No glove for Span from Brendan Ryan
Brendan Ryan made a great bare-handed stop on a high-hop ground ball in the hole at shortstop on the Twins’ Denard Span on Sunday, choosing not to use his glove on a ball that normally calls for the leather.
Ryan explained the play afterward, noting the speedy leadoff hitter has burned him before and he wasn’t going to let it happen again.
“I’ve played against him at every single level and I know how well he can run.,” Ryan said. “I remember last year he ripped a one-hopper that I made a diving play on. And I got rid of the ball as quick as I could and he beat it by a step. So my first thought was get rid of it and if I catch it cleanly, we’ve got a chance.”
Turns out, this play wasn’t that close as you can see in the video above.
“I don’t know if it made me look very good, him being out by a couple steps. Probably makes it look a little unnecessary. But that’s about par for the course,” Ryan said.
Third baseman Kyle Seager followed suit two innings later in the seventh with an impressive — and totally necessary — one-handed play on a slow roller Alexi Casilla.
“I watched Brendan and that’s how I knew what to do on that one,” Seager said with a smile. “it worked well for him, so I figured I’d give it a shot. That’s a play we talk about when you get that slow roller, especially when you see a guy that can run like he can. It’s just a do-or-die play.”
Seager was joking about copying Ryan’s style, but he said he does learn from playing next to the outgoing shortstop.
“It’s not dull, that’s for sure,” said Seager. “But he unbelievable defensively. You watch his actions and the way he just makes the game look easier than it is is pretty special.”