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Published:May 6th, 2014 15:43 EST
Rays and Yankees Game Lives up to the Tradition of Baseball

Rays and Yankees Game Lives up to the Tradition of Baseball

By Ron G Anselm

Playing baseball is more fun and exciting than any roller coaster ride you can go on. Just like a roller coaster, baseball has its share of twists, turns, dips and thrills that keep your adrenaline flowing " (Anselm,R.)

If you have been around the game long enough like I have then you have been a part of or seen just about anything baseball has to offer the fan. The fun and excitement of every game that is played on any night in any stadium with any team is as fun as going to an amusement park and hopping on that big roller coaster ride you have never been on before. You never know what is going to happen in any baseball game that is played until the umpire calls the last out of the game or the last third strike and the game is over. Anything can happen in the game at any time.

Being a part of the game for so long I have been a part of a lot of the great moments that are now a part of the history and archives of Major League baseball. From the 1975 Game Six home run by Carleton Fisk in the bottom of the twelfth inning that gave the Boston Red Sox one more day to last in the World Series against the Big Red Machine, the Cincinnati Reds to the Kirk Gibson 1988 World Series home run that left Tommy Lasorda sprinting out of the Dodgers` dugout like Carl Lewis running in the Olympic games, the home run was exciting.  

 Once again this game between the Rays and Yankees stood up to its reputation of fun and excitement the other night. A game that featured more twists and turns than the first drop of any roller coaster ride and the game were really like a roller coaster ride for both teams.

As Joe Maddon the Rays Manager said, It was a crazy game. "

The game was so crazy that Joe Maddon eventually got ejected and at the same time stated he lost track of everything happening in the game that there was so much going on he couldn`t keep track of everything.

 Even Derek Jeter who plays for the Yankees was held to his worst hitting performance of his career. The game lasted fourteen innings and went into the wee hours of early Saturday morning when it finally ended at 12:57 am. Jeter went 0 for 7 in the game for the first time in his career and to add more injury to insult had two major chances to break the game wide open for the Yankees as each time coming up to bat with the bases loaded and only to end up grounding out both times to end each of the innings.

Even Derek Jeter admitting to having an onset of amnesia during the game by stating, "I don`t even remember the first four of them. (Meaning he didn`t remember the first four innings of the game)"It`s one of those days, know what I mean? Some days when you think you`ve seen it all, there`s something new."

The late innings in the game had more variety in them than ordering a pizza with the works. The late innings featured major rallies by both teams that left more runners on base than that pizza you just ordered with the works had more variety of items on it. The late innings also featured a highlight that had a wild run down or what is known in baseball as a pickle " which consisted of seven throws, a lot for a pickle and two calls overturned by the umpires.

The game also featured a milestone in it that through the years in the history of the game is really a new thing to happen. The Rays went to a five man infield. Normally baseball has a four man infield which consists of the first baseman, second baseman the short-stop and third baseman but the Rays decided to mix it up a little and go to the temporary five man infield. This was a new one to me because the Rays used their right-fielder as the fifth man to cover the infield with. Totally different and a new strategy for baseball but it worked and when the out was made it was scored a 3-9 putout which meant the ball was hit to the first baseman and then thrown to the right fielder covering the infield for the out which is a very different scenario.

The reason they did this Is because when the team wants to get a quick out or put out they switch-up positions anticipating the hitter who may be a right side of the infield hitter, maybe a fastball hitter that hits to the left side of the infield or whatever, the infield will anticipate getting the out at all cost to change the course of the game and in this case that`s what the Rays ended-up doing. And teams will do this to get out of certain situations and in this case it was the thirteenth inning and the Rays were trying to get out of the bottom of the Thirteenth inning with the Yankees at bat and get their at bat in the top of the fourteenth inning to try to score runs and finally end this game with a win.

I have seen teams use other types of strategies to get an out to end an inning when a team may be on a hot streak or rallying. Normally if a hitter comes up and has a reputation to say hit most of the time up the middle meaning hit the ball up the middle over the second base bag teams may move the second baseball directly behind the second base bag, move the shortstop in the hole and move the first baseman to the second base position to anticipate that the hitter at the plate will indeed once again hit the ball up the middle. The pitcher would then cover the bag at first if the hitter does hit up the middle, the second baseman would field the ground ball and throw it to the pitcher covering the bag at first for the out.

That`s what is so exciting and fun about the game of baseball there are so many different types of strategies in it that can change the course of a game or inning that even Einstein would have a challenge to try to figure out the formula to use to match what types of strategies to use in any situation of any game to be able to predict not the theory of relativity but the theory of what it takes to win.

This game between the Rays and Yankees eventually ended with the Rays taking the win but it`s not the win that matters but the way this game was played with fun, strategy and excitement that counts and any fan that was in attendance at the game had a real treat.

This is the great thing about professional sports, not just baseball but any sport; your average person that may not be a sports fan does not realize how fun sports can be. These guys playing any sport are like actors or entertainers they are out there putting on a show for the audience but in this case the fans. And I think in each and every one of us there is a little athlete that comes out when we watch any game in sports in person or on television. That is the gene of human competitiveness that everyone is born with.

Baseball is full of this and in the fun and excitement of the game there is also a reputation for the game that we associate with for good times. Those good times consist of the sweet smell of hot dogs that fill the tiers of every baseball stadium on a warm, spring afternoon or the Peanut vendor that walks more miles that a marathon runner runs as he or she roams the stadium from one end to the other as they yell those famous words, Peanuts, get your peanuts, here! " and as the fans sit in the stands and watch the game there is no sweeter sound than a fastball making contact against the barrel of a wood bat as the pitcher throws hard and the hitter makes contact with the ball. As the old saying used to go, Baseball fever, catch it! "

 

                                                                         Reference

Walker, B., (2014) The Associated Press Baseball Writer, Toshiba Leading Innovation, (http://start.toshiba.com/news/read/category/mlb/article/the_associated_press-rays_finally_break_loose_in_14th_outlast_yankees-ap) Retrieved 2014.

If you also want to read and learn more about the history of baseball, take a look and purchase your copy of my latest book titled, Our Grand Ol` National Past Time " A Brief History of Major League Baseball " Go to my website at (ronanselm.tateauthor.com) or my publisher`s website at (www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore) to buy your copy or copies today. Remember, Baseball ", Hot Dogs ", Apple Pie " and Our Grand Ol` National Past Time. "