Breaking down the fielder’s choice

To Brandon Inge, second base was the only option on Elliot Johnson’s ground ball, as you might have heard already.

“It’s very cut-and-dry: A ball hit to the left of you, you go to second base,” Inge said. “A ball hit dead at you, if you have the time, you go step on third, or go across the infield. But a ball to your left, you go to second base. That’s a fact.”

To manager Jim Leyland, Inge had other options.

“I thought there was an out probably at first, or probably at third,” Leyland said. “But that’s part of the game.”

To Ramon Santiago, he had to cover the bag.

“No doubt about it, I have to cover,” Santiago said. “Bases loaded and nobody covering, [Rodriguez] got a big lead off first. I got there as quickly as I can. It was close, but I think he was out.”

Somewhere in that mix, a potential inning-ending ground ball ended up being a walkoff fielder’s choice. Where that happened is up for debate.

Inge made a quick decision based on where he was positioned and what he saw. Whether he saw where Santiago was positioned when making his throw wasn’t clear. He threw it to the base, but Santiago was behind it and trying to catch up. I didn’t see a replay where Santiago was positioned and when he broke for the bag, but he said it was his immediate thought.

Sean Rodriguez, who beat Santiago to the bag, seemed to lean towards the covering the base part of the play.

“Inge got rid of it pretty good,” Rodriguez said, “but Santiago didn’t get there early enough, because the ball beat me there but he didn’t. His foot didn’t beat me there. … When I went to slide, I knew he wasn’t there yet.”

Regardless, it looks bad for everybody, of course. Inge and Santiago are the defensive options in the platoons at their respective positions. It doesn’t mean either of them are bad defenders, but it didn’t look like good execution. If it was, the game probably continues.


Inge, blah, blah, blah. Why does anyone even care to what he says. I have NEVER heard him say he made a mistake, never! Well last night he made another mistake and pushed the blame on someone else. It was not Santiago’s play at 2nd. It was Inge’s play to make at third base. There was no reason to even throw the ball to second or first. The runner at 2nd was not a fast runner, he could have trotted to third and got the runner.
Here’s the deal. I am so over last nights loss. At the end of the day we did not lose anything to Cleveland or Chicago. Besides, this is the first day in about a week we have not increased our lead. Pretty gutty baseball if you ask me.
My problem is this. Brandon Inge cannot admit when he makes a mistake and he believes we fans are a bunch of idiots and don’t know the game of baseball. We all knew he was wrong and he tries to blame it on everyone else. (Santiago, Umpires)
If Inge would have said he simply made a bad decision, we would all accept that and move on. But when he makes comments about how he was not wrong and how everyone else made a mistake, that’s where the Tiger Nation of fans has a problem.

Yeah Jeff, it sure sounds like you’re “so over last nights loss.”🙂 Everyone makes mistakes, accept it and move on. Who’s mistake was it last night? Who cares. We didn’t hit an average #5 starter and let too many offensive opportunities slip away. If they take advantage and score just one more run, none of this happens and we’re all happy. The reality is that we’re not going to win many games when we score 2 or fewer runs (unless JV is pitching).

The rule: the best play is the one with no throw, always. Run for third. Second best, go to1b. But not for Cringe.He is perfect. He wont do anything diferent at bat even if his average is 182. And now , he dosent accept his responsability for a botched play.
And Betemit? A trade for nothing because he is sitted most of the time.
And Santiago? He is no wizard to know in adavnce that the the reincarnation of Brook Robinson wil go for the hardest out.

I stand by my comments from last night. He turned the play into a no-brainer; went by the book regardless of the situation, just like some managers will do, and allowed the winning run to score. He should have manned up afterwards. We shouldn’t have given Rodriguez the semi-intentional walk to load the bases in the first place. That’s it in a nutshell.
Regarding this prevailing thought that we were going to lose the game anyway, you can’t look at it that way. It is noteable, however, that we failed in execution the night after Jim said we were winning the close ones because of our good execution.

Yeah, Inge won’t ever admit that his way isn’t the best way. He needs to be able to evaluate situations while they are happening, but he probably isn’t too worried about that. He doesn’t like to work on fundamentals or be told that he is wrong. He will continue going out there with his “softball” stance and try to hammer out those home runs that he can hit so easily.

This loss obviously doesn’t solely fall upon Inge’s shoulders. We made a few mistakes and had a lot of opportunities, but as Jeff said, “If Inge would have said he simply made a bad decision, we would all accept that and move on.” but we all know that that will never happen.

I see Inge’s logic about moving to his left. However, He had a play at 3rd which required no throw at all thus reducing the margin of error significantly. You race for the bag (he had 5 feet on Kotchman) and if you look like can’t make it to the bag from that angle you tag him.No throw, No chance of a mistake.

Like I said last night, he is our best defensive choice at third and offensively the worst. The problem I had last night was the attitude, I can get over the screw up. With no Miggy, Avila or Boesch it will be a disappointing day I presume.

Leyland said he’s not sure whether Santos or Avila will catch tomorrow?
Is the last chance of resting him untill september the first and he will put him there after a extrainning night game?
It would be criminal.
Better to lose today than lose the season.

I have a feeling about Boesch. I think he was heading into a slump and whether the thumb was the biggest part of that or not is irrelevant. I don’t think he is suited to the #2 spot. I really like him at #3 but will glady defer to DY if he keeps getting wood on the ball like he has been.
I actually wouldn’t mind seeing Avila get the extra at bats in the 2 hole than Boesch. Especially late in the game.
Furthermore on Brennan. I also have the feeling he would benenfit from a stint on the DL to let his thumb heal properly. He seems to not be the type of hitter that can ovecome an injury that inhibits his swing, both physically and psychologically.

I watched the replay on the game ender last night many times. Inge had time to get to 3rd. No question about it.

I watched it a number of times too. Wanted to be sure because I was making some pretty strong statements. Losing the game was just that, losing a game, but I lost a lot of respect for Inge. That’s a more permanent type thing. I used to like him like some crazy brother-in-law but no more.
JL was kind of mumbling last night but I thought he did say that Santos would catch today. If Avila DH’d, Martinez would have to play first. Don’t know if that’s wise. I’d just give Alex the full day off and deal with the consequences.

Well, I just watched it for the first time since I shut the game off and knew I’d get an alert on my cell. Why he threw to 2nd when Ramon wasn’t even close to the base, I don’t know. He just wasn’t thinking. Think Longoria makes that play to second? Brandon does lots of good things in the community and the teenage girls have always loved him. But, I never have.

The line up with the best available players ( You could argue for Magglio but outside that):
1.Austin Jackson, CF
2.Ramon Santiago, 2B
3.Delmon Young, LF
4.Victor Martinez, DH
5.Wilson Betemit, 3B
6.Don Kelly, 1B
7.Jhonny Peralta, SS
8.Ryan Raburn, RF
9.Omir Santos, C

I watched the game on thursday by the TB signal so I saw the Penny . Rodriguez exchange but we did not have anexplanation of what happened. Did he really yeelled at him for running with a fly? on the Twins ´ Dome redux of all places? Is Weaver contagious?

I wouldn’t be surprised. After all, look how he got after Victor in that one game. Some people, under pressure, say and do some pretty crazy things ala Jered Weaver.

Inge should have shut his mouth about it, nothing good comes with over-explaining yourself. I contend that Inge’s defense has slipped recently, which is understandable (age, knees).
That said, Santiago needs to be at the bag…. no excuses.

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