"Now drop and give me three!"
That's what the imaginary drill sergeant inside of the head of Austin Jackson told him Monday afternoon in the top of the eighth inning after he stole second base. With the Detroit Tigers leading the Boston Red Sox by two runs, Jackson took off for second and slid, feet first, into the bag, ahead of the throw by Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Jackson's momentum nearly carried him beyond the bag — and a forceful tag by Stephen Drew didn't hurt — but with his cleats firmly attached, Jackson did three quick pushups before rising to his feet, never losing contact with the base. It was like what Willie Mays Hayes did in "Major League" after hitting a ball into the air, against the wishes of his manager.
Only, every time Hayes did that, he was supposed to drop and give Lou Brown 20 pushups. Because he didn't do anything wrong, and with an actual game going on, it was incumbent upon Jackson to keep it brief. Besides, he might run like Mays, but he hits pretty well, too. So three were enough.
It's a good thing Jackson kept limber on the bases; he came home on Torii Hunter's RBI single, the last run in Detroit's 3-0 victory at Fenway.
I'll bet Jim Leyland is more like Lou Brown than any other manager, too.