April 20, 2006

Stern Sent Down; Rays Get Shifty

It was inevitable. Having fulfilled his Rule 5 requirements, Adam Stern -- the pride of London, Ontario -- was sent down to Pawtucket and Willie Harris was called up. "I'm not going to sulk ... I realize why they're doing this. You've got to play. You don't want to be a young outfielder and be the fourth outfielder and not get many at-bats."

Tampa Bay has employed an extreme shift against David Ortiz in these two games. The third baseman moved out to left field, and all three usual outfielders shifted over to the right. The second baseman went into shallow right field and the shortstop was in shallow center, to the right field side of second base. It gave the Devil Rays, in effect, six outfielders. Ortiz: "Man that's crazy. But whatever they do, they can't catch the ball if you hit it off the Green Monster."

Here's a crude drawing of the shift that someone posted to the SoSH Game Thread:

Ortiz has yet to lay down a bunt, but he has doubled twice off the Wall.

Steven Krasner of the Providence Journal has been writing a cool sidebar called "Inside the Game" in which he dissects several plays from the previous night's game.

On Wednesday afternoon, Jonathan Papelbon watched as Mariano Rivera closed out the Yankees' 3-1 win in Toronto. "I don't try to pattern myself after any closer. But I watch how other guys get guys out. I'm a student. I'm learning every day out here." ... Herald readers' choice for Papelbon's closer theme? AC/DC's "Thunderstruck".


Peter N said...

In a report in today’s Globe (Thurs.) he said the lubricant shots that have alleviated the pain in his knees is already wearing off, 3 weeks or so after he got them. They are supposed to work for months. At least that is my personal experience with friends who had the procedure. Go to my blog for more, if you wish. It’s linked. This was the last kind of news I wanted to hear about him. He could be such an invaluable set up guy in our ‘pen. It sucks.

Peter N said...

And I was talking about Keith Foulke.