Running Scared (or, at least, Stupid)

Question of the day:  Why are the Sox so awful at running the bases?  It seems like nearly every game there is a blunder that stops a rally, ends an inning, or costs the Sox a chance at a smattering of runs.  Last night was no different, with Manny running into Youk at third on a bloop single (blame is being put on Manny, but to me it appeared that at the least he read the ball correctly, while Youk had no clue if the ball was dropping).  This followed Thursday’s hideous gaffe by Mirabelli at third base on a deep fly ball, tagging then retagging, and getting thrown out after Nick Markakis caught the ball near the bullpen in right.  And we don’t have to remind Sox fans about Julio Lugo getting thrown out at third in the ninth inning to end a game, with the Sox down a single run.

Who can I blame for this?  I’m in serious scapegoating mode at the moment, such is my general frustration and gloomy outlook for the team, the way they’ve played for nearly 2.5 months.

4 comments… add one
  • The Sox did finish July 15-12, so I’m not sure it’s really been that bad. June remains their only truly bad month. .556 isn’t great, but it’s not abysmal either, particularly given that 7 of those games came on the road in Cleveland and Detroit.
    But to answer your question about who is to blame, I don’t think anyone is. Lugo was thrown out in an insane attempt to make amends for his crappiness, Belli is absurdly slow, and Manny does something like that at least three times a year.

    Josh SF (D1) August 4, 2007, 11:21 am
  • But ‘Belli’s mistake wasn’t due to slowness. Lugo’s was stupidity. Manny’s wasn’t, to me, the big error: he did a good job knowing the ball was dropping and hustled — it was Youk who misread the flyball and failed to score. These are fundamental mistakes, and these guys shouldn’t be consistently failing to execute the fundamentals.

    SF August 4, 2007, 11:26 am
  • I thought that might have been Youk’s fault, too, but after watching the replay a few times I don’t think he had a chance to score. Or at least, it would have been a close play, and with one out I don’t really see a point in pushing it. Manny had it easy, given that he was running towards the flyball…Youk had his back to the play as he ran towards third, so if it isn’t Manny’s fault, it must have been DeMarlo Hale’s. But even if Hale should have sent Youkilis home, Manny could have looked up and realized that he wasn’t running, which also would have prevented the whole thing.
    Lets just blame DeMarlo Hale. He’s gotten Ortiz thrown out at the plate once or twice, too, so it’s probably his fault somehow.

    Josh SF (D1) August 4, 2007, 12:38 pm
  • I guess my point is exactly what you say at the end: both Youk and Manny could be blamed, and perhaps Hale too. In other words, why is EVERYONE doing something just a little bit wrong? Where is the coherent execution of fundamentals across the board? This team should be good enough to not have countless brainfarts bring them down, but that’s what’s happening. Borderline errors compounding, this is really hurting the team.
    I see a seven game lead that could be twelve: the Sox are horribly inefficient and they are not playing smartly. How is this possible from a squad of (mostly) veterans?

    SF August 4, 2007, 12:50 pm

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