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« TBS' "He's a Lady": uh, yeah | Main | Terrorists for Bush »

October 19, 2004

Comments

Kevin Jon Heller

I think we can give Torre the benefit of the doubt on the second call -- unlike Francona, he was not in a good position to see what actually happened. But I agree that protesting the obvious, obvious, obvious home run -- Matsui even slowed down! -- was a classless move.

Go Sox!

Tung Yin

I think we can give Torre the benefit of the doubt on the second call

Hey, I'm entitled to be immoderate and unreasonable, and I choose to be on this!

Seriously, when all six umpires have conferred and the majority have agreed that A-Rod should be called out, what exactly does Torre think he can accomplish? It's kind of like after the Supreme Court rules against you, you harangue the Justices!

David

During the radio broadcast, the announcers were discussing the Bellhorn homer; they indicated that when they got together to discuss it, they would not overturn the call unless one of the other umps was so adamant that the call was wrong. I suspect both times the umps said "I lost sight of the play, had to make a call. Anyone else see it better?"

And that was the right thing to do. A decision had to be made, allow the play to continue, and sort it out after. It would have been a disaster if the 1st base ump, clearly blocked by Mienkevkzzzzz, had started looking around to home, right or 2nd to see if anyone saw it better than he. Make the call, correct it later. Commendable actions by the umps.

Go Sox!!

tom

I was shocked that none of the announcers calling the game asked if that was Jeffrey Maier wearing the blue sweatshirt on the Bellhorn home run.

I can't imagine how those players feel. I'm beat and I'm just sitting on my butt watching it.

Mark

As someone who's lived in Manhattan and has attended countless Yankees playoff games, I don't think I can comment here without appearing biased. However, let me make two points:

1. Since when do umpires have the ability to confer and reverse a call? This isn't the NFL, where there is a review booth with 30-seconds of videotape at the umpire's disposal. The initial call should stand, even if such a call is wrong -- just like it has in the 100 years of baseball played before last night. If I were Torre (who is universally noted as one of the classiest persons in baseball) I'd be upset, too.

2. Why can't a baserunner attempt to dislodge a ball from an infielder when he is running to first base when he is taught to do so when taking a hard slide into second base or home plate? This makes no sense.

I commend the Red Sox on an improbable three-game run, but I sincerely hope it ends tonight. LET'S go YANK-ees!

Milbarge

I agree that Torre didn't have a leg to stand on here, but I'm inclined to give him a pass, based on the "unwritten rules." I think this is less like harranguing the Justices than filing a petition for rehearing. Yes, it's useless, bordering on frivolous, but the manager has to look like he's fighting for his players. We see the same thing in the NFL a lot when a coach asks for a replay of a clear call because a player whines about the result. The coach/manager needs to act as if he'll take his player's side against the refs/umps.

My Dad was a high school football and baseball coach for fifteen years, and he always told his players never to argue a call; that was his job as their advocate. If a player knows the manager won't be coming out of the dugout on calls like these, the player is more likely to fight the battle himself. This not only risks ejection, but also mental boners like Chuck Knoblauch's protests over a call a few years ago that allowed runs to score.

I'll also note that Torre at least was reasonable about it. He didn't throw a fit like Lou Pinella or Billy Martin would. I would be more critical of him if he acted like a baby with no justification. But I'm willing to overlook his pro forma protest here. Still, GO SOX!

Milbarge

To reply to Mark:
1. This was no different than the home plate ump checking with the first/third base ump to see if a batter went around on a check-swing. It's perfectly permissible for umps to confer on calls when the ump responsible for the call was out of position or didn't see what happened. It's a far cry from using reply, which the rules don't allow for and the umps last night didn't do.

2. The baserunner may be taught to take out the pivot man in a double play situation, but it's still technically interference. The rules of baseball (#2.00) defines "offensive interference" as "an act by the team at bat which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play." The rules don't even require that the runner touch the fielder (or even intend to interfere), but batting the ball from a fielder's hands is the classic example of interference. See also

Milbarge

...oops, I lost some of that last one. The gist was that Rule 7.08 deals with this. Breaking up the double play falls within an exception for when the runner is going for the base when he hinders the fielder; it's a judgment call, and historical practice allows a lot of leeway for runners. But that simply isn't the case with intentionally batting the ball from a fielder's mitt. That's always an out.

Tung Yin

Milbarge: Yes, it's useless, bordering on frivolous, but the manager has to look like he's fighting for his players.

Fair enough, and baseball is not litigation. Still, lawyers are prone to want to show their clients that they are "fighting" for them (the clients), yet we don't accept that as an excuse.

Mark

I understand the need for an offensive interference rule, but I still see very little difference between what A-Rod did and when a player bowls over the catcher on his way to home plate in the attempt to dislodge the ball from the catcher's mitt. If anything, we should apply the rule consistently to both situtations.

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