“This level, when you give them more than 27 outs, they gonna cash in, … Routine plays we didn’t make. Ground ball and then we don’t throw a guy out. Then the safety squeeze play, we know with that guy it’s gonna happen. That’s the part that frustrates me, you know? I guess I gotta do a better job at coaching them.”
For the first time in my writing life I've chosen to start a column with a quote. That's saying something as there have been so many great baseball quotes to choose from during my lifetime.
“If my uniform doesn’t get dirty, I haven’t done anything in the baseball game.” – Rickey Henderson
“Fans don’t boo nobodies.” – Reggie Jackson
“Pitching is the art of instilling fear.” – Sandy Koufax
“I know – I know all about you (Carl Yastrzemski). Look, kid, don’t ever – ya’ understand me? – don’t ever let anyone monkey with your swing.” - Ted Williams
“Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical.”
But no this Alex Cora quote is the one I've chosen to end all. The streak is dead. Not the Rays streak, they won their 12th straight game. Meanwhile, the Sox have lost 7 of their last ten and a lot of that has to do with? Sloppy Baseball. There is no excuse for it. Errors happen. It's a fact of baseball life. But sloppiness is something you can and have to control in this game. Free bases , free outs , turn into free runs faster than you can swing a bat at a ball, well actually as fast as you can swing a bat at a ball.
Errors kill pitchers. not only does it add to their pitch counts. I coach and keep two pitch counters in my pocket. One for the actual pitch count. And one for Extras. How many extra pitches we cost our pitcher. Maybe Cora should start doing this. But they get into a pitchers head, into his approach. And it isn't just errors you see in the scorebook. It's botched squeeze plays. My god the only sure out in baseball is a bunt back to the pitcher and the Sox couldn't do that right last night. It’s missed cut offs. It’s cuts missed. It's sloppy baserunning. It's throwing behind runners. IT'S STUPIDITY
With all the problems the Red Sox have this season the one they can fix is. The stupidity. Playing smart baseball is the only controllable thing in this great game. The only aspect of it you can determine. Know your job. And do your job. It's the easiest thing to figure out. Where do I need to be if X Happens where do I need to be if Y happens? And handle that business. Or the only letters you will be seeing is AAA. The Sox need to get their 90% right, and the 50% will follow.
As always you can follow / give me grief on Twitter @Tmurph207