Scary Moment at the Trop

By on May 7, 2013

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher J.A. Happ is examined by the medical staff during the second inning at Tropicana Field (photo USA TODAY Sports Images / Kim Klement)

St. Petersburg, Fla.– A moment in the bottom of the second inning tonight will remain  forever tattooed on my brain as the worst thing I have ever seen on a baseball field.

Joe Maddon was ejected in the inning just two batters before the most horrific site I have seen on the baseball field, and I have been watching baseball since I could crawl. Home plate umpire Marty Foster called Rays second baseman Sean Rodriguez out at the dish trying to score on Jose Molina’s attempted safety squeeze bunt.   The reply clearly showed Rodriguez’s hand brush across home plate safe.

After the Maddon departure shortstop Yunel Escobar lined a single up the middle.  Molina digging hard around third was held up by third base coach Tom Foley. The throw went all the to home allowing the heads up Escobar to scamper to second.

With one out,  Molina on third and Escobar on second, Desmond Jennings blasted a line drive up the middle that drilled J.A. Happ in the head and careened all the way to the Rays bullpen in right field.  The sound,  I will never forgot as it echoed through the Trop like a bat hitting a ball.  The 30 year old Happ moved briefly and lay motionless on the front edge of the  mound.  Molina and Escobar scored with Jennings racing to third. Jays catcher JP Arencibia headed out to the mound leaving home plate uncovered holding up both hands for Jennings to stop at third which he did.

Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings looks deeply concerned as he watches from third base as teammates and Jays training staff run to the aid of their starting pitcher J.A. Happ (photo t-USA TODAY Sports Images / Kim Klement)

When reality set in, the medical staff was converging to the mound, players, fans, coaches, umpires and us members of the media  just stood in awe.
Happ, whom was taken from the field  strapped down on a stretcher,  did manage to get a small wave in.
No word on the condition of J.A. Happ has been given at this time. Jennings ended up scoring giving the Rays a 4-1 lead, which still stands here in the middle of the sixth.

Home plate umpire Marty Fisher runs Joe after he argues a play at the plate (photo USA TODAY Sports Images / Kim Klement)


The Jays came back to win 6-4 by scoring 2 in the sventh, 1 in the eighth and 2 again in the 9th.

The post game attention centered around the condition of J.A. Happ.  Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said, “they are running him through some tests, that is all the information they have… he got it pretty good.”  Gibbons went on to say, “It was a sickening site…he’s (Happ) is a great teammate.”   When Gibbons was asked what it was like to try to refocus he said, “It was real tough.”

Happ’s teammate Adam Lind said they were running CAT scans and regular tests.   I was thinking of the difficulty of having to leave tonight if the Jays had to, so I asked Adam if was good to be here a couple extra days, he hesitated a little teary eyed and said, “Of course, it’s good to be here.”


ESPN is reporting J.A. Happ will be released from the hospital in fair condition.



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