U.S. Open

Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No. 2)

The Loop

Jeff McNeil nearly killed himself making this incredible catch only to find out he didn’t make SportsCenter's Top 10

August 14, 2020

If you wonder what motivates professional athletes to perform at the peak of their given sport—to lay their bodies on the line night in, night out in pursuit of a goal they know they have a very small probability of actually achieving—we finally have our answer. It’s not money or women or fame or good ol’ fashioned teamwork. It’s the knowledge that if they put in the work, play their cards right, and the decisive bounce goes their way, maybe, just maybe, they’ll end up on SportsCenter’s Top 10.

Just ask New York Mets outfielder Jeff McNeil, who nearly killed himself on Thursday afternoon robbing Asdrubal Cabrera of a certain two-run double only to turn on the TV later that night and see nothing, nada, zilch. Turns out Cabrera wasn’t the only one ripped off on this play.

You gotta feel for McNeil here. He makes one of the MLB defensive plays of the year in a high-leverage spot, but because he didn't pull off some sprawling dive or flashy flip to turn two, he doesn’t even get a courtesy nod in the evening Top 10. If McNeil pulls up, hears the footsteps of the concrete wall, or thinks for even one millisecond about his own well being instead of that of the team’s, the Mets are down 3-0 in the first. He didn’t and they went on to win 8-2. How’s that for a game-changer?

To add even more insult to injury, McNeil was carted off after the play, clearly woozy and suffering from what the Mets are calling a bone contusion in his knee. So you know he was at home with a giant bag of ice on his knee, sipping ginger ale and crushing saltines to ward off concussion nausea, with nothing to look forward to but his catch immortalized for five fleetin seconds on SportsCenter. Instead he got crickets. We feel for you, Jeff. Really we do.

If you can’t sympathize with that, maybe this will do the trick: McNeil is also a scratch golfer. Can’t walk nine with a bone bruise folks, take our word it.