I’ve watched this a few times and I still don’t know what to make of it.
Phillies’ minor leaguer Jiwan James scaled the wall on Saturday to make what appears to be one of the more ridiculous home run-stealing catches you’ll ever see. He loses his glove when he comes down hard, but then holds the ball up that he somehow — miraculously — caught.
But watch the final slow motion replay of it. It sure as hell looks like the ball went past his glove and over the fence. But then … how did he so quickly come up with a ball in his hand? If it was some sort of sleight-of-hand, really, where was he keeping the other ball? And why? It’s not like keeping a ball on one’s person makes any kind of sense because how often would that come in handy?
The best I can figure is that when it goes past his glove — and it really looks like it went past his glove — it didn’t go over the fence. Rather, it came down right in front of the fence and into his bare hand and he amazingly held on. Yes, now that I’ve watched it several times I’m 88% sure that’s what happened here because any sleight-of-hand theory is just too complicated.
That remaining 12% is because my brain isn’t quite able to process what my eyes are seeing here, but I am inclined to think that this is the greatest catch I’ve ever seen. You be the judge:
There’s no doubt that the last three years have put David Wright through the ringer. The Mets third baseman missed the bulk of his 2015 season with spinal stenosis and made it through a month of games in 2016 before undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck. In 2017, a bout of shoulder impingement, rotator cuff surgery and a laminotomy procedure on his lower back kept him off the field for all 162 games.
Despite the continual setbacks, Wright told MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, he doesn’t believe retirement is in the cards for him this year. “When the end comes, the end comes,” he said Friday. “Hopefully, I’ve got a little more left. But I guess that’s to be determined.”
The 35-year-old last appeared for High-A St. Lucie in 2017, powering through three games with one hit and five strikeouts in 10 plate appearances. His career has advanced in fits and starts since 2015, but you don’t have to do too much digging to find his last great performance with the Mets. Wright earned his seventh career All-Star berth in 2013, slashing .307/.390/.514 with 18 home runs and a terrific 6.0 fWAR in 492 PA. While he isn’t expected to mash at those levels in the near future, if ever again, the Mets believe the veteran third baseman might still have something left in the tank as he tries to extend a 13-year run in the majors.
Per DiComo, the only thing standing in his way is a clean bill of health — not just for the upcoming season, but for the years to come. Wright said he wouldn’t risk returning to the field if it came with long-term implications for his quality of life.
The surgeries are obviously serious stuff, but it just kind of plays with your mind mentally, where you don’t know how your body’s going to hold up,” Wright said. “You don’t know how you’re going to feel a month from now. You don’t know how you’re going to feel a couple weeks from now. You’re hoping that it continues to get better, but you just don’t know.
Given the uncertainty that surrounds his return to the game, it’s a prudent outlook to have.