Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Worst Play Was By Fan

Ivan Rodriguez led off the top of the 7th inning with a well-struck line drive into the open spaces (known to AT&T regulars as Triple's Alley) and that's just where the mobile backstop wound up, at third base with a leadoff triple.

Ivan's nickname is Pudge. And I've always wondered why that was. Perhaps when he first came up as a nineteen year-old stud, with the Texas Rangers, he had some baby fat? Because for most of his career he's been lean and mean and one of the best ever to play catcher. Or was it out of respect for the star catcher at the time of Ivan's arrival, Carlton Fisk, inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame in 2000, whose nickname was also Pudge?

He possesses one of the best arm's and has always maintained the ability to get around the bases very proficiently. Currently he has 120 career stolen bases and been caught 58 times, just over twice as many steals as times thrown out. Not bad for someone in a crouch, most of the time, wearing the Tools of Ignorance.

After a grounder to second-baseman Ray Durham made it one out, up came clutch pinch-hitter, Edgar Renteria. He ripped one out to rightfield where Randy Winn reached across his body to snare and then, in one motion, he turned and threw a strike to Benji Molina at home. Molina caught the ball and made a swipe tag that replays showed ruffled Rodriguez' sleeve but the ump, trying to get a better vantage point, was out of position and unable to see the ruffled sleeve so he called Rodriguez safe.

When you are in motion you are seeing a blur rather than a clearer, better focussed picture. Some of the intricacies that help the development of the play unfold are sullied and you miss the necessary details that would allow you the best chance at making an accurate call. This leaves you in the predicament of assuming something happened ... and we all know about the word "assume"...(it makes an ass out of u and me.)

Add to it that the player involved was the cherubic Ivan Rodriguez, a Hall of Famer to be, and Tom Hallion chose the "safe" call.

Tigers 4 Giants 3.

In the bottom of the 8th, the Giants exploded for 5 runs. Three of the runs came across on John Bowker's 6th homer of the season and then Fred Lewis, who earlier homered, rapped a double down the left field line. Only on this play some boneheaded fan reached over to get himself a souvenir and would've cost the Giants' a run except that home plate umpire, Tom Hallion, redeemed himself for the 7th inning gaffe- which he exacerbated by promptly tossing Giants' skipper Bruce Bochy- by deeming that the runner would have scored had the reprehensible act of the fan not occurred.

The play by the fan was far worse than Tom Hallion's running toward the first base line in hopes of getting the better angle on the play. Hallion's mistake was that he tried to do too much in too little time. The manner in which the catcher caught the throw and then had to make a swipe tag shielded Hallion from seeing the play at the moment Pudge was tagged out.

The fan selfishly wanted a souvenir and Giant fans', as well as the orange and black, were fortunate the home plate umpire made the call that the runner would have scored if the fool hadn't interfered. (Sorry, but I cannot in any way, shape or form consider that guy a fan!)

Giants went on to win and a selfish act, for once, didn't cost the Giants a run or the game.

Kevin Marquez