Monday, May 07, 2012

Run Prevention Not an Issue?

It's hard not to comment about the mediocre defense the Red Sox are running out there lately. Even worse, the announcers either have been instructed to downplay it or simply choose to.

First, nobody chooses to fail. I remember the Steve Lyons mantra about earning the right to fail. But over the weekend, Saltalamacchia's defense led to Aaron Cook's injury via the passed ball, and Salty dropped popups on consecutive days. After all, this is the Big Leagues.

Tonight, Marlon Byrd misplayed a long fly to the track into two runs, and Will Middlebrooks turned a routine grounder into a three-base error (no way was it a single). At least Middlebrooks hits the ball.

Yes, the errors are worse than the whistling past the graveyard approach to announcing. But when the Royals leftfielder misplayed Shoppach's fly ball into a triple, Eck was all over it. "He's gotta catch that ball".

It wasn't that long ago that "run prevention" was to become the Sox watchword. They'd run down balls in the gaps, turn the double play, and keep runners from taking the extra base.

Now, we've been routinely treated to what is called in the vernacular "bad baseball".  Maybe the attitude is that "it's a marathon, not a sprint." But you gotta start running sometime, even in a marathon.

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