Thursday, June 09, 2005

Sweet glovework

I am not usually one to pine for yesteryear. It makes me feel like a jilted lover unwilling to let go of the past.
But in Wednesday night's 6-1 Indians victory over the Padres, San Diego infielders Khalil Greene and Geoff Blum combined on a double play that made me (just for a moment) miss Omar Vizquel and Roberto Alomar.
Jhonny Peralta banged a ground ball up the middle. It was headed for a base hit. Indeed, I don't think the man who hit it could gotten to it himself. But Greene is one of the more nimble shortstops in the field nowadays.
He ranged to his left, dove, and plucked the ball off a short hop. With a runner bearing down on second base, Greene, still on his stomach, flung the ball straight out of his glove to Blum, who picked it barehanded while covering second. In one motion he pivoted and threw to first to complete the double play.
ESPN made it No. 1 on their SportsCenter top plays this morning.
The glove-to-barehand flip between infielders is one of the more acrobatic and breathtaking moves in baseball. Omar and Robbie did it twice, once against Houston at Jacobs Field, and once at Yankee Stadium. Following the Jacobs Field show in 1999, the pair become the only players I know of who were asked to make a curtain call from the dugout for a defensive play.
I think Peralta is doing a solid job at shortstop. He's recovered nicely from a shaky defensive start to become a decent fielder. But he's no acrobat, not a showman like Omar, like Greene is to a lesser extent.
And sometimes, you just want to be wowed as a fan.

1 comment:

Zach said...

I assume had some point, Peralta will be shifted to second or third. He will be an offensive threat, but will never be a gold glover. If Phillips ever hits, he will likely play short, I'd imagine.