Steve Davis: Orioles Lose–The Botched Transfer At 2nd Base
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There are plenty of fingers to point for Sunday’s loss. Jimenez coming undone and giving up a 3 run homer after 5 shutout innings. Poor defense by Flaherty not turning the double play. Schoop throwing home and making a bad throw (and maybe a bad decision). Lough’s throw off the mark in the 9th and Schoop not catching it. The failure to get a run in from 3rd with one out in the 9th.
That said, I am still mystified with how they’re calling these “transfer” plays on double plays. Flaherty caught the ball and then dropped it. The way they are calling it in baseball this year, you don’t get the first out if you screw up and drop the ball trying to get the second out.
It is a total change in the way they have been calling it. So, it represents a change in how players are going to have to play if they have to slow things down in trying to get the double play. It is also somewhat hypocritical.
MLB says you can’t challenge the “neighborhood” play, which means it is okay if the fielder isn’t touching second when turning the double play. They are doing that to protect the fielder from getting wiped out. However, aren’t you putting the fielder at greater risk by forcing him to slow down his actions so he doesn’t lose the ball when trying to turn two?
I actually don’t have a problem with having a policy that you have to hold the ball through the entire play; that way you don’t have to discern whether he caught it and then dropped it, or rushed so much that he never really caught it before dropping. When you need super-duper slo-mo to figure it out, that is a problem. That said, this about-face in how the play is called isn’t the right way to do it.
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