In the first inning of the St. Louis Cardinals' Saturday-evening matchup with the Washington Nationals, Michael Morse hit a single with the bases loaded. That's what it was ruled, at least—it was a very long single, over Carlos Beltran's head, and to the TV audience it was clear that the ball bounced off the top of the right-field fence. After some sulking and a visit with the instant replay booth, he was awarded a grand slam, but baseball is nothing if not traditional—he and the rest of the Nationals' baserunners were required to circle the bases all over again to earn the runs. (Kyle Lohse was not asked to pretend to look disgusted again.)
The umpires insisted they take it from the top, and Morse, to his credit, gave the pantomime act 110 percent, not only running the bases but also circling them backward and, finally, kicking off the Nationals' trotting reenactment of the events with a slightly listless, hands-free home run swing.
The Cardinals now trail the Nationals 4-0, but at least the Busch Stadium faithful got a brief show with their unbearably long first inning.