The real cause of the outfielder blunders? -

The real cause of the outfielder blunders?

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By Staff By Staff

(BaseballStL) -- In the opinion of some, former Cardinal Jim Edmonds was the best defensive center fielder of his generation and possibly of all time.

Over his 17 year career in the Major Leagues, Edmonds made some of the most remarkable catches an outfielder has ever made. He was a four time All Star, and an eight time Gold Glove award winner. 

Edmonds watched Jon Jay botch that 4th inning fly ball in Game 3 of the NLCS that led to the Dodgers first run. He says Jay should have been able to make the catch, but that Dodger Stadium is a difficult place to play.

"L.A. is a tough place to play," said Edmonds this morning on our show on CBS Sports Radio 920. "Not the crowd, I don't believe it was the crowd noise. But it's awkward. It's weird. Sometimes you get caught playing too deep, too shallow. I think it's a really small outfield. But the ball needs to be caught, especially in the playoffs." 

I asked Edmonds if outfielders have trouble hearing each other as they call for fly balls. "That's their job. You really need to be yelling and screaming. Over the course of 17 years I can't think but of one or two times when someone said they couldn't hear you."

One of those times was at Busch Stadium when Edmonds collided with left fielder Reggie Sanders, who suffered a broken ankle on the play. Edmonds didn't think Sanders would be anywhere close to the fly ball they were chasing.

When there's any doubt about who should make a catch, the ball belongs to the center fielder. "A hundred percent," said Edmonds. "The quarterback still takes the ball from the center, and the center fielder is still in charge of the outfield. It was just a weird situation. You have to get a bad jump and be insecure about the jump you got in order to back away from balls."

Edmonds said the real problem with some of the balls being misplayed during the postseason might have something to do with the crowd, but not with the noise they generate.

It's the rally towels being waved. "That's the worst thing about the playoffs. The rally towels. They're swinging them and they're white. It's a distraction to the outfielders and the infielders."

Edmonds remains high on Jay as a defensive center fielder, and says he thinks he'll continue to be in the starting line-up through the playoffs. "That's why this is such a heavy topic right now, because he does usually makes that play. He's a good center fielder. The bottom line is they lost. They just need to comeback and win the next one."

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