This delightful baseball sequence begins with Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter leading off the top of the 11th inning against Pirates hurler Steven Brault. With the count at 2–2, Brault threw a breaking pitch down and away, and Carpenter appeared to check his swing. Third base umpire Jordan Baker, staring into the sun, determined Carpenter had in fact gone around, and rang him up with a swinging strikeout. Carpenter was pissed, and let Baker hear about it:
Without missing a beat, home plate umpire Vic Carapazza sent Carpenter to the showers. Feel free to ascribe what happened next to ye olde baseball gods, if that’s your bag: four batters later, with the score still at 5–5 and the bases juiced, the Pirates brought on Nick Kingham to pitch for Brault; Kingham, on a 1–1 count to Yairo Munoz, missed the catcher’s glove on a 91-mile-per-hour fastball, in an incredibly unfortunate way:
That’s Vic Carapazza taking a passed ball off his dick and balls, leading to the Cardinals bringing in what would prove to be the winning run. This is a sequence in search of a moral—don’t eject an angry player for a two-syllable outburst? Give batters the benefit of the doubt on checked swings? The mind races to extract meaning from an umpire getting pegged in the junk minutes after a potentially pivotal series of judgment calls. What if Carapazza was right? What if Baker was right? Which deity is in charge of these kinds of comeuppance calls, dammit!
No, I’m afraid the lesson is the usual one: The universe is a cold and mostly empty place, and all its movements are guided by nothing more than the indifferent leftover energy of a large explosion, and sometimes that energy randomly sends a speeding baseball directly into your crotch. Wear a cup.
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