Only one word to describe the baserunning acumen of Johnny Damon last night:
The Yankees sent TEN advance scouts (five Phillies/five Dodgers) to cover the NLCS to prepare for moments exactly like this. . .Shift is on for dead-pull-while-batting-lefthanded Mark Teixiera, all infielders on the right side save for the third baseman, Pedro Feliz. Johnny Damon, catching EVERYBODY in the park off-guard, steals second base on the first pitch, requiring Feliz to cover the bag. The throw is slightly behind the runner and on the first base side of the base, and Johnny Damon Dashes to an uncovered third base, waking up the Yankees and engendering a fearful hush over the Philly faithful:
Here is the Video/Audio of the Damon Double Steal, truly a great play by a ballplayer’s ballplayer.
You can nitpick, but in all honesty nobody is really ‘at fault’ here:
*Lidge should have covered third? Wouldn’t have made it in time.
*Ruiz should have made a better throw? Nobody – NOBODY – in the park thought Damon was going on that pitch.
*Ruiz should have covered third? Who’s at the plate, then?
*Manuel shouldn’t have put the shift on? Batting left-handed, Teixiera is a dead pull hitter, and he was playing the percentages.
Fact is, it’s a great baseball play and a perfectly timed event where the stars were aligned for a Classic October Moment (November?).
Johnny Damon, you are the star of the weekend.
On that note, anybody know if there has been a player that has been a World Series champ for both the Red Sox and Yankees? Let me know.