Thursday, May 28, 2015


I've picked on everyone else, let's take on the official scorers.

Some recently invented statistics.
1)  The Save
They've had this one for a while and there is some validity to it. What I find difficult to deal with is managers organizing the game to allow certain pitchers to accrue this stat. They call these certain pitchers, Closers. What they do is finish the game, preserving the win for his team. Okay, I buy that, but the managers only use them when they can garner this statistic for their own personal records. If a team has a five run lead, for example, you won't see this "closer" in the game. Plus, the closer is only asked to pitch ONE inning, 90% of the time. If your starting pitcher is completely overpowering the opposing team, most managers will take him out and have their closer pitch the ninth inning, even if the starter has only thrown 85 pitches thru 8 innings. Why? Oh, managers will hand you a line of bull like, "I have the gun, why not use it?" or, "I wanted to keep the starter fresh for his next start."  It's all bull.
Two games in a row now, Girardi has pulled a starter who was cruising in the middle of the 7th inning, finishing the inning with one of his set-up guys and then brought in his two big cannons for the 8th & 9th. Both of those starters could have probably pitched a complete game.

2)  Defensive indifference.
This is where the team in the field doesn't hold a runner on at first late in a game where that run won't make any difference. Naturally, the runner takes second but does not get credit for a stolen base. He should. The defending team is spread out a little more to try and prevent a hit even if it puts a runner in scoring position. The team in the field is supposed to try and prevent the hitting team from having any success. If they ignore the runner then there should be some kind of cost to that. That way, they'd have a stolen base charged against them. Baseball is a game dominated by statistics. This "Indifference" rule contaminates those numbers. Doesn't that seem wrong on any level?
There is a story that Thurman Munson manipulated an assist statistic just to further his own cause.  Informed that he trailed his biggest rival, Boston catcher Carlton Fisk, by four assists for the season, Thurman found a way to pad his total. Whenever a pitcher struck a batter out, Munson would intentionally drop the ball and then throw the man out at first. The first baseman got credited with an out, the pitcher got a strikeout and Thurman got his precious assist. After five or six of these "assists," Munson had his lead. What do you call that? Defensive Intention?

3)  The accidental assist.
A batter hits the ball up the middle and the pitcher tics it with his glove. The second baseman catcher the grounder and throws the runner out at first. Both the second baseman AND the pitcher get and assist. Silly. There are times when the pitcher actually needed to slow the ball down for a fielder to make a play, but not always. It doesn't matter, the assist to the pitcher is automatically given. Leave it up to the official scorer to determine if the pitcher should be credited with an assist or not.

4) Is it as hit or an error?
I am constantly amazed at how many times a scorer gives a batter a hit when it seems obvious to me that an error should be charged. I don't care if a ball was "well hit," these are major leaguers. There are only 750 of them on a major league roster out of some 10,000 professional players in the US. They're in the majors because they CAN catch those balls.
I also object to scorers calling pitches 'wild pitches' when they should be passed balls.  In my mind, a wild pitch is one a catcher can't stop or block. Just because it hit the dirt doesn't automatically make it a wild pitch.

Maybe someone my age shouldn't be watching these games. Instead of Chad Picasner, they ought to call me Chad The-Old-Timer.  (For the record, The Sports Curmudgeon was already taken)

The good news.
Guess who is in last place in the AL East? That's right, Boston. Writers may finally be re-evaluating  their opinion of the Red Sox. This came from Ron Borges of the Boston Herald:
"Fortunately for the Sox, the AL East is like a landfill in August when the wind’s blowing just right: It stinks. The good news is that gives the Sox a chance. The bad news is it gives their management an illusion that, “Hey, things aren’t so bad. We’re only four behind the Yankees. So being four out in the AL East is not a sign of life. That’s a delusion shared only by team management and Sox diehards still willing to pay the highest ticket prices in baseball to watch low comedy."

Joe Girardi says that Masahiro Tanaka's next start could be "...anywhere." Let's hope that it isn't Mt. Sinai Hospital.
Buster Olney says that Jeff Loria, owner of the Miami Marlins, should hire Alex Rodriguez as his next manager. All in favor...
For the next three days, the Yankees, champions of the extended ball game, will begin a game on one day and finish the next. They're in Oakland with a 10:05 P.M. start, EDT.

"SNY’s Gary Cohen, during Mets-Bucs on Sunday, noted Pittsburgh starter Francisco Liriano has won Comeback Player of the Year — “twice.” Is that anything like having your appendix put back?"  -- Phil Mushnick
"According to a article, alcohol consumption has been shown to improve the aim of archers. In a related story, Johnny Manziel just bought a bow and arrow."  -- RJ Currie
"Tom Brady and Barry Bonds attended the same California high school. I believe the school's known as The Fighting Asterisks."  -- Brad Dickson
"Breaking news. Swiss Police confirm that, when arrested, all seven FIFA officials threw themselves on the ground and pretended to be injured."  -- Ryan Duca
"Apparently tickets were available for game four of the NBA Eastern Conference finals at a reasonable price since Cleveland fans didn’t seem that interested in showing up. Neither apparently did the Atlanta Hawks."  -- Janice Hough
"Marlins GM Dan Jennings — 2-6 since replacing fired manager Mike Redmond in the Miami dugout — last coached a high-school team in the 1980s. It hasn’t gone unnoticed: Three parents have already called up to complain about their sons’ lack of playing time."  -- Dwight Perry


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