Pirates' backup catcher OK after flipping into Padres' dugout in win
By Karen Price
Published: Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, 7:18 p.m.
Pirates catcher Tony Sanchez didn't intend to flip over the railing and tumble headfirst into the Padres' dugout Thursday, but he wanted to get his pitcher an easy out.
The Pirates were ahead comfortably, 9-1, in the eighth inning, but Jason Grilli is still working his way back from an injury, and Sanchez wanted him to have a good outing. Sanchez chased Chris Denorfia's popup toward the Padres' dugout, reached the railing, put his glove out, caught the ball, and over he went.
“The main priority after I started going over was to stick my other hand in the glove and hold on to the ball,” he said.
“You can't do all that for nothing. You can't go over and sacrifice your body and have the ball pop out. That'd be embarrassing.”
Sanchez did hold on to the ball and got the first out of the inning, but it certainly wasn't easy.
He hit his head on the way down, and when Padres catcher Nick Hundley came to pick him up, Sanchez said all he could think was, “Who the heck are you?” despite knowing who Hundley is.
“I hit the ground and I'm like, ‘(Darn), that really hurt,' and I'm looking him in the eyes and he's like, ‘Are you OK?' ” Sanchez said. “I didn't know what was going on. That's as close as I've come to being dazed ever.”
After Sanchez was checked over by a trainer and manager Clint Hurdle, he stayed in the game.
“You might not ever see a catcher make a better play in the dugout than the one you saw (Thursday),” Hurdle said. “You might not ever see a better play than the one Sanchez made (Thursday).”
None of the Padres made a move toward catching Sanchez, but he doesn't blame anyone for letting him take the fall.
“They don't want to interfere with the play,” said Sanchez, who proclaimed himself to be fine after the game.
“They want to let me make the play, and everything's happening so fast no one's going to have the time to think, ‘Maybe I should catch this guy if he goes over.' And I don't blame them for not catching me.
“It's not their fault. I'm the one who went the extra mile. It's not like I'm a 100-pound woman. I'm a 230-pound catcher with gear and metal cleats and mass flying everywhere, and who's going to get in the way of that? I wouldn't try to catch anybody.”
Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates sign free agent pitcher Volquez
- Pirates not yet talking extensions with Alvarez, Walker
- First base options thinning as winter meetings go on
- Pirates sign Morton to 3-year extension
- Pirates notebook: Polanco ruled out as Opening Day option
- Pirates general manager Huntington is searching for right player, deal
- Breaking down the Pirates’ needs entering winter meetings
- Pirates will shop while starting pitcher Burnett makes his decision
- Pirates notebook: Huntington narrows team’s offseason targets