Alright, so, we're all pretty well acquainted with the reality that things aren't going well with Michael Young this year. I've written about it, Adam's written about it, Scott's pointed out the value sinkhole that this thing could be headed into ... you've gotten your fill of "MY isn't producing" content of late, although I'm actually contemplating one more piece on Young that I may run up there in the next day or two.
Here, though, is something that I think we can all agree on regarding one aspect of Young's game -- his bizarre, nerve-wracking propensity for lifting his foot off first base so quickly as he's fielding a throw. There have been multiple instances of this over the last week or two (or three?), but here's one such example from Tuesday night's game:
This .gif doesn't make it totally apparent, but after watching this live on my HDTV, and then after rewinding it and watching it again a few times, it seemed very much like his foot was already physically removed from the bag at first base by the time the ball completed the journey into his glove. I don't know. It might have been my eyes playing a trick on me, but it was disturbingly close at best, and a case where the runner was actually safe at worst.
Here's a still shot from MLB.tv (click to zoom), grabbed a split-second after the ball entered his glove, where his foot looks as though it might already be off the bag:
So, I'm thinking, "well, maybe he's coming off the bag early because he's trying to stretch for the ball a bit too eagerly." It would make sense, given the defensive context of his position ... but, clearly, this is a cinch of an out, where the runner doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of beating the throw straight, and where Young's legs/arms aren't even overly extended. And there have been multiple instances of this occurring, which a good portion of the Twitterverse has taken note of.
If the bat is shot, then, you know, that's just how it is, and we're going to have to live with that ... but I don't have to live with this. There is absolutely no good reason for such a dangerous flaw in basic defensive execution, and, sure, maybe first basemen just get the benefit of the doubt across the board on this sort of thing -- but can you imagine the s---storm that's going to ensue if, one day, an umpire decides not to give Young that borderline call (or Young actually leaves no doubt as to whether he lifted his foot prematurely), the runner is called safe, and it ends up having a material impact on the outcome of the game?
Seriously. Just stop it.