Sean Casey hasn’t played in the major leagues in a full 10 years, but the former All-Star still seems to have some pop in his bat.
During a demonstration Monday on MLB Tonight, Casey dug into the batter’s box on MLB Network’s in-studio diamond, launched one pitch to left field, then smacked the next one straight up the middle and directly into the face of fellow analyst Bill Ripken.
Casey, who during his career was known as baseball’s friendliest player, called out to check on Ripken practically before the ball had landed, with a hilarious “Oh my god, Rip. Are you all right?”
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) May 21, 2018
Casey quickly announced on Twitter that dinner was on him tonight.
I’m buying dinner for Rip tonight!! Haha https://t.co/Y2XaQoyr3Y
— Sean Casey (@TheMayorsOffice) May 22, 2018
This is not the first time we have seen an MLB Network studio demonstration go awry. Just last month, Harold Reynolds nailed Pedro Martinez with some sort of tape ball, as Ripken watched on. In fact, it’s not even the first time Casey has been the perpetrator of a ball to the dome. In 2015, he drilled Lauren Shehadi right in the noggin, then carried her off on his shoulder.
Shehadi has not forgotten.
At least he didn’t carry Bill over his shoulders caveman style afterwards to apologize. Career 302 hitter but not to be trusted with wiffle balls. #settleoutofcourt
— Lauren Shehadi (@LaurenShehadi) May 21, 2018
You’d think someone would have learned a lesson from all these incidents but apparently not.
Ripken appeared to be OK after that shot to his face, fighting through the pain to throw another pitch almost immediately. But given his reaction to the ball off Casey’s bat on the following offering, it seems maybe he’s suffering from some psychological after-effects. He was rattled.
It might be time for MLB Network to invest in a batting-practice screen.