The term "deke" derives from the word decoy, the second definition of which, per Merriam-Webster, is "someone or something used to lure or lead another into a trap." A better definition might be: "What the Dodgers did to Shin-Soo Choo on Thursday night." In the eighth inning of last night's Reds-Dodgers game, Los Angeles' middle infielders, shortstop Hanley Ramirez and second baseman Skip Schumaker, tricked Reds baserunner Shin-Soo Choo into making an entirely unnecessary out at second base.
Choo, who had led off the inning with a single, was on first base with one out and Joey Votto at the plate. On the 0-1 pitch to Votto, Choo took off for second and Votto singled on a low drive into center. Choo reached second base safely before the ball even hit the outfield grass, yet Ramirez and Schumaker somehow deked him into thinking the ball had been caught in the air. Choo began to retreat to first base only to have centerfielder Andre Ethier throw behind him for a force out, all of this despite the fact that Votto had been trying to alert Choo to the deke on his way down to first base. Here's the play:
[mlbvideo id="29143039" width="600" height="360" /]
It's hard to tell from the video alone if Choo thought Ramirez or Ethier caught the ball, or if he was first fooled in to thinking Ramirez did, then into thinking Ethier did. Nor is it clear exactly what Schumaker is doing, though he's very committed to whatever it is (possibly yelling at Ramirez to throw the imaginary ball to first base to double up Choo). Regardless of their exact methods, however, Ramirez and Schumaker succeeded in thoroughly confusing Choo and stealing an out from the Reds.