Baseball Thinking

Saturday, August 20, 2005

The LA Angels are a bunch of crooks.

If Orlando Cabrera steals a base, and nobody is in Angel Stadium of Anaheim (that is the name this week, isn't it?), does anybody hear it? Someday that will be explained to me. OC, who had 15 steals coming into the 8/19 game against the Red Sox, had been caught stealing just twice this year. In his career, he has 112 SB's and has been caught 32 times, good for a 77% success rate. He led off the bottom of the 8th with a single. Erstad popped out to Edgar Renteria. Mike Timlin was now on the mound for the Sox and paid no attention to the speedy Cabrera, who promptly stole second base. Manager Frito Francona intentionally walked Vlad Guerrero. This move would come back to haunt the tired looking Francona. Before you could say "hey, these guys are stealing bases", OC & Vlad successfully completed a double steal, ending up on 2nd and 3rd. The Boston defense looked mildly surprised as the runners didn't even draw a throw from All-Star catcher and Sox captain Jason Varitek. Although I am not a professional MLB manager or coach, nor do I have pipe dreams of being as such, I was pretty aware that stolen bases were in order. The Angels are 2nd in SB's in MLB, just one behind the mighty Mets. Why, oh why, didn't the baserunners draw any attention from the pitcher, catcher, and more importantly, the coaching staff of the Sox? Didn't Frito Lay Francona know that the Angels love to run the bases? Didn't he get the slightest inkling that this might be a remote possibility? What was going through his head after walking Guerrero? No signs from the dugout. No attention from the Sox battery. Double steal, base hit, game tied. Oh why, oh why didn't Tito properly react? To his credit, the Sox did come back to win it in the 10th, and Francona was let off the hook. Imagine the reaction if they had lost the game? In some circles, my view of Terry Francona appears negative. The human tendency leans towards negativity. I can't help it! I am just a concerned fan with forward thinking. Will Boston win the AL East? Will the Yankee's win it? Will the Sox even make the playoff's? No one can answer these questions, and with Francona at the helm, the answers lean towards the negative. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)


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