The best comments on the Javier Baez “rundown” at first base

The Baez “run-down” at first base is so hilarious. Jomboy’s breakdown is very good. He focuses on what happened before and after the play.

Marquee Network has some extra views of the circus act.

The best Reddit comments on this bizarre play

I read through some 2,000 comments on Reddit, and pulled the best ones. Comments are grouped by player.

Javier Baez

Javier Baez giving the safe sign during his run down.jpg

I love that Javy took the time to watch the slide into home plate, signal “safe”, and then run to first base. Probably the most entertaining player in baseball.

Javy Baez ended up being safe at 2nd on this play

Reminds me of when Javy hugged Nolan Arenado to prevent a double play. Arenado was so confused he hugged back.

If the mark of a player was the combined highlights of their best 20 plays, Javy Baez would be the greatest baseball player who ever lived.

I think Javy running backwards threw him off. Normally you tag first but the guy isn’t running away from you. lol

Javy being Javy.

Pirates being Pirates.

Cubs first base coach Craig Driver

They later showed a replay with the first base coach windmilling Javy to get to first. lmao

Willson Contreras (the runner who scored)

Willson got on base by a single. With the count 0-2 on Baez, the pitcher tried picking Contreras off first. Instead of sliding back to first, Contreras just ran to second. The first baseman fumbles the ball, so Contreras steals second without a throw.

When the Baez rundown happened, Contreras scored not just from third base. He started that play on second base.

That’s the only reason this worked. Runner would not have gone home if it wasn’t, nothing to lose. Brilliant move by Contreras.

1B Will Craig

This is Will Craig’s 15th career major league game. He actually made mistakes on three separate plays that inning.

  1. When Contreras was on first, he fumbled the pickoff throw.
  2. He didn’t force Baez out, and didn’t tag Baez out.
  3. After Baez scored on a blooper to center field, the very next batter hit the ball to him, and he fumbled it.

And this guy was once a first round draft pick!!

He won the 2019 MiLB gold glove for 1B btw with a 0.999 fielding percentage. Makes this all the more ridiculous.

2B Adam Frazier

This is his 6th year in MLB. No rookie excuses for Frazier.

I mean the second baseman not covering first is almost as bad as the first baseman not covering first, lmao.

Home plate umpire Ryan Additon

I didn’t see anyone on Reddit mention this: Technically, Baez should have been called out. Baseball rules 5.08 state:

If, with two out, the batter-runner refuses to advance to and touch first base, the umpire shall disallow the run, call out the offending player, and order the game resumed.

Pittsburg Pirates

The players watching this play are pretty amusing.

Granted, this should have been an easy play. That’s probably why the players were walking to their dugout along third base in PNC Park.

Pirates are the most innovative team in the MLB when it comes to losing.

Pirates broadcast call of the “play”

“Hahaha… oh wait.”

The heck did he say at the end there? “The Kawayo pleas can be heard from here to Soowiggly”?

[“The calliopes can be heard from here to Sewickley”]
The Calliopes (a musical instrument that’s kind of like an organ, often associated with comedy sketches where people are bumbling around can be heard from here to Sewickley (a suburb about 12 miles away from Pittsburgh)

What an awesome way to call them a bunch of clowns. lmao

When your team gets slammed so hard you revert to your inner poet.

Overall observation

It deserves to be in both the Not Top 10 AND the Top 10

Official MLB description of the play

MLB’s official description of the play is just as bizarre as what happened:

Javier Baez reaches on a missed catch error by first baseman Will Craig, assist to third baseman Erik Gonzalez. Willson Contreras scores. Javier Baez advances to 2nd, on a throwing error by Michael Perez.

I’m not sure how the third baseman was involved here. Will Craig threw the ball to the catcher, not the third basemen.

The game results

Something that nobody is really mentioning:
Baez scored on a bloop single by the next batter.
The Cubs ended up winning the game 5-3.
So this play single-handedly lost the Pirates the game.


Anthony Rizzo laughing

Rizzo is the first baseman fully appreciates how ridiculous this circus act is by a fellow first baseman. At first I thought Rizzo was laughing so hard because he’s the lovable Rizzo. But viewing it through the lens of the 1B Rizzo, he knows exactly how absurd this is.

Rizzo captured how we all feel watching this

I swear watching Rizzo is one of the most fun things in baseball. Even when he’s not playing.

As my friend put it: “He just looks like a guy that loves his grandma.”

Has anyone checked on Rizzo? He might have had a heart attack by the looks of it.

Anthony Rizzo on 10-day DL for strained abdominals.

Man that killed me when I saw it on the broadcast. I just love that guy and how much joy he has in the game so much. Dude is like a big kid playing baseball with his friends.

Anthony Rizzo laughing at Baez rundown May 27, 2021


Ok, so just for funsies, let’s list all of the mistakes that happen here:

  1. Throw to first base is off-line
  2. First baseman follows Baez down the line instead of just stepping on first for the force
  3. First baseman does not tag Baez
  4. First baseman jogs/walks after Baez instead of running to apply the tag
  5. First baseman watches Contreras round third and does nothing, also continues to just not run and instead jog after Baez
  6. This one’s debatable but the catcher is kinda standing in a weird place for the tag
  7. Throw to the catcher by the first baseman is too slow
  8. Throw to the catcher by the first baseman is too high (would Baez have been called for interfence if the throw hit him? IDK the rules.)
  9. Baez and first baseman collide weirdly as Contreras slides in
  10. Baez signals safe instead of then running to first right away
  11. First baseman watches the tag play/umpire instead of doing… anything else
  12. Pitcher watches the tag play/umpire instead of covering first
  13. [EDIT: Catcher could have just tagged Baez.]
  14. Catcher looks at umpire instead of prepping throw to first in case he’s safe
  15. Second baseman/nobody else covers first base which is now wide open
  16. 2B drops the throw from the catcher as he covers the bag (Baez is gonna be safe at this point anyway 99%), allowing throw to go into right field
  17. Right fielder (?) is covering up the line, which I guess is fine? But is not in line with the throw and neither is the CF, so when the throw trickles into right field nobody is there
  18. After Baez is safe at first, 2B kinda just walks off?
  19. Shortstop fails to catch the throw at second from the outfield/the throw is kinda shitty. Not sure who’s fault it is so grouping it as one.

There’s also a chance that 1B forgot how many outs there were, so maybe count that. idk. So, who is innocent here? Definitely the left fielder. Debatably the RF/CF and catcher. All in all, absolutely wonderful.

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4 thoughts on “The best comments on the Javier Baez “rundown” at first base”

  1. Tokengaymusiccritic also forgot that the runner on second ran when the ball was hit in front of him. Doesn’t matter if there were two outs. You always make the third baseman make the harder play. All the third baseman had to do was tag him out instead of making an errant throw to first.

  2. First basemen tag out batters in the baseline all the time. Particularly on errant throws to the inside of the base. Which is exactly the throw that Will Craig fielded. Why? Because it’s faster and easier. Where is the batter going to go? Faster is significant because with less than two outs other runners can advance. As you saw in this case with Contraras.
    The batter can stop at best, but he (or she) CANNOT take one single step back towards home plate. If they do they are out according to the oldest rule in baseball.
    Half the Pirates were walking off the field because they knew that play represented the third out. It was not until the umpire failed to retire the batter that the circus act commenced.
    That is why the catcher was equally confused and could not help in the rundown(?). He had to honor the runner coming home, again because the umpire did not call the batter out. If a catcher ever got in a run-down situation between home and first he would leave home, shorten up and easily retire the runner. The pitcher could not cover home plate because he would be cycling thru the run-down with the catcher. Who’s going to cover home? Grandma?
    The reason the second baseman was not backing up first is because he also was walking off the field. There are no run-downs between home and first. Ever. Period. That would eliminate the “force out” rule from the game of baseball.
    Therefore, Will Craig did absolutely nothing wrong. He did not make any error or commit any lapse in judgement. Run all the way back to first to touch first base? Not by the time the ump allowed the batter to run all the way back home!!! IF Craig HAD run all the way back to first to retire the batter Baez would have been out and no run would have scored even if Contraras scored beforehand (runs do not count on force plays with two outs). But how would Craig know that when the umpire is clearly keeping the ball in play?
    The Cub’s first baseman (Rizzo) knew this. That’s why he was laughing so hard. He knew the Cubs stole a run on an illegal play. Do you think he was going to tell the ump? That was the Pirate’s manager’s job.
    This debacle clearly illustrates why the batter must follow thru to first base. This is why the rule was put in the book.
    Shakespeare could not have concocted a better farce.

    1. Dave, thank you for your thorough explanation. Now that you explain it, it makes sense that the batter cannot take one step back to home. However, I can’t find the specific rule in the MLB rulebook that addresses this situation. I just read all of the section, “5.06 Running the Bases”, and it doesn’t seem to address this situation. Can you share the exact rule that states a the batter cannot take one single step back towards home plate.

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