 (@Cut4) August 22, 2018
The Risk Taker
OK, so you've managed to beat the rundown and get back to the base safely. Naturally, you just stand there an-- hey,
This is insane:
SPORTS! pic.twitter.com/I3wyt1TgER— MLB (@MLB) June 30, 2018
Sometimes, though, you have to take the L. And, to make matters worse, you don't just get tagged out for your baserunning hubris, but you literally fall on your face, too.
Sometimes you're gonna go splat. And sometimes you're still not out. In those situations, you can either lay on the ground and prepare for the inevitable, or be like Jack Cust -- a lumbering DH who you probably never thought would find himself beyond the safety of the base. He once tried to crawl the last few feet from home plate.
Not only did he fail, but he represented the tying run in the bottom of the 12th inning. Ouch.
Sometimes players know they just aren't going to escape. They could try to avoid their fate; they could fight against destiny, but they ask "What's the point?" and give up.
And sometimes there's even beauty in that.
The Triple Play
This is probably a good rule of thumb: If two outs have already been recorded on the play, maybe just hang out on your base.