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Erick Aybar makes slick barehanded play (Video)

Erick Aybar barehandedErick Aybar made possibly the defensive play of the night Friday when he made a slick barehanded play to rob Luis Sardinas of a hit.

Sardinas was leading off the top of the seventh and hit a slow grounder to short. Sardinas is pretty speedy, so Aybar had to charge the ball and get rid of it quickly for a chance to get the out. Even though the ball wasn’t hit too hard, it was still really deep and moving a lot faster than a bunt when Aybar fielded it, making his barehanded grab extremely impressive. When you couple that with his strong throw, it’s hard not to love that web gem.

The defensive metrics generally don’t rate Aybar too favorably, but I feel like he’s a very strong fielder with a lot of range. It’s just that he doesn’t make great plays like this on a daily basis … nobody can.

Albert Pujols throws glove at Erick Aybar during postgame handshakes (Video)

There was an unusual moment during the Angels’ postgame handshake lineup on Wednesday night. After beating the Twins 6-2, the Angels players lined up for handshakes and high-fives to celebrate the win. For some reason, Albert Pujols chucked his glove at teammate Erick Aybar. The move was strange and made Pujols look like a jerk, but SI injury expert Will Carroll points out that the elbow the slugger was grabbing is the same one he had surgery on in 2008 and 2009. Aybar must have touched or pushed him in a sensitive area and got that reaction. No harm, no foul, but it was certainly a funny video.

Forearm bash to Midwest Sports Fans

Erick Aybar Bunted During Justin Verlander’s No-Hitter … So What

Baseball’s unwritten rules are about as important as RBIs and pitcher wins. They’re outdated and only hold limited significance. Those who value them cling to them with a kung-fu grip, failing to realize how arbitrary and sometimes pointless they are.

Justin Verlander apparently subscribes to them.

The Tigers pitcher was cruising yet again, going 7.2 innings of no-hit ball until Maicer Izturis broke it up with a line drive to left field. Four batters earlier, shortstop Erick Aybar got on base by dropping down a bunt Verlander threw into right field. Verlander was peeved that Aybar tried bunting to get aboard during his no-hitter. That violates one of the so-called “unwritten rules of the game.”

Jered Weaver, who was ejected for throwing at Alex Avila a batter after classless Carlos Guillen showed him up, summed up the Angels’ position perfectly. “We’re trying to score some runs off that guy and swinging obviously wasn’t doing it.”

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