May 30, 2011

Crazy play at the plate

Catchers may never block the plate again.
In yesterday's Rangers' 7-6 victory over the Royals.

They've already made a splendid "breakdancing" gif of the Royals' catcher Brayan Pena.  (Yeah, that is how his name is spelled.)  Pena had hit a three run homer earlier in the game and Feliz continues to flounder, giving up a run to the Royals in the top of the ninth.

Nellie Cruz tied the the game at six with a solo shot in the bottom of the inning and then with two out, Mike Napoli- not exactly the fastest guy in the world- took off from first on his own (?!) whilst Elvis Andrus drilled a single right behind Napoli, under the Royals' first basemen's glove.  

The Ranger third base coach then sent Napoli home.  The relay throw from Hosmer was spot-on, in plenty of time but Pena did not block the plate and applied the tag high round Napoli's shoulders well after Napoli had touched the plate.  

Pena insists the recent Posey injury had nothing to do with his being too far off the plate.  It appears Pena was anticipating Napoli running him over linebacker style, tagging him so high, instead of swiping at his legs.

I expect we will see lots more plays like this at the plate after Posey being put on the shelf for the rest of year and "looking forward" to two surgeries in the coming months.  

The video is superb.  The first time you see it it is the Rangers' TV crew, then the Rangers' radio guys and then the Royals TV folks.  

"He's gonna be out from here to Waco.  No! They called him safe!"

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