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Monday, November 02, 2009
Lots of cross-pollination between NBC and THT this morning, as every time I wrote something in one place, someone would tell me something interesting and new about it in the other. Who says that the mainstream media and new media can't get along?
Lots of legal work today, so there's a chance this afternoon will be light going. Must do something about that . . . .
In Lupica's column, via CTB reader comeoneman:
"What were you doing going to third?" Damon was asked in the Yankee clubhouse.
And in case you've missed the comments in ATH this morning, eagle-eyed and elephant-brained ShysterBall readers recall that Willie Mays and Brandon Phillips both pulled that play off before, stealing against anti-McCovey and anti-Dunn shifts. Please let me know of any others.
Not that it still wasn't totally cool to see it happen live.
Yankees 7, Phillies 4: On the one hand, the double steal by Damon in the 9th doesn't really matter, right? He'd be on second base before the A-Rod hit and still would have scored, even if someone had thought to cover third. On the other hand, Brad Lidge was on the mound, and that guy is something less than grace under pressure. You know he was worked up about that play when he hit Teixeira, and you have to figure he was still thinking about it when he threw the pitch to A-Rod.
But that's boring post-hoc analysis. As it happened, all I could think was "WOW!" I have no horse in this race, but I stood up and shouted at my TV when Damon took off from second, just as amazed at what was happening as I was amazed at how quickly Damon reacted, realizing that there was no one at third and that he had the edge in the footrace. My next thought was "man, they've been playing baseball for more than 150 years, so you'd think everything that has happened could happen, and then something like THIS happens." I'm guessing some guy will dig deep somewhere today and find an account of this happening before, but the fact that he'll have to dig is testament enough to that play.
But maybe it hasn't happened. Think about the perfect storm of weirdness that has to occur for that play to happen: (1) the overshift has to be on with the third baseman covering the play, just, like they had on for Teixeira; (2) someone has to be stealing with an overshift on, which by definition means that someone is attempting a steal when a fierce pull hitting lefty is at the plate, which is usually a low-percentage play; and (3) a defensive brain fart, to the extent the pitcher not covering third on a stolen base -- something which doesn't come up too often -- can be considered a brain fart. If I had to guess, I'd say that someone got a double steal awarded to them on a bad scorer's call at some point, when an error really should have been recorded. My guess is that it happening like Damon did it has never happened before.
Anyway, it's 3-1 now, with Cliff Lee on tap. My Yankees in 6 pick looks reasonably safe right now. Unless things like momentum and statements and dramatic turning points and all of that mean anything, in which case New York takes it tonight.