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Yankees take early lead thanks to some fancy footwork by Ichiro

Oct 8, 2012, 9:10 PM EDT

Ichiro Suzuki AP

They’ll call it “The Ichiro Shuffle.”

The Yankees struck first tonight in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Orioles. Derek Jeter led off the game with a single and Ichiro Suzuki reached on an error before Robert Andino made an excellent diving catch off a hard-hit ball of the bat of Alex Rodriguez. Andino then flipped it to J.J. Hardy at second base to double off Jeter. If Ichiro wasn’t alert enough to stay at first, it’s possible it could have been a triple play.

Wei-Yin Chen had a chance to get out of the inning with no damage, but Robinson Cano smacked one into the right-field corner. It appeared that Ichiro would be held up at third base, but he ended up getting sent home by third base coach Rob Thomson. He was going to be out by a mile, but managed to do some pretty nifty footwork to avoid the tag by Matt Wieters before diving and touching home plate to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead. Any description won’t do it justice, so we’ll have to wait for the video. Truly classic stuff.

Andy Pettitte sat the Orioles down in order in the bottom of the first inning, so it’s 1-0 Yankees as we move to the second in Baltimore.

UPDATE: Ah yes, the video. The glorious video:

  1. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 8, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    Wieters should have blocked the plate. He tried to get fancy.

  2. husky2score - Oct 8, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    I don’t get how friggin Ichiro can go into the dugout and back out and not be out of the baseline!!!!!!!! The rule is 3 feet!!! He is 8 feet out!!! 8 Feet!!!!!!! These umps suck!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • husky2score - Oct 8, 2012 at 9:29 PM

      Look it up and watch the replay!

      • paperlions - Oct 8, 2012 at 9:39 PM

        Yes, and Ichiro is more than 3 feet off the base line on his way to home as Weiters tried to tag him in front of the batters box….at which point Ichiro moves at least 5 feet from the baseline…..straying more than 3 feet from a baseline to avoid a tag makes the runner out. Nothing he did after that mattered as he violated the rule prior to reaching the home plate area. He was out by rule.

        In other news, how do two of the worst MLB umpires get post season assignments? Given the chance, each will make embarrassing calls.

    • rmcd13 - Oct 8, 2012 at 9:49 PM

      I think there is an argument to be made that he was out of the baseline when Wieters goes in for the tag and Ichiro uses his spiderman-like reflexes to get out of the way. Ichiro is clearly five or more feet away from home plate.

      7.08 Any runner is out when—
      (a) (1) He runs more than three feet away from his base path to avoid being tagged unless his action is to avoid interference with a fielder fielding a batted ball. A runner’s base path is established when the tag attempt occurs and is a straight line from the runner to the base he is attempting to reach safely

      • cogitobaseballergosum - Oct 9, 2012 at 2:12 AM

        Read the second sentence in the rule you so kindly provided: “A runner’s base path is established when the tag attempt occurs and is a straight line from the runner to the base he is attempting to reach safely”. The runner’s base path is not the straight chalk line between bases. Any umpire will tell you the runner makes his own base path between bases, which means he can pretty much anywhere until they try to tag him – then he must stay within 3 feet of a direct line from where he is to the base when trying to avoid the tag.

        Ichiro was several feet outside the chalk line when Wieters came across to make the tag. So he had three more feet to work with from that point. And there’s no provision in the rules for the base path once you get beyond home plate, so there’s usually a lot of latitude given.

      • rmcd13 - Oct 9, 2012 at 2:52 PM

        “A runner’s base path is established when the tag attempt occurs and is a straight line from the runner to the base he is attempting to reach safely.”

        When Wieters goes for the tag Ichiro jumps away from home plate, probably at least three feet away, and is thus out of his base path. Craig argues for this in a later post, but Ichiro probably should have been called out.

    • esj103198 - Oct 8, 2012 at 9:53 PM

      No he didn’t your just mad because your team suck and you wish you had ichiro on your team

    • borninfellspoint - Oct 8, 2012 at 9:56 PM

      He was OUT! looked like Matt got the tag in

  3. mybrunoblog - Oct 8, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    Standard scientific laws of dexterity do not apply to Ichiro as he cannot be stopped by a conventional tag from a catcher. Matt Wieiters now knows this.

  4. vallewho - Oct 8, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    How many times are we gonna hear the name “Angel Hernandez” tonight?

  5. mississippimusicman - Oct 8, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    Kinda puts the interference/out-of-baseline call against Andrelton Simmons in a new light too… umps just can’t resist affecting the outcomes of playoff games I guess.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 9, 2012 at 9:24 AM

      Simmons started down the base path for about 5 feet then deliberately when 3 feet inside the line to obstruct the throw. This resulted in the ball hitting him in the back of the helmet…were the 1st baseman was waiting to catch the ball. Precisely why he didn’t complain and was visibly pissed off at himself. Two completely different plays.

  6. husky2score - Oct 8, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    esj I don’t care about Ichiro. He was out and you whiny Yankee fans have the umps in your pocket! Look at the strike zone from yesterday’s game. Proof.

  7. jayscarpa - Oct 8, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    8 feet…really?
    If you look at around the 13 second mark of the video you’ll see Ichiro’s first foot come down less than a foot from the batters box after Wieters missed the tag. The batters box is 6 feet long, centered with a 17″ home plate. Do the math.

    Also, once Weiters misses the tag you can easily see Ichiro is never more than 3 feet from the path.

  8. judsonjr - Oct 9, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    He ran past the end of the catcher’s box to avoid the tag and the back of the catcher’s box is 8 feet from the closest point of home plate. If you are hook sliding or something then you have part of your body in the baseline, but you shouldn’t be able to just flat out run around the batter’s and catchers box.

    • jayscarpa - Oct 9, 2012 at 7:10 AM

      Once he passed Wieters’ tag the basepath changes to where ever he is to the plate

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