But despite the fact he’s no more than fifteen or so games away from hanging up the cleats, Helton’s brain hasn’t diminished like some of his athletic skills.
During Thursday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals, the always crafty Helton received a throw-over from pitcher Roy Oswalt, who wanted to keep the Cardinals’ Matt Adams close, who was leaking out towards second base a bit too much for Oswalt’s liking.
Helton took the throw, tagged Adams in the most routine of fashions and tossed the ball back to Oswalt on the mound. Or did he?
Matt Adams thought he did, who promptly stepped off of the base to, well, I’m not sure why. He was clearly looking at his hands which were just covered in dirt from the slide moments earlier. Perhaps he had cut himself? Whatever the case, the timing couldn’t have been better for Helton as he slapped a tag on Adams before the Cardinals’ first baseman figured out what happened.
The hidden ball trick isn’t used like it once was, but it’s beautiful when successful.