September 12, 2008

Stay aggressive, Brendan

It's quite all right that Brendan Ryan over-slid third base last night.
You just can't argue with that kind of hustle.

Sure, a lot of other Cardinals would've held up, but then, a lot of other Cardinals would've have gotten the kinds of jumps Ryan gets. Nor do Ryan's teammates (except a few) seem to get up to top speed so quickly.
So there Ryan was, hell bent for canvas, and with a smart slide, too, similar to the one he used to win a game for the Cards about 24 hours earlier. Except for one little thing.
The slide took him a bit beyond the bag, Redbird hearts filling with glee one moment, sinking the next as his fingertips drifted away from the base.

By strategy, maybe he shouldn't have gone. But when you run bases on strategy alone, you miss out on extra bases. Albert Pujols, for all his hitting prowess, is a genius at picking up the extra base, knowing when and knowing himself well enough to quickly calculate whether he has a great chance at making it.

But mind the word, chance, because that is definitely part of it. Ryan took a good chance. And although the replay showed him safe, even that doesn't matter. What does matter is that the play was so close, you know it was the right way to go.

Honestly, when it comes to Cardinals and days late and dollars short, the crystal ball isn't tuning in to a base hit at the next at bat.

On the ball field, I always say: If you're gonna make a mistake, do it at a hundred miles an hour. Leave no doubt in the opposition's mind that whether out or safe, you're going to put every bit of pressure on them you possibly can.

And there were plenty team reason for the loss, anyhow.

Final analysis: Stay aggressive, Brendan Ryan.

photo by Barbara Moore