Friday, October 11, 2013

Red Sox Use Speed to Win Final Play-off Game vs. Rays

I love to watch aggressive Base Running and timely Base Stealing by any baseball team. As I was leaving professional baseball and entering college coaching in the mid-1970's and beginning to institute a running game at the Univ. Of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the KC Royals (late '7O's) and St. Louis Cardinals, under Whitey Herzog in '80's, had baseball players who were incredibly exciting to watch scamper around the bases and play havoc between the bases. In KC and St. Louis this was called "Whiteyball." Whitey usually had 2-3 hitters at the top of the line-up who were base stealing threats. As I watched the Boston Red Sox going from last place in the AL East in '12 to first in '13 and now deep into the play-offs, the "FarrellBall" running game has been such an important piece of this transformation back to a dominant team. Jacoby Ellsbury (52 steals), Shane Victorino (21 steals), and Dustin Pedroia (17 steals) are a dynamic combination at the top of the Red Sox order. Jacoby can fly, Victorino is incredibly aggressive, and Pedroia believes he can run. Timely base stealing was the catalyst to Victory in the Final Game of play-off series vs. Rays this week. In the 7th inning, after Jacoby Ellsbury singled, he stole 2nd base (with a runner on 3rd) and the pitch was in the dirt. While the runner on 3rd scored Jacoby advanced all the way to 3rd Base then scored on an infield single by Shane Victorino. No Moneyball there just FarrellBall and another win along the road to a possible World Series title for the RedSox. History is a great teacher and Red Sox fans should remember the most important play in the 2004 world series run was the stolen base by Dave Roberts in the 9th inning vs. Mariano Rivera & the NY Yankees.

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