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The A’s execute a perfect relay to retire Adam Jones

Sep 15, 2012, 10:58 PM EDT

Adam Jones, Derek Norris

It should go without saying that you don’t try to score from third with no outs unless you’re quite sure that you can make it. Then again, it’s hard to blame Adam Jones for being quite sure he could make it here.

Not only was it a picture-perfect relay from Yoenis Cespedes to Stephen Drew to Derek Norris, but I think Norris had Jones deked, at least a bit, by not reacting to the throw until the very end. There’s no conclusive angle in the video, but I believe it to be the case.

One thing I’ve never been a fan of on these plays: the outfielder gets all of the credit for the assist. Cespedes certainly deserves his share, but Drew’s role will go completely unrewarded in the statistics.

  1. Brian Donohue - Sep 16, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    2 of the best defensive plays of the year within an hour or so of one another, and in the same state. Later and further south, Kemp’s play on Yadi at 3rd was epic. And as for Moneyball, Melvin’s got to be mgr. of the year; this team’s playing way too solid on D for it to be a coincidence, and that play’s just one example of many. All the DPs and Norris’s throw to end it last night.

  2. pisano - Sep 16, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    The A’s are for real, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if they catch the Rangers. This Cespedes is a complete player. Good luck to the A’s, I think it would be great for them to win the west on one of the tightest budgets in MLB.

  3. randygnyc - Sep 16, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    Not to disparage Melvin, but a poll that I agree with just appeared on MLB TONIGHT asking who the AL manager of the year would be. Showalter garnered 70% of the vote. Melvin came in second ahead of 3 others, but with only 17%. I think thats the widespread consensus.

    • dan1111 - Sep 16, 2012 at 2:37 AM

      The Orioles have certainly been impressive, but I think the A’s have outperformed expectations just as much. Arguably, the AL West is also a tougher division than the East this year. Things may look different by the end of the season. The A’s have the much more difficult schedule over their last two weeks.

      If only one of the two makes the playoffs, that one should (and probably will) get manager of the year. If both make the playoffs, it’s a tossup in my book, but you’re probably right that it will go to Showalter.

  4. RickyB - Sep 16, 2012 at 3:25 AM

    Uh, Matthew … both Cespedes and Drew get assists on the play.

    • qacm - Sep 16, 2012 at 4:23 AM

      You beat me to it, RickyD. How can Pouliot not know that the relay man also gets an assist?

    • paperlions - Sep 16, 2012 at 11:47 AM

      Yeah, Drew gets an assist…it just not really a big deal for him statistically because he gets an assist every time he throws a guy out.

  5. natslady - Sep 16, 2012 at 6:24 AM

    I still can’t believe Arizona gave up on Drew. I watched him play before the injury–unreal! Complete lack of patience on their part.

  6. yarguy - Sep 16, 2012 at 7:14 AM

    And Pouliot’s inability to get even the simplest fact correct makes this story seem stupid. He wrote:

    you don’t try to score from third

    Jones was on first.

    • dondada10 - Sep 16, 2012 at 7:28 AM

      In Pouliout’s defense, third is in-between first and ho…..ah screw it.

      I feel bad how everybody piles on the guy, but shit, ya gotta fact-check/proof-read/not scumbag the Cardinals/Blue Jays (have you noticed it’s been the Dodgers lately) or else this place become ProBasketballTalk.

  7. APBA Guy - Sep 16, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Watching this play as it happened was incredible mainly because you just don’t expect it. Jones is really fast, but what made the play was how fast Cespedes got on the ball, then he quickly got it in to Drew who threw the strike to Norris, a seriously bulky guy, who forced Jones to slide right and try to hand-sweep the plate. Great play all around.

    As for Melvin and the MoY: it’s easy to get excited after two big, well-played wins. But he butchered the recent Game 4 against the Angels, leaving Anderson in to take an unnecessary pounding despite having plenty of available bullpen arms. Inexplicable. Buck doesn’t do that. Melvin is also late making his platoon changes. Again, something Buck is quicker at. The blog knows I am a huge A’s fan, but Buck is more deserving for Manager of the Year.

    • scatterbrian - Sep 16, 2012 at 2:44 PM

      No kidding. I saw that ball bounce fair and said “damn”…then Kuiper said they had a chance to get Jones. In fairness, Jones was looking at Cespedes and not the coach when heading to third, which slowed him down, and he made a pretty terrible slide.

      As for MOY, I think Melvin deserves extra points for the number of rookies contributing for the A’s this year.

  8. chumthumper - Sep 16, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    My beef is when an infielder makes a great play to throw a runner out at first, he gets the accolades when many times, it’s only a great play because the first basemen saved his bacon by making an equally great play.

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