Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Update on 5-man infield

My most loyal reader (Dad) alerted me to an article in the New York Times about Rays' manager Joe Maddon's use of the five-man infield. Money quote:

The Rays have already tried it twice this season, Zobrist said, against the Seattle Mariners on Aug. 9 and the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 24. Zobrist was the fifth infielder in Seattle, posted behind second base. The strategy paid off, and the Rays used a double play to end the 10th before winning in the 11th.

That's the kind of info it would have been nice for Tim McCarver to mention during the broadcast. Sure, you can't expect him to know everything about every strategy used by the Rays during the season. But he's been in baseball for 50 years--50 years! Did he ever see the strategy employed in any game he's ever seen? He didn't say a thing about that.

Anyway, I have to say that I've never seen the strategy in action, and I love watching something I've never seen before. It reminds me of the famous moment about 10 years ago when the Diamondbacks, nursing a 2-run lead, walked Barry Bonds with the bases loaded to bring home a run. I was watching that live and I remember shouting at the TV, "Wow! WOW!" In that particular case, it was an event that hadn't happened since the 1940s, and though I didn't know that history, I really felt I was witnessing history in the making.

Same with Saturday night's event. I hope something similar happens at least one more time this World Series.

No comments: