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The umpire REALLY wanted to make sure Todd Frazier stepped on the plate yesterday

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Todd Frazier hit a walkoff homer to give the Mets a victory over the Miami Marlins in the first game of their doubleheader yesterday. Walkoff homers are big deals! They excite people! When they happen, the player’s teammates all come out to the home plate and mob him when he scores!

Another thing that often happens is that the guy who hit the walkoff homer takes a big leap onto home plate into the celebratory mob. Maybe that’s not the best idea — Kendrys Morales likely has some opinions about that — but it happens a lot.

It didn’t happen in the Mets game, though. Home plate umpire Tom Hallion made sure of that. Watch him and his positioning when Frazier is about to cross the plate:

In case you missed it:

I don’t have any strong negative feelings about Tom Hallion. Indeed, earlier this year I noted that he handled a pretty dicey situation involving the Mets — the famous “ass in the jackpot” argument with Terry Collins — pretty darn masterfully. As such, I have no reason to believe that he was trying to turn this into an ump-show or to show up Frazier here. No one seems to have asked him, but I imagine if he was asked he’d simply say he was there to make sure home plate was touched, to make Frazier’s game-winning run officially count. He does look down at Frazier’s foot at the end, after all.

Still, I’ve never seen an ump get that up-close and personal in those situations. Often times they’ll just offer a glance from a few feet away and let everyone have their dog pile. I guess Hallion just wanted to cross the t and dot the i here. You know, so as not to get his ass in the jackpot.

Ramón Laureano made an absolutely ridiculous play yesterday

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I talked about it in the recaps, but dear lord does Oakland A’s outfielder Ramón Laureano’s play in yesterday’s game against the Blue Jays deserve it’s own post.

Jays first baseman Justin Smoak led off the second with a single Then Teoscar Hernández then came up and hit a long drive to center. In what, in and of itself, would’ve lead the highlight reels yesterday, Laureano ranged back to the wall and reached over to rob Hernández of a homer.

Laureano is known best for his arm, though, and that’s when he unleashed that hose, attempting to double off Smoak at first base all the way from the warning track. The throw was not on target — indeed, it sailed way past first base — but that was itself impressive as all get-out. As A’s pitcher Brett Anderson said after the game, he’s pretty sure the throw went farther than Hernández hit the ball in the first place. The arm strength on display there was simply phenomenal. But it was also lucky.

Lucky because the throw went so far into foul territory that it gave Smoak the courage to break for second base. Laureano was not the only one playing great defense on the play, though: A’s catcher Nick Hundley backed up the play, got Laureano’s errant throw and fired it down to second, nailing Smoak. And heck, Hundley’s throw was nothing to sneeze at either:

That did not go as an outfield assist for Lauerano, obviously, as his bad throw — which would’ve been an error had Smoak managed to advance, we must admit — broke that up. So, in the books it goes as an F7 and then a separate 2-4 putout. Still, it just shows Laueano’s incredible defensive abilities, both with the leather and with that cannon he has for an arm.

An arm that, this play not withstanding, gets him plenty of assists. Indeed, he has has five assists this season already and has 14 assists in just 70 games, which is a lot. To put it in perspective, it usually takes somewhere between 12-18 to lead the league in a full season with 20 being an outlier of sorts, only seen once every five years or so.

So, if you’re gonna hit it to center against the A’s, make sure you hit it all the way out. And if Laureano gets to it, for god’s sake, don’t run on him.