Thursday, July 28, 2016


** Buyers or sellers? 
That's the big question in all the sports columns these days. The writers change their position daily, all depending on whether a team wins or loses that day's game. 
Except, it seems, in New York where the columnists insist they are not fooled by the Yankee's latest winning streak. Sell, sell sell. GM Brian Cashman says he's willing to be overwhelmed so he's just waiting...and waiting...and waiting. So it becomes a poker game: the buyer or the seller. In the end, if a true contending team has a hole they need to fill, they will pull the trigger at the last minute.

** Follow the rules
Mike Scioscia  has filed a protest of Wednesday night's game with Kansas City over a ruling made by home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi. While running to first base, Raul Mondesi was hit in the back by a throw from the LA pitcher. Scioscia claims Mondesi was running outside the lines when he was hit but Cuzzi failed to call the infraction. He said in his judgement, Mondesi was starting to turn into the base and therefore is not out. 
Rule 5.09(a)(11) 
The lines marking the three-foot lane are a part of that lane and a
batter-runner is required to have both feet within the three-foot
lane or on the lines marking the lane. The batter-runner is permitted
to exit the three-foot lane by means of a step, stride,
reach or slide in the immediate vicinity of first base for the sole
purpose of touching first base.

Seems pretty clear cut to me. There is no judgement here. Why does Cuzzi feel he could decide that?

In line with that topic, here's one that always irritates me. Umpires grant a batter timeout whenever he asks, regardless of the situation. There's no judgement here either.
Rule 5.04(b)(2)
Umpires will not call “Time” at the request of the batter or any
member of his team once the pitcher has started his windup or
has come to a set position even though the batter claims “dust
in his eyes,” “steamed glasses,” “didn’t get the sign” or for any
other cause.

It doesn't say that the umpire has discretion here, it says he CANNOT call time.  Just like the players, I'm never going to win an argument with the umpires either.

** Baseball by legislation
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred wants to improve the pace of play so that the length of games becomes more reasonable. I'm all for that. Rather than deal with the real problem, he's trying to skirt the issue with rules changes that make no sense. The latest suggestion is to limit the number of pitching changes in an inning or a game. That would have a major impact on the game. How can you limit a manager from changing the personnel in order to give his team the best chance to win. the manager already has the limitation that a pitcher MUST pitch to at least one batter before he can be replaced. That rule eliminates a lot of stupid moves. 
Speeding up the game should be easy. Keep the batter in the batter's box and the pitchers on the mound and on the rubber. Everybody wanders around like they're playing Pokemon. If your batting glove is loose, tough. Never mind checking the position of the fielders. They know their job, do yours. 
It'll never happen.

** I've got to feed my family after all 
The qualifying offer to MBL free agents will jump to $16.7 million next year. I don't understand all the money they pay these guys anyway, so what's the point?

"The Arizona Diamondbacks concession stands are offering a 3,540-calorie sundae. It has to be towed to the stadium."  -- Brad Dickson
"MMA fighter/boxer Brock Lesnar reportedly failed two PED tests. First clue came when both specimen cups melted."  -- Dwight Perry

"Eagles LB Nigel Bradham was arrested in Miami for aggravated assault; he allegedly beat up a 50 year-old hotel worker who didn’t get his umbrella set up quickly enough. Is Bradham trying to get traded to the 49ers or Cowboys?"  -- Janice Hough
"Charles describes his erratic golf game: “Golf is fun, until you hit somebody in the head.”  -- Charles Barkley
"A 61-year old Brit plans to televise himself getting buried alive on British TV. Here in North America, we simply watch the Atlanta Braves."  -- RJ Currie

"The American Red Cross, saying supplies are running low, is soliciting blood donors. Fortunately, there’s an MMA fight every couple of months."  -- Dwight Perry

"Tim Duncan is stepping aside after 19 seasons. You know what a San Antonio Spurs player calls it when you leave after 19 years? “Early retirement.”  -- Brad Dickson



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