Best Social Distancing Plays – Week 2

The good, the bad, and the downright strange (whilst staying safe).

In this new baseball reality we find ourselves in, I have found a new love for the sounds of the game that can be heard across the various network broadcasts. We all would love to be watching games in ballparks right now, however watching baseball via your television, tablet or smartphone has never sounded better. The cracks off the bat, the calls from the fielders, the reactions of the pitchers, we are hearing it all. It is not only refreshing but it also reveals personalities and levels of competitiveness that we wouldn’t know about unless we were out there with the players too.

As we remain socially distant from the game, let us celebrate those that did it best, followed the rules, and played “safe” baseball. Let’s also look at those who fell short.


Lonely Ryan Howard In Right Field


The addition of cardboard cut out, or “fathead” fans, celebrities, pets, and now players have provided people with not only a way to feel connected to the ballpark but also feel engaged with the game through the pandemic. The Philadelphia Phillies have been one of the best franchises to keep evolving this new phenomenon in their stadium at Citizens Bank Park as the season has played out.

The club has started to place these cutouts in the exact seats where their home runs have landed, such as Bryce Harper’s here.




In a genius move, the Phillies have tipped the hat to former first baseman Ryan Howard, who famously hit a monster grand slam into the 3rd deck against the Washington Nationals back in 2009.




Howard has to win the award for “Best Socially Distanced Cut Out” of the season so far.




Eloy Leaves The Ball And The Field


It was a bad night in left field for young Chicago White Sox star, Eloy Jiménez. A high fly ball from Christian Yelich in the X inning had him scurrying close to the wall to try and make the play. What happened next is not something Eloy will be wanting to see too often. He ended up very socially distanced from both ball and the actual playing field. To make matters worse, Yelich completed his round-trip back to the plate for an inside-the-park home run.




Not to be outdone by his teammate, when relaying the eventual thrown back in from Eloy, Yoan Moncada decided to make an equally-bad socially distanced throw to the plate. I think they are still looking for the ball.




Jose Ramirez No Shake


The Cleveland Indians’ switch-hitting Dominican third baseman José Ramírez homered from both sides of the plate in their crushing 13-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Here is the first off fellow Dominican Luis Castillo.




The traditional high-five from the third base coach has seen many different forms this year. Ramírez was a happy chappy playing a little game with James Sarbaugh as he rounded the bases a couple of times.




Even warning him to do the right thing the second time around. Nice work, José.





Orioles Twitter Handle Is On Point


Quietly, it is not a bad time to be a baseball fan in Baltimore. The team is performing admirably on the field, and the social media crew have really embraced the value and importance of social distancing, as you can see.



The Houston Astros Outfield


Eeek, it has been a rough week for the Astros who dropped another game thanks to a walk-off in Oakland last night. Already trailing the A’s by 2.5 games after a torrid couple of days in Arizona, the young pitching depth in the Astros bullpen finally came unstuck thanks to a Marcus Semien hit to send the A’s into rapture. The Astros have looked sluggish in the outfield all season, and Myles Straw didn’t want to play this ball last night…




As you expect, those not-too-happy with the Astros were quick to jump on a very similar error from the outfielder in the 6th inning after a line drive from Ramón Laureano.




The Kole Calhoun inside-the-park home run in Arizona the night before was also embarrassing. George Springer chased the ball into the corner but it took a wicked ricochet off the right-field corner fencing. The ball then seemed to outrun Springer despite his best efforts to catch up with it.



Crowds Return For Iowa High School Baseball


Well, this was lovely to see. Principal Park is the home of the Iowa Cubs, the Pacific Coast League team, and Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. The image below is from a game between two high schools—Urbandale and Johnston. The 4A semifinal clash was a rematch of last year’s state championship game and looks to have drawn a big (socially-distanced) crowd. There is hope!



Of course, in the KBO crowds have been back now for some time. As you can see fans are enjoying games once again in Korea whilst remaining sensible, safe, and socially distanced.




Join me next week for more of the best socially distanced baseball from week 3.


Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@FreshMeatComm on Twitter)

Benjamin Haller

A Yorkshireman living in Australia, loving Major League Baseball from afar. As I wait for my A's to build their new stadium, I spend my time coaching soccer, writing for sportbc.blog, and over-analyzing relief pitcher scoring in fantasy baseball. Follow me @benjaminhaller1 for thousands of retweets

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