$0.02: Baseball’s rare bird isn’t all that difficult, actually | SummitDaily.com
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$0.02: Baseball’s rare bird isn’t all that difficult, actually

DEVON O'NEIL
summit daily news
Devon O'Neil
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The most overplayed replay in sports is the one of a baseball player completing an unassisted triple play. I don’t get it. Everyone makes a big deal about the unassisted triple because it’s so rare (you’re more likely to meet a dog who hates steak); to do one, however, takes the talent of a high schooler (albeit the luck of a lottery winner, too).

Both runners moving on the pitch, line drive up the middle, you catch it, make the tags (runner and bag), then get showered with praise as if you did something otherwordly. Thankfully, Rockies manager Clint Hurdle is there to remind us how little the play had to do with Tulowitzki himself.

“That was a special moment but it’s not like he did something extraordinary,” Hurdle told the Associated Press. “He made a handful of plays in that three-game series that were a lot more difficult than that triple play.” …

Paul Zimmerman, a.k.a. Dr. Z, who has written for Sports Illustrated since the Thomas Jefferson administration, ranked the Broncos’ draft the worst in the NFL because they took a pair of former Florida defensive linemen with troubled pasts: Jarvis Moss and Marcus Thomas, each of whom was suspended for testing positive for marijuana at one point or another. Thomas was kicked off the team altogether because he violated his probation. Dr. Z gave Denver a grade of D-minus.

All of that said, the most interesting draft-related words I read all weekend came from Moss’ mouth. Speaking of Thomas, his former teammate with the Gators, Moss said, “Hands down Marcus was the best football player on our national championship football team this year.” High praise. …

Thomas, for his part, understands how close he is to strike three in the football world. “I really don’t deserve anything,” he said. “Denver gave me the chance.” …

Baseball superlatives from April: Most unlikely statistical leader ” tie, between speedy shortstop Jimmy Rollins leading the NL in homers with nine, one more than Barry Bonds; and Kenny Lofton leading the AL in steals, with 11, at age 73 (or so it seems). … Most surprising team ” the historically terrible Brewers (16-9 as of Tuesday), who lead their division by 3 1/2 games. …

The Quote of the Week comes from Crested Butte’s Ethan Passant, who won the Grind on Saturday to sweep all five races in the inaugural Colorado Ski Mountaineering Cup.

Describing a high-speed, body-thrashing fall near the Sugar Cube at A-Basin, Passant delivered a funny perspective on the sport of randonee ski racing.

With a grin, he said: “I think this was my first fall of the season, dude ” I’m normally a very conservative skier. I’ve always said I’m glad this isn’t a spectator sport up on the hill so much, because there’s some real bad skiing going on. I can only speak for myself, I guess, but I never feel that pretty.” …

Sammy Sosa hit a home run in his 44th career major league ballpark last Thursday, adding Cleveland’s Jacobs Field to his list ” and breaking an MLB record he shared with Ken Griffey Jr. and Fred McGriff.

FYI, there are 30 big league teams. …

In parting, seeing Shaquille O’Neal morph into an ordinary NBA player, as we did much of this year, is like finding out the Easter Bunny’s fake.


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