The bases full in a one-run game already plays as high drama. But a peculiar, mid-at-bat defensive substitution in yesterday’s Tigers-Cubs game eclipsed the bases-loaded situation in the drama department.
Detroit manager Brad Ausmus walked onto the field in the top of the seventh inning with one out during a 2-2 count to replace centerfielder Austin Jackson with Rajai Davis. On the day of the trade deadline, the defensive change could only mean one thing. As Jackson walked off the field mid-inning, fans slowly realized what they were witnessing and rose to their feet to give Jackson one final send off.
The gesture displayed both a baseball intelligence and class.
Detroit sent Jackson to Seattle in the three-team blockbuster that moved former Cy Young winner David Price move from Tampa to Detroit. The fans in Comerica Park didn’t know the particulars of the deal. They just understood what the moment meant and reacted accordingly.
Photo credit: Paul Sancya/Getty Images