A stolen victory?
What a gutwrenching way to lose on Wednesday night. Papi smashes a two-run shot to turn a three-run deficit into a one-run deficit. The Sox get a gift when Tejada falls down as he’s about to throw Wily Mo out at first.
And then, Willie Harris comes off the bench to run for Wily Mo. Never did it enter my mind that Willie Harris would try to steal. Trot is a gap hitter with power, so in my mind, Harris is in the game so he can score on a double or get to third on a single.
Trot Nixon is one of those guys you want up in the clutch, particularly against a hard-throwing righty. Those are the type of guys that Nixon has feasted on over the years. But the bat was taken out of his hands.
Harris admitted after the game that he had seen the hold sign on the first pitch. He did not see it prior to the second pitch, so he took off. Harris was told by either Francona or one of the coaches after the game that when the hold sign is on for the first pitch, that implies that it’s on for the whole at-bat. Harris took the blame and admitted he screwed up.
I thought it was very classy for Francona to avoid answering the question about whether Harris missed the sign. This is why guys like playing for Tito. He didn’t see any gain in criticizing his player publicly, yet we found out from Willie that the message got across where it needed to — behind closed doors.
Willie Harris can be a sparkplug for this team. He’s not Dave Roberts, but he does have good speed. I just hope that next time he’s in that situation with a guy like Trot at the plate, he doesn’t take the bat out of his hands.