The scene: the Cleveland Indians are enjoying a productive third inning versus Philip Humber and the Chicago White Sox. Casey Kotchman steps up to the plate and sends the first pitch he sees from the Imperfect Weapon into right field, driving in two runs. Chicago’s Alex Rios fires a strike to second base, where the ball arrives in plenty of time for shortstop Alexei Ramirez to tag Kotchman out. Alas, Kotchman is safe!

This film’s working title was “How Not to Leg Out a Double”, but Ramirez’s embarrassing tagging skills forced my hand…

Comments (4)

  1. He could have done better, but “embarassing” seems a stretch. That was a tough mid-bounce sorta hop given where the ball landed – it’s often pretty hard to even catch a ball like that cleanly. He caught the ball back on his heels, then wasn’t in position to make a strong tag, but I can completely relate to sitting back on a hop like that to give a bit more time to make the catch – it’s almost instinctive.

    Two cents.

    • I agree with your first sentence. The rest is pretty much BS. The “tough mid-bounce” is laughable only because it was right at him. If anything, when a throw bounces and you catch it near your chest and there’s a runner coming, you instinctively want to get your glove down as soon as possible. He also wasn’t on his heels as he was bent on one knee when applying the tag.

      Ramirez was banking on the fact that umpires usually make a bad call (like a runner trying to steal second) where “if the ball reaches first, he’s usually out” mantra is applied. Kudos to the umpire for recognizing that you must TAG the runner to get the out.

      • Meh, I’m fine with disagreeing on this one. I don’t think the “umpires usually make a bad call” assertion is provable. “Back on his heels” was a poor word choice on my part, the point I was trying to get at is he got his weight moving backwards in making the catch, which makes the tag harder.

  2. The authors do not mention the proper way to apply the tag. Tag him high? No. Sweep
    or “sell” the tag? Well, yea, but the authors mention banking on the ump to “miss” the tag (ie, call an out regardless of the tag landing the target, which is what the sell is for. Looked like a standard major league out to me.

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