Of course, with Mark DeRosa and three rookies out there it’s not surprising, but an infield pop-up, five players in striking distance, and nobody catches it. I don’t know if it was Betemit’s fault, Almanza’s fault, or LaRoche’s fault. I’m thinking of blaming DeRosa just for the heck of it.
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October 28, 2003
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Isn’t it the pitcher’s job to direct traffic? I think it was Betemit’s ball and LaRoche got in the way, but obviously someone should have called something.
On the other hand, props to Nick Green for getting back to cover second on the play–he almost got Ben Grieve.
Pitchers aren’t supposed to catch popups if there’s somebody else who can get to it. So it can be all their faults, but not Almanza. I always consider the SS the leader of the infield, and the catcher is supposed to be in charge of the whole field too. So blame Estrada or Betemit. We should trade for a Proven Veteran with lots of “intangibles”. (note the sarcasm there)
Well, like Andy said, the pitcher is supposed to direct traffic on that play — that’s why I’m thinking of blaming him. I almost wonder if it was a language thing. Maybe Almanza was giving directions in Spanish and LaRoche didn’t understand.
Betemit was waving his arms saying I got it and Laroche got in his way when he tried to backpedal. Betemit assumed (rightly) that if Laroche was standing so close to him as to get in his way after Betemit had called it that he should catch the ball.
I would say that the SS should be the one going after the play if possible, and 2B is next in the line. They just have the best angle on it, and are theoretically among the best athletes on the field so they should be able to get to it.
I agree with Matt.
I think that on those types of plays, it is the catcher who is responsible for quarterbacking the infield.
Ideally, the shortstop would take those, because you want to have the second baseman and the first baseman available to cover the bag, and the pitcher normally should not go after pop-ups anyway.
However, on that play, I thought LaRoche was going to take it.