Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The shoulder don't count, but the face does

Babe Herman was one of the off-beat characters who enliven baseball history. Herman — Floyd Caves Herman, to be precise — hit .324 during his 13-year major league career and once hit .393. He was an impressive hitter and a dismal outfielder whose exploits afield were legendary for their ineptness.

Herman always resented claims that fly balls routinely bounced off his noggin, and supposedly once complained to a writer that he had never been hit in the head by a fly ball.

"What about the shoulder?" the scribe asked.

"Oh no," Herman said. "The shoulder don't count."

The Herman story came to mind Tuesday night when Oswaldo Arcia apparently lost a foul fly in the lights and roof of Tropicana Field and played it off his face. Arcia is a talented young hitter who figures to be a big part of future Twins lineups, but it's fair to say that defense is not his strong suit.

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