Being a major league third-base coach is somehow both a thankless and an awesome job. The awesome part is easy: you get to be the only coach in the sport who plays a role while the ball is live. (Well, first-base coaches do a bit too, with their “BACK!!!” yells on pick-offs, and pointing to second when the ball gets away from the first-baseman, but it’s not the glory role.)
If a third-base coach is involved in a play, something exciting has happened, by default. A run will be scored, a runner will be thrown out, or a runner will be questionably held up at third, which can be just as debatable a decision, especially in the biggest of moments.
Oh, and you get to run through all the signs, too, which are kind of cool. Like if an auctioneer was using sign language.
It’s thankless, though, because you get blamed for those decisions, and they’re not easy ones. And you’re not compensated like a manager is even though you also have a direct role in the team’s on-field success.
All of that debate on the value and merit inherent to third-base coaching is a build-up to this video of Yankees third-base coach Joe Espada eating it as he attempted to wave a runner home:
Yankees 3B coach hurts himself waving in a runner. pic.twitter.com/9sWQfWOZrn
— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) August 10, 2017
Why even have the coach’s box, at this point? (Also, is it coach’s box, or coaches box? Is it a box for coaches, or a box belonging to the coach? It could go either way!)
Espada apparently stayed in the game:
#Yankees 3B coach Joe Espada wiped out waving the runners in. Looked like he turned his ankle. Limping but staying in. Jeez.
— Mike Harrington (@ByMHarrington) August 10, 2017