To say that I watch a lot of video every year is a gigantic understatement. However, even I can miss things from time to time. Such was the case with this clip from a Reds/Nationals game in early June.
Now let me preface by saying that I think Tucker Barnhart is a probably a great guy, a good catcher, and someone who has clearly worked insanely hard to achieve his dreams. I certainly don't think this one play defines who he is as a person or a catcher. But, we all make mistakes, and this was one of his.
In that moment, a bit of immaturity snuck to the surface and Barnhart's frustration with himself for not making the initial force out at home cost his team another run. His antics cost him a full second which he could have spent retrieving the ball. It's only fitting that the second run that scored, was only safe by a third of that time.
Catchers, there is no whining in baseball or softball. You cannot let your emotions get in the way of you doing your job. If you make a mistake on the field, do whatever you can to not compound the mistake and turn it into a larger one. We have to be able to keep a level head on the field and react instinctively to situations, even our own errors.
If you want to spend some time after the inning or after the game reflecting on the mistake, finding a way to never let it happen again, by all means go for it. That's a productive use of time. But are you allowed to sulk over your mistake and the harm it did your team? Not a chance. And certainly not in the middle of a play.
I am positive Barnhart learned from this mistake, and I'd imagine he's a better catcher for it. We all are going to make mistakes. It's a huge part of our game. But we can't let it affect our ability to be there for our team.
Thanks for reading this month's Tip of the Month!