One highlight got the Yankees attention on the big screen in the clubhouse after the game. It wasn’t Robinson Cano’s home run or Derek Jeter’s tiebreaking hit in the sixth or any of the fine pitches made by starter Dustin Moseley in the 11-4 win.
It was Marcus Thames’ throw from third base that went very high and way wide of first base in the bottom of the ninth. He just smiled and took the abuse.
He is an outfielder and not a third baseman. When he was asked about his experience at the position that used to be called the Hot Corner, Thames said, “It was the first position I ever played when I started playing Little League, and that was the last time.”
Thames did it as a favor to Joe Girardi, who asked him about giving it a shot to give Alex Rodriguez an inning off. The only other possible third baseman, Ramiro Pena, was playing shortstop to give Derek Jeter a rest in the blowout.
“I guess he wanted to get Alex out, give him some time off, we’ve got a long flight and he’s got to play tomorrow,” Thames said.
Rodriguez, in fact, said Thames made a nice stop on the hard grounder by Jayson Nix, which was ruled a hit. “But when I got up, my heart was pounding,” Thames said. “I airmailed it.” He was charged with an error for allowing the runners to advance.
In the long run, you get the feeling that his teammates appreciate him giving it the old college try. “A Little League try,” Thames said. “Not college.”