Generally speaking, when a batter is said to have "hit the cover off the ball," it's a fancy way of saying the hitter is in the midst of a hot streak. Yet on Thursday night, Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper literally hit the cover off the baseball against the Orioles.
Take a look at this foul ball and watch for some torn cowhide:
Obviously the ball didn't go very far, but sheesh. You have to strike the ball hard and at a special angle to slice part of the cover like that. Kudos to Harper for pulling off the feat, even if it wasn't quite as impressive as when it happened in "The Sandlot" or "The Natural".
Oh, and by the way? Harper has been living up to the figurative meaning of tearing the cover off the ball all season. He entered Thursday hitting .316/.427/.626 on the season. That's good for a 174 OPS+.