Yoenis Cespedes’s stubbornness allowed A.J. Reed of the Houston Astros to record an easy inside the park home run on Thursday.
In today’s Spring Training matchup against the Houston Astros, A.J. Reed lined a ball straight over Cespedes’ head, which seemed to get stuck under the center field fence. The hit appeared to be a ground rule double, but the Astros coaches told Reed to keep on running.
Cespedes stood around, not doing much of anything as the ball was clearly visible and reachable under the fence, as Reed trotted home for an inside the park home run. A perplexed C.B. Bucknor visited Cespedes in center fieldwhile appearing to tell him the ball was playable, easily knocking it loose, and proceeding to give him the best “c’mon dude” response ever.
Cespedes could have easily grabbed the ball if he just bent down and looked, but instead assumed it was stuck. Thankfully for him, it was just a Spring Training game so the run doesn’t really hold all that much importance, but the gaffe was a big one. Reed wasn’t initially aware the ball was playable, and if Cespedes played it properly, he would be at second instead of in the dugout celebrating a home run.
Cespedes’ reaction was reminisent of Justin Upton’s response to a stuck ball in 2014, which led to a home run which was eventually overturned to a ground rule double. In Cespedes case, there’s no doubt the ball was playable. I’d wager he’s learned his lesson.