A Rare Standing O

Thumbnail image for DSC02387.jpgOnce in a while, something will happen on the field that just simply amazes everyone in the ballpark. One of those moments came this afternoon in the third inning, when White Sox third baseman Josh Fields drilled the first pitch from Jays starter Scott Richmond down the third-base line.

It was an incredibly well-struck grounder that was destined for the left-field corner. The only problem for Fields was that Scott Rolen — one of the top third baseman this game has seen — was positioned perfectly. Well, positioned perfectly enough to deliver a play that stunned just about everyone inside Rogers Centre.

Rolen dove to his right and snared the grounder with an unbelievable lunging grab. With little time to spare, the Jays third baseman shifted swiftly to his knees and fired the ball across the diamond to first baseman Kevin Millar. The throw beat Fields in plenty of time, while Rolen watched from the ground.

“Unreal. He’s unreal over there,” Richmond said. “He’s made a few great plays like that when I’ve been starting. Fields — I played with him at Oklahoma State — he tattooed that fastball in and, Scotty, I just quickly did a quick look and all I saw was him sprawled out down the line. He’s got that arm to go with it.”

Even Fields acknowledged the incredible effort, not that Richmond noticed that.

“I was too busy looking at Scotty like, ‘Wow,'” Richmond marvelled. “It was just a great play.”

The fans inside the stadium, after being hushed in awe foe a few seconds, began cheering loudly and the crowd moved to its feet. Rolen, the old-school player that he is, stood stone-faced and moved back into position for the next batter. He wasn’t about to let the reaction inside the Dome break his concentration.

“A standing O from the crowd — that doesn’t happen too often for just a single play in the game,” Richmond said. “He’s unbelievable and it’s a pleasure having him out there. … His defense, as you guys know, is second to none. As a young staff, if somebody hits the ball to the hot corner, we know he’s over there and he’s doing his best to help us out, too.”

Jays manager Cito Gaston routinely refers to Rolen as the best third baseman he’s ever seen. Bench coach Brian Butterfield, who oversees the D, says the same. So did former Jays manager John Gibbons. I never saw Brooks Robinson man third, but I can say it is a pleasure to watch Rolen work in the field on a daily basis.

Catch you all in Boston tomorrow.

~JB

6 Comments

Hey Jordan, just curious – listening to Jerry on the radio it sure sounded like the SkyDomers [almost?] booed Jesse Carlson when one of the best low-ball homerun hitters to ever play baseball took a decent down and away pitch opposite field for a two-run homer… for the five hundred and whatever-odd time in his career. Jesse has been one of the top-10 best relievers in all of baseball for two seasons now, did the fans really do that to him?

Three outs later, while I was stewing in frustration at the fans idiocy, the place was nearly silent when Rrrrrios came up with a runner in scoring position and two out in the eighth. Rios may not be putting up the kind of numbers that warranted the Lincecum proposal, but he’s hitting .375-ish with two outs and runners in scoring position…. it all seemed to add up to a real shame on the fans. Did it seem like that at the park?

Ok [ok], Blue Jays [blue jays], let’s [let’s], play [play], ballll.

See you all in town! lol! Nothing like a good defensive play to get everyone excited.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Holy Rolin’ Scott Rolen!! I was going to post about how glad I am that we have him, but you said it all, Jordan. Every time he makes a play like that, I am just in awe over how quick he is. I mean, this guy is no shrinking violet! And I don’t think I have seen a better arm anywhere. I am sure he could hit the first baseman from standing on his head! Eight Gold Gloves? Bring it on!

By the way, guys, who do you think has the best game face on the Jays? I give it a tossup between Rolen and the Doctor, with Rolen having the edge, because he plays every day.

That was a fantastic play by Rolen. This is just great to watch.

This team is so fun to watch. I was hoping that they would put a series proof lead on Boston and they did. Now even if they do get swept and I don’t think they will, they’ll still be in first place. Gotta love that!

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