The situation: Top of the 4th inning, with the Nats leading 2-1, with a 3-1 count and 2 outs, Snelling on second, Schneider on third, El Duque pitches to Belliard who bloops it up the third base line, David Wright scoops it up and SHOULD throw it to first to kill the run, but instead he's distracted by Snelling who almost mows him down on his way to third and has to retreat towards second, so Schneider scores in time before the inning is officially over. That was CRUCIAL!
The funny thing is, though, Wright doesn't see it that way. He might be trying to save face, but I think that he's being disingenuous:
"On the flip side, however, during yesterday’s loss to the Nationals, with two outs and runners at second and third, Wright scooped up a ground-ball by Nats SS Felipe Lopez, but didn't throw it to first. Instead, he chased down Nats OF Chris Snelling, who was heading toward him on route to third base. Snelling wisely backed up towards second base, but before Wright could apply the tag, Nats C Brian Schneider scored to extend his team’s lead.
Willie Randolph, regarding the play, told reporters the following after the game…
“It’s an obvious mental mistake, I’m sure after it happened it he knew what he did wrong.”
Wright, talking with reporters after last night’s game…
“I looked over there and didn’t think I could get him at first, so I tagged him out…I was very cognizant of the fact the run would score, but I thought getting the out and getting out of that inning was a little bigger than trying to make a play that I didn't think we had at first base.”
…in other words, wright does not think he was wrong, so maybe willie should talk to him, because in a game like yesterday, when every run is going to count, wright goofed up…"(Source: http://www.metsblog.com/blog/_archives/2007/4/15/2881825.html)
Wright didn't think he could get Belliard at first? Belliard hasn't exactly got Carl Lewis speed (but, to be fair, he isn't Jabba the Hutt, either), by which I mean to say that Belliard has hustle, but I still think that Wright had a good chance at nailing him at first. Wright can say whatever he wants, I still think that Snelling got the equivalent of an assist by distracting Wright and giving Schneider time to score.
Snelling just might be my new favorite position player to watch. Number 8 seems to have a future here, and I'm looking forward to seeing him develop as a Major Leaguer.