Sports Shorts

* For those of us following the NBC coverage of the Lightning-Bruins series, it was quite apparent that network analyst Jeremy Roenick and Bolts commentator Bobby Taylor saw a lot of the action from different perspectives. “The Chief” has been with Tampa Bay for decades; it shows. Roenick is a native of Boston; it showed.

* I watched as the Rays Mallex Smith, better known for his speed than his base-running savvy, ran himself into a big out last Sunday with his embarrassingly unsuccessful attempt at stealing home against Toronto. The Rays batter, C.J. Kron, looked, well, incredulous.

It reminded me of one of my worst memories growing up as a Philadelphia Phillies fan–as well as one of the all-time sports quotes that never got national notoriety. The setting: a late September game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Phillies at Connie Mack Stadium in Philly in 1964. The Phillies had a 6 1/2 game National League lead with 12 games to play. The World Series loomed. The Phillies, however, would lose 10 in a row, and the St. Louis Cardinals would win the pennant. The first of those 10 defeats was a 1-0 loss to the Reds.

It came when Cincinnati journeyman Chico Ruiz stole home. The batter was Frank Robinson. THE Frank Robinson. Ruiz–obviously–did it on his own. After the game, Reds manager Dick Sisler was asked about Ruiz’s daring move with a future Hall of Famer at the plate. “Suppose he had been out?” asked a reporter. “He’d still be running,” replied Sisler. Still a classic.

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