Everything is going right for the Boston Red Sox. An 11-game winning streak has vaulted them into a tie with Texas for the best record in the American League. Most of their success is the result of skill. Some of it is luck. And the rest? Well, the rest is sort of unexplainable.
Take Dustin Pedroia’s successful dance routine at home plate to score the game-winning run against Tampa Bay on Sunday. The Rays chased down David Ortiz’s double to right-center and got the relay throw into catcher Luke Maile way before Pedroia. The veteran second baseman stayed calm and relied on his Jedi training to juke and dive into a run with an 180-degree display of fancy feet.
Maile’s attempt to tag a sprawling Pedroia caused the ball to escape his mitt and Pedroia’s calisthenics to benefit the Red Sox.
These types of plays are rare so perhaps there’s not much of a blueprint for what the catcher should do. However, I’ve always wondered why the defender doesn’t completely cover home plate with his body, making it impossible for the runner to touch — no matter how artistic a dance they author. Just thinking out loud here.