Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Squeeze

Ever eat the chicken pot pie at Boston Market? I've had it for the last three days and I can't get enough of it. I figure that'll last for about another day or two but I'm milking it for as long as possible on this road trip. It goes without saying that with high school and college coming into full swing, I'm on the run seven days a week now. Today I did two college games. Both JC's.

I know it's early but I'm seeing some shabby play. For example, I saw a draft-and-follow pitcher make a solid pick-off move to second only to find his throw sailing over the bag into shallow center. But it gets worse. As the pitcher continued to sulk on the mound, the center fielder dashed in to scoop the ball and throw it to third on a line. Once the throw left the center fielder's hand, I could see the pitcher finally realize that he'd better get his butt over to third to back it up. Of course, the center fielder's throw was off target and ended up in the fence behind third. The pitcher quit running as he passed the coach's box. The run scored.

I saw a sophomore taking a nice lead off from second with one out. A somewhat low angle line drive hit sharply to right sent the speedy sophomore runnin' for home. Only one problem. The right fielder was playing shallow. Something the runner should've checked before heading off into the sunset. The fielder didn't even have to make a great break on the ball to catch it. By the time the speedster got to third, the coach was screaming for him to turn back. Double play.

I even saw an attempt at a squeeze go terribly wrong. The batter steps into the box after receiving the signal. The pitcher winds up and the batter decides to get a head start on things. He squares off early. Are you kidding me? What level was I watching? But it gets worse. I was expecting the see the pitcher adjust and throw it right down the kid's throat. Nope. Too much to ask for. He threw it right down the middle of the plate! What a gift, right? Nah. The batter popped up the bunt. The catcher caught it. One pickle later, double play.

Ah, that feels better.

This week I go back down to South Florida to spend some time with Carson.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK Cutter, lets cut to the chase. Why do these misplays piss you off so much? Why not just take notes, drop their grades and move on? Maybe these guys just suck? So you do your job, watch them, grade them, file your report and move on. But you get pissed. Why?

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How could a popped up bunt on a squeeze play that was caught by the catcher result in a pickle? Even if the ball hit the ground, it shoulda been a run. Otherwise, the guy just should have been doubled off.

10:28 PM  

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