Large Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge made quite the catch in the top of the fourth inning tonight, crashing into the right field wall to snare a deep fly ball before tumbling over backwards:
Video, cool; pictures, better. Step by step now—
Before the moment of impact, Judge is perfect—he’s got this, he doesn’t even need his eyes open—and everyone else is a fucking wreck. Look at those faces. The reactions here range from mildly concerned to utterly horrified. Look at the man in the brown hooded jacket, third from the right in the front row. He’s revulsed; this is a nightmare! This is, of course, the double-edged sword of the first row of the outfield seats: You’re close to the action, which is swell, and also close to the action, which brings the ever-present possibility of just ruining everything (everything) by forgetting yourself for a moment and instinctively flicking your wrist toward an incoming ball and becoming the subject of an interference call that loses your team the game and gets you escorted from the stadium when the threats against you get too serious and then earns you months or years or decades of being raked over the coals on sports radio and social media with your stupid face on SportsCenter and everything. It’ll fade, eventually, from “Oh, boy, that goddamn idiot” to stupid cheap humor and finally to an overwrought and worthless step forward in the name of forgiveness, but it will all sting and you will be helpless as the whole thing rages on. This is not a catch; this is not a game; this is your life.
So, yes, withdraw and contort like the man in the brown hooded jacket.
And here is the moment of Judge’s impact with the wall, with everyone’s reactions a little softer and even one guy starting to smile—here’s looking at you, navy hooded sweatshirt over gray cap third from the left—starting to realize that, Hey, this is a catch and it’s cool as hell!
Finally, then, is the aftermath. No one else’s reaction matters here. In the bottom of the inning, he hits a home run; later, he makes a diving stab; he does everything.