Many years ago, on the first day of spring training, former major league manager John McNamara walked up to me during pitchers fielding practice (PFP). The California Angels were going through the motions on the drill in which pitchers cover first base on ground balls to the first baseman, and they were performing it flawlessly.
"We'll do this perfectly all spring,'' McNamara said, "and the first time it happens during the regular season, we'll screw it up."
If you've been watching the Orioles/Yankees series, you know why that suddenly popped into my mind on Wednesday afternoon. The Yankees scored the second run of the first inning after Mark Reynolds made a high flip to Zach Britton and it glanced off his glove to cost the O's a key out.
It was the second time in two games that the O'smessed up that play. Troy Patton fell asleep on the mound on Tuesday night and didn't cover first base on a similar play, but he was able to work out of the inning without allowing a run.
Still, he probably got an earful from manager Buck Showalter, who has got to be getting tired of watching his team foul up basic fundamentals.