That’s the way Yahoo! wrote it up, obviously not knowing how else to describe it. The way I see it, A.J. Pierzynski was heads up, while the A’s had their heads up their you know whats.
In the seventh inning Sunday of the game between the White Sox and A’s, Alexei Ramirez hit a grounder to short with Pierzynski on first and none out. Third baseman Adam Rosales and shortstop Cliff Pennington came together on the play, but a major collision was avoided and Pennington still managed to throw out Ramirez at first.
What happened afterwards was pure Little League. Pierzynski noticed no one was covering third and took the base. And then he noticed no one was covering home after catcher Derek Norris followed the play to first base. First baseman Chris Carter had his head down and didn’t see it until too late, and though he tried to race Pierzynski to the plate, Pierzynski had too much of a head start.
Here’s the clip.
While there was plenty of blame to be spread around on the play, the majority of it needs to go to pitcher Evan Scribner, who was just standing around by the mound instead of backing up one of the bases. Norris, too, probably should have been able to make his way back home in the time that Pierzynski was advancing two bases. It was just a mess all around.
Last week as the Manny Machado trade drama was playing out, I and a lot of other people suspected as early as Monday and into Tuesday morning that the Orioles already had a deal in place for Machado and that they were just keeping it under wraps in order to get through the All-Star break (a) without any awkwardness; and (b) with the Orioles still having an All-Star representative. It would be Wednesday morning before the Orioles would make it official.
Turns out we were wrong. Machado was actually traded before Monday morning. Basically anyway, with the Orioles going so far as to pull him out of last Sunday’s game early because of it. And, of course, they lied about it. From Bob Nightengale of USA Today who spoke with Machado following his debut weekend with the Dodgers:
It was a week ago Sunday when Machado homered for the 24th time this season, the Orioles playing the final game of the first half against the Texas Rangers, when he was removed after the fourth inning after a 26-minute rain delay.
The Orioles told reporters after the game it was simply for precaution, making sure Machado didn’t get hurt playing on a wet field.
They may have fibbed to everyone else, but they told Machado the truth.
“That’s when they had told me I had been traded,’’ Machado said. “They said they pretty much had a deal done. They just wanted to wait until after the break to get all of the medical stuff done.
That didn’t stop all of the usual rumor-mongering reporters from tweeting stuff about this or that team “being in the race” or “taking the lead” or three or four teams in the “debry” or “sweepstakes” as it entered “the home stretch.” A bunch of track announcers calling a race that wasn’t even being run.
In the final analysis this is all benign. Teams lie about stuff all the time and a day or two in either direction made no difference to anyone involved. Still, it says a lot about how the trade rumor business works.