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So, about that pop-up…

Posted Jul 25, 2007 by Marc Lancaster

Updated Jul 25, 2007 at 11:18 PM

BALTIMORE—Joe Maddon was rather straightforward in his assessment of the Ramon Hernandez pop-up that fell between Carl Crawford and Brendan Harris in the first inning, immediately setting the tone for another Rays loss.

“Neither one went after the ball hard enough for somebody to make a call,” he said. “I think they were assuming that the other person was going to get it, and that’s why it dropped. Both players have to go after it hard and if the outfielder can get there, the outfielder calls off the infielder.”

Maddon added: “That’s pop-up coverage 101. We have to make that play 100 out of 100 times; that wasn’t a difficult play. We have to make that play.”

The two players involved offered similar explanations.

“We just both were coming at it hard and both pulled up because we thought each other was going to get it,” said Crawford. “I thought he was going to get it and he thought I was going to get it. It’s just one of those things that happens when the ball is in between. We both kind of pulled up.”

Crawford said neither player called for the ball. Harris said he yelled out for Crawford to take it but didn’t think Crawford understood.

“I don’t think he heard what I said, so I think he thought I was calling for it,” said Harris.

Either way, said Harris, it shouldn’t have happened.

“The way things are going, we can’t let balls like that drop – especially with runners on. You’re just praying we get an easy next out, and then they get a broken bat, another run scores, and bam, right off the bat we’re down 3-0.”

You never know what would have happened if the ball had been caught, but that was the kind of failure in basic execution that—as cliched as it is—you just don’t see good teams make. Combine that with the likes of PR chief Rick Vaughn’s stat of the day—the Rays’ 13 bases-loaded walks lead the majors—and you can see why this team’s track record is what it is. At the 100-game mark, here’s how the Rays stack up with their predecessors:

2007 38-62
2006 41-59
2005 36-64
2004 47-53
2003 36-64
2002 32-68
2001 32-68
2000 41-59
1999 42-58
1998 38-62


Reader Comments

Por (Charles Troeger) on July 26, 2007 (Suggest removal)

It took 10 yrs of promises to go nowhere. In(1998 38-62)In (2007 38-62) 
It’s time to show progress but so far, empty promises

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Por (Dave Janeway) on July 27, 2007 (Suggest removal)

I keep hearing from our Manager they need to make those plays. It’s almost like he has no accountability. Let’s face it we all love Crawford but he has shown a severe lack of leadership this year. The base running gaffes - outfield play - this are not signs of a team leader. Maybe he’s hurt or better yet he’s fed up with losing and knows he will sign a very nice contract with a team that has a chance to win.Every good team has leaders that will motivate the rest of the team - usually by how they play the game. Joe manages like he has no control over what happens. Maybe the nice guy approach has run it’s course and he now he needs to play people who give all out every game every inning even when they are 20 runs down in NY.

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Por (Gary B. Jordan) on July 27, 2007 (Suggest removal)

I have read everyones views on what happpend on the play but..CC, as one of my favorite players all round good must 100% of the time stick your arm out to catch the ball. If you dont you look selfish, careless, lazy and unwilling to risk bumping into another player to make a play. Please never do that again. Its beneath you on every level and inexplicable compared to the spectacular “all out” plays you have made in your career.

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