Here is a re-post from July 20, 2014. You may remember this game. It’s when Colby Rasmus had the audacity to bunt on Colby Lewis, and Colby Lewis didn’t take too kindly to it. Enjoy.
Yesterday, Colby Lewis took umbrage to the fact that Colby Rasmus bunted on him, and beat it out. He screamed at him while walking off the field after the fifth inning, his last inning of a game he would eventually earn the loss in.
Lewis wasn’t upset that once again he was leaving the bullpen to do almost fifty-percent of his job. I wish I could go to work at nine o’clock, then leave at one and say “Okay, thanks, I’m out of here, can someone else take over? Oh, by the way, I left a huge mess of the Johnson account.”
Watching the game live, I wasn’t sure what his beef with Rasmus was. I thought, is he upset that a guy bunted on him with his bad hip? While I could maybe understand that, and one could maybe argue it’s bad form, I don’t agree. If you are out there competing, expect the other guy to beat you any way he can. Otherwise, retire. A one-armed Jim Abbot never cried when someone bunted on him. He threw the guy out in truly inspiring fashion.
When Matt Garza cried about that last year, I felt the same thing. Learn how to field the bunt and people will stop bunting on you. That’s like being mad a guy hit your fastball out because you can’t throw one very well.
But that wasn’t what it was. After the game, Lewis kept spewing his ire over this bunt. He took offense to the fact that the Blue Jays were up two runs with two outs, so Rasmus shouldn’t bunt in that situation.
He “didn’t appreciate it” because “that’s not the way the game is played.”
Playing to win isn’t the way the game is played? That explains 2014 in more ways than you can imagine.
At that point, it was only 2-0. The game was certainly not out of reach (this applies to a normal non-offensively-challenged team, but for purposes of this rant, imagine the Rangers offense has more oomph than a Daisy Air Rifle). And the Rangers were playing a shift on Rasmus.
Rasmus did what every Major League hitter should do in that situation, but few do because their egos won’t allow it.
He bunted against the shift. And he beat it.
If every player started doing that, they’d easily get on base, wreaking havoc, putting pressure on the defense. Teams would stop shifting on them, which would make them better offensively, which would help their teams.
I have no problem with this.
I’ve always liked Lewis. I just think he is totally wrong here.
He felt that, in bunting in that situation—what, a close game that was far from being decided?—Rasmus was putting himself in front of his team. He was “more interested in his stats than in his team.”
I graduated from a Big Ten school that wasn’t Northwestern, so please don’t hold my lack of intelligence against me, but how is getting on base detrimental to the team concept? Maybe Lewis realized if Rasmus would have swung away, chances are good he’d have hit one out and scored, rather than just gotten on first.
Lewis then went on to complain that if Rasmus was going to bunt in that situation, he should have then stolen second to put himself into scoring position, overlooking that his fellow teammates are not pushovers, and maybe Chirinos would have something to say about that.
Rasmus’s response was this: “I’m just trying to help my team and if he didn’t like that, so sorry about it. I had an opportunity where I could and I took advantage of it.”
Of course, he could have done what so many Rangers do when hitting into the shift. Don’t alter your approach and swing really hard and hit a sharp two hopper to the shortstop who is playing in short right field and get thrown out at first by five steps. Play the game the “right way” and take your place on the bench.
My advice to Colby Lewis is to shut up, throw one at his chin next time, and learn how not to be 6-7. Or, is averaging five innings per start with a 6.37 ERA your way of playing team-first ball?