This morning in ATH, I asked why Philly fans hate Rod Barajas. It was explained to me in the comments that it was because Barajas wussed out when he should have been blocking the plate against the Marlins a couple of years ago, allowing a run to score. The great Bob Timmermann — a librarian, and you don’t friggin’ mess with librarians — sends along a news account from that game, revealing that it was actually worse than even the Philly fans in the comments described. From the Knight Ridder report, May 24, 2007:
Aaron Boone singled to shallow leftfield. Jayson Werth fielded it cleanly and fired home, where Ramirez was out by at least 20 feet. Except Barajas chose to rise instead of block the plate. Ramirez slid under the tag. Home plate umpire Tim Timmons called Ramirez safe; tie game.
Barajas went ballistic. He got ejected. Manuel soon followed.
Replays convinced Manuel of Timmons’ correctness, though.
“Ninety-nine times out of a hundred they’re going to call that guy out,” Manuel
Barajas believes he should have gotten the call.
“I didn’t see anything conclusive,” Barajas said.
He didn’t see the big deal, either, concerning his tagging technique.
“I wasn’t sure what [Ramirez] was going to do,” Barajas said. “I didn’t want to be down low and give him a good shot at me, maybe knock the ball loose.”
Manuel seethed over the mental miscues.
“Those are mistakes that you don’t make,” he said.
Barajas’ take: “Since we won the game, we can look back and laugh at some of those plays.”
Except you couldn’t laugh, at least not if you’re a Phillies fan. The inning was supposed to be over, but it went on due to Barajas’ mistake. Two pitches later, Brett Myers injured himself on a pitch and would not rejoin the club for over two months. Pitches, the article notes, he never had to throw.
I suppose it’s an open question as to whether it’s right or even healthy to hold a grudge like that for two years, but at least now I understand why they hold the grudge.
(And thanks Bob!)