Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sox, Yanks, My Softball Team Lose

We're out. Season over. We had a chance tonight, and we kept it close for most of the game. In the bottom of the sixth of a seven-inning game, we were down two. If we had held them to no runs, we would've had a good shot to tie or take the lead in top 7. But we gave up a bunch of runs. The key play, which I will never get over (until, like, Thursday), was a ball hit to right center, with me playing short. I went over to cover second, and the throw was coming in as the batter barreled toward me. The throw was off to my left and low. I knew I'd have to scoop it, then quickly bring the ball across my body to make the tag. This field is so bad, the chances of me scooping it would be slim. But I did it. I whipped my glove from left to right, about to tag the guy, and he goes WAY to the left. I was pretty sure I got his shirt. But instead of just assuming the ump (there's only one, and he's at home plate) would call him out, I tried to re-tag the guy to make sure. He's on the ground crawling toward the bag, and I lunge, but he makes it back. So he's safe, and another runner crosses the plate. I really did nothing wrong, other than not Jeterizing it by holding my glove up to sell the call. The ump couldn't see, and he probably figured if I went to re-tag, I must've missed him the first time. They then went up by a bunch, and we didn't score in the seventh, and that was it.

I made some nice plays in the field, getting everything hit anywhere near me. At bat, I was also frustrated, once popping out despite that I was specifically trying to hit a grounder through the right side to get the man home from third, and the other time, leading off the sixth, I rocketed one deep down the right field line. The right fielder went over, and made a shoestring catch, in what would be my last at bat of the season. I feel like if just one of my two ABs resulted in a hit, we could've won.

The other team had many pricks. I'm always at the front of the "good game" line, but this time I hung back in protest. I mean, I said "nice hit" to a guy who doubled while he was on second, and he ignored me. Terrible job.

Then we went to eat and watch the end of the game. We were getting no-hit. But it was Peter Brady on the hill for them. So in the ninth, I said, He's Peter Brady, he's nervous, he'll give up three runs. He gave up two. We still lost, though. We saw the Yanks were down 6-1. Turns out they lost 7-6. I love it when the Yanks almost win but still lose. That's the best way. We're 2 back, they're 4 back. And the Angels got Keidis! Crazy...

There was NO way to beat Lackey last night, but it would have been nice if Manny had hustled in the 7th. Oh well...
Tough break on the softball field.
Tough break at Fenway too, although I sure am glad Pedroia broke that shit up.
I liked the Voyce O'Reisen piece - very true. If people would just shut up and watch the games instead of listening to the talking heads and then looking for any shred of evidence that somehow backs up their pronouncements, they'd see that Manny, while a bit eccentric, is just one hell of a ballplayer.
See now this is a good example. AJM (in the last post) and Peter both said Manny should've hustled in the 7th.

I was watching that game in a restaurant with no sound. I remember the play. I saw the replay which showed Manny going down the line. It looked like the usual Manny speed. I would've guessed the announcers were saying that he did not loaf it to first.

But, again, watch Papi and a lot of other guys. Sometimes they stop entirely before even reaching the bag on a ground out. Or they hit a pop up and get pissed and just trot to first after looking down and throwing the bat. Lowell, Coco, even Jacoby the other day. I'm not saying any of this is right. But Manny gets singled out.
It was very clear that Manny took it very easy going down the line, and that if he had hustled he had a very good chance of beating it out for a hit. Remy immediately and unequivocally agreed with me.

And yes, Papi and tons of other guys loaf down the line sometimes. And yes, it's always been that way...Yaz loafed, Maris and Mantle loafed (or so Jim Bouton told us in Ball Four), and in all likelihood Honus Wagner and Tris Speaker loafed on occasion back in the day.

Most of the time this stuff doesn't bother me; if the Sox were winning big, or losing big but had at least gotten a few baserunners, I wouldn't have cared at all. But when the team is facing the 'ultimate humiliation' (to use your term from the post above) of being no-hit, I would have hoped that Manny would actually care enough to make his best effort to break it up.

On the play immediately after Manny's ground out, Lowell also took a long time getting down the line. The difference is that it's clear Mikey was going about as fast as he can.
Maybe Manny's a "true baseball fan," ha.

I'm just sayin', with sound off, it looked like average Manny.

Now I'm hearing radio hosts talk about how he just doesn't try and doesn't care about winning. I guess he's the only player in history to hit 500 HR without trying and win four pennants and two World Series without caring about winning.
Well, it was suggested back in the day that The Spendid Splinter, a member of the 500 hr club, was less concerned with winning and being a complete ballplayer than he was with his hitting......as evidenced by his tendency to practice his swing while standing in left field. No, I don't buy it either.

And speaking of Teddy Ballgame, and having mentioned Ball Four in one of my comments below...

I just got The Baseball Project CD yesterday. I've listened to most of it and really like it. My favorite song is...that's right..."Ted Fucking Williams". The song is about Ted complaining about how he never gets as much attention as Willie, Mickey or The Duke. The lyrics are absolutely hysterical:

And everyone says "hey Mick!"
Mantle this, Mantle that-it makes me sick
It's just so hard to see
Why do they like him better than me?
I'm Ted Fucking Williams!

That last line, taken from Ball Four of course, is the chorus. Link if you're interested:

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Location: Rhode Island, United States