... or at least that's what his post-game comments convey, as he went off on first-base umpire Angel Hernandez after himself being tossed from the game after protesting Gary Pettis's ejection from the game after Pettis barked that Nelson Cruz was only picked off first base because Marlins pitcher Michael Dunn had balked (got all that?):
It didn't take long for Hernandez to eject Pettis. That only made Pettis argue more and forced manager Ron Washington out of the dugout himself.
"I must have said something I shouldn’t have and I guess Gary did too," Washington said. "I was out there to see what went on with Gary and he said something to me and I said something to him and next thing I know I was gone too."
The play gave the Marlins two outs and eliminated a runner in a 2-1 game at that point.
"Angel is just bad," Washington said. "That's all there is to it."
And then for good measure, he let Elvis Andrus have it as well:
With a runner on third and two outs in the eighth and the Rangers hanging on to a 2-1 lead, Hanley Ramirez hit a chopper over reliever Mark Lowe on the mound. Andrus charged the ball, gloved it, but couldn't transfer it to his hand to get the throw to first base in time to end the inning. It was scored an error and the Marlins tied the game. They would add three more runs that inning.
"This is the big leagues," Washington said. "That’s a chance for a major league shortstop to make and he didn’t make the play. There’s no excuses, he didn’t make the play."
If you go back and punch up the video of the play in question, you'll find that it was a very difficult chance for Elvis, one where he had to haul ass just to possibly put himself in position to make the play because of Hanley's wheels, and one where, even if he does everything right, he probably only has a 50-50 chance of nailing Hanley at best. It was a pretty questionable call as far as being deemed an error rather than a hit, and clearly a function of being rushed more so than being lackadaisical in his fielding methods.
I don't know. The league-average defensive shortstop doesn't even have a prayer of making that play in all probability, but Washington clearly holds Elvis to a higher standard, and from that standpoint I guess one can understand his disappointment at Elvis not being able to gun down Hanley ... but at the same time, it comes across as a tad strange for this selective criticism to come raining down on Elvis and not the offense (for scoring only two runs in six innings off Javier freaking Vazquez) or Darren Oliver/Neftali Feliz (for putting the game out of reach), and it also strikes me as a bit interesting that Michael Young was the one to leap to Elvis's defense:
"I thought it was a really tough play," Michael Young said. "Hanley runs well and I know Elvis is playing deep there with two outs. They are trying to take away a hit. The last thing you expect is a chopper over the pitcher. It was a tough play. It's a tough break. We have a lot of confidence that any time a ball is hit to short, Elvis is going to make the play."
As for the continued criticism of Elvis's error totals, I'd like you to consider the following:
2009: 22 errors, +14 DRS, +12.1 UZR, .848 RZR
2010: 16 errors, +1 DRS, +0.1 UZR, .817 RZR
2011: 16 errors, +8 DRS, +4.2 UZR, .842 RZR
Can we please stop pretending that the main determinant of defensive value is error avoidance?