Awareness pays off for one MLB player
The MLB regular season is fast coming to a close and several teams are battling it out for the last playoff spots. One such fight is between the Detroit Tigers and the Kansas City Royals. As I write this, the Tigers have a 1.5 game lead over the Royals in the American League Central Division. If the Tigers pull out the division title by a
game or less, one recent play by one of their players could have been monumental.
This past weekend (Saturday, Sept 20th) the Tigers were playing the Royals and came away with a huge 3-2 win. The biggest play on the field and maybe the entire season came from someone who was not even on the field. Here’s how one reporter described it afterwards …
A rarely-used backup infielder who never even got into the game made the play of the day for the Detroit Tigers.
From the dugout, Hernan Perez spotted that a Kansas City runner failed to tag up. That set off a wild sequence Saturday that resulted in an out instead of the go-ahead score — plus a lot of discussion — as Detroit beat the Royals 3-2 to boost its AL Central lead.
Winning pitcher Max Scherzer said he’d reward the 23-year-old Perez, who spent most the year in the minors and has only three at-bats this season in the majors.
“Whatever he wants — dinner, lunch, breakfast, drinks, you name it,” Scherzer said. “That’s a one-in-a-million play. It’s unbelievable that we had someone on the bench be astute enough to see that.”
It’s a great example of what I have been writing about over the last three posts about Awareness Games. Think about it … there are thousands of people in the stands, about a dozen coaches on the Tigers, over 30 players in the Tigers dugout, and ONE PLAYER WHO WASN’T EVEN IN THE GAME noticed the guy on third did not tag up on the play. I guarantee it was because everyone else was watching the ball instead.
Having good “field awareness” starts with an understanding that many of the things you need to be aware of do not fall within your narrow tunnel of what you see in front of you. It requires you to look around (often away from the ball) to pick up on things most people are missing.
Tomorrow’s post: Draftability