Friday, March 7, 2014
BOSTON - Minutes earlier, Jose Iglesias took his first trip around major league bases. He had entered the Red Sox-Twins game in the 11th inning as a pinch runner, and scored from first on a Carl Crawford double off the wall, for a 2-1 Boston win.
Back in the clubhouse, Iglesias was again the rookie, standing in front of his locker and asking Jed Lowrie what to pack for Boston's road trip (the Red Sox left after the game for Toronto).
Soon, reporters were swarming around Iglesias. He hesitated. While Iglesias' English is improving, he still he got completely confident with it.
Plus, the rookie obviously did not want to draw too much attention to himself. He was asked if he was excited.
"Oh yeah, we won," he said. "The team won. I'm excited about that."
When told that Terry Francona said that was the fastest he has ever seen Iglesias run, he smiled.
"I don't know," Iglesias said. "I tried as hard as I could to win the game."
And the celebration after when players rushed toward him?
"It's great. It's the first time it has ever happened to me. We won. I'm happy for the team."
The interesting thing part is that Iglesias ran for Lowrie, and I'm not sure he's that much faster. And Iglesias is obviously less experienced about running the bases at Fenway.
Iglesias was running on the pitch - a full-count offering to Crawford. He slowed around second base, watching the ball soar towards the wall.
"I stopped to see where the ball was," he said. "I saw the outfielders and I knew the ball would come off the wall and I started to run again."
Iglesias slide into the catcher, and over the plate, easily beating the ball, giving the safe sign himself.
Exciting (and late) night at Fenway. See coverage on Tuesday in the Press Herald.
Now the Red Sox - with their rookie in tow - go on the road.
Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases
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