It’s been two days since the Legends controversy and it has been two races that Mark Grace has been distracted. One of the key attributes of being a Legend is the ability to get past distractions and keep your eye on the prize.
Hopefully after the botched race where Grace stopped to extract revenge he would again be focused on the task at hand, namely winning his first Legends race. Before the game I could not help but notice the distant look in Grace’s huge cartoon eyes. Surely he could not still be thinking about that first race when there was clearly interference, or could he?
As the fifth inning approached each of the Legends began their pre-race rituals of stretching and getting focused on the task at hand. All that is except Grace who seemed a little agitated. Hopefully this would be not be a problem and he would be ready when the race started.
When the public address announcer started the race my eye went from the Dodgers bullpen where the four Legends emerged to the Dodgers dugout a few yards ahead of the racers. There sitting on the top step of the dugout was none other than Manny Ramirez.
I secretly hoped Ramirez had escaped the vision of Grace. But there is not a lot that gets past his bulging polyester eyes. Grace became locked into Ramirez and as he reached the dugout he stopped dead in his tracks.
I cringed at the thoughts of Grace losing a third consecutive race. It is one thing to lose when the other racers have more talent but with Grace this was just lack of race concentration. What happened next is something I may never forget.
It is one thing to lose focus and say something to a player who distracts you but Grace may have just crossed the line. He reached into his pockets and retrieved two cans of Silly String. Before anyone could say anything he opened fire on Ramirez filling his dreadlocks with multi-colored strings.
The players, the spectators, and race officials all stood there in shock as Grace drenched Ramirez in Silly String. It was almost an afterthought that Matt Williams won the race. All eyes were on the Dodgers dugout and the unfolding sight of Ramirez now sporting a rainbow of colors in his normally dark hair.
The crowd burst into cheers as Ramirez ran out of the dugout seeking shelter in the visitor’s clubhouse. While this is not exactly the outcome any of the fans were looking for, there are very few in attendance at Chase Field who weren’t rooting for Mark Grace despite losing his third straight Legends race.