Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Chicago White Sox [Print without images]

Saturday, July 2, 2011
The jinx was nearly on for a spooked Morel

By Doug Padilla

CHICAGO -- Brent Morel sat at his locker after Saturday’s game and in one breath, blew out an exasperated laugh.

His sidearm throw to second base to get a force out way back in the fourth inning ended up looming as a large play in an eventual 1-0 White Sox victory over the Cubs.

Brent Morel
Sox third baseman Brent Morel fields a ground ball in the sixth inning on Saturday.
He fielded Marlon Byrd's ground ball at third base and fired wide to Gordon Beckham at second.

Second-base umpire Paul Emmel said that Beckham stayed on the bag long enough and runner Aramis Ramirez was retired for the second out. Had Ramirez been ruled safe, the Cubs were looking at a first-and-second situation with one out, or possibly second-and-third if the throw goes into right field.

The Cubs, who had already hit into three double plays at that point, wouldn’t score in the inning and were eventually shut out by Phil Humber and Matt Thornton.

Before the game, Morel was asked about his sidearm throws and said that it’s always come naturally for him. He feels more accurate that way. But just a few hours later, the off-target sidearm throw was a near disaster, and only Beckham’s toe dance at second base saved the day.

“I know in college when scouts would come and stuff and you were trying to get drafted, I noticed I threw the ball overhand more just to try to show off my arm a little bit, try to impress people,” Morel said before the game. “But once I got into pro ball I was still trying to do things the right way, but I just felt more accurate that way. I can make the play easier that way.”

After the game Morel joked that he’s done talking about his throws, at the very least so he doesn’t jinx things.

“Maybe it’s from playing shortstop a little and doing double plays with the low arm slot,” Morel said. “It’s just natural for me to throw that way. I don’t try to throw it that way, it just comes naturally.”

Consider it the last words on the subject, or at least the last words until he no longer feels spooked about it.