So I’m watching a pretty good Devil Rays-Twins game yesterday when I witness a baserunning feat not seen since my glory years in the Little League. The score is tied in the ninth at 2-2 with no outs when Carl Crawford strokes a Joe Nathan pitch into the CF-RF gap to the fence. Crawford hustles around second, puts his head down and steams into third for a standup triple. It’s all good except for one minor thing…there’s already another Tampa Bay baserunner (Ben Zobrist) standing on third. Whoops. So with third being a bit overcrowded, Zobrist takes off running for home and gets caught in a pickle.
Oh well, at least TB will have a runner on third with one out, right? Umm, no. Zobrist gets tagged out and Crawford is spotted inexplicably running back toward second base at about a 3/4 trot looking as confused as Jessica Simpson at a physics lecture. He gets thrown out by a mile so now there are two outs and no one on base and the next shot is of Rays manager Joe Maddon in the dugout staring at the scene in dumbfounded disbelief as if he’d just seen a canary eat an elephant. Tampa Bay ends up going scoreless and in the bottom of the inning Justin Morneau hits a rope over the leftfield wall for a walk-off homer.
And that, in a nutshell, is why the Devil Rays are, well, the Devil Rays.