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Cubs analyst praises Las Vegan Tommy Barrett’s baseball savvy

Updated June 16, 2019 - 12:35 pm

Although the St. Louis Cardinals won a World Series game because of it a few years back, you usually don’t hear much about baseball’s obstruction play.

When a fielder hinders a runner from running within the basepath, it is called obstruction. When a defensive player is prevented from fielding the ball by a runner, the call is interference.

When a possible obstruction play developed in a recent game, Chicago Cubs TV analyst Jim Deshaies said there were only two ballplayers savvy enough to intentionally draw such a rare and nuanced call — the Cubs’ Javier Baez and “the great Tommy Barrett.”

Barrett played baseball at Rancho High. The younger brother of former Boston second baseman Marty Barrett had a brief major league career, batting .202 for the Philadelphia Phillies and Red Sox.

So there has to be a back story, right?

There is: Barrett and Deshaies were roommates in the New York Yankees’ organization. And Barrett did draw an interference call, when they were playing for Fort Lauderdale in the Class A Florida State League.

The bases were loaded, and Barrett was playing third base against West Palm Beach.

“Here comes a slow bouncer heading toward the shortstop, and I’m thinking we have no shot of getting anybody at any base here — zip, zilch, nada,” said Barrett, 59 and now a businessman in Phoenix.

He made a move for the ball, timing it as the runner on second base approached. A collision ensued.

Interference. End of inning.

Barrett said he also bunked with David Woodworth, who was pitching that day. And the runner with whom he collided, Casey Candaele, was his college roommate at Arizona.

And now, as the great Tommy Barrett said, you know the rest of the story.

Pham flustered

Las Vegan Tommy Pham is miffed by the lack of attention he is receiving from baseball fans casting All-Star ballots. When the first returns were announced, Pham — hitting close to .300 for the first-place Tampa Bay Rays — trailed the Yankees’ Brett Gardner (.230) and Jackie Bradley (.199) of the Red Sox in the voting.

“It’s always unfair. Big market vs. small market. It’s never going to be fair,” the Durango High product told The Athletic. “It has to change, because when you go into (salary) arbitration, that’s a big thing that’s talked about with accomplishments.

“We haven’t had an ESPN game all year. That’s a way for fans to see us, by putting us on one of those big-time games. But the Cubs, Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox — the same teams are always on there.”

What a team

Tommy Barrett’s name also came up at Friday’s Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame dinner at which his former American Legion coach and longtime major league scout Manny Guerra was posthumously honored.

Nine players from that remarkable Rancho Legion team were drafted by the pros. Four — Marty Barrett, Tommy Barrett, Mike Maddux and Mike Morgan — made it to the big leagues.

The others selected by major league teams were Mark Bloomfield, John Huntington, Perry Swanson, Jeffrey Wolfe and Mike Guerra, Manny’s son, who made an emotional induction speech for his father at Orleans Arena.

McCaw’s three-peat

A UNLV season ticket holder who goes by the Twitter handle Vegas Knox believes nobody has benefited more from the firing of former UNLV basketball coach Dave Rice than Patrick McCaw.

Rice’s ouster also led to McCaw’s after his sophomore season with the Rebels. He declared for the NBA draft and won two championship rings coming off the Golden State Warriors’ bench. He will get a third after being acquired by the Toronto Raptors in January.

Three seasons. Three rings.

McCaw became the first NBA player to get a three-peat since Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant with the Lakers from 2000 to 2002 — a fact that surely will win a few bar bets during the offseason.

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It turns out that Aces center Liz Cambage is outspoken in multiple ways.

Wrote RJ online editor Dennis Rudner on his Twitter account: “Watching the @LV Aces play and I see something I’ve never seen before — a player at the free throw line tell the ref ‘thank you’ after being handed the ball. Liz Cambage did that at least twice.”

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

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