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Tuesday, July 07, 2009
And That HappenedPhillies 22, Reds 1. I'm not sure what's more impressive: the Phillies' offensive outburst, or that it was all said and done in 2:53. The only downside of this for Philadelphia is that it will skew Cole Hamels' run support numbers, thereby making his season look a little worse than it actually is. I'm guessing he'll take the win, however.
Athletics 6, Red Sox 0: Because Smoltz got beat and Nomar returned and this is the Red Sox and they're the most important thing in the world and everything, all of the stories this morning will likely focus on those things instead of the fact that 21 year-old Brett Anderson completely and utterly shut down one of the best offenses in baseball in what, by game score anyway, was the third best start by any pitcher in baseball this year (CG SHO 2 H, 9K).
Mariners 5, Orioles 0: Jarrod Washburn (CG SHO, 1 H 3K, 0 BB) was nearly as good as Anderson. Actually, by most measures we'd say he was better because a one-hitter > than a two hitter. Game score gives him a slight, slight deduction, however, because he didn't strike as many guys out. Which suggests to me that the game score stat is boring and fascist.
Cubs 4, Braves 2: Steve Phillips, sometime around the fourth inning or so: "You know, there's been a lot of talk around Atlanta about getting rid of Bobby Cox and getting someone with more fire." OK, I've heard enough idiotic sports radio in my time to know that, yes, there is probably someone in Atlanta saying that. Phillips' job, however, should be to do more than parrot crazy talk. No one I know of with a functioning brain stem is seriously talking about firing Bobby Cox, and even if they are, it's not to get someone "with more fire." I'm convinced that Phillips was just at a loss of something to say as the camera panned over to Cox, and started spewing things, attributing it to others so that it had a whiff of legitimacy to cover for the whiff of the place whence he pulled it. Nice save by Hershiser, however: a few seconds later, talking about Chipper Jones, Orel suggested making Chipper player-manager in the event Cox does step down for some reason. There are probably 57 things wrong with that, but I love the idea on a gut level. I think Jones is the oldest and grumpiest 37 year-old on the planet, which makes him just right to be a Major League manager. Kind of a Bobby Cox mini-me. In fact, I can totally picture that and now that the idea is in my head, I'm kind of wishing for it.
Royals 4, Tigers 3: Willie Bloomquist drove in three runs on a homer in the sixth inning and a two-run triple in the eighth. Bloomquist -- a thirtysomething utility guy -- must have felt pressured to perform given today's trade for Ryan Freel -- another thirtysomething utility guy.
Blue Jays 7, Yankees 6: Joe Girardi was ejected and Derek Jeter had to be restrained after Jetes was called out on a steal attempt at third despite the fact that he clearly reached around Scott Rolen's tag and grabbed the bag. Jeter: "I was told by the umpire that I didn't have to be tagged to be out." Crew Chief John Hirschbeck: "It would make his actions seem appropriate if that's what he was told. It used to be if the ball beat you, you were out, but it isn't that way anymore. It's not a reason to call someone out. You have to make a good tag." If what Jeter says is true, and third base umpire Marty Foster told Jeter that he was out because the ball beat him, Foster should clearly be suspended or demoted or even fired, shouldn't he? Isn't that proof positive that there's a guy out there calling his own game instead of enforcing the actual rules? In other news, why on Earth was Jeter stealing third with nobody out in the first inning of a 0-0 game with Swisher, Teixeira and Rodriguez coming to bat? Update: great minds think alike.
Astros 4, Pirates 1: Mike Hampton (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER) broke into the bigs the same year the Pirates' current streak of losing seasons began. Other things that happened in 1993: Clinton began his first term, "Jurassic Park" ruled the box office, I turned 20, and "The Bridges of Madison County" made anyone with taste want to barf their guts out. None of this has anything to do with Mike Hampton, but he gets so much crap for being fragile, that I thought I'd write something that makes him seem steady and venerable and everything.
Rockies 1, Nationals 0: See, here's what happened: Jason Marquis (8 IP, 7 H, 0 ER) was tired of hearing you complain about him being selected to the All-Star Game and wanted to shut your know-it-all ass up. Got anything else to say, wise guy?
Angels 9, Rangers 4: Round 1 goes to the Angels, as Kevin Millwood gets beat up by the middle of LAA's order. Millwood didn't strike anyone out over five innings and, it would seem, his luck simply ran out.
Diamondbacks 6, Padres 5: Upton works a walk and steals second ahead of a Mark Reynolds' All-Star snub defying single to win it in the ninth. The Dbacks have won three in a row for the first time since the end of May.
Giants 5, Marlins 4: Pablo Sandoval likewise mocks your All-Star snub by hitting a grand slam to provide what proved to be the winning runs.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 5:42am
Here’s what I learned from the older umpires who taught me. Sometimes the call is so close you can’t really tell, and have to use gut instinct to make the decision. What they tried to tell me was, if the play is that close, and the ball beats the runner, or if the fielder ‘makes the play the right way’, then the runner is out.
If the runner beats the ball, or the fielder ‘makes the play the wrong way’, then the runner is safe.
That’s going to be Foster’s reasoning, if he ever gets asked. That’s what he was taught, that’s how it’s always been done, and that’s the way he does it.
Which is all crap, because an umpire who actually believes in the rule book will make the effort to get the call right, regardless of what he was taught. Too many of these guys use the old way to let the plays call themselves and can’t be bothered to actually try. Mostly because they are always out of position and don’t make an effort to get the proper one.
Posted 07/07 at 06:14 AM
“He didn’t have to [tag you]. The ball beat you.”
That’s an entirely different explanation than it was too close to call.
But as Craig mentioned, wtf was he doing stealing third in the bottom half of the first with no outs?
Posted 07/07 at 07:44 AM
good to see steve phillips ticking off someone on the other end of the NL East fan spectrum. equal opportunity offending is always appreciated.
Posted 07/07 at 07:44 AM
“OK, I’ve heard enough idiotic sports radio in my time to know that, yes, there is probably someone in Atlanta saying that.”
Yep, right about 7:15 this morning on 790.
Posted 07/07 at 07:49 AM
Eric Solomon said...
“...attributing it to others so that it had a whiff of legitimacy to cover for the whiff of the place whence he pulled it”
Posted 07/07 at 08:11 AM
Greg Simons said...
I hope this Jeter-Foster story has some legs to it, because it would be great to see some emphasis placed on getting the call right, regardless of how it has been, or is “supposed to be,” called.
Of course, the downside will be listening to those who chime in defending the ump’s decision. Because, unfortunately, they’re out there.
Posted 07/07 at 08:29 AM
Josh in DC said...
That lineup the Red Sox put out there is NOT one of the best in baseball.
Posted 07/07 at 08:30 AM
I agree with Craig that the A’s Anderson was very impressive but Josh makes a great point in that any lineup with Lugo batting second, Varitek batting sixth and a player (Bates) who started the year in Portland (AA) and is making his major league debut is not a typical Red Sox offensive lineup.
Posted 07/07 at 09:06 AM
Silver King said...
Agreeing with Monsieur Solomon, nice turn of phrase.
Posted 07/07 at 09:15 AM
Cox has been ejected more than anyone. Isn’t that fire?
Posted 07/07 at 10:17 AM
Levi Stahl said...
My friend Jay points out that in the ninthe inning of the Phillies/Reds game, when Cincy had Paul Janish, a shortstop, on the mound, Dusty sent out Dick Pole to the mound to talk with him.
What on earth do you think Pole said in that spot? “Ever done this before, kid? Maybe in little league?”
Whatever it was, it didn’t work: the GS to Jayson Werth followed.
Posted 07/07 at 10:18 AM
Jack Marshall said...
The Red Sox had their weakest line-up of the year, perhaps, but Anderson was still phenomenal. Except for Pedroia, the missing players were all lefties, and the lefties looked helpless last night.
Posted 07/07 at 11:14 AM
The Ol Goaler said...
Cox has been ejected more than anybody else because:
A.) He’s been around for-freakin’-ever; and
B.) He can’t keep himself from saying “m**********r” (The Magic Word)!
(Yes, this begs the question of how Larry Bowa ever _completes_ any game… my guess is the umps have simply gotten used to the steady stream of profanity from the third-base coaches’ box…)
Posted 07/07 at 11:55 AM
Dennis Koziel said...
If you want to see an umpire calling his own game, using his own rules, check out Bob Davidson when he is behind the plate. Ridiculous !!
Posted 07/07 at 12:03 PM
Given what we’ve learned about how much defense impacts pitching and winning, Crash Davis’s desire for a more democratic form of run prevention might have been what kept him out of The Show.
Posted 07/07 at 12:04 PM
Craig, why are we treating Jeter’s account as factual? When speaking with reporters, Hirschbeck only commented about Jeter’s explanation. He had not yet spoken to Foster. The umpire blew the call—we all agree—but there is no evidence other than he had an obstructed view of the play.
Posted 07/07 at 12:13 PM
Craig Calcaterra said...
“He can’t keep himself from saying “m**********r” (The Magic Word)!”
See, that’s not what the magic word used to be. It was more like “c*** s****r.”
But maybe times now are more genteel than they used to be.
Posted 07/07 at 12:18 PM
Btw, for everyone* arguing that instant replay will take up too much time, here’s the replay of the Jeter steal in question
In 1:30 you get 3 or 4 different angles showing he was safe. Adding 1-2 min between deciding, seeing the replay, and then making the call is what, 5-6 additional minutes? Show a commercial or something? Pitching changes take that long. hell, the phillies game took <3 hours with 22 runs, and I swear every yanks/sox game goes at least 4h+ in 9 innings.
(not saying anyone here does, but in case those who don’t need backup evidence)
Posted 07/07 at 12:27 PM
“Isn’t that proof positive that there’s a guy out there calling his own game instead of enforcing the actual rules?”
What, as opposed to the proof we see daily on TV?
Didn’t this get covered 30 years ago in “The Umpire Strikes Back”? The reason the ump calls ball-before-player - and is taught to do so in umpiring school - is so that second basemen and shortstops don’t spend endless time on the DL with glove-hand injuries.
If they’re going to stop calling the phantom tag, they have to stop calling the DP pivots that don’t touch the bag (I’m sure Jeter would LOVE that), the players who rub out (and then stand behind) the back line of the batter’s box and the numerous times each game when “time” is called by the hitter after the pitcher comes set.
Posted 07/07 at 01:30 PM
MJ is on to something but it needs to be framed in economic terms for MLB, owners, players and the MLBPA to properly receive it. Allowing instant replay creates more commercial time therefore, in theory, creating more revenue for all involved.
The hell with getting the call right - baseball has a chance to get more money to split amongst the various parties. Trust me, if instant replat is allowed Scott Boras will develop a ‘player most likely to create a need for instant replay and therby creating more revenue’ category to his sales pitch for free agents.
Posted 07/07 at 01:37 PM
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