A wailing fire alarm. A car slamming into the front window of a diner, brakes screeching as customers scream. A baseball bat that has slipped from the hitter’s fingers and is flung into the crowd.

These are things that are distracting—situations that, reasonably, should pull your attention from what you are doing. But! Here is a caveat regarding that last one. If you are a baseball player in the baseball game in which said baseball bat is flung into the crowd, your attention should not be pulled from what you are doing. You should keep playing baseball.


Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Josh Bell found himself facing such a situation tonight against the Phillies, and it didn’t go especially well for him. With Andres Blanco’s bat helicoptering into the stands, Bell completely missed that catcher Elias Diaz was throwing the ball to first in order to pick off runner Andrew Knapp. Bell missed the throw, and Knapp went on to score all the way from first:

But do not grieve for him just yet. The error was assigned to Diaz rather than to Bell, who went on to hit a two-run home run in the next inning. Redemption.