The Morning Nine….Washington’s take
The big flap this week was Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine saying that Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter was out of position on his famous relay in Game 3 of the 2001 ALDS.
1. Rangers manager Ron Washington said Derek Jeter was out of position on that famous relay. But he said that’s part of why it was a great play. Washington, one of the premier infield defense instructors in the game, was also the third base coach who sent Jeremy Giambi.
“He was out of position,” Washington said. “That’s why Derek Jeter is Derek Jeter. Jeter noticed nobody was backing up on the play, left where he was supposed to be and got over there. Definitely great awareness on the ballfield. I wish he wasn’t there but that’s Derek Jeter. That’s why he’s a champion.”
To review: the Athletics had a 2-0 lead in the series but trailed 1-0 going into the seventh inning of Game 3 against Yankees starter Mike Mussina. With two outs, Giambi singled and Terrence Long doubled into the right-field corner. Washington said he saw the ball into the corner and saw Shane Spencer make a high throw over the first baseman and second baseman. That’s why he sent Giambi.
“He missed everybody,” Washington said. “He missed the second baseman and the first baseman. That’s why Derek went over there. Derek saw the throw wasn’t going to hit anybody and took off. Another shortstop would have stood there and watched it. Derek took off. That’s why he’s won so many world championships.”
Washington said Giambi would have been safe if Jeter had not made the play. He also said Giambi would have been safe if he had slid.
“No doubt about it,” Washington said.
2. Washington said he sees Josh Hamilton more relaxed this spring. Said Hamilton, “I am relaxed. I’m just having fun. The more you are around the game, the more confidence you have in your ability, you should feel less stressed. Just go out and have fun and let your ability play.”
3. Individual tickets for all 2012 home games will go on sale at 9:00 a.m. (CT) Saturday, March 3 at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington West Ticket Office, on the internet at texasrangers.com, or by phone at 972.RANGERS.
4. For a minimum of 200 innings, Alexi Ogando currently has the fourth lowest career ERA in Rangers history. He has a 3.08 ERA trailing Jim Kern (2.59), Bert Blyleven (2.74) and John Wetteland (2.95).
5. Intrasquad game will be at noon (MST) Thursday on Nolan Ryan Field. Sixteen pitchers are throwing, eight for each team. The visiting team will have five left-handed relief candidates pitching an inning: Michael Kirkman, Mitch Stetter, Robbie Ross, Miguel de los Santos and Ben Snyder. Kelvin de la Cruz pitches for the home team.
6. Not one drop of rain on a Rangers workout yet and the ten-day forecast calls for zero percent chance of rain in the Phoenix area.
7. Mike Adams pitched collegiately at Texas A&M Kingsville and the school retired his No. 31 jersey at a ceremony in his honor on Jan. 20.
8. Yes, he is the only player from that school to play in the Major Leagues.
9. Yoshinori Tateyama on Yu Darvish, his teammate with the Nippon Ham Fighters: “We used to go to dinner together. Very aggressive personality. Very talkative.”