I’ve been getting annoyed at all of the “no team who has ever started 0 and whatever has ever made the playoffs” stuff, but I suppose at some point those numbers are going to become relevant. And we’re a day closer to that, because Boston lost again this afternoon, and they did it in frustrating fashion. At least at the end.
There were two outs in the ninth, with the Sox down 1-0. David Ortiz walked, and Darnell McDonald pinch-ran for him. J.D. Drew hit a grounder up the middle that ricocheted off Chris Perez’s foot and bounced to the third baseman Adam Everett. McDonald would have been safe at second by a mile had he stopped, but he overran the bag, slipped, and then couldn’t get up as he tried to crawl back. Everett threw to second baseman Orlando Cabrera who tagged McDonald out to end the game. MLB.com doesn’t have the highlight up yet, but here’s a handy animated gif of the play. The fact that it repeats over and over will make Red Sox fans enjoy it all the more.
Before all of that we had a pitchers’ duel and some small-ball supreme. Jon Lester and Fausto Carmona were both on point, each shutting out the other side over seven innings on a cold windy day, Lester doing so with nine Ks. In the bottom of the eighth the Indians manufactured a run with a walk, a steal, a sacrifice and then a squeeze play, with Adam Everett doing the walking, stealing and running and Asdrubal Cabrera laying down the squeeze bunt. And he may have had his foot out of the batter’s box when he bunted and should have been out, but that’s fairly academic now.
The Sox have a quiet plane ride back to Boston this afternoon and then a series against the Yankees that — dare I say it on April 7th? — is a must-win.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.
They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.
As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.
Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.
The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.
Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.
The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.
In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: