This is fun. The crazy sequence where Craig Breslow threw away the ball when he tried to get Jon Jay at third base last night? The one that resulted in the go-ahead and what proved to be the winning run scoring? The only reason that happened is because Jon Jay failed to play baseball The Cardinal Way.
Watch the v45 second mark of the video here, when Matt Carpenter hits the fly ball to left field. Specifically, watch Jay at second base. Even more specifically, watch him fail to tag up on what almost everyone should have seen was a fly ball that was going to be caught:
[mlbvideo id=”31177753″ width=”400″ height=”224″ /]
As a result of not tagging up, Jay could not run to third simultaneously with Pete Kozma who was tagging up from third and running home. He has to scamper back to second, tag, and then go to third. Since he was running late to third, Breslow thought he had a shot, threw the ball away and then Jay scored.
Of course Carlos Beltran then came up and singled in Descalso, who also advanced on the play, and if Jay had been standing on third as fundamentally sound baseball would have had him do, it would have been him who scored. Still, the defining play of that game — the place where the wheels fell off for the Red Sox — was the result of some decidedly non-heads up baserunning by Jay.
Irresponsible baserunning. A bad throw. Man, somewhere, Yasiel Puig was watching this all and smiling.
As the United States experiences another night of protests against police brutality, the Oakland Athletics released a statement. Many sports leagues and individual teams released statements today — though not MLB nor most of its teams, interestingly — but the A’s went further than most. Their statement:
We are heartbroken and saddened by the inequities that persist in this country and the impact felt in our community. We stand in solidarity with the Black community in Oakland and beyond against racism and injustice. We will continue to support local organizations by donating $100,000 today to the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce, Oakland NAACP, and 100 Black Men of the Bay Area, who work tirelessly to serve the needs of the Black community.
Most organizations’ statements were so vague as to be meaningless, so it is nice to see the A’s not only acknowledge the problem, but put their money where their mouth is as well.
That being said, there is still some room for improvement. First, it is important to acknowledge what, exactly, the “racist and injust” inequities are. George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, the latest extrajudicial killing of a Black man at the hands of police. That’s why there have been protests across the nation for the last week. These statements, if they are to have the impact intended, need to explicitly mention police brutality against Black people. This is unquestionably a time to take sides and the lack of specificity benefits those doing the oppressing.
Second, what other actions will the Athletics take to show solidarity? The team had a “Law Enforcement Day” scheduled for August 2 this summer. Given recent events, would that have been canceled if there were a normal season? Will they hold Law Enforcement Day if an altered 2020 happens, and will they hold such events in the future? Will they contract with local police departments for security? If the Athletics’ solidarity begins and ends with a simple cash donation, the organization is just paying for good P.R.
The A’s should absolutely be applauded for their financial commitment to good causes. But there are always ways to do better.