Veterans' Defense Hurts Ranaudo Early

As a little leaguer playing for Western Little League A's in San Angelo about 25 years ago, I learned a couple of valuable lessons from my coach.

First off, when a groundball is coming toward you, your glove should touch the ground. Secondly, if you're in the outfield and a sharp line drive is coming, don't be overly aggressive and take stupid angles.

Apparently Elvis Andrus and Leonys Martin both failed to learn that lesson when they were kids, because they violated the rules and cost young starter Anthony Ranaudo dearly in the second inning of Wednesday's 10-2 loss to the Angels.

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Ranaudo didn't even make it out of the second after a poor angle taken by Martin allowed two runs to score. But that wasn't as egregious as a grounder to Elvis Andrus by Albert Pujols, that would've ended the inning, rolled right under Andrus' glove and into the outfield to allow more runs to score.

Somehow, that play wasn't ruled an error, but it most definitely was.

Martin has had his defensive question marks all along, but somewhat makes up for it with his lethal arm. Andrus, on the other hand, is paid tons and tons of money to be an elite defensive shortstop, and he simply hasn't been that for a few years now.

Maybe new manager Jeff Banister needs to go back to the fundamentals of the game, and teach those to his superstars.

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