Self-deprecation done well is a pretty quick route to respect, and the Los Angeles Angels did it well in the wake of Yoenis Cespedes' cartoon throw in Anaheim.
What's that? Oh, right. Which cartoon throw? Fair question. Tuesday's throw. The one from the corner to the plate.
“Ok Cespedes,” the official Angels Twitter feed fed. “We get it. You have an arm. #Angels.”
I saw the tweet before I saw the throw. The playful tone moved me to Google; I expected to see a Cespedes throw from the outfield sail over the catcher and halfway up the protective screen, if not all the way over it and into the stands.
In other words, I'd assumed the tweet was sent in the name of mockery. Rival pokes rival.
Then I saw the throw, and as soon as I got my jaw off the keyboard, I couldn't help but smile. Not about the throw, but about the Angels' willingness to concede that even they were blown away by the Parker-meets-Ichiro-meets-Dawson-meets-Clemente show of strength and accuracy from Cespedes.
Wow, I thought. Impressive. Gotta give it up to the Angels for giving it up to the A's.
Then I smiled again. Not about the throw, but about the hashtag at the end of the tweet. “#Angels.” From the Angels' official and clearly marked feed.
Next thought: Are the Angels pulling a Rickey right now? Hashtagging in the third-person? Interesting.
But whatever, right? To each his own.
I moved on, still impressed with the Angels for owning the mugging they'd taken from Cespedes on the bases, not just Tuesday night but in that late-May series in which the Cuban cut down two runners at the dish in the same frame.
Then came Wednesday's throw. You have to suspect that Yoenis might have rope-a-doped Albert Pujols there, misplaying the ball again to see if the big fella would fall for it.
He did. The Angels didn't tweet, though, and that's a shame. Would have been fun to see the hashtag. Nothing short of #HowStupidAreWeForStillRunningOnThisGuy would have sufficed.