P2Daily: Ke’Bryan Hayes Can Do Whatever He Wants on Defense

I woke up early yesterday morning to Twitter outrage about Ke’Bryan Hayes. I hadn’t seen the play, and my introduction to it was the SNY video. My introduction to that video was the Twitter outrage over that video.

If you missed it, here is the video breakdown:

I watched that video, then I watched the highlight of the play, which you can see here:

From there, I offered my thoughts on the entire play, looking at the possible contingencies and how they played out. You can see that Twitter thread below. I’ll note that this situation is largely why I avoid Twitter these days. It’s not a real place. It’s a website for quick thoughts on every subject, and often those quick thoughts yield more to emotion than logic. It takes seconds to fire off an emotional take. It took me about an hour to lay out my thoughts on what I saw from this play, though the 280-character restraint added to the time.

Check out the thread below if you want my initial reaction. Because I own this website for more drawn out takes — and because Anthony Murphy is off today — I’m going to give my detailed thoughts on this issue below.

Ke’Bryan Hayes Can Do Whatever He Wants on Defense

Honestly, I just want to end the article here.

Would everyone be fine with that?

Do I need to break down the numbers that show he has been the best defensive third baseman in the game since stepping foot into the big leagues?



I’m still going to break this down in First Pitch tomorrow. I’m also going to be looking at this issue from a larger team and media/fanbase perspective.

Until then, just remember that Hayes is the best defensive third baseman in the game — only challenged by Nolan Arenado, who has way more experience — and whatever methods he takes on the field ultimately lead to the overall results.

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This whole thread is weird. Hayes shouldn’t have been eating as a run scored, who cares how good his defense is. You eat your seeds in between plays and you make sure you’re not a Will Craig highlight for your team. There are no unwritten rules for Jack Suwinski but not Ke Hayes. If anything, the highest paid guy on the team should set the standard in both play and approach and until he learns to stop rolling over every pitch to the left side Ke’ should be max effort. Tim, appreciate the site but do you think you just _like_ Hayes and personally feel compelled to push back on the negativity here? I have to disagree and—while, sure, the internet is gonna internet and it’s gone a bit too far—Ke deserves the grief he’s getting. Castro iphone vibes again should get Shelton the brunt of it, though.


Its pretty laughable to even suggest using the term “field general” to refer to Hayes on this play. I’ve seen hundreds of my daughters travel softball games. I’ve never, not even once, seen a player having a snack on the field let alone during a play. I don’t care whether Hayes was unlikely to be involved in this play. It was simply unprofessional.


Right or wrong, using the term snack is bothering me.

Sunflower seeds are as much of a snack as chewing tobacco.

I don’t watch a lot of softball, but I don’t believe girls use sunflower seeds or snuff.


You swallow sunflower seeds and you don’t swallow tobaki so technically a snack is what it is, unless you eat a whole lot of them. then I could be convinced we should use words like “meal”, “repast” or “feast”.

John Dreker

Snack time is much funnier though. Comedy is always the most important thing, especially when dealing with the Pirates on a daily basis.


While my opinion is that Hayes shouldn’t be taking his glove off while a play is happening, I find it very funny or maybe disturbing, that some people on this sight are arguing about something that happened during a game involving the all time worst organization in all of sports.


I am not surprised that this site would excuse the inexcusable. It has nothing to do with whether Hayes could have impacted the current play on the field. It is the dreadfully unprofessional decision to remove the glove and eat sunflower seeds while a play is still in progress. It was a terrible look – especially for the Pirates who are notorious for bone-headed plays, poor fundamentals, and and sub-par play in general. Until they reverse those trends, they deserve to be ridiculed for these type of incidents. Its called attention to detail and being a professional. You deserve what you accept!


Why is no one considering the source here? Motha f*cking Todd Zeile, a defensively inept third baseman. This is 100% about optics and old school baseball; a righteous comment from a guy who doesn’t know his ass from his elbow when it comes to ACTUALLY playing third base. I mean, his modern day equivalent of agility and athleticism would be Colin Moran LOL.

THIS is nothing more than another potshot from a guy with a microphone and some airtime in a big media market. Ke’ may have his defensive “twerks” or “ticks”, but it doesn’t really matter what outsiders THINK about his process. The defense has been consistently among the best in the league for his position. He doesn’t make mental mistakes on the field and has displayed elite awareness. He knew exactly what was going on during this particular play, like all elite defenders, constantly diagnosing, iteration after iteration. If he is okay with the negative media attention, which I obviously could care less about, then I’m okay with his process. Unfortunately, what the media THINKS matters from a PR perspective, and his employer has to address the situation to make it LOOK a certain way.


Oh come on dude, Todd Ziele has forgotten more about playing major league baseball than you, me, Tim, and everyone else here combined has ever learned. Get real.

He’s also been universally backed by other vets across the game, of course, apparently to you in some grand media conspiracy against your favorite team.

The entire point, which in your ignorance you fail to even comprehend, is that baseball is extremely f*cking random! No, Kebryan Hayes nor anyone else on this planet can predict in advance exactly how a play will unfold. All it took was a deflection off a glove, a weird bounce off a fence, and he’s right in it.

The comment is a about professionalism. You don’t see other elite defenders, and you sure as shit don’t see other elite teams, act in the ways the Pirates continue to act. It’s as simple as that.


Bottom line, did he violate any rule, standard, or code per MLB?

If not, this is nothing more than a code of conduct perpetuated by the media, particularly has-beens looking for some air time and a chance to elevate themselves by putting others down.


The teams who do the “right way to play the game” stuff tend to win more games! So weird. I wonder why?


I understand that what Hayes did didn’t have any impact on the play and no action that he would have made, made any difference but just the idea that feeding himself was more important than what was happening on the field just feels wrong. I guess it just goes to a team losing 100 games and these players are being paid 500,000 to many millions and you have fans that expect some kind of interest from the players and some guy making 10m per season could at least look interested. You are wrong on this Tim. This a good time for the mngt. to remind the players that cameras are watching all of you, every play.


He shouldn’t have done it, lost focus and lost awareness. He should not do it again. But on the scale of bad play and misery that is this season, this doesn’t even come close to cracking the top half of the list. Minor issue. Play ball again tomorrow.


Tim, fella, I think you’re around the bend on this one. Hayes being the best defensive 3B doesn’t excuse him from this. It’s embarrassing, up there with anyone who doesn’t hustle on a ball hit that looks like an out.

The contingencies on the play aren’t really relevant and it’s evident that you’re rationalizing something he just shouldn’t have been doing at that point. In fact, I’d ask if you’re taking that much time to defend him on this play, did it cross your mind that maybe it’s a cause not with defending?

It costs nothing to hustle. It costs nothing to pay attention and wait till play stops to snack.

As for nicknames? I’m calling him Seed Money from now on.

Last edited 15 days ago by ArkyWags

Tim has long been a apologist for the Pirates…..so, I expected the same in this situation.


My man, you could not possibly be acting more defensive.

This is the most you’ve written about anything to do with the big club all season, but sure, nothing to see here.


You’re free to get a real one whenever you want.


You gotta settle down. The list of people who have been banned starts and ends with Bruce Humbert. You don’t want to be on that list.


Here’s a situation where the blogger who couldn’t make his little league team should probably just stay in his lane.


Dude, ease up a bit.


So we have two extreme camps now. Surprisingly Tim is in one camp, saying Key can do whatever he wants to do during a play. The other camp wants to crucify Hayes. I’m in neither camp. It certainly is a bad look at a minimum. Key doesn’t have ESP to know what all could potentially occur during the play.

What every player should know by now…..is there’s video being recorded of virtually every square inch of the playing field, including fair and foul territory. The 9 defensive players, the 4 umps, the two base coaches, the batter, the on-deck batter, the two ball girls/guys down the lines…….everything. So yeah Key deserves to take some criticism here.

I didn’t see Jack’s positioning as the play developed, but evidently it’s been shown he was considering what could occur and moving towards the IF and he’s way out in LF.

This has zero to do with Key being a gold Glover or not.


Come on, this is not about Hayes anymore than the cell phone flying on the base path was about Castro. This is about the lack of discipline, accountability and focus on this entire team.


I think it’s just one guys mistake, just like Castro’s mistakes. I think we have mostly all professionals on the team…….maybe some lacking in baseball skills, but mostly trying to be pros.

b mcferren

also about lack of hitting ability at a power position

Last edited 15 days ago by b mcferren
b mcferren

Hayes is a new salary dump situation


Definitely not


I completely disagree with the premise ‘the only way that he’d be involved in the play is…..’. That IS the point….he had no way of knowing if he would be needed! Be ready at ALL times! Wait until the play is over to eat your d**n sunflower seeds.


“The point is that those rules are for people who don’t know the game as well as Hayes.

I think you dug yourself a hole right there. The very existence of rules and professional conduct means EVERYONE should play by them.


I can see where you’re coming from on this, but I’m a bit conflicted on it. He may be ready, but he doesn’t look ready. He may be involved, but he doesn’t look involved. Is the appearance of what he’s doing that important? I don’t know. Does it set a bad example for other players? Certainly brought a lot of criticism upon him and the organization. I suspect we’ll never see him do that again.


If it was a play associated with winning like high stepping into the end zone (how often do we see a fumble from behind though), or a boxer letting his guard down when he’s certain he’s got the best of his opponent, is it more accepted depite being more risky?

I’m immune to being embarrassed by this year’s team. I think what he did was kinda funny and kinda cool/smooth. I guess it’s a slightly bad look but less so than if someone doesn’t run out a play/hustle to first base. But what if reynolds sat down in center between pitches? The appearance would be so bad it would matter even though it would have less influence than not running out a pop up. Eventually a distraction is something you have to deal with whether it was worthy of being criticized or not and that’s the most annoying part about this.

Once there’s some talent in place at the level then I’ll start judging the professionalism of the players and hold it against the culture of the team if they’re not winning


Yeah this is a non issue to me, hayes is not a lazy player and there is very little chance he would ever be involved in this play. If we were winning more, the media would have never latched on to this clip


You’re absolutely right, it is.

When they aren’t winning and the prospects aren’t developing you’re absolutely right that the bullshit me-first culture they’re breeding will be under the spotlight.


It’s possible that they just might win more games if they were completely focused on baseball and not so much on snacks, cell phones and what kind of booze Shelton’s distributing in the locker room this week. They need a manager to lead and this guy is not that person.


Great glove but no bat.


Exactly this, increase launch angle a few degrees and he becomes a 5 WAR player. I am hopeful as teams generally can have success working to increase it


I hope to not read about it anymore and will admit that I’ve read very little about it, the need for people to be outrage is what drives social media it seems like ( not part of any of it unless you count commenting on this site and this site only!). It took me one looked at the video, few seconds to determine that he was not involve on the play and even it he was I trust his judgment and if that judgment was wrong, and he made a mistake so be it, we all do from time to time.

John Dreker

The quotes yesterday from Hayes basically said he shouldn’t have done that (“I have to be more mindful of what I’m doing”) and Shelton said he should have been closer to third base on the play. I think some people did go overboard, but in my case I was shocked about it because I’ve never seen it before and it seems like the most common of common sense to not have snack time during a play. Because it is such a unique situation, it got traction. Baseball literally has about 2 1/2 hours of built in snack time each game, so yeah, it deserved the attention it got because you never see it.

I also think a lot of people can’t separate the person doing it from the actual event. “Hayes is great defensively and ultimately he wasn’t involved in the play” are both correct statements. However, “no snack time while plays are going on” is a blanket statement that fits absolutely everybody at any level of baseball. Hayes just happened to be the one to do it in a play that they acknowledged he was out of position during snack time and he was only not involved it the play after the fact, but no one can positively say as soon as he decided it was snack time, there was zero chance he was involved in the play.

Does anyone remember the Will Craig play with Javy Baez, I know it barely got mention. If you do, the person who escaped without any backlash during that play was Adam Frazier. He had two jobs on the play that he didn’t do that would have nullified anything bad happening. When a throw goes towards first base, he runs towards first base in case the throw goes up the line. Simple, everyone knows that. The second is that as soon as Craig took a step towards home plate, Frazier covers first base. That’s basic, every second baseman should know that. The entire play could have went exactly the same, runner touches home, Baez avoids tag and runs towards first, but Frazier is planted on first base and the throw gets him by 60 feet. No run scores because it was the third out at first base. What did Frazier do instead? He watched the play until it was way too late. What are the chances Frazier had to be involved in a play like that? 0.1% might be too high. That doesn’t make him right in any way. Hayes had a much bigger chance of being involved in that play two nights ago, so yeah, he was wrong. He said he was, they said he was, common sense says he was.

It’s not really a debate, BUT it is something people can move on from. If you want to call him “Snack Time” Hayes for fun, there’s nothing wrong with that. Will Craig still catches heat from time to time and he was just one of five players who did something wrong on that play, so if you think it will just go away completely, ask Craig. When something completely unique happens, people remember it.


I would agree wholeheartedly that having a snack during a play in a major league game is childish. Although I have to say I’ve never actually seen a child do it.


This is, in fact, a take.


Children have a snack time. That is a designated time at which they snack. They do not snack when they’re supposed to be doing something else. You’re starting to sound a bit silly here with all due respect.

Last edited 15 days ago by john_fluharty

for fucks sake.

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