Re: 1b and 3b solutions
posted at 8/14/2013 10:21 AM EDT
In response to ThefourBs' comment:
In response to ctredsoxfanhugh's comment:
In response to ThefourBs' comment:
In response to S5's comment:
I'm as tired as anyone is of watching Napoli strike out. He's a Major League hitter with ML skills and ML coaches helping him, so why can't he break out of this?? I hvae no idea but I still think it's related to the dizziness spells he had at the beginning of the year. He was a hitting machine before that and has turned into a strikeout machine since. I DO feel badly for the guy though. A player knows when he's hurting the team.
But let's not lose track of the fact that while he may have kept the Sox from winning in regulation last night he also may have saved the game with his defense. Napoli made two outstanding plays in crucial situations that certainly contributed to the win, plays that many 1B wouldn't have made.
Which brings me to the comment above that anyone can play 1st base. That's absolutely true. Anyone can. But not anyone can play it well and a good defensive 1B makes the entire IF better. A good defensive 1B executes the tag play well and digs balls out of the dirt. A good 1B allows the rest of the IF to know that if they can get the ball to the area of 1B it's going to be an out. That allows them to come up firing and not take that split second to think about having to make a 'perfect throw'.
At one time the Sox had a SS who converted to 3B named John Montgomery who washed out of baseball because he had 1B with stone hands covering the bag. Montgomery lost confidence in his ability to throw the ball becaue he got charged with errors on balls in the dirt that a good 1B would have scooped out. And things went progressively downhill from there....
IMO a solid defensive 1B is a cornerstone of a team. He makes the entire IF better.
Having the right to do something doesn't make it the right thing to do.
I don't see Middlebrooks or even Carp, making the defensive plays that Napoli made last night.
I'm sorry, but 1B requires the least amount of athleticism on the diamond......almost every 1Bman is just a good hitter who didn't have the defensive ability to play another position. I'm not saying that ANYONE can play it, and it doesn't require skills (digging balls out of the dirt etc etc etc) But a kid who plays the most physically demanding position should be able to play it.
As a general rule, short stops are the most athletic players on any team (although some CF's might give them a run for their money). So there is no reason to believe someone else couldn't learn the position and play it at a servicable level rather quick.
There's playing 1b in "serviceable" fashion and there's playing it very well.
I'd say Napoli has been playing 1b very well.
What happens in that game if Napoli doesn't catch the foul pop, with two on and one out, in the 9th?
I don't want someone learning the position in the middle of a division race.
ST, sure. Now? No way.
I agree that Napoli's at bats have been painful to watch.
But, I don't agree that you can just throw any body over there, at this point in the season.
No you can't "just throw" anybody over there....but there are plenty of athletic players who have the athleticism to play the position great. Jacoby Ellsbury could probably come in and be one of the better defenders there within a couple weeks. Obviously that notion is absolutely absurd and ridiculous, but the point is the bar is set very low on skill level for the position.
I understand that this doesn't mean that someone like Bogaerts or WMB or anyone else that anyone could name will just pick it up. But there is no reason to believe that a talented athletic kid couldn't learn the position and play it relatively well quick.
Maybe someone else doesn't make that catch, but maybe they do. Is a short stop or 3Bman incapable of tracking a popup because they see it come off the bat on the otherside of the diamond? the physics of it doesn't change, the hand to eye cordination doesn't change.
Maybe someone else doesn't make that play, but maybe they hit a double with the bases loaded or at least hit a single or make some kind of offensive contribution during the game.