Javier Baez is not a switch-hitter. He is naturally pulled toward fun, whether it’s a sexy slide into third base or juggling chewed gum in the dugout.
On Thursday night, the right-handed shortstop decided to bat lefty with a seven-run lead. The Cubs led by seven, and Reds position player Kyle Farmer was on the mound lobbing eephus pitches. The stakes weren’t high for the gag.
Baez, as he usually does from the right side, swung for the fences from the other batter’s box. He fell to a knee as he flew a ball to center field.
Some traditionalist managers would have been upset at Baez for such a maneuver, but Cubs skipper Joe Maddon is usually a fan of zany activity on the diamond. He is also used to his star infielder finding new ways to enjoy the game.
Finishing second in MVP voting and making back-to-back All-Star teams will also buy some leeway.
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