Spring training is a time for working out the kinks, whether you’re tweaking something in your swing, working on a new pitch or simply trying to improve your arm strength. New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes might want to use the remainder of spring training to work on his depth perception.
In an exhibition game against the Houston Astros, A.J. Reed hit a ball to deep centerfield off Mets ace Matt Harvey. Cespedes chased after it, but the ball sailed over his head, landed in the park, and settled just beneath the blue fence. Instead of reaching under the padding to retrieve it, Cespedes put both hands in the air, trying to indicate that the ball was unreachable. That signal usually results in a ground-rule double. Except the ball wasn’t unreachable, or stuck, or interfered with in any way. Umpire C.J. Buckner made this especially clear in a colorful exchange with Cespedes moments later.
Buckner declared the ball live, and A.J. Reed, who had stopped at second thinking his hit was a ground rule double, broke for home. Reed wound up scoring on an inside-the-park home run while Cespedes continued to (unsuccessfully) plead his case.
“That’s just not a good play,” one announcer exclaimed.
No. No it was not.