Reds win! Ya think. Did the red legs really win last nights game? “Of course they did,” you say. The final score was 6-4 Reds over the Rangers in a game that lasted an exhausting 11 innings. I don’t mind bonus baseball, considering the price to attend for a family of four is equivalent to a monthly car payment, but you expect to get what you pay for and if you don’t get it, the misery of sitting through a three hour baseball event is just not worth it. There were three errors in the third inning alone, a bonehead running error two innings later and a horrible managerial decision in the eighth inning that just might have allowed the game to be finished inside the regulation time limit of nine innings.
To be completely honest, I don’t mind the three errors, that’s just part of the game and it happens. After all, only being down 3-2 to a really good Texas Rangers ball club after a disastrous inning early, on the road, makes you feel pretty good about your chances. We all have our hero’s and Superman Joey Votto accounted for two of the errors in question. Has he put any doubt in our minds about the rest of the year and what we have to look forward to? If you have any reservations on Votto’s play in the field, I have two words for you, “Gold Glove.” He will come around, he always does.
Baseball has always accounted for errors made in the field but base running is not and probably never will be a part of the box score. It’s unfortunate because what you do on the base pads is an intrical part of the game and close games are won and lost on these decisions. Our hero should have taken second base on the overthrow of the cut off in the fifth inning of the game. Fortunately, this base running error had no effect in the outcome, and not always does, but 5 or 6 games lost a year by these errors could be the difference between playing in October or watching as a spectator.
O.K. We are not going to bash the manager because he doesn’t play. The players play the game and they decide the outcome. Wrong answer! If this was the case, anyone could be a manager. Dusty Baker makes a seven digit income to make vital decisions that wins and loses ball games for his club. Managerial decisions, I can assure you play a part in 80% of the 162 games played and about 20% of these decisions account for a win or a loss. The manager is responsible for around 25 games played on the field and with the parity in professional sports today, accountability lies with the manager more than any one player. Last night, early in the game, Baker attempted a sacrifice from first to second down a run with one out. Good decision! I would have made the same call along with the majority of the viewers. Although, it was a failed attempt, it was still the right thing to do. I think we can all agree. The problem lies in the eighth inning where there were no outs, game tied 4-4 and no sacrifice play to move Heisey from second to third. There are a multitude of options a manager has at his finger tips with a runner on third and 0 outs as opposed to a runner on second with 2 outs. What a Golden opportunity missed. The Reds have to play better tonight to win this series and that’s not going to happen with a repeat of last nights performance. Texas is too good a team to let that happen.