Rangers fans still aren’t over the unprecedented defensive gaffes that led to the Game 5 loss to Toronto in the ALDS.
But, strangely, Elvis Andrus is.
I figured that his catastrophic inning – booting a grounder, failing to catch a short-hop throw and blatantly dropping an easy throw – haunt him forever. But apparently forever lasted less than a month.
“I don’t think about it,” Andrus told reporters Monday while serving Thanksgiving dinner to residents of a homeless shelter in Arlington. “It was a long process to deal with, but I’m in a good spot right now.”
In addition to the two errors, he was caught trying to steal 3rd base and struck out with the tying runs on base in the 8th inning. His fielding errors turned a 3-2 Rangers’ lead in the 7th into a four-run rally for Toronto and eventually a 6-3 win that eliminated the Rangers.
Booting a grounder on carpet happens. And digging the low throw from Mitch Moreland wasn’t a routine play. But the drop of the perfect throw from Adrian Beltre – it literally popped out of the palm of his glove – is something you just don’t see in the Major Leagues.
“What happened last year,” Andrus said, “will make me work harder.”
Clearly we can put to rest concerns about Elvis becoming a Bill Buckner, who faded from baseball - and life - after his World Series error. Surprisingly, he’s much more philosophical about the debacle than passionate fans still healing on the verge of a long Winter.
“I have nothing to be ashamed about,” he said. “That’s baseball. That’s life. There are a lot of ups and downs. I’m still here. It’s something I will learn from and it will help me the rest of my career.”
Maybe. And hopefully. I just know that the next time the ball is hit to shortstop in the late innings of a crucial game, we’re all going to be a tad nervous.