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Friday, May 02, 2008

Yahoo: Andy Van Slyke talks slugging Bonds, coaching first

Here comes Van Slyke! Here’s the punch to the nose! He is…naff!  Van Slyke wins! Van Slyke wins! Van Slyke wins!  Van Slyke wins!...Van Slyke wins!

Q: There’s an urban legend in Pittsburgh that, from center field, you tried to wave Barry Bonds in to play more shallow in left before Francisco Cabrera’s famous game-winning hit in the 1992 NLCS.

AVS: That’s not a legend, that is not a rumor, that is an absolute, 100-percent, truth that I did.

Q: Was he just ignoring you?

AVS: I always felt that I got a sixth sense on the field that, as an outfielder, I had these premonitions that seemed to come true about half the time. I just felt, given when I saw, that Cabrera was going to hit the ball to left field and nowhere else. Based on scouting reports, based on the count, and that he had just ripped the ball down the left-field line foul when it was 2-0. I was trying to make Barry move in to not let the winning run score from second. He chose to ignore me. Now, if he had moved in two steps, I don’t know if it would have made a difference. I’ll never know that. It might have been a harder play for him because the ball was hit to his left a little.

Q: Maybe he could have trusted you?

AVS: Barry was a great player. It’s sort of like, dealing with Barry made me a greater player in center. But also, it was sort of like being a catcher with a pitcher. He made the last decision. He chose not to move. The unfortunate thing was, if the ball had been hit 10 more feet to his right, I have no question he would have thrown out Sid Bream.

...Q: Seriously, why didn’t Bonds just move in?

AVS: Because he’s a [bleeped by request].

Repoz Posted: May 02, 2008 at 02:31 AM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, history, pirates

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Law Boy Posted: May 02, 2008 at 03:25 AM (#2766124)
I'm not sure that it's reasonable to expect people to follow a suggested defensive alignment based on one's perceived "sixth sense."
   2. Honkie Kong Posted: May 02, 2008 at 03:30 AM (#2766127)
If the Tigers ever were to sign him, would you give him a big hug?

AVS: Absolutely. And I would tell him to hit 30 home runs — or else I'll punch him [laughs].

Hmm, how is Sheff's shoulder?
   3. CFiJ Posted: May 02, 2008 at 03:34 AM (#2766129)
...Q: Seriously, why didn’t Bonds just move in?

Jeez, just trolling until you got the hit you wanted, eh?

I've never played baseball beyond the little league level, but I'll take a shot at answering this perplexing question of why Barry Bonds chose to go with his own baseball instincts rather than trust Andy Van Slyke's amazing powers of intuition that just happen to match up with the success rate of random-ass guessing. Maybe, just maybe, Bonds felt that as the left fielder, he could get to anything hit in front of him and hold Bream at third Cabrera to a single, but that if he was too shallow, he might give up the for-sure game winning double. A fly-out just advances Bream to third, Bream might score on a single (but might not), but anything to the wall that Bonds doesn't catch scores Bream for sure.

Was it the right decision? In hindsight, no. But what, people thought that with the pennant on the line, Barry Bonds threw all baseball thought out the window and decided to just stick it to Van Slyke? Bonds may indeed be a [expletive deleted], but he does know baseball.
   4. flournoy Posted: May 02, 2008 at 04:45 PM (#2766516)
A fly-out just advances Bream to third

Hardly. There were two outs. Bonds shouldn't have been playing shallow for a potential play at the plate, he should have been playing wherever he could cover the most ground on a fly ball.
   5. CFiJ Posted: May 03, 2008 at 01:33 AM (#2767134)
Hardly. There were two outs. Bonds shouldn't have been playing shallow for a potential play at the plate, he should have been playing wherever he could cover the most ground on a fly ball.

Ah, my mistake. Reviewing the Wikipedia recap, I missed that Brian Hunter popped out to short.

Still, with two outs, it makes even more sense for Bonds to play with the mind to give up the single in front of him in order to cover as much ground as possible.
   6. shozzlekhan Posted: May 03, 2008 at 02:04 AM (#2767220)
these premonitions that seemed to come true about half the time.

Unintentionally hilarious.
   7. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: May 03, 2008 at 02:26 AM (#2767288)
Unintentionally hilarious.

That's Andy Van Slyke in a nutshell.

But guys, Bonds did throw Sid Bream out at the plate. The umpire just didn't want to play extra innings, and it was close, so...

At least that's how I remember it. It was a traumatic experience.

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