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Friday, August 29, 2014

After awkward attempt at game-saving catch, Yankees’ Ichiro Suzuki gets testy with reporters

“But now frustration and heartache is what you got…”

Ichiro Suzuki, suspected of flubbing a catch that could have saved the Yankees on Thursday, got testy with reporters who wanted to know exactly what happened on the game’s final play.

Ichiro appeared to botch an attempt to catch Mike Avila’s walk-off hit, which gave the Detroit Tigers a 3-2 victory. And when the questions persisted, an exasperated Ichiro told a reporter to watch the replay himself for an explanation, and he even slapped his own leg at one point.

As Avila’s two-out, first-pitch rip off reliever Shawn Kelley flew toward the right-center seats, reliever Sean Kelley hung his head, slammed his glove to the ground and walked off the field, sure it was a homer. Catcher Brian McCann said he refused to watch the ball for the same reason.

Ichiro, playing at about regular depth, raced toward the wall. When he got near, he leaped in an attenpt to catch the ball, but it landed several feet toward center, and near the wall’s base. When he leaped, Ichiro also seemed to duck.

The strange effort led to a string of reporter’s questions: Was he trying to catch it? Did he think he had a chance? Was he trying to catch it on the fly or off the wall—which would have been useless given the runner on second.

 

 

Repoz Posted: August 29, 2014 at 12:07 AM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: tigers, yankees

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   1. bobm Posted: August 29, 2014 at 12:38 AM (#4781345)
He could have caught it if he wanted to.
   2. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: August 29, 2014 at 12:46 AM (#4781349)
Looks like the shadow fooled him into thinking he was closer to the wall than he was.
   3. DKDC Posted: August 29, 2014 at 01:07 AM (#4781359)
After watching the replay a bunch of times, I still have no idea where the ball hit the wall. I see it appear a good ten feet away from Ichiro just after he hits the wall, but did it initially hit closer to Ichiro?
   4. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: August 29, 2014 at 01:34 AM (#4781389)
Ichiro has actually been hitting pretty well recently getting his average up to .288 on the season. He's a 177 hits away from 3000 for his career. There's a small chance that he could get to 3000 hits next season if he could get an everyday job somewhere. He would probably need two seasons to do that. I would really enjoy him making a run at that. 3000 hits in MLB after turning 27 would be pretty awesome.
   5. TJ Posted: August 29, 2014 at 02:01 AM (#4781421)
Do my beloved Detroit Tigers now have some sort of weird Alex Avila/Mike Aviles hybrid playing catcher?
   6. Lars6788 Posted: August 29, 2014 at 04:42 AM (#4781441)
I think Joe Girardi has managed Ichiro well until he had to overextend him a bit in the middle of the season - Ichiro can probably stick around and get his 3,000 hits but at this point, it seems like he'd run out of gas if he had to play everyday.
   7. AJMcCringleberry Posted: August 29, 2014 at 06:43 AM (#4781449)
Ichiro Suzuki, suspected of flubbing a catch that could have saved the Yankees on Thursday

What an odd use of the word "suspected".
   8. JJ1986 Posted: August 29, 2014 at 07:58 AM (#4781465)
As Avila’s two-out, first-pitch rip off reliever Shawn Kelley flew toward the right-center seats, reliever Sean Kelley hung his head


What a sentence.
   9. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 29, 2014 at 08:53 AM (#4781483)
Of course, the focus is on Ichiro, when the real problem with this game was Girardi: David Robertson hadn't pitched since Sunday, but Girardi put Kelley in for the top of the 9th, because of the "tie game on the road" closer usage silliness.
   10. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 29, 2014 at 09:26 AM (#4781503)
I'm with DKDC, the glare made it tough to see and I wonder if Ichiro! had a similar issue. It was certainly an odd play. It looked like it might have been catchable but the way Ichiro! jumped he had no chance.

the real problem with this game was Girardi: David Robertson hadn't pitched since Sunday, but Girardi put Kelley in for the top of the 9th, because of the "tie game on the road" closer usage silliness.


I don't disagree with the "tie game on the road" silliness but I don't blame Girardi, I blame convention. Every manager in baseball manages this way. It's stupid but it's a convention thing, not a Girardi thing.

Shawn Kelley flew toward the right-center seats, reliever Sean Kelley hung his head


Shawn threw the pitch, Sean was in the bullpen and knew immediately what had happened.
   11. The District Attorney Posted: August 29, 2014 at 09:32 AM (#4781509)
As Avila’s two-out, first-pitch rip off reliever Shawn Kelley flew toward the right-center seats, reliever Sean Kelley hung his head

What a sentence.
Agreed. It should be "horse head."
   12. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: August 29, 2014 at 09:42 AM (#4781520)
And where where Shon & Chone Kelley during all of this?
   13. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: August 29, 2014 at 09:47 AM (#4781531)
Yeah, I have no idea where the ball hit the wall. I also think it's funny that Kelley slammed his glove down almost immediately. I guess he thought it was a HR.
   14. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: August 29, 2014 at 09:52 AM (#4781539)
As best I can tell, Ichiro simply could not catch up to the ball; Ichiro is going back, and the ball struck the wall in front of him (about 10' to the left of the Jimmy Johns sign). At 0:48 of the video, you can see the pitcher spiking his glove in frustration.
   15. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 29, 2014 at 09:55 AM (#4781543)
Of course, the focus is on Ichiro, when the real problem with this game was Girardi: David Robertson hadn't pitched since Sunday, but Girardi put Kelley in for the top of the 9th, because of the "tie game on the road" closer usage silliness.

I'd have to agree with that. And even if he didn't want to use Robertson, he could've left Betances in for a second inning. He'd pitched the night before, but yesterday he'd thrown but 13 pitches and had racked up two strikeouts in his typically dominant fashion. I realize that the Yankees don't have the world's deepest bullpen, but Kelly is essentially a mop-up pitcher.
   16. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:15 AM (#4781564)
I don't disagree with the "tie game on the road" silliness but I don't blame Girardi, I blame convention. Every manager in baseball manages this way. It's stupid but it's a convention thing, not a Girardi thing.


I don't think this absolves Girardi of blame. "Everyone else does this too" doesn't move me as an excuse. But YMMV.

In no other major sport are managers/coaches this risk averse and this married to old, suboptimal ideas. In basketball, in football, coaches are always trying to think outside the box. Say what you will about Chip Kelly, but at least he had the stones to try something different that he thought would work well. In baseball literally the only thing managers do that is cutting edge is the shifts, which is a big deal (or at least a big change -- I think the jury is still out as to whether the shift is accomplishing anything), but seems to be driven by upper management, not middle management. And even with the shift there is a lot of "follow the leader" going on.
   17. Hank G. Posted: August 29, 2014 at 11:34 AM (#4781668)
In no other major sport are managers/coaches this risk averse and this married to old, suboptimal ideas.


I don’t really keep up anymore, but haven’t football analysts said that football teams punt on fourth down way more than is optimal? That’s one of those situations that if it blows up, the coach is really going to take some heat.

I can’t even see how using the closer in this situation would get a lot of flack. The manager could just say that it was a high-leverage situation and he wanted his best reliever out there.
   18. A Fatty Cow That Need Two Seats Posted: August 29, 2014 at 12:02 PM (#4781689)
Yeah, NFL coaches are known for being incredibly risk averse/stupid, which makes Chipper stand out. Punting from your own 40 down two scores late, kicking a field goal down several scores, timeout mismanagement, etc.
   19. Ulysses S. Fairsmith Posted: August 29, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4781707)
. . . he even slapped his own leg at one point.


I'm not sure what reaction I'm supposed to have here.
   20. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 29, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4781763)
Ichiro could have made the play, but didn't. You can maybe say its a catch he would have made most of the time, 10 years ago. He was surely mad at himself for not making it.

Then gets to the locker room and...

The strange effort led to a string of reporter's questions: Was he trying to catch it?

Yeah, I'd be pissed if I had to listen to completely idiotic media questions like "Were you trying to catch it?" after a frustrating loss.
   21. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: August 29, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4781832)
I first read this as Ichiro getting "zesty". I think I'm going to pretend that's what it actually said.

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