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SALT LAKE CITY — Three more stories from the world of sports in today's From Left Field.
1. Mets prospect saves teammate with stellar catch
Baseball players are used to catching line drives, but catching bats? New York Mets shortstop prospect Luis Guillorme has the Gold Glove lead in that category.
During a spring training game Thursday against the Miami Marlins, Miami infielder Adeiny Hechavarria lost his bat during a swing. The bat flew into the Mets dugout where Guillorme doesn’t even flinch while making the one-handed catch while others fled for their lives.
One of the players in the dugout, Mets prospect Dominic Smith, thanked his teammate via Twitter after the game and got a slick response back.
Anytime brotha.so now that I saved your life do I get I follow back? Lol https://t.co/2h5xXLwlJd— luis guillorme (@lguillorme13) March 3, 2017
It’s too early to tell if Guillorme will open the season on New York’s big league roster, but he definitely caught the dugout attention Thursday with that catch.
2. Taj Gibson’s impressive buzzer beater
A 75-foot buzzer beater is difficult as is, but what Oklahoma City forward Taj Gibson did Thursday night took it to the next level.
In a game between the Thunder and Portland, Gibson intercepted a full-court lob attempt by the Trail Blazers just before halftime. And in almost one motion, Gibson hurled the ball back toward the opposing back without even setting up for a shot.
The end result: an absolutely accurate missile just before the buzzer.
Unfortunately for the Thunder, Portland went on to win the game 114-109.
On a side note: Minutes after Gibson's shot, a fan made a half-court shot to win a car.
3. Star pitcher rents car for minor leaguer without a ride
St. Louis Cardinals minor league pitcher Ryan Sherriff is spending this spring trying to make the major league roster for the first time. While he’s trying to make the team, he’s been walking to work — and, well, walking everywhere in Jupiter, Florida.
Not anymore thanks to the Cardinals’ three-time All-Star Adam Wainwright.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Wainwright rented a car out to Sherriff and covered the costs after teammates realized that Sherriff didn't have any mode of transportation.
“I freaked out a little bit. I started crying,” Sherriff told the newspaper. “I called my mom, and she started crying. Really, I’ve never had that experience. No one has ever done something so nice for me before.”
Couldnt thank Waino enough for purchasing me a rental car for Spring Training. He saw me walk every morning to the field and surprised me.— Ryan Sherriff (@KingSherriff) March 2, 2017
If Sherriff makes the Cardinals’ 40-man roster, the minimum this season is $535,000, but he still hasn’t cracked the majors so he’s not making much money. According to CNN, Triple-A baseball players make about $2,150 per month — about $12,900 a year since it’s paid over the length of a season.
Since he was a 28th round pick in 2011, he also didn’t receive much of a signing bonus like the $8 million one Gerrit Cole, the top pick of the draft that year, received.
That’s a stark contrast from Wainwright, who is scheduled to make $19.5 million this season, according to Baseball-Reference.
In response, Sherriff told reporters that he got Wainwright a gift card to Chick-Fil-A, some sweet tea and barbecue sauce.
Wainwright said that he remembered the gestures past teammates would do for him while he was a minor leaguer not making much money and wanted to continue to pay it forward.
So sure, it’s only a minor expense for Wainwright, but it’s the act that counts.