04 October 2002

I tell ya, it's nice to see good, quality infield play during postseason games. Of course, it'd be even nicer if said plays were being made by the middle infielders of my favorite team...but it's nice nonetheless. Adam Kennedy just made an actual play ranging to his right (you payin' attention here Soriano?). Joe Morgan called it a "tough play" or some such nonsense. I don't know if it's just because he's been retired for a long time, and has therefore forgotten that a major league second baseman ought to be able to make that play, or if he's required to say nice things about the Angels or he'll get fired, but it doesn't seem to me to be such a difficult thing to ask of a guy to be able to reach a ball hit 5 or 6 feet to one side of second base. If Jeter and Soriano would spend half as much time working on defense during The Void as they do on photo shoots and restaurant openings, the Yanks' middle infield defense could be mediocre in no time!

Mike Scioscia's managerial miscues are already coming back to haunt him. His bullpen handling of Percival the other night may have lost him that game as much as his use of "The Shift" did. Rob Neyer argues that Giambi's having hit the ball as hard as he did may have had to do with knowing that the ball would be over the inside half of the plate, given the shift in defense to the right side, and therefore led to the big inning that put the Bombers up to stay. Tonight, in the first inning, the lack of a third baseman on third base meant that Jeter's steal of second became a trip all the way to third when the player covering second (Glaus?) didn't field the catcher's throw cleanly. Of course, the ball should never have been thrown, trying to thwart a steal atempt on ball four, but that's hardly Scioscia's fault.

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