There is a public address commercial on television where a high school basketball player admits a referee made the wrong call that would benefit his team. The player runs over to the coach and tells him that the ball went off his finger tips in a crucial moment of the game and that his opponent should have possession of the ball.
His teammates protest but at the end the coach turns to his player and tells him “good call.” The guy then trots over to the official and tells him what really happened.
That brings us to New York Yankees Dewayne Wise, the fake catch artist. Should he be catching heat for pretending to make a catch he didn’t make?
Here is what happened. Wise tumbled into the stands in pursuit of a foul ball hit by Cleveland’s Jack Hannahan. Umpire Mike DiMuro signaled catch although Wise did not catch the ball. Instead of telling the umpire he did not have the ball, he sheepishly ran off the field and acted as if he made the grab.
In the name of sportsmanship Wise should have told the umpire he did not make the grab. In the name of big business he did the right thing in running off the field. You’ve heard the old saying in sports: “If you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying.” This is really a sticky delimna of what’s right for the team and what’s right. Wise said he didn’t want to laugh and upstage the umpire, which is a crock. He did it to get his team out of a seventh inning jam.
“Baseball’s already hard, so if someone gives something to you, you’ve got to take it,” said San
Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt. “He did what everybody else would have done: get off the field and not say anything.”
He is correct. Wise did what most of us would have done in a similar situation. I admit I would have done the same thing.
How many times do you see outfielders trap the ball and raise their gloves as if they made the catch? How many times do we see a catcher move his glove into the strike zone on an outside pitch? Isn’t it the same? Don’t we see cheating on a daily basis in baseball, football and basketball and accept it?
Cheating or slight of hand is a part of sports.
But is it right?