Thursday, May 31, 2007

Culture Shock

Conversation moved quickly at the Crown Diner.

“The guys looked good last night.”

“Yeah, this is the start.”

“Two over. Home fries. Whiskey down.”

“A-Rod came up big in the ninth.”

“Yeah, huge RBI and being heads up on the bases put the game away.”

“Order up!”

Alex Rodriguez is more than “heads up.” And he is more than the most talented baseball player of his generation. He is also the smartest and the most determined.

People can flip, fold and cut that anyway they want.

Rodriguez said it best, “I couldn’t care less what they (the Blue Jays) or anybody else thinks. I know what people in here (the Yankee clubhouse) think.”

And I know what I think: Rodriguez plays the way I was taught, which is why there is no one I’d rather watch now that I can’t play anymore.

The winning team held the field in my neighborhood and the loser went to the back of the line. Winning is what baseball is all about and our system drove that home. As a third baseman, I learned to block the view of a runner trying to tag and score on a fly ball to right or center, I learned the hidden ball trick, I learned that you never let them double up your teammate, and most of all I learned that you look for every advantage on the field.

Rodriguez found one last night. It made me smile because it helped win a ball game.

Winner holds the field and the loser goes to the back of the line. Those who don’t understand shouldn’t be in this neighborhood.


Ben said...

Todd, what did you think of Larry Bowa's statement? He said that if Alex had actually called "I got it," that would have crossed the line.

Todd Drew said...

Personally, I believe that if there was a line to cross it would be written in the rule book. They’ve been working on that thing for 130 years so I think it’s reasonably complete. If they want to change the rule, fine. If umpires want to interpret it differently, fine. Until then, there is no line to cross in distracting fielders. Just my opinion.