WATCH: Baez hugs it out with Nolan Arenado on basepaths
|Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 2:01 AM- -|
CHICAGO — Perhaps, Javier Baez chose to hug Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado on the basepaths so as to prevent an inning-ending double play from coming to fruition. Then again, perhaps, the hug was a classic example of "Javy being Javy."
With runners on first and second and one out in the bottom of the 11th of the National League Wild Card Game, Baez was caught in a pickle between second and third after a grounder was hit right to Arenado. Arenado quickly ran Baez down and applied the tag.
Interestingly, Baez, who briefly attempted to backpedal away from Arenado before surrendering himself, quite literally bear-hugged Arenado in the middle of the basepath, which essentially prevented the Rockies from having any chance of turning two.
Playoff baseball always produces unique moments... like opponents sharing a hug in between bases. Nolan Arenado meet Javy Baez. pic.twitter.com/6ZQd1Inpjn— Troy Hirsch (@troyhirschfox5) October 3, 2018
Baez played it off like he was merely trying to regain his balance after trying to avoid Arenado's tag, and the two All-Star infielders exchanged a friendly embrace before Baez headed to the Cubs' dugout. However, Rockies manager Bud Black was not pleased Baez's display and argued with umpires that Baez interfered on the play.
The umpires did not feel the same way, and nothing came of Baez's hug. For what it is worth, the Cubs ended up going scoreless in the 11th, as the at-bat following the affectionate exchange between Arenado and Baez resulted in an inning-ending groundout.
With that being said, Black may have had a point, as the wily Baez might have coyly hugged Arenado in order to break up a potential double play. Then again, the hug could have just been a reactionary move made by Baez as he lost his balance. Regardless of the reasoning behind it, the hug added to the intrigue and mystery surrounding the enigmatic "El Mago."