Sometimes a play or athletic feat is so transcendent, it is named after the player that creates it for generations to come. This particular phenomenon hasn't really come to fruition with anything important yet, because basic names like "The Catch" had to be used up first. That's my theory, anyway.
Two years ago, Ryan Raburn became infamous for turning a fly ball off the bat of Miguel Olivo into a home run. Tonight, Michael Bourn gave Miguel Cabrera a similar assist at Progressive Field. Our job? To compare the two and see which player is deserving of having his name grace this particular feat.
Degree of difficulty (play): Raburn
On his play, Raburn has to run back towards the wall with the sun in his eyes, and blindly stab at the ball to try to make a catch. This is a much more difficult play than people give him credit for. Had he made the catch, it would have been one of the highlights of the Tigers season.
Meanwhile, Michael Bourn is pretty much waiting at the base of the wall for the ball to arrive and still knocks it over the wall.
Degree of difficulty (blunder): Raburn
Raburn isn't even on the warning track, yet still is able to knock the ball over the wall. That takes talent.
Bourn is about a foot away from the wall, but the ball does have to travel a few feet higher than on Raburn's play to actually get over the wall.
Raburn's blunder was during a fairly meaningless game in April. Bourn's blunder was in a still fairly meaningless game in May. Neither had a huge impact on the outcome of the game.
Raburn is completely bewildered as to where the ball ended up, looking utterly confused as he gets to his feet. It's endearing, to a point.
Bourn knows what happened as soon as the ball leaves his glove, and can only smile about it.
As if there were any doubt, Raburn's blunder was far more spectacular than Bourn's, even if it was a tougher play to make. It will take a much more valiant effort to take the "Raburned" moniker away from home run assist blunders in the future.