Against my better judgment, I went to Rangers Ballpark to catch a baseball game. The Rangers produced plenty of fielding blow ups on fireworks night. Three (scored) errors for the Rangers tonight in their 12-6 loss to the Twins (box score). And there could have been plenty more had the official scorer been so inclined.
I understand that Rangers Manager Ron Washington is not the one misplaying ground balls and letting balls bounce off his glove. And while so many seem to be calling for Washington's head, I wonder what else could any manager do to curtail so many mistakes. It doesn't help Washington's case that his whole mantra is preaching fundamentals - which seems to be the Rangers weakness.
By the way, when your team's weakness can best be described as "the fundamentals," you've got some serious problems to address. Speaking of those problems, let's take a look at tonight's:
Twins CF Craig Monroe drives the ball into left field. Rangers LF Frank Catalanotto runs for the ball, stretches out his glove, and, he, *missed it!* The ball went off his glove, scoring Delmon Young and advancing Mike Lamb to third. Lamb scored on a passed ball two batters later, however each of the next three batters were retired. Had Lamb been on second when the passed ball occurred, he would have merely advanced to second and would not have crossed the plate in that inning. The play was originally ruled an error on Catalanotto.
Catalanato's error morphed into a hit when a similarly hit ball (by Twins 2B Brendan Harris) going the other way skipped of the glove of RF David Murphy in the top of the 6th. At that point, rather than having two errors on the board, both plays were ruled hits for the Twins.
Twins C Joe Mauer grounded a ball back to Rangers SP Sidney Ponson, who fielded the ball and looked to throw to 3rd to cut off Harris (who - again - was only at second thanks to a should-have-could-have-been caught fly ball to right field). Ponson tried to lead 3B Ramon Vasquez into the base path with his throw in order to get Vasquez in better position to tag out Harris. Vasquez started backing up toward the bag. The ball went into foul territory, scoring Harris and allowing Mauer to end up on second base instead of simply stumbling to first on a fielder choice. ERROR.
(Btw, still in the Top 6)
Twins RF Michael Cuddyer batting. Grounds to third where Vasquez boots the ball, and Cuddyer arrives safely at first. That should have been Out #2 of the inning. Instead, ERROR! Had that been the case, the Rangers would have saved themselves two additional runs. Up next, Jason Kubel's single to RF drove in Mauer from second, who was only on second because of Ponson threw the ball at an usher sitting in the corner. Mike Lamb popped up to LF, which would have been Out #3, ending the inning. Because of Vasquez's error - meaning the Twins had only one out - Lamb's fly ball to LF turned into a Sac Fly, scoring Cuddyer from third.
First batter of the inning, Twins SS Matt Tolbert grounds to short. Thank goodness. At least SS Michael Young can thr- D'OH! Young can't cleanly field the grounder, and Tolbert reaches on the E6. ERROR! Tolbert steals 2B, a sac-bunt from Harris gets Tolbert to 3B. He scores on Joe Mauer's single to LF, kicking off the dagger 4-run inning.
As I said, tonight I went to the ballpark. ERROR!