The Rays have overcome some very long odds to get back into the playoff race. So when they trailed 5-0 with 1 out in the 8th inning with BJ Upton on first and Evan Longoria at the plate, there was a glimmer of hope that the Rays could pull off another miracle.
But then BJ being BJ did what BJ does. Upton attempted to steal second base…
How bad was it? Let’s count the ways:
- One run means nothing there. Upton says he was trying to avoid a double-play. On the season, Longo has hit into 10 double-plays in 546 plate appearances. Baserunners are far more important in that situation than worrying about something that happens less than 2 percent of the time.
- Upton slows down about 15 feet before the bag (0:26 mark). Why? We have no idea.
- He was out.
- Despite being out, Upton vehemently argues the call. He even turns to the dugout and appears to be expecting Joe Maddon to come out arguing. He didn’t
- Upton gets ejected.
While watching BJ clap his hands over and over, we couldn’t help but think that was one of those situations where he was arguing just because he knew he had screwed up and was trying to deflect the blame. It didn’t work.
After the game, Maddon made it clear that it was a bad play on Upton’s part.
[Maddon] thought Upton was out and said Upton didn’t necessarily make the safe play...”That’s a situation where, if you’re going to go, you have to be absolutely 100 percent sure you can do it,” Maddon said. “I think if he really reflects on it, he’d probably want to take it back.”
We have always said that BJ’s biggest problem may just be that he is just not very baseball-smart. And this is just the latest example. You have to wonder if the Rays are growing tired of the mistakes.
Last night’s mental miscue in such a critical situation of a crucial game is the sort of play that can lead to Maddon walking into Andrew Friedman’s office and saying he has had enough. Just ask Delmon Young.