Rios Gaffe Un-Bleeping-Believable
In 15 seasons of covering the Jays I have never seen a bigger, more unforgivable gaffe than Rios pulled off in the eighth inning of tonight's game. Bases-loaded, one out, Rios on third, trailing 3-2, Marco Scutaro lined a ball into the alley in left-centre tracked down by Raul Ibanez. Out No. 2. Tie game, right?
No. Rios inexplicably came down the third base line about 25 feet and had to retreat to the bag after the catch. Ibanez dumped the ball quickly back to the infield and Rios could not score. That is inexcusable.
Even if Nick Leyva the third base coach had a brain cramp and was yelling and waving for him to score that can't happen. From the time baseball players are 10-years-old they are taught to retreat to the third-base bag with less than two out on a ball in the air with any depth. What was Rios thinking? Obviously nothing. Maybe he thought his limo was waiting outside the clubhouse. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
A team that has lost four in a row needs its star players to play like stars and to be ready to respond with the right play at the right time in late innings. Then Rios comes up with the bases loaded and takes a close pitch at 0-2 that just missed for ball one. Then he takes another pitch and this time gets punched out for a K. You know you're not going to get a close call in that situation. Swing the damn bat.
I honestly thought the stupid autograph incident had changed Rios for the better. Obviously I was wrong. If the Jays had tied the game in the eighth, it doesn't mean they would have won it, but that's not the point. Your leaders have to lead. The Jays tied it in the ninth, but that doesn't mean the same situation with Lind coming up with the bases loaded and drawing a walk would have happened. But again, that's not the point. The Rios play happening as it did, when it did, it's unforgivable.