According to a famous commercial twenty years ago, chicks dig the long ball. Too bad they focused only the offensive side of baseball. The guys who make the spectacular plays in the field are the studs. Over the past week we have been treated to a fair number of outfield throws that would make those chicks appreciate the defensive part of the game.
Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers is known more for his towering home runs. Just check out his performance in the 2011 AL championship Series against the Tigers. However, this past Sunday night against Tampa, he showed off his cannon in Right Field and threw out Ben Zobrist by about 10 feet. Here is the play a national audience was treated to in the 5th inning.
Kansas City’s Jeff Francouer has always been known as a superior player in the field. Even during the lowest of his slumps, Frenchy never let it affect his work with the glove. On Tuesday evening, Jhonny Peralta found out the hard way that Francouer’s arm is not be messed with. Have as much fun viewing this for the first time as it was for me seeing it a second time.
Rick Ankiel’s career as a pitcher did not go exactly as planned. Bouts of wildness ended his mound career prematurely. So, Ankiel converted himself to an Outfielder. He has had mixed success with the Nationals but one thing that has defined him is his superb play in the field. Arizona’s Justin Upton tried stretching a single Tuesday night into a double. As you can see, he should have stayed at first base.
What list of great throws would be complete without Ichiro? Our first highlight of the Seattle standout was his throw in 2001 to nail Terrence Long at 3rd Base. He continues to gun down baserunners at age 38. On April 27th, JP Arencibia of the Blue Jays tried scoring on this hit but the catcher was no match for the dart that Ichiro fired from Right Field.
You can be sure there will be countless other outstanding throws from the outfield this season. And you can bet I will do my best to share a few of them with you.
Follow me on Twitter @litj41 and covering the Arizona Diamondbacks at www.venomstrikes.com