Saturday, August 07, 2004
In the last play of the game, Carl Crawford was sent home because of obstruction by young shortstop Jose Lopez. After seeing the replay quite a few times, on both ESPN and FSNNW, it was evident that Crawford had a "fake going" type of a thing, breaking for home for a few steps and then retreating because he wasn't tryly trying to score on the not-quite-deep-enough-fly. (Tampa Bay's third base coach said after the game, "(Crawford) was going to bluff it, go down the line and the throw came in and he wasn't going. All of a sudden Paul (third base umpire Paul Emmel) yelled out obstruction.") He tagged up and took off from third the exact moment Ibanez caught the ball, which meant his view wasn't obstructed at all. That being said, I totally believe that it was a mental mistake by Lopez, who rushed over to third base from deep short while having no play at the ball and while there was already Bloomquist covering third base if the ball was to be thrown that way. (Jose said after the game, "I was doing everything all at once. I was looking at Raul, looking at home, seeing what was going to happen. I looked back and the umpires pointed at me. Everybody was in shock to see what happened." No way, Jose. Sounds like he looked everywhere but where he was going as he obviously "didn't see/notice" Bloomquist.) It was inexcusable, just like the other scoring play in the game where he ran into left field to catch a ball that Ibanez would've gotten to routinely, and which Raul would've had the momentum towards home to make a decent throw to prevent the runner on third from scoring. I think our young shortstop was somehow trying too hard, so much that it crossed the line between hustling and thoughtless play.... Good thing that this happened in an already lost season though.
Today was also a somewhat busy day on the trading front after the non-waiver trade deadline. Mike Myers was traded to Boston for a PTBNL or cash, while Larry Walker went to St. Louis for 3 minor leagers. The Walker trade was probably what we would've liked to see our team do back when the M's were contending (seems so long ago now...?), adding a big bat to win now.