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Watch Todd Helton fake out and then pick off Matt Carpenter

Sep 19, 2013, 4:15 PM EDT

Todd Helton‘s baseball race is almost run, but he’s still got guile.

Matt Carpenter on base. Watch Helton’s slick move:

Old people may not be able to do everything they once did, but they can still make young people look silly on occasion.

  1. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 19, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    That is the fault of the first base coach. It’s his responsibility to keep an eye on Helton and should have seen that he did not throw the ball back.

    • bambam431987 - Sep 20, 2013 at 10:57 AM

      It’s both their faults. Any player that thinks they don’t have to pay attention to the game & know what’s going on because there is a base coach should be demoted to little league.

      In the majors there is no reason for a base runner not to be paying attention 100% of the time.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 20, 2013 at 11:01 AM

        The player has his back to the action while the base-coach should be looking right at Helton. Sure the player shouldn’t have come off the bag like that, but part of being on a team is everyone is assigned different responsibilities, and relying on each other to complete their part of the arrangement.

  2. The Dangerous Mabry - Sep 19, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    This is considered clever play. Yelling out when there’s a pop-up is dirty. I’ll never understand what’s acceptable when it comes to attempting to fool your opponent.

    • Jason @ IIATMS - Sep 19, 2013 at 4:23 PM

      Because ARod.

    • dan1111 - Sep 19, 2013 at 4:33 PM

      It’s all arbitrary to some extent. In hockey punching somebody in the face is acceptable.

      But I think trying to disrupt the other team’s communication could reasonably be considered worse than trying to sneakily pick someone off.

      • NatsLady - Sep 19, 2013 at 5:23 PM

        There is actually a rule about that–for example, a shortstop can’t run around behind the pitcher waving his arms to distract the hitter because he has removed himself from his “normal” position. OTOH, “deke-ing” is allowed (pretending to catch a ball you didn’t or vice-versa) to trick a baserunner into a mistake. Also, apparently, you are allowed to shift, and play five infielders… which I guess is not considered “abnormal.”

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Sep 20, 2013 at 9:07 AM

      The difference is yellign out is an attempt to distract – Helton did nothing of the sort here. What he did is no different then squaring to bunt, and then pulling the bat back and swinging away.

      If you want to say yelling out is okay, so be it. But it is not the same as what happened here

    • bambam431987 - Sep 26, 2013 at 4:08 PM

      Yes a team should watch out for each other but that does not mean you ignore common sense & make sure the guy right next to you when you got back really throws the ball. Little league even tells you to stay on the bag until the ball is thrown back to the pitcher.

      Coach’s fault for not doing his job & player’s fault for being a dumb ass.

  3. Stiller43 - Sep 19, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Its all fair – unless it goes against your team.

  4. tfbuckfutter - Sep 19, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    That last line should be replaced with Dumb and Dumber.

    “I guess they’re right. Senior citizens, although slow and dangerous behind the wheel can still serve a purpose.”

    Don’t you go dying on me!

  5. tcostant - Sep 19, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    Why doesn’t anybody do the hidden ball trick any more? Basicly when all the IF’s are at the pitcher bump for a coference, the pitcher slips the ball into the 1B mitt, the pitchers does not go to the rubber (or it’s a balk) and the first baseman waits til the runner takes a lead and tags him out.

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 19, 2013 at 5:08 PM

      You’ve watched Rookie of the Year once too many times.

      • tfbuckfutter - Sep 19, 2013 at 6:16 PM

        Impossible. One can’t watch Rookie of the Year, or The Sandlot too many times.

        Little Big League, sure. 3 or 4 times is definitely way too many.

        Unless you start to question if it’s ok for you to still think the blonde girl is cute. And you say to yourself “But I was pretty much the same age, so it’s ok for me to still identify with those feelings of attraction right?” and after a bunch of back and forth you realize you have to throw out your middle school yearbook.

    • rje49 - Sep 19, 2013 at 6:17 PM

      Years ago, there was a minor leaguer who made a fake baseball out of pie crust. When the opportunity came, the third baseman kept the real ball, while the runner thought the pitcher had it- the pie-crust ball looked real enough from a distance. The ploy worked to catch the runner off base alright, but unfortunately ejections followed. One of those crazy incidents in the minors! This was probably something like 20+ years ago and I don’t remember much else. Wish I did.

      • dlf9 - Sep 19, 2013 at 6:25 PM

        It was HOFer Roger Breshnahan’s grandson or great-grandson. The elder did it in a major league game using a sculpted potato and it entered the game’s lore for a few generations. The younger was ejected, suspended and, IIRC, never played again.

    • dan1111 - Sep 19, 2013 at 6:26 PM

      According to Wikipedia, the authoritative source on everything, “a hidden-ball trick may never be executed after a base hit, mound visit or other event in which ‘time’ is called: in order to put the ball back into play, the pitcher must engage the rubber and if the pitcher engages the rubber without the ball, it is a balk”.

      Helton’s move was an actual hidden-ball trick.

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 20, 2013 at 11:07 AM

      The reason the hidden ball trick doesn’t work is because by rule, if the first baseman were to hold onto the ball, the pitcher may not return to the mound, less a balk is called. So, as a base-runner, if the pitcher is wondering around in the grass, instead of on the mound, where he spends 99% of his time, you know something is up and stay on the bag.

      “With the ball in play, the pitcher is not allowed to step on or straddle the rubber without the ball.”

  6. chacochicken - Sep 19, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Old age and treachery
    Always overcomes youth and skill
    -Waylon Jennings

    • historiophiliac - Sep 19, 2013 at 4:45 PM

      I’m older and I have more insurance.

      — Fried Green Tomatoes

      • Reflex - Sep 19, 2013 at 5:16 PM

        That was a great great scene.

    • tfbuckfutter - Sep 19, 2013 at 6:42 PM

      Evil will always triumph
      Because good is dumb

      -Dark Helmet

  7. historiophiliac - Sep 19, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    Old and guiley.

    (PS I know you uptight speller fellers will correct me to “guileful” but I don’t like the way it rolls.)

  8. hansob - Sep 19, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    I’d say that whole Todd Helton Hall of Fame discussion is wrapped up into a neat bow after that.

    • jarathen - Sep 19, 2013 at 5:35 PM

      I do wonder how that out translates. Does WAR take sneaky one-offs into account?

    • 1ambetterthanyou - Sep 19, 2013 at 6:02 PM

      Yea dude….old geezer pulls off a rec ball league play so lets put in the hall of fame.

  9. NatsLady - Sep 19, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    A couple of weeks ago a fan yelled “got it, got it” and Logan Morrison missed a foul ball.

    What say ye: Fair or foul???

    • jarathen - Sep 19, 2013 at 5:37 PM

      It’s not cool. It’s bad faith. It’s up to the runner to know where the ball is. A fielder who knows where the ball is but is tricked by an opposing fan or player while following the ball is at a marked disadvantage, since he can’t well see the person and the ball at the same time to determine how legitimate the call is.

      Beyond that, any kind of conditioning that teaches a player to ignore calls for a ball from a teammate is asking for more on-field collisions and is inherently awful.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Sep 20, 2013 at 9:14 AM

      Foul. As in Foul Ball in a Fair way. These guys have to know where the stands are, and should be ignoring what they hear from that direction. If they don’t, that is on them

  10. Francisco (FC) - Sep 19, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Well we’re not sure he’s fully operational but Todd Helton is definitely fully armed!

  11. aceshigh11 - Sep 19, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    Now that’s some funny shit.

  12. Jeremy Fox - Sep 19, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    When coaching little league I always tell my players not to try that trick, that it never fools anyone. I stand corrected.

    • 1ambetterthanyou - Sep 19, 2013 at 6:17 PM

      I knew it was only a matter of time before a “coach” chimed in about this.

      • cur68 - Sep 19, 2013 at 6:24 PM

        And we all knew it was but a matter of time before you engaged in more asshattery. What’s your point?

    • 1ambetterthanyou - Sep 19, 2013 at 6:25 PM

      Old dudes coaching little kids is pretty funny to watch. Talk about stranger danger….

      • jwbiii - Sep 19, 2013 at 7:54 PM

        Unless this Jeremy Fox is spoofing somebody else’s id, there are a fair number of MLB players older than he is.

      • Jeremy Fox - Sep 19, 2013 at 9:58 PM

        I’m actually 40, so there aren’t that many MLB players older than me, sadly. I’m rooting for a Jamie Moyer comeback…

      • jwbiii - Sep 19, 2013 at 11:32 PM

        You’ll get no pity from me. The last guy older than to play was Julio Franco. :)

  13. Gamera the Brave - Sep 20, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    I played a bunch at 1B in Little League. Buddy of mine beat out an infield single, but when I turned around, I noticed that he never crossed into foul territory, just walked back up in fair grounds – so I tagged him out..

    Dude never spoke to me again.

    • salvomania - Sep 20, 2013 at 11:04 AM

      He shouldn’t have been out simply for walking back up in fair territory—the runner to first is allowed to do that; there’s no stipulation that he must walk back to the bag while in foul ground.

      It’s only if he makes a turn toward second and then retreats back toward first that he is vulnerable to being tagged out.

      • Gamera the Brave - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:56 PM

        Tell that to the umpire! Faked him out too!

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