As Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim first basemen, Kendry Morales, walked out of the dugout to the on deck circle in the bottom of the 10th inning Saturday, Angels hitting coach, Mickey Hatcher said to him, “Remember to relax and be ready for that first pitch fastball. Break a leg up there Kendry.”
No one could have predicted what happened next. Morales got that first pitch fastball and drove it over the centerfield fence for a walk off grand slam. But rounding 3rd base, Morales knew he had only done half of what his coach had told him.
“I always try to do what my coaches tell me. They have a lot more experience in this game than I do, “ said Morales after the game. “I thought it was strange that he told me to break a leg, but I just figured Mickey and Mike (Scioscia) know what’s best for the team, so I did it.”
A remorseful Hatcher said after the game he should have realized that Morales, a native of Cuba, still hadn’t fully grasped the nuances of the English language. “Last week, Kendry came up with a runner on first and I told him to make sure to avoid the twin killing. He turned to me and said, ‘no problem coach, that’s why I left Cuba in the first place, too much violence.’ I found it to be an odd response, but then he smacked a double down the right field line and I forgot about it.”
Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia said there will be some changes to how his club does things in light of this unfortunate accident. “We’re definitely going to limit the use of figurative sayings around our foreign players. We’ll no longer say things like ‘that dog will hunt, dying quail, bow your neck, can of corn’ around Kendry, Erick (Aybar), Maicer (Izturis), Joel (Pineiro), Ervin (Santana) and our other Latin players.”
When asked about how the new rules will affect designated hitter and Japanese native Hideki Matsui, Scioscia replied, “It doesn’t matter. The guy has been in the US for seven years and still doesn’t understand a lick of English. I could tell him that he smells and looks like a turd sandwich and he would just bow his head and say ‘A thank you a sir.’
A dejected Morales said after the game that he’s not sure how he will be replaced in the lineup. “I’m sure the Angels will be fine, but I know a lot fantasy teams invested early round draft picks on me and now they’ll be stuck with someone like Adam LaRoche or Aubrey Huff at 1st base. I didn’t even know those guys were still in the league.”