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Big League Stew

White Sox hilariously botch rundown

David Brown
Big League Stew

MLB.com labeled this play "Kipnis' RBI groundout" in its video library. But it's more than that. So much more. The Chicago White Sox, who are chasing down the Houston Astros for the league's worst record, gave the world prima fascia evidence of their incompetence Wednesday night.

How many mistakes did the Sox make trying to turn a double play on the Cleveland Indians after catching Nick Swisher between first and second? I think they made all of the mistakes. Somebody wise once said that the best rundown is accomplished with no throws. None. The second-best rundown, with one throw. If absolutely necessary: Two throws. Any more than two, and you're just asking for a mistake.

As White Sox broadcaster Steve Stone would say, "Little Leaguers, this is not how you execute the rundown."

With runners at the corners and no outs in the bottom of the first inning, the White Sox were happy to trade a run for two outs, so it was head's up by second baseman Gordon Beckham to get Swisher to stop between first and second base. Beckham threw to first in time to get Jason Kipnis, and Swisher was still in no man's land between bases. After that, it was a free-for-all, with pitcher Jose Quintana exercising the most freedom of anyone. Because Beckham's second throw errantly ended up in the camera well, Swisher was awarded third base. He didn't score, which is a testament to Quintana's pitching, if not his fielding.

The worst part for White Sox fans was seeing the grinning face of Swisher standing on second base as he sucked air, in relief. Swisher had one of his worst career seasons during his one year on the South Side, though his vilification by manager Ozzie Guillen went over the top. Still, he's not remembered fondly in Chicago. But give him credit: Swisher obviously figured the Sox would mess it up if he gave them enough opportunities. He was right.

This is how the game ended, in the Indians' favor:

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