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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Angels’ Justin Bour embarrassed by ‘Little League’ mistake

Justin Bour

Justin Bour has now been a part of two of the stranger baserunning plays in MLB this season, though his latest reflected poorly upon him and left him embarrassed.

Bour was batting with one out and a runner on first in the bottom of the 8th inning Friday night with his Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners tied at one. He popped up an 0-2 pitch to second base. Runner Brian Goodwin was moving on the play and didn’t see what happened, so he started to run back to first after nearly reaching second. More importantly, Bour did not run to first, possibly because he a) thought the ball was going to be caught or b) thought he was out on the infield fly rule.

The Mariners dropped the ball intentionally and got a double play to end the inning.

The infield fly rule is not invoked unless there are at least runners on first and second, so if that’s what he was thinking, it was a poor assumption. Not running out the play is what really cost the team, because the Angels at least would have had a runner on base had he done so.

That’s why Bour called his mistake “embarrassing” and said there was no excuse.

Angels manager Brad Ausmus called it a lesson you learn in “Little League”.

As bad as that play was, credit must also be given to Dee Gordon for orchestrating the entire thing. The Mariners second baseman demonstrated incredible Baseball IQ by realizing Bour wasn’t running and that Goodwin was heading back to first. Sensing an opportunity, he told teammate Ryon Healy repeatedly to drop the ball, then instructed Healy to throw to second and then to first for the double play.

As for Bour’s other wacky play on the bases, that came last weekend against the Cubs.

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