Scenario 1: So it’s the top of the 4th inning in a game in the middle of July. One of the fastest baseball players in the world squares around to bunt. The pitch runs more inside than anticipated and catches the hitter by surprise. He bunts the ball anyways and obviously upset with himself, he doesn’t run the ball out. It also seemed that the hitter did not know where the ball went but then takes off his helmet like he knew it was a shitty bunt. If you were the manager of this player, what would you do?
Scenario 2: You play for a prominent franchise and are one of the best hitters in baseball. You have been ripped on in the past for not giving max effort 100% of the time. It’s the bottom of the first inning. There is a runner on second base with 2 out on a 1-2 count. The man is playing catcher and seems to get crossed up on a slider. The pitch hits his shin guard and heads off the the third base dugout closer to no mans land. The catcher begins to jog after the ball only to realize the man on second is now heading towards home plate after racing past third. In an “oh shit” moment he begins to run after the ball having to make an off balance throw that hits the runner and he scores, all the way from second. The team ends up losing the game 3-4 in the last inning. Not the mention, this same guy did not run out a ball in that last inning of play that could have advanced the game to extra innings. If you were the manager of this player, what would you do?
In scenario 1, that player happened to be Trea Turner and the manager happened to be Tampa Bay’s own Dave Martinez. Here’s the video of the play:
Dave has been known as a no non-sense type of coach ever since he coached my travel ball team at the young buck age of 12-15. Just because these are big leaguers does not mean his mentality has changed. Dave ended up benching him the next day saying:
“I haven’t talked to him yet, but a conversation will be had. Honestly, I felt after yesterday that he probably needed a day off. He’s available, but let him ponder about it and get it right. This is just one of those things.”
It’s just one of those things. You hate to do it because these are grown men, and he knows he should have at least ran, but there is also a view from Turner’s perspective:
“Kind of self-defense, thought I was going to get hit by it, but ended up bunting it fair somehow,” For me, by the time I got my feet underneath me, it felt like the pitcher was already standing right there. Probably should have run to first, but it’s a little bit of both.”
He knows he should have ran but i agree with him. At that point, the pitcher is basically on top of him. He was going to be out no matter what, unless Chacin, the Brewers pitcher, saw a hot girl in the stands, got distracted, and chucked the ball in the stands. Which could happen because anything is possible. Even an alien could have came down in Milwaukee, abducted Chacin mid play and the ball would probably go up to who knows where with him. The point is, Turner understands the situation. He fucked up, he admitted it. Dave knows he had to do it to show discipline to anyone who doesn’t show effort out there, even if he didn’t want too. Turner just got lucky and was the real life example.
Scenario 2 happened to be catcher Gary Sanchez of the New York Yankees with the manager being Aaron Boone. Boone is in his first year of managing so this definitely was a good test to see how he will handle his players. Here’s the video:
Just kidding, but here.
This is what Boone had to say about the scenario:
“He’s got to find his gait quickly and he should be able to do that now,” Boone said. That word “gait” is weird as hell but he used it last week about a jog comparable to Sanchez’s. Boone also commented on Sanchez not hustling out of the box in the last inning which could have sent the game into extras. Here’s what Boone had to say:
“We always address our players. I want him running at that smooth clip. Part of that is getting out of the box.”
Fair. No arguments here. You can tell both managers are very understanding to these being grown men and them knowing better. Just a lapse in judgement at the time. Every manager has different tactics on going about different situations. Boone seems a little more relaxed about it almost in the sense of “He knows he fucked up, leave me alone” but still, Boone would have to discipline anyone who didn’t hustle to show that you can’t just come out to the field going through the motions. What’s funny about this situation is that the media, of course, blew the whole thing out of proportion, ripping Sanchez. Come to find out, Sanchez actually re-injured his groin that has given him problems this year. Actually being placed on the DL as of July 24th. So there could be more to Sanchez’s perceived lack of hustle than what our eyes are seeing. Still, to Aaron Boone’s knowledge he was 100% healthy coming into the game so it was seen as him just not giving a fuck, AKA lazy. Sanchez did have this to say in a post game interview:
“That’s another instance there, if I would have done a better job being quicker, getting that ball, maybe we have a chance to get him out at home,” Sanchez said via a translator. “That’s my fault.”
Sanchez knew he fucked up. He just didn’t feel like running after the ball at the time, which is fine, just not during a Major League Baseball game in front of your manager.
In the end, both players knew they should have gone about the situation a little differently. Both managers hate to deal with that shit because it really is inexcusable. However, everyone is human (that we know of) and mistakes happen. I bet both players will be sprinting their hearts out the rest of the year for every ball they put in play. Remember, it’s only kind of okay to not sprint during slow pitch softball games where managers, if you even have one, do not give a fuck what you do as long as you don’t show up unfunctional. And if you suck you better get your ass down the line ASAP Rocky.