More good quote-gathering work by Evan, who's getting stuff that I haven't seen posted by the other beat guys as of yet (I guess as long as everyone gets a piece of the pie, it's all good). Here's Wash talking some more about the squeeze play, and, specifically, his criticism of Elvis Andrus after yesterday's game.
Washington said Andrus reached for a slider that bounced in the dirt, but said he could have – and should have – done more than simply reach. Washington emphasized that he wasn’t upset with Andrus, but did explain what he meant by his general criticism Sunday.
“He could have done more,” Washington said Monday after conversing with Andrus about the play. “He could have gone down with his legs, crouched more, to get it. You have to do everything and anything possible to get to the ball or to distract the catcher. I think the thing he did was expect a good pitch to bunt too much. When you are sac bunting, you look for the good pitch and only the good pitch, but when you squeeze, you are bunting anything, so the good pitch is an automatic, but the bad pitch is what you have to be prepared for.”
I've watched that .gif about 15-20 more times, and I guess I just don't get it. The bottom fell out of that pitch near the very end of its path to the plate, and Elvis just couldn't get the bat there. If you think he should have lunged across the plate and face-planted for it, and that him not doing so constituted a lack of full effort, then, yeah, okay, but I don't like Wash chastising Elvis for not doing enough and also him "expecting a good pitch to bunt too much." If Wash was that concerned over Elvis getting a bad pitch to bunt and him screwing it up, then I don't know why he had the squeeze on in the first place. I also think that even if Elvis executed a full-body lunge, that he probably has a very, very hard time getting the bat on the ball given its location and late vertical break.
The other thing that really irks me, though, is Wash dinging Elvis's level of effort in the media like that, when he's having arguably the best season of any player on the team. You can express your frustration over the failed squeeze without doing that to Elvis, and convey those other thoughts to Elvis about "doing more to get the bat on the ball" in private. You don't have to do that in public. It rubs me the wrong way. I don't like it.
Also, we have Evan quoting Michael Young and Wash on MY's start at shortstop tonight:
Washington said the decision had nothing to do with Gonzalez’s costly error on a double play ball in the 10th inning Sunday, but rather had more to do with C Geovany Soto. Washington said he wanted to get Soto in the lineup to get some at-bats at Fenway Park before he catches Ryan Dempster on Tuesday. But Washington had C Mike Napoli behind the plate. That left only DH for Soto.
Washington said he wanted to keep Young in the lineup, especially after he went 9-for-27 in his previous six games to show signs he’s coming out of his two-month malaise at the plate. Hence, the decision to play shortstop.
“I haven’t gotten much work there,” Young said, “so it will be a little bit of a crash course, but I’ll try to get re-acclimated to the position.”
Said Washington: “I know he hasn’t played there in a while, but I think it’s a little like riding a bicycle. Even if you haven’t been on one for a while, once you’ve learned how to ride, you don’t forget.”
9-for-27, but .333/.333/.370. Same old story -- when you're not drawing walks and you're not hitting for power, these little "hot streaks" really don't help much at all. As for the Soto/Napoli/Gonzalez thing ... gugh.
Ron Washington is really confusing sometimes. This is one of those times.