In Game 5 of the 2000 World Series, Mike Piazza represented the tying run with two out in the bottom of the ninth. Mariano Rivera was on the hill for the Yankees protecting the 4-2 lead and attempting to shepherd home another World Championship. Rivera uncorked an 0-1 cutter and Piazza appeared to make solid contact and drove the ball to center field.
The ball took off and spun Bernie Williams around as he raced back in pursuit. But Shea Stadium isn’t a band box and the last second cut of Mariano’s signature pitch guided the ball past Piazza’s sweet spot and down towards the end of the bat. Bernie caught up to the ball easily before the warning track and the Yankees were champions again.
Mike Piazza flied / flew out to center field.
Steven Pinker, author of The Language Instinct and expert linguist (among other things), says, “In baseball, one says that a slugger has flied out; no mere mortal has ever “flown out” to center field.”
Before you trust him implicitly, be careful, dude’s a Red Sox fan.
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