I wonder what he was thinking. Hosmer. Eric Hosmer. 035. I wonder what he was thinking. The evidence is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1iZIQ6IcJ4. There are players in Little League that would not run on that ball in play. So just what was Eric Hosmer thinking?
Maybe he was thinking that the Dark Knight had hung up the cowl two batters too late. That maybe, just maybe, Gotham needed a savior that wasn’t associated with DC comics. Eight innings of yeoman’s work undone by passion, trust, a walk, and a double. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded…unless Fate has other ideas.
Maybe Hosmer was thinking that family is everything…until it isn’t. Jeurys Familia had an All-Star caliber year and was lights-out in the National League Divisional Series and National League Championship Series with five saves including two hits, two walks, and zero runs given up in both series combined. In the World Series, with opportunities to lock up saves in Games 1 and 4, he did not accomplish the task.
Yes, Alex Gordon’s home run in Game 1 was clearly a mistake by Familia. However, there’s more to the blown save in Game 4 than poor pitch execution. In Game 5, Familia inherited a runner on second base and zero outs in the top of the ninth inning. Tough spot to be in. On the play in question, he executed his pitch and induced a ground ball to the left side of the infield. So just what was Eric Hosmer thinking?
Maybe Hosmer was thinking about last year. 2014. When his team was in an eerily similar situation. Potential title-clinching game. Runner on 3rd base. Down 1. Maybe he was thinking about that “pit in your stomach” as Ned Yost, Manager of the Royals, described it. A sinking feeling that clung to the team from the moment Game 7 of the 2014 World Series ended until Game 5 of the 2015 World Series (that’s 368 days if you’re counting at home). Maybe he was thinking about the outcry that surrounded the third base coach for not waving Alex Gordon home.
Maybe Hosmer saw the grounder hit to the left side of the infield and took a few steps towards home to distract David Wright, the third baseman; a third baseman who had cut off his shortstop to make the play. Maybe Hosmer saw Wright’s hesitation and then saw Wright turn toward first base to throw the ball. Maybe Hosmer knew that Lucas Duda would be surprised by the aggressive play and rush a throw home. Maybe Hosmer knew that Duda’s throw would be wide and that he would score easily.
The game didn’t end with Hosmer’s play. The Series wasn’t won on his moxie. Sport, and life to a certain extent, lends itself to hyperbolic statements about the brevity, consciousness, and power within a certain moment. “A second lasts forever” should be the tagline for every new sporting play. Infinite loops of athletic renown to simultaneously reinforce our love for sport and our realization that this moment has passed even if we can still somewhat hold it.
I don’t know what Eric Hosmer was thinking when he ran home. But I do know that Kansas City is #crowned. Who said, “We’ll never be royals”?