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Ten To Defend: Drew Miller

I could just write a preview about senior center Drew Miller and how he'll lead a young offensive line. Or I could talk about the time I collided with him at home plate in an intramural softball game.

In summer of 2006 I played for an intramural softball team that faced a team of mostly athletes that featured former punter Eric Wilbur and Miller. In the top of the first, we were dominated, ending the frame down 4-0. In the bottom of the inning, one run crossed and I knocked in another on a double to left center. Our next batter hits one in the same spot. Knowing it won't be caught, I'm going home on the play. But the ball is cutoff and the center fielder makes a perfect strike to the plate. I realize this about 20 feet beyond third base (the point of no return) and now realize I'm dead at the plate.

With about five strides left, Miller playing catcher, receives the throw. Since he's blocking the back of the plate and most of the front, I can't slide. And I sure as hell can't knock him over. So I try to slide step him and get the front of the plate. As I do this, Miller jabs his mitt at me, catching me under the arm and knocking me off my feet. I think I'm out, but I see the ball rolling to the fence in front of me. When I brought my arm down to brace myself after getting tagged, I knocked the ball out. Miller argued this with the umpire, but I was ruled safe. It's also possible that Miller dropped the ball because he was so intrigued by my high yellow socks and 1984 brown and yellow Padres hat.

So here's hoping that Miller protects Tebow better than he protects the ball on plays at the plate.