BOSTON -- It was, as Xander Bogaerts put it, a "weird play." It is one in which he hopes to never be involved again, unless he is the one making the tag next time.Here was the situation that unfolded in the bottom of the first inning in a game the
BOSTON -- It was, as Xander Bogaerts put it, a "weird play." It is one in which he hopes to never be involved again, unless he is the one making the tag next time.
Here was the situation that unfolded in the bottom of the first inning in a game the Red Sox would lose, 5-3, to the Braves:
After Dustin Pedroia doubled and Bogaerts walked with one out, David Ortiz hit a grounder to first base. The one thought running through Bogaerts' mind was to try to break up the double play.
As Freddie Freeman fielded the ball and threw to shortstop Erick Aybar, Bogaerts slid into what he assumed was the out.
There were two problems. Bogaerts didn't see that the throw pulled Aybar off the bag, and he didn't hear second-base umpire Joe West call him safe.
Bogaerts stepped off the bag and back toward the dugout, and Aybar slapped the tag on him. He was out.
"It was a weird play, obviously," Bogaerts said. "The guy at first threw the ball to second. I'm right in front of the play, I thought I was out. I didn't hear a 'safe,' didn't hear an 'out,' just thought I was out. I was just making sure I stayed on the base so I don't get called for an automatic 'double play,' you know, that rule where you can't go over the bag. That was my main focus, trying to stay on, and I thought I was out."
Bogaerts would have liked a more vocal safe call from West.
"Yeah, obviously," Bogaerts said. "But I didn't hear anything."
Hanley Ramirez followed the bizarre play by banging an RBI single. If Bogaerts hadn't given himself up, he probably would have scored on that hit, also.
"He clearly vacated the base," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "With the slide rule, I do know that he was making every attempt to hold onto the bag to stay anchored. It was clear that Joe gave him a safe sign. And whether or not there was some confusion on Bogey's part, if he didn't think that was applying to him, he walks off the base and it's a mistake."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne.