But who's this Greg Golson dude?
Well, for one, he's a September call-up for the New York Yankees and he just might have helped them win the AL East.
Ben Shpigel of the New York Times wrote up a terrific breakdown of the play, in which Crawford — called by some the fastest player in the majors — tried to tag up from second base on Matt Joyce's(notes) fly ball to medium right field.
It was the third and final out of a playoff-like ballgame that featured a seven-run comeback by the Rays in the fifth inning, along with another great defensive play — a diving catch by Curtis Granderson(notes) in the ninth — and a go-ahead homer by Jorge Posada(notes) in the top of the 10th.
Via the Times:
Rodriguez: "I don't think anyone in the park, including myself, thought he would get thrown out in that situation."
Well, there is that unwritten baseball rule about not making the last out at third base, but maybe Crawford thought it was one of the other Gregg Ggolsons out there in right field.
A former first-round pick of the Phillies, Golson had a cup of coffee with them in '08 during their World Series run. He got one at-bat with the Rangers last year and the Yankees have used him mostly as a defensive replacement in two stints this season.
His throw indicates as to why that is.
Crawford could not remember being thrown out on a similar play. "I went because I always make it," he said. Rays manager Joe Maddon absolved Crawford for making the last out at third base, calling his attempt a "positive risk."
I don't know if I agree entirely, but I do like the general strategy of forcing the other team to make a play to beat you.
Which is what Golson did.
Golson: "I just didn't think he was going to be going. It's not one of the things you expect to happen. [Crawford is] one of the fastest guys in the league. [...] just one of those things where I was just trying to put a good throw on the ball."
He picked a great time for his first major league assist and double play.
The winner of the division might not matter in that the Yankees and Rays are on the verge of clinching a playoff spot regardless of who takes first place. But it also might mean another home game in a playoff series, which couldn't hurt. Besides, it's cooler to say you played for a division winner.
In the case of Golson, it might be the most significant play he'll ever make as a major leaguer. Though he turns 25 in two days, there's little in Golson's minor league resume to indicate he's a "right fielder of the future" or anthing. He's just Greg Golson. Not Greg Olson or Gregg Olson. For the Yankees, it's enough.
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