That's Carl Crawford and Jason Varitek practicing bikram yoga during a break between innings last night. No, I'm kidding of course. They're getting ready for a taint inspection from Red Sox team physician Dr. Leo Spaceman. No, I'm just being coy with you, that's the resulting pose after Carl Crawford barreled down catcher Jason Varitek in the process of getting tagged out at home in the eighth inning of last night's 9-1 Rays win over the Sox.
Of course, Crawford's failure to score was for naught as Lloyd's favorite fella Rocco Baldelli smashed a three-run tater tot immediately following the play to put the game out of reach. But note: the Rays have now made three outs on the basepaths in three games. Crawford was picked off first base in Game Two and B.J. Upton was tagged out on a sweet play by Kevin Youkilis in which Upton rounded past second base, creating a gap wide enough to drive a Mack truck through.
The Rays do not have anything close to an insurmountable lead in this ALCS. True, the Sox will need to win at least one game at the Trop to advance, and their pitching staff is hanging by a thread, and David Ortiz is swinging the bat as if his wrist was about to explode at any minute, but this series is by no means "over". Joe Maddon ought to sit his kids down and warn them to be more cautious on the basepaths. They've stolen just two bases so far and combined with those three outs, it all makes for a poor showing overall by the Rays on the basepaths.
Of course, slow old knuckleballing fart Tim Wakefield goes tonight, and the Rays swiped six bases off him during the regular season; Crawford alone has nine stolen bases against Wake in his career.
(Photo stolen from Barry Chin and the Boston Globe)