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Willie Harris's tough day: 'It felt like a football lick'

In the first inning today, Willie Harris chased a fly ball along the left field line. Just as he arrived at the foul line, he realized he had overran the ball. He reached back, tripped, and fell awkwardly. Harris stayed down for a moment. He stood, retreieved the ball, threw it back and crumpled back to the ground. A trainer came out to check, and after several minutes Harris stayed in the game.

Here's that play, from Harris's perspective.

That looked scary. What happened? Did you slip?
I didn't slip. I was playing him a little bit to pull. It was a long way to run. When he it, I thought for sure it would be foul. But the ball just kept coming back. Once he hit it, I just dropped my head and started running. Once I picked it up, it was back over here. I overran the ball. Instead of playing the ball, looking up when I was running, I just took off on a dead sprint. Just misread it. Overran it.

So your head hit the ground?
I hit the back of my head on the ground. I saw those white dots. But I'm all right. It felt like a football lick. It's all good.

Doctors checked you out?
Yeah. Like you said, it was scary. The ball was on the ground. I was like, 'Damn. I got to get this ball.' I just picked the ball up. Good thing Guzie was 10 feet away from me. I just flipped it to him. Yeah, I'm okay. Just misplayed it, that's all.

The scary part was when you fell down the second time.
I was dizzy. I was dizzy, man. But I had to get that ball in.

Did you think about coming out of the game?
Hell, no. I ain't coming out of the game. I got an opportunity to play. You don't get opportunities too often, man. I've been busting my butt a long time. I'm finally getting a chance to play, and I got to take advantage of every opportunity that I have.

You were talking about reading the ball. Does the ball react differently, the way you see, from left field to right field?
It's a different read. I mean, I've been working on it in batting practice, in the game, things like that. It's definitely a different read. I don't think it's anything that I can't adjust to. I made a good play against Atlanta last week. [Harris made a running catch in the right-center gap at the warning track.] It boosted my confidence up a little bit. Then I made a [bad] play today. It kind of reduced my confidence. But I'm going to continue to work and get better reads. I think I do a good job of getting jumps and getting reads. If I go out there with my confidence, I'll be fine. No worries.

By Adam Kilgore  |  March 31, 2010; 7:32 PM ET
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Next: Matt Capps's rough spring and morning links


Willie's an 'old-school' style player; He'll want to go tomorrow, regardless. Have a doctor check him in the AM for any post-concussive effects - If he's the least bit fuzzy, SIT HIM DOWN; If he gets a clean bill, sit him for 24hrs, just to be sure.

Posted by: BinM | March 31, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Probably see Morse, Bernadina or Taveras tomorrow. If its against Boston they may use a DH so perhaps Willy gets to do that.

Posted by: periculum | March 31, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Agree with BinM. You don't mess around with head injuries.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 31, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Signs of improvement: We're not taking any flyers on this guy:

¶ PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) _ Outfielder Corey Patterson ended his tryout with the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday, opting out of his contract for free agency.
¶ The 29-year-old Patterson appeared in 19 games this spring, and batted .216 (8 for 37) with two doubles, two home runs and two RBIs.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | March 31, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Been there. Done that. Didn't get the t-shirt.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 31, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

There are no limits to Willie's speed. Playing right field, he chased a ball down the left-field line, and OVER-RAN it!

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | March 31, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

"In another online chat, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch mentioned that the Cardinals are interested in acquiring a left-handed power bat for the bench. Strauss noted the club's 'history of eleventh-hour spring training moves.'"
Could they??

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | March 31, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

No news... can I assume we kept Olsen?

Posted by: SCNatsFan | April 1, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

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