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Author: Subject: MLB Discussion, 2005
mooseheadjack







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posted on 10-10-2005 at 08:55 PM Edit Post
quote:
Originally posted by fsolomon75
Wade fired today.... is Moose ready to take over?

quote:
Ed Wade was fired as general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, team president David Montgomery announced Monday.

"This was a very difficult decision. No one works harder than Ed, and he has served this organization extraordinarily well for over 16 years," Montgomery said. "At the same time, we have not been able to achieve the goals we have set for the Phillies. As a result, I believe we have reached a point where a change is necessary."

A news conference has been scheduled at 4 p.m. ET.

Wade, 49, has failed to lead the Phillies to the playoffs in his eight seasons on the job. Philadelphia finished one game behind NL wild-card winner Houston at 88-74.

The Phillies haven't reached the playoffs since 1993, and have won just one championship (1980) in the franchise's 123-year history.

Wade has two years remaining on his contract and it's unknown whether he'll remain in the organization. Wade was very unpopular in Philadelphia, especially after he hired Charlie Manuel as manager to replace Larry Bowa.

Though the Phillies were in the playoff chase the entire season, fans never really warmed up to them. Attendance at 2-year-old Citizens Bank Park dropped off by almost 600,000, down from 3.25 million in 2004.



Generally I do not take joy in seeing a man lose his job but.......

WHOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOO FUCK YES!!!!

I am sorry, but Wade was just an incompetent tool (and part of the larger part of the problem - the rest of the management is no shining example either) but I hope this can be a step in the right direction. Get someone in here who is more than just a yes man and can actually make some smart baseball moves.

Now, watch, Ruben Amaro Jr will be announced as the new GM and it will be the same old same old





My personal fuck list: 1. Tim Tebow 2. Eli Manning 3. The New York Yankees (except Granderson) 4. LeBron James 5. Kobe Bryant 6. The BCS 7. The SEC 8. the Political Right 9. religion 10. Almost everything the WWE does (happy AJ?)

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LuckyLopez
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posted on 10-10-2005 at 09:19 PM Edit Post
Stat Nerds Get Christmas Early

For those who enjoy this stuff (which I'm finding I'm slowly becoming), baseball-reference.com has updated it stats for '05. For the uniniated Baseball-Reference is basically the bestest stat site there is but it doesn't count stats during the season like ESPN.com, mlb.com, or others do.

AL/NL

I would like to change my AL Cy Young vote.
Johan Santana: 1st in Adjusted ERA+ (153 to Millwood's 143)
2nd in K to BB (5.28 to Carlos Silva's 7.89 and D Wells' 5.10)
1st in Strikeouts per 9 (9.25 to Lackey's 8.57)
1st in WHIP (.971 to Randy's 1.126)

For those saber kids who think of OPS+ as a one stop stat (I not being one of them) the AL MVP of 2005: Travis Hafner. 170 OPS+ to A-Rod's 167 and Ortiz' 161.

Some other interesting (at least to me) things I've seen others bring up on Yankee board...

Mariano Rivera's ERA+ was 323. Compared to past closers who made a bid at the Cy Young Gange's was 335 in '03 and Eckersely's was 606(!) in '90.

NL OPS+
Lee-CHC 177
Pujols-STL 167
Delgado-FLA 161
Cabrera-FLA 151
Giles-SDP 148

AJones-ATL 133

NL ERA+
Clemens-HOU 221
Pettitte-HOU 174
Willis-FLA 153
Carpenter-STL 151
Martinez-NYM 148

Clemens' ERA+ is the 7th best since 1950. Smoltz posted the same numbers this season that he did in '96 when he won the CY.

And because I think I love Billy Beane:
Mark Mulder, 205 IP, 1.59 K/BB, 1.38 WHIP, 117 ERA+, $6,050,000, 27 years old
Dan Haren, 217 IP, 3.08 K/BB, 1.22 WHIP, 120 ERA+, $323,000, 24 years old

And finally, Tony Womack's '05 OPS+? 47. Christian Guzman had a 51. I'm pretty sure Tony's got the award for World Player of the Year.

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fsolomon75
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posted on 10-10-2005 at 09:23 PM Edit Post
Great, how is ERA+ calculated?





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Attitude Adjuster
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posted on 10-10-2005 at 09:33 PM Edit Post
I like the playoff format the way it is, even with the lack of travel days. I wish the one series didnít have two travel days, but TV does rule the game. While Leiterís playoff system worked last year, hereís what would happen this year:

American League
1) White Sox 99-63
2) Yankees 95-67
3) Angels 95-67
4) Boston 95-67
5) Cleveland 93-69
6) Oakland 88-74

Minnesota five games behind Oakland

White Sox and Yankees have the byes.
(3 games) Angels vs. Oakland at Anaheim (winner faces Yankees)
(3 games) Boston vs. Cleveland at Boston (winner faces White Sox)

No playoff chance at all as Cleveland already knows itís in. Oakland, even though thatís my team, doesnít belong in the playoffs, yet cruises through the last weeks of the season rather than fighting the Angels for the AL West title.


National League
1) St. Louis 100-62
2) Atlanta 90-72
3) San Diego 82-80
4) Houston 89-73
5) Philadelphia 88-74
6) Florida/Mets 83-79

Milwaukee two games behind Florida and the Mets.

Florida and Mets have a one-game playoff for the final playoff spot.

St. Louis and Atlanta have byes
(3 games) San Diego vs. Florida/Mets winner in San Diego (winner faces Atlanta)
(3 games) Houston vs. Philadelphia in Houston (winner faces St. Louis)

This is more entertaining that the AL example, but no more entertaining than reality. We had a good wild card chase down to the final day of the season, where here we have a one-game playoff. But again, Florida was self-destructing at the end of the year and the Mets were never competitive. Milwaukee, which I followed this year because I had a five-team best record bet on them (and won), was not a playoff caliber team, especially after the lost Sheets.

Six is too many teams for the playoffs. I fought against the wild card back when it arrived, but now think itís a cool idea. But adding two more teams just waters down the playoffs.

Finally, an extra round would have baseball playing into November. The weatherís ugly, and this is Summerís game. Donít even think about shortening the season. If hockey didnít do it after a year off, no professional sports league will shorten its season. Thereís too much money to be made off season tickets and television packages.





Sting is the dumbest man in wrestling. That's a well established fact. I'd personally find it offensive and out of character if Sting didn't volunteer to do the stupid thing.
--Lucky Lopez

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doublee
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posted on 10-10-2005 at 11:03 PM Edit Post
quote:
Originally posted by mooseheadjack
1) Seeding: Players don't understand why the wild-card team doesn't face the team with the best overall record in the first round, even if that team comes from the same division. Baseball's logic, until now, is that it wouldn't have been right for, say, the 2003 Braves to finish 10 games ahead of the Marlins during the season, then essentially have that entire race wiped out and be sent right back to have to beat Florida again in a best-of-five series. Players, on the other hand, don't see how it was any more reasonable to make the Braves face a Cubs team that was just as formidable.



Stark misses the point entirely as to why baseball set up the wild card system the way it is. The wild card is set up the way it is because back in 1993 the Braves won 104 games edging the Giants for the Western Division by one game. Those two teams had the best two best records in the league and had there been a wild card system in place where the team with the best record, the Braves, played the wild card team, the Giants, then the teams with the two best records in the league would have faced each other in the first round of the playoffs. It is meant to ensure that the teams with the two best records in the league don't face each other in the first round of the playoffs.

Personally, I think they should just re-seed based on record with the division winner always hosting over the wildcard team.





<-- If 'ya ain't down with that Bart's got two words for 'ya...

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LuckyLopez
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posted on 10-11-2005 at 12:16 AM Edit Post
quote:
Originally posted by fsolomon75
Great, how is ERA+ calculated?


Its one of the stats I'm VERY iffy on, both as to its legitimacy and my understanding of it. Basically, its the ERA adjusted against the league average and ballpark factors. Park Factor's another saber stat I'm questionable of but it basically compares home vs road stats to try and determine the difference for any given ballpark. The formula is:

((homeRS + homeRA)/(homeG)) / ((roadRS + roadRA)/(roadG))

ESPN's got a page up showing the park factors for '05 and breaking it down to which parks favor which sort of hit.

ERA+ is then graded, although I have no idea how (I'm sure there some easy link to find to explain it in really big words and complicated formulas). 100 is average, 90 below, 50 horrible, 120 good, 150 awesome.

I'm very iffy on the stat. Saber folks seem to use it as THE key indicator for pitching performance and use OPS+ (which is basically the same idea, league average and park factor adjusted) as the definitive offensive stat. I think there's WAY too much awkward calculations in there to do that. But it does seem like a decent measure, and at the very least when you put it against other people's ERA+ or OPS+ if there's a fatal flaw in it that flaw's probably finding its way into both numbers. So I wouldn't allow either one of those stats to completely change my mind on a subject, but when Clemens is sporting a sick ERA in a band box I know his ERA's even better than it looks, or compared to Willis pitching in a pitcher's park. If ERA+ then tells me that he had the 7th best ERA+ since 1950 I figure that sounds reasonable.

Eh, I'm not a saber dude. And I tend to try and avoid to many of these complicated stats. But I just find this stuff interesting to read and compare to what traditional stats are telling me. Mostly it seems to back them up. Johan Santana had a MUCH better season than it looked. Rivera had one of the best seasons of his Hall of Fame career. Clemens was sick and had one of the best seasons of his Hall of Fame career. Hafner, A-Rod, and Ortiz were the league's most productive hitters. Tony Womack sucks.

I just think its a fun distraction... I used to read mythology in school in the same way. Amusing and interesting, if somewhat flawed, silly, or weird.

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fsolomon75
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posted on 10-11-2005 at 12:40 AM Edit Post
It's definitely a distraction, my friend. I can go with the new stats of WHIP and OPS because you don't need an abacus to figure them out, but when we go with runs scored + runs given up / the league average with the bases loaded during night games, it just gets to be a bit too much. The beauty of baseball to me anyway is that we have stats that hold up for decades and you don't need to preface them with long division. You mention 56, you know it's DiMaggio. For a while, 61 was the magic number in all of sports. Santana had a good year but in the end most voters are going to say he didn't win enough games, same thing with Clemens, even though stats would prove he he was the best pitcher in the NL this season. Voters look for the basic stats - wins, era, strikeouts for pitchers. BA, HR, & RBI for hitters. The sabergeeks don't get to vote, the crusty old sportswriters do. They're the ones who decide if a DH should warrant MVP consideration.





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chretienbabacool
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posted on 10-11-2005 at 04:46 AM Edit Post
YEAH, YEAH, YEAH, YEAH, YEAH THERE IS A GOD IN HEAVEN!

That explosion you hear? That's Steinbrenner.





Go Cubs!

And just imagine if, instead of the Palins, the Obama family had a pregnant, underage daughter on display at their convention, flanked by her black boyfriend who "intends" to marry her. Who among conservatives would have resisted the temptation to speak of "the dysfunction in the black community"?

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bo_knows
And I am AWESOME






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posted on 10-11-2005 at 05:01 AM Edit Post
Woooooooo!!! Yeah!!!!!!

My sympathies to the Yankee fans. The fans on this board are real fans at least. But still, you cheer for evil.

Yeeeeehaw! Go White Sox.





"Between you being naked and Moose washing his ass, I'm in heaven." - fsol

Say what you want about America, thirteen bucks can still get you a hell of a lot of mice.

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fsolomon75
American Dream






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posted on 10-11-2005 at 05:16 AM Edit Post
Sorry Lucky. Believe it or not, I wanted the Yanks to win. I think this game and more importantly, this series cemented ARod as the best (?) cooler in MLB history. A nice 2-15 against Anaheim/LA/California did just the trick. How the fuck do they not win after Colon leaves in the 2nd? Do they just not have that killer instinct they had from 96-01? (Rhetorical question, please don't answer)

Outside of Jeter, it seems to me the other 24 are half-assing it. With egos like ARod, Sheffield and Johnson, does it really surprise anyone they can't get out of the 1st round? And what's Torre thinking leaving an obviously ineffective Mussina out there to give up two more runs while he has Johnson and Leiter ready to pitch to Erstad? Stupid, just stupid.

I hope Cashman can get the hell out of there and go to a place where his decisions are final and not superceded by a maniacal and ego-drived tyrant of an owner.

Sorry again, Lucky. I wish you had a team worthy rooting for.

EDIT - forgot this delicious nugget of irony. If Bernie is in CF instead of Crosby, he doesn't collide with Sheff, leaving him to catch it and keeping the lead.

[Edited on 10-11-2005 by fsolomon75]





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LuckyLopez
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posted on 10-11-2005 at 05:50 AM Edit Post
fsol, first, you're 100% right on the saber stuff. You put it perfectly. The beauty of baseball is in the simplicity. You can make arguements for why numbers in 1920 should differ from numbers in 2004 but its still a simple matter of counting. And I love that. I think we all do. Sabermetricians go overboard. From a scouting perspective, I think its cool because you do what you can to win. From a fan perspective I think it wears on you and at some point we need to just agree on stats we can all understand. OPS+ and ERA+ aren't those. I just think they're interesting to look at for a moment or two.

...

What? Oh yeah... uh. Fuck it. Since April (or even before) I've been saying I don't like this team. 1st and 3rd, 1 out in the 1st and the Yanks failed to score a run. Inexcusable and completely expected from a team that has been one of the worst with RISP. I gotta say, my heart dropped when Santana came into the game. He threw a gem vs the Yanks earlier this season and he's the sort of guy who baffles them. I started to back off that idea when the first 4 batters he faced all got hits, but he did a strong job. Mussina? He is what he is. A guy who can NOT handle changes in his routine at all and he was starting on 5 days rest. That was bad from the get go. He isn't to blame. He contributed, but poor defense and bad situational hitting all played as much if not more of a role.

It is what is. The best team won and I genuinely believe that. Hopefully some good can come from this but I'm not sure. Cashman's gone. I like that because I would love to see what he can do in Washington or somewhere else, but it will hurt the Yanks. Maybe Torre is gone for Pinella? Joe deciding to start Wright on the last day of the season with home field advantange on the line vs Anaheim might factor in there (although I agreed with it). Who knows what comes from offseason moves. I'll lay out my hopes in the Hot Stove thread...

Blah... too much time wasted on a subpar team. That's what the '05 Yanks were. Subpar.

I want a Houston/Chicago World Series. Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens beat Jose Contreras and El Duque and George Steinbrennar loses his mind.

I guess this means the death of Jobu's run...

[Edited on 10-11-2005 by LuckyLopez]

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LuckyLopez
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posted on 10-11-2005 at 06:58 AM Edit Post
From here on out noone should apologize to me or any other Yankee fan for being glad that they lost. Its the fucking Yankees. We're pricks. Anyone who doesn't know why we're the villains needs a lesson in life. They probably had some sort of stunted emotional growth where they were the high school QB or the leader of a clique. We have a $200 M payroll, an evil owner, and a team of pricks, divas, and cheats. Why would anyone be happy we lost?
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fsolomon75
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posted on 10-11-2005 at 12:09 PM Edit Post
quote:
Originally posted by LuckyLopez
Why would anyone be happy we lost?


You mean NOT be happy you lost, right?





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mooseheadjack







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posted on 10-11-2005 at 03:02 PM Edit Post
Well your team losing still sucks, whether they are the greatest feel good story of the year, or insufferable pricks like the Yankees. And more to the point, we pretty much like our Yankees fans on the board (despite them actually being Yankees fans) so we have sympathy for ya. Now if you guys were colossal pricks, then the gloves would be off.





My personal fuck list: 1. Tim Tebow 2. Eli Manning 3. The New York Yankees (except Granderson) 4. LeBron James 5. Kobe Bryant 6. The BCS 7. The SEC 8. the Political Right 9. religion 10. Almost everything the WWE does (happy AJ?)

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fsolomon75
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posted on 10-11-2005 at 03:18 PM Edit Post
If they were the typical myopic Yankee fan like my wife is (still shaking my head), then the gloves would most definitely be off. Lucky and metal are realists and can defend the actions of their team to a degree. That's what separates them from the bandwagoners who still have the tag on their new Yankee hat.

That said, I'm still sorry you lost to a team that worships a fucking monkey. I hate Angels fans, with their thunderstix, their general blaisse attitude toward sports in general and their lack of sports knowledge. Sometimes I really hate living in SoCal... then I look outside and realize it's 70 degrees in October and all is right with the world.





Teh wisdom of MooseheadJack: "tpyos are not going to ruin my day today" and "the only thing carved in stone for the Mets is the look on willie's face"

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Toffile
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posted on 10-11-2005 at 04:30 PM Edit Post
Sigh, Yankees lose...

I wish we put up more of a fight. It didn't seem like anyone was hitting in the series, and I think A-Rod, Sheff, and Hideki had a combined average close to .200.

I'll be going for the White Sox to win it this year from now on...

At least next year doesn't look *too* bad. The starting pitching should be fairly solid with Wang, Randy, Chacon, and Small. (Pavano and Wright..too much money...ugh)

Our infield should be good if Giambi can keep hitting and drawing his walks.

I think the only real issues are who's going to be in center field, and trying to shore up that damn bullpen.






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fsolomon75
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posted on 10-11-2005 at 07:50 PM Edit Post
See ya in the Hot Stove thread Toff....





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fsolomon75
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posted on 10-11-2005 at 11:03 PM Edit Post
Gee, for some reason this headline kills me:
quote:
Ailing Colon left off ALCS roster by Angels






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GimmickMan
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posted on 10-13-2005 at 04:13 AM Edit Post
WOW. That's criminal!!!

Angels get hosed big time. Big time.





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OORick
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posted on 10-13-2005 at 06:40 AM Edit Post
quote:
Originally posted by GimmickMan
Angels get hosed big time. Big time.


No, they did not. The umpires didn't hose the Angels. The Angels' own Josh Paul hosed the Angels.

Well, he maybe did have a little help in terms of the set-up/scenario.... but he's still an Angel, and the Angel who had the ball at the time, so he was at least as culpable as anybody on the field at that time. I'm not sure the Angles got hosed, and even if they did, it wasn't "big time." Cuz that's a play that happens dozens of times per year for any team that has a 162 game schedule, and the Angels' catcher just flat misplayed it.

I speak on this with ironclad, documentable expertise on the issue. Kind of like when Erin Anderson showed up to clue you putzes in on Gymnastics Stuff in the Olympics last year. Well, I assume she's bona fide, anyway.... I haven't seen the trophy case or pictures of her in a leotard, or anything.

But I? Am I card-carrying Baseball Umpire, with plenty of playerss who (if only I knew their phone numbers or e-mail addresses) would be happy to tell you I'm one of the best umpires they were handed during games throughout Southwest Ohio during the years 1994-ish through the present day. I know, given that I only work rec league up through some high school games, that's the same thing as saying I'm "Mr. TNA," but in this case, I assure you: my expertise in this one tiny niche at least matches Mr. AJ Styles' in his.

Let's try to spell this out so everybody can understand (since so far the closest I've seen on TV tonight to the right explanation is John "I'm not an athlete, Dave, I'm a baseball player" Kruk, who didn't quite manage to convey it clearly)....

FACT: the umpire probably missed the call. I actually thought I saw the "change of direction" the ump Stooge Crew talked about in their press conference on FOX's first replay (good lord, does nobody understand basic psychology and the fact that sending the home plate umpire out there with two other guys will only raise suspicion that would NOT be raised if he went out there, alone and without back-up, and just EXPLAINED HIMSELF? Unless the guy's a moron and can't take the heat, that was just retarded). But dismissed that "change of direction" as a trick of the eye. Now, if they're mentioning it, too? I"ll at least leave the option open. [Also of note: the home plate umpire didn't see that play. He couldn't. He was going on Player Reaction and on Sound. The "change of direction" could easily have been the ball hitting some of the glove padding before settling in the pocket of the catcher's glove, in which case, the umpire heard two sounds, and had reason to leave the play open-ended.]

THE *IMPORTANT* FACT: Even if the ump missed the call, it doesn't matter. Because he still left the game in the hands of the players, which is exactly what all sports officials are instructed to do in such scenarios.

And here's where I have to explain how things work, because I'm a guy who believes in the Spirit of the Law over the Letter of the Law, and who thinks that sometimes it's perfectly normal and acceptable to screw up by the Letter of the Law.

Look: when the ump "missed the call," the play was STILL ONGOING. This is EXACTLY how you're supposed to handle that play. Why? Because: if you leave the play open and a runner gets to first successfully, you can always double-check with other umps and stuff and take that runner off the bases if they saw/heard things different from you. But if you just spaz out and call a guy out without seeing/hearing it CLEARLY, there is no mechanism for putting the guy back on first base. No matter how badly you missed the call, no matter if everybody BUT YOU saw a third strike bounce, you can't put the runner on base after you call the guy out at home plate. In matters of uncertainty: you leave all options open and sort it out later, if the situation even needs sorting out (which it doesn't in 99% of cases, because usually the catcher doesn't fuck up this badly).

In short: by leaving the play active, you also leave ALL options open so that you can either allow or disallow the baserunner. This is the correct way to handle a situation in which you don't know with certitude that an out was made.

FACT: the umpire (and I only saw maybe 15 or so at-bats of the game, as I was watching more of the Astros game, and also Veronica Mars, but I still immediately took note of this basic and important thing) clearly never called the batter out, symbolically! He called a third strike. But not the out. Check the footage. Harold Reynolds did, and agreed. But unfortunately, Harold Reynolds also thinks it's still the umpire's fault for having a strike call that kinda looks like an out call. Which is kinda valid, but not really. Because in that rapid-fire of a situation, all that matters is the VERBAL part of the call. Also, for this specific call, there's only two players for whom it matters, and both of them have their backs to the ump, so ALL THEY GET IS THE VERBAL. The other eight players don't matter until after the fact. [For the record: I'm not usually a gregarious sort, but I've had friends come watch me umpire baseball, and they get a kick out of my "mechanics," since I have some pretty sweet signature calls, ESPECIALLY on strike-outs.]

FACT: the verbal part of the call was, until somebody says different, "Swing and a miss, Strike Three." The batter (who is also the opposing catcher, and is as familiar as anybody on that field with the umpire's cadance and calls) knew it and ran. He said so in his interviews; the opposing catcher's interviews never address this issue or deny the umpire's claim of his verbal call. Till I hear otherwise, the umpire did what I would have done: he said, "Strike Three," but not "Batter's out."

FACT: when the batter was not verbally called out, the Angels' catcher had ample time (literally seconds) in which he could have just reached up and tagged the batter. This is, in fact, standard procedure by catchers. Even on plays not even as close as this one. Catchers, if they think there will be any confusion, reach up and tag the batter before anything can happen. Because they know the home plate umpire can't SEE the play, and will leave things open if there's any doubt, and they'll just say "Let me help you out, Blue, I'll tag him and put an end to any doubt." Even if the batter eventually takes off (as the White Sox Guy Whose Name I Can't Spell Off The Top Of My Head Did), you have about eight months in which to gently toss the ball down to first base to get the out that way.

FACT: the Angels catcher just ignored what was going on around him and flipped the ball back to the mound AFTER the White Sox batter had started running. In a post-game interview, he outright lied and said he immediately flipped the ball back, and was already "on the dugout steps" before he even realized there was a controversy. Check the footage: he never made it halfway back to the dugout, because he flipped the ball away with the runner one-third to first base and then almost immediately started arguing about it.

FACT: the home plate umpire -- who as I've said, probalby missed the call -- should have asked for help sooner. Or if another umpire saw things more clearly, he should have spoken up sooner. This did not happen. And if it happened because nobody saw the play clearly, that's too bad: but as outline in the past few "FACTS," it's also not the defining characteristic of the play.

SYNTHESIS: Josh Paul is the only one to blame for the Angels loss. Which sucks, since once he came up a few years ago, I took to enjoying the fact that his name reminded me of the Pope. The White Sox catcher paid attention after he swung and missed at a shitty pitch (almost) in the dirt, heard the home playe umpire's call and thought he might be able eligible to take a base, so he ran; the Angel's catcher heard the same thing, and just tossed the ball away like a moron.

Look: in all the fabricated controversy, what nobody has yet brought up is that Josh Paul is the third-string catcher on the Angels. While Catchers are generally the smartest players on the field (I don't just say that because I played baseball, was smart, couldn't hit, had a decent arm, and thus, became a decent catcher; just look at how many current baseball managers are ex-catchers versus ex-any-other-position), once you get down to third-string, you do not have your best option out there. From what I saw in post-game interviews, Josh Paul is a liar (stretching the truth to defend himself), and also didn't exactly seem a sparkling intellect.

To my extreme amusement: another former catcher took Josh Paul's side. FOX's Tim McCarver said, "See, as soon as he flips the ball back to the mound, that means he knew he caught it, and so the inning should be over." NO~! And this is exactly why Dumb Fuck McCarver should be taken off TV immediately. As a catcher, he should know the dynamic that goes into that play. Even in local rec leagues, I get it 4-5 times a year, and even 9th grade catchers know to slap a tag on a batter if the ball ALMOST bounced. Instead of saying "Good lord, Josh Paul, as a former catcher, I know to at least exercise basic fundamentals and tag the guy quickly before flipping the ball," McCarver comes off like a moron who's never played a game of baseball in his life. Which he might not have. He was before my time, and I'm just taking his word for it. Fucking FOX and their Fucking Announcers: making "inventing bad controversy" a priority over "explaining good baseball." I hate them.

A much more telling reaction from a Catcher: Angels Manager (and former member of Monty Burns' softball team) Mike Scioscia is one of those former Smart Catchers (no third stringer and dubious mind is he) who made it to the ranks of Manager. And in post game interviews I saw, he admitted he thought the call was blown (and he's probably right). But he also said that it's not the reason the Angels lost the game. And he's also right about that.

He spewed out a few other bland pleasantries about the White Sox outplaying them, but I really assume that once he gets a chance, he's going to sit down with his third string catcher and say, "You know what, Potsie? You fucked up." Maybe not in so many words, but I think his ability to play it so cool after the game means he knows that all the home plate umpire did was what he was SUPPOSED to do (and that maybe the other umpires didn't get a clean look at a very close play like he wished they could have)... all while his catcher failed to pay attention to what was going on and basically let the runner reach first base despite having two separate opportunities and avenues for stopping him from doing so even AFTER the ump "missed the call."

There are missed calls that really are incorrectable and punishable. The Royals/Cards 1st base safe/out call I remember from 3rd grade or so is one of them. But this is a deal where the call made on the field was done exactly by the book, was exactly what SHOULD have been done, and the players should have -- at that point -- taken the game into their own hands. Instead, catcher Josh Paul says, "I'm a clueless putz who is going to cost his team a game." Whoopsie, Pope.

I honestly have a better case saying that "runner's lane" call on a dropped third strike in Game 5 of the Yankees/Angels game cost MY team the game than Angels fans have saying that the umpires stopped them from taking that game to extra innings (where, by the way, I kinda thought they were gonna lose, anyway; the Sox had their full bullpen still available, whereas the Angels were already down to basically no realiable pitchers but their closer).

So please: don't believe the hype. There is no controversy. Well, OK: there is. But not that big of one. It'd be more accurate to say there was a mild abberation. But the Angels (specifically their ass-hatted third-string catcher who's head just wasn't in the game) still lost this game. Not the umpires.


Rick






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fsolomon75
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posted on 10-13-2005 at 05:25 PM Edit Post
Thank you webmaster - if a Molina brother was in the game, he would have thrown to first to end the inning, period. Paul fucked up good and proper and he knows it.





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jstark23
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posted on 10-14-2005 at 11:27 PM Edit Post
I've been reading Rick from the NFD days, and have never posted, but I must applaud his synopsis of the nontroversy that is... I've worked baseball all the way to a major d-1 conference and I don't think I could have broken it down any better
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dragonmak
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posted on 10-15-2005 at 01:32 AM Edit Post
Does anyone else find it sad that the ump who made controversial call last game gets his own 2 man security detail.

Hell, at least last year during New York- Boston ALCS they got the whole freaken police squad in riot gear. But two guys (without riot gear) for an ump just seems unfair.





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doublee
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posted on 10-15-2005 at 01:52 AM Edit Post
Actually, I find it even sadder that the media is still milking this whole thing. Get over it already. I think that one play has been analyzed more than the Zapruder film.





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PyroFalkon
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posted on 10-15-2005 at 02:40 PM Edit Post
Rick is perfectly right on his synopsis. As a baseball umpire myself, one of the things were trained to do in that situation is to watch our umpire partner and listen more than use our eyes. And he's right, even 7th and 8th grade coaches are smart enough to teach their catchers "tag whenever it's close." At worst, it wastes a half-second of everyone's time.

What the umpire did is such standard practice that football officials (of which I'm one too) are trained for throwing flags first, and asking questions second. A few days ago literally I had a game where I was the referee (the one behind the offense), and I miscounted players, though there were 12 on the field. So I threw my flag, we let the play go off as that penalty dictates, and once it was over, I recounted quickly. Turns out there were only 11, so I picked the flag up and waved it off. No harm, no foul, quite literally.

The coverage of this has been a little dumb, to be sure, but it hasn't been as bad as Rick said it was. At least ESPN's Pardon The Interruption on Thursday covered it pretty well. The Friday edition wasn't so good, as the hosts for some reason forgot Thursday's discussion and failed to remember that a closed fist in baseball doesn't NECESSARILY mean "out," that it could mean strike three.

Personally, I have a special signal I give for an out on a swing and miss third strike, just like the ump in question did. If I know for a fact that the catcher caught his third strike, I cross my body with my left arm and give a balled right fist in the air. (Basically, that's exactly how rule books SHOW the signal should be done, even though absolutely no umpire does it.) Otherwise, if the strike is a no-swing strike, or a strike three that hit the dirt, I have my right arm extended out to my side, my hand flat, and my left arm limp. Coaches who are used to me know the difference, and I verbalize "You're out" when necessary to avoid any confusion for the batter and catcher.

All in all, I think that for as much "controversy" as the decision created, it LOOKS like the country isn't quite going insane as I thought it would. There seems to a very vocal section that understands that missed close calls do not necessarily mean a given umpire is a bad one. Every official in every sport has missed calls in his lifetime, simply because they're human... I'm honestly surprised members of the media have actually accepted that this time around.

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