Jean Segura of the Milwaukee Brewers was on first base in a game against the Chicago Cubs, on Friday night. Normally we wouldn’t backtrack to Friday night on Monday, but normally runners wouldn’t backtrack to first base from second base, so we’ll make an exception.
Here’s what happened: Segura stole second base, normally. Then, he tried to steal third, but left early and the pitcher got him in a rundown. An old-fashioned pickle! Segura got back, successfully, to second base, where he was met by
steroid-using-criminal teammate Ryan Braun, who advanced to second whilst the rundown was occurring. The Cubs player tagged Segura while he was on second base. He also tagged Braun while he was on second base. According to the rules, Segura was safe and Braun was out. But Segura and the Cubs were confused. Segura thought he was out and ran back towards the dugout. First base was conveniently on the way. He soon was made aware that the umpire called Braun out, and not Segura, so Segura returned to first base, where he was called safe, though a base further away from scoring a run.
ESPN’s Jayson Stark answered your most pressing questions. You should read his in-depth piece, but here’s the gist: yes, it was legal, and no, he’s not aware of an identical situation ever occurring.
The funniest part: Segura tried to steal second, two pitches later. He was caught, meaning he had one successful stolen base of second, and was caught stealing second, on the same at-bat. Baseball is the only place where you can steal something, put it back, try to steal it again, immediately, but then receive no lasting consequences, just a mere “out” call.
Of course, we must coin a term for Segura’s strange move. There must be a term so there can be an advanced stats and sabermetric analysis of the situation. If not, we are all doomed and will not understand baseball completely. Please tweet me your best suggestions, because you are more clever than I. I’ll get things started:
Given Base (GB)
Donated Base (DB)
Nice Guy Move (NGM)
Segura Steal (SS)
Mark Sanchez Steal (MSS)
Obligatory scathing remark: Since 1909, the Cubs have given up more Donated Bases (1) than they have won World Championships (0).