Games » Boston Red SoxMay27
You know how I keep saying walks that scored cost the Royals a ballgame? It works both ways. Daisuke Matsuzaka had three walks that scored and the Red Sox lost 4-3. Apparently, what goes around, comes around to score.
It ain’t over ‘til it’s over…
Jason Kendall says he still believes this ball club will be competitive. He told me he’s been on a lot of teams and everybody got along on about three of them. This team is one of the three.
I used to think team chemistry was bull. You could either play or you couldn’t and all the rest was just hot air. Having now been on a few teams with incredible chemistry, I’ve changed my mind. It’s not magic, it’s attitude. I’ve said it before: good teams believe that anything bad that happens is a temporary setback and bad teams believe it’s the beginning of the end.
And what you believe affects how you play.
Details, detail, details…
A couple of balls went off the Green Monster and caught Scott Podsednik and the Red Sox left fielder Jeremy Hermida in bad positions. Hermida got too close to the wall and let the ball carom past him and Podsednik got to the wall, went up, but didn’t make the catch.
Red Sox third base coach Tim Bogar told me that a left fielder who can’t make the catch on the fly, ideally needs to position himself so he fields the ball off the wall above the shoulders. That makes for a quicker turn and throw than if the ball is caught lower.
Once you start paying attention to details like this, it’s mind-boggling how many small things can determine the outcome of a game. The smart players are thinking about this stuff all the time and the not-so-smart players are wondering how many outs there are.
Speaking of Bogie…
He sent a runner home on a ball hit in front of Podsednik in left. There are a whole barrelful of factors in that decision and I won’t pretend to know them all, but a couple are arm strength (a lot of teams are challenging Podsednik) and lateral movement.
If the outfielder is moving sideways to get to the ball instead of coming towards the infield, the throw will be weaker.
Another Russ Morman story…
One day, just after I had just started taking baseball seriously, Russ Morman and I were working out inside. We wanted to throw each other bp, but couldn’t find a pitching screen. There’s a reason they invented a protective screen for the guy throwing bp: do it long enough and someone will smoke a line drive back at you.
Russ said, “Don’t worry, you can do it without the screen, I’ll just pull everything you throw up there.”
I believe I responded with ‘bull’ and ‘s–t’, closely paired together.
Russ said, “No, really, don’t worry. I’m a professional hitter, I know what I’m doing, you’ll be fine.”
I next suggested he attempt an anatomically impossible sex act.
We went on in this vein for awhile, but the end result? After a lot of arguing and promises and swearing on mother’s graves, I was throwing a 6’4” north of 225 pound (I’m being nice, I think he has to get weighed out on the freeway on those truck scales) major league hitter bp without a screen.
The second pitch.
That’s how long it took Russ to hit me with a one-hop line drive. He got me in the ribs under my throwing arm. The ball was there before I finished my motion.
Russ stood there horrified and asked if I was OK. When I said I was, he burst out laughing. “YOU ARE SO STUPID! I DON’T KNOW WHERE THESE THINGS ARE GOING! YOU’RE AN IDIOT! NEVER THROW BP TO ANYBODY WITHOUT A SCREEN! WHAT A MORON!”
“So let me get this straight: you knew you might kill me, but you were willing to lose a friend to get in some bp?”
“Well, yeah, but the ODDS were that I wouldn’t kill you…and I really needed bp.”
Some people die for their country, Russ was willing to let me die for a good workout.