Nutshell: Fenway's Got Some Wicked Tough Twilight
Christian Arroyo and Jarren Duran deserve at least some pity.
Every outfielder, if you've played long enough, knows of this phenomenon. It's between 7 and 8 o'clock in the evening. You're playing the outfield, minding your own business, just trying to do a good job. You lower into your athletic stance as the pitcher delivers the ball to the batter, who swings and lifts a flyball in your direction. You see it off the bat; doesn't seem to be hit very hard. Should be a can of corn...
Annnnnd It's Gone...Poof
Somehow, the ball completely disappears. During it's flight, just as it switched backdrops from the bleachers behind home plate to the night sky, it plunged into an endless sea of dark blue and purple. It's gone. You're fucked.
Blood rushes to your face as panic sets in. You look down to your teammates in the infield, who are looking right back at you. You turn the palms of your hands towards the heavens; the universal sign of "I have no idea where the fuck the ball is." Do you start running in the last direction you saw it headed? Do you try to follow the fingers of your teammates, who are frantically pointing at where it is? You can try. But you'll probably fail. Every man, woman, and child is now watching you piss and shit yourself. Don't worry, son. It'll all be over soon.
This happened to two poor souls roaming the Fenway Park outfield over the past few weeks.
Arroyo and Duran
Christian Arroyo and Jarren Duran have both been bitten by the Boston twilight recently. Similar situation. Similar time of day. Arroyo's resulted in a two-RBI triple off the bat of Joey Gallo, who was thrown out at the plate going for an inside-the-park home run. Outlets reported he lost it in the "lights." Bullshit. The ball was probably in the lights for a split second. There was plenty of time to get a read on a towering flyball like the one Gallo hit, even if it goes into the lights briefly. The twilight sky made that ball disappear.
Duran was not as fortunate, as his lost projectile ended up becoming an inside-the-park grand slam for Raimel Tapia. Tough. Real tough. He summed it up perfectly after the game.
Responding to unforgiving reporters, Duran said, "It's the most helpless feeling you could feel. Until you guys catch a ball in the twilight, let me know." Granted, it didn't look good when he didn't bust his ass chasing after it once the ball landed, but his point about the twilight is valid. Something about that time of day can turn even the world's greatest outfielders into helpless little leaguers.
I'm not saying you shouldn't be pissed off the next time something like this happens to your favorite team. But stop to consider the environmental circumstances. The twilight makes fools of us all from time to time.