August 15, 2006

The Wave

Steven Krasner, ProJo:
Don't blame Manny for this one.

The fact that Manny Ramirez was a dead duck at the plate in the eighth inning, taking the air out of the Sox' promising comeback, was the fault of third-base coach DeMarlo Hale.

The Red Sox had runners at first and second with one out in the eighth, having whittled their deficit to 7-4 against flame-throwing Joel Zumaya, whose fastball regularly hits 100 or higher on the radar gun. Ramirez was the runner at second.

When Mike Lowell ripped a single to center, Ramirez initially started back to the bag, not wanting to get doubled up in case the liner was caught, a good move on Ramirez's part. When he saw the ball headed for a safe landing in center, he took off.

And when he arrived at third base, Hale, who should have seen Ramirez initially going back to the bag, was frantically waving him home. Ramirez, though, was an easy out on the relay from shortstop Carlos Guillen to catcher Vance Wilson for the second out of the inning, quieting the crowd and effectively putting an end to any chances Boston may have had of winning the game.
Hale said that he did Ramirez hesitate. He also saw Curtis Granderson playing deep in center and assumed the throw would go to third base. Hale: "Manny did the right thing. He froze on the liner. The ball was hit toward right-center and they were lined up to throw to third. ... The defense is usually lined up for home plate."

Guillen said he was "surprised" to hear second baseman Omar Infante yell and point toward home. "I thought he was going to hold." ... Wilson says Guillen "is the most alert infielder I've ever played with."

I wish Manny had done what did at least once when Dale Sveum was coaching third -- ignore the windmill, trust his instincts and stop at third. Still, Hale would have to screw up like that about 20 more times before he gets into EZ Pass territory.

Also: Shame on NESN's Jerry Remy for assuming right away that Manny was dogging it on the bases. He changed his tune once he saw the replay, but as one SoSHer put it, "The fact that Remy jumped to the 'lazy conclusion' right away says more about Remy then it does about Manny."

Tim Wakefield threw off a mound for about 10 minutes yesterday and said he had made
a little progress. ... The pain is there. I know it's there. But it's not as sharp a pain as it was before. ... I want to be further along but ... it's a bone injury. You have to wait for it to heal. ... I don't want to come back too early, make three or four starts and be out of there and then be out for the year.
Jonathan Papelbon is a little tired:
I'm going to start speaking up a little bit more and start listening to my body a little bit more. I've arrived at the part of the season where you really have to be able to balance your body and your workload. ... I want to be able to last the entire season.
Doug Mirabelli is the first player in baseball history to hit as many as six home runs in fewer than 200 at-bats for six consecutive seasons. ... On Sunday, Jeffrey Farrell (5 IP) and Yulkin German (4 IP) combined to throw the first no-hitter in Lowell Spinners history, a 2-0 win at Hudson Valley. ... Keith Foulke hopes to join the team for its West Coast swing.

Jackie MacMullan has a great article in the Globe about tipping pitches. Former manager Cito Gaston:
I got pretty good at telling what pitchers were going to throw by the way they held their fingers outside the glove. I could pick up the grip for a curveball, because most pitchers held their fingers tighter when they threw it. With other guys, it was a matter of rhythm and repetition, or the way they turned their shoulder, or their placement of the glove.

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