Monthly Archives: July 2011

Umpire makes Really Bad Call……or Does He?

Wow!  Take a look at this.  You won’t believe it.  This makes that Jim Jarvis call on the Armando Galarraga play look like play-doh!   Unfortunately, it’s another reason for the instant replay pundits to continue beating their drums.   I’m not a fan of instant replay, but I have to admit I sometimes wonder if maybe Selig might, just once in a while, override a call.  You know, like maybe once or twice a year? 

The call was made by umpire Jerry Meals during the 19th Inning of the Atlanta Braves vs Pittsburgh Pirates game last night, giving Atlanta the win by a score of 4-3. The Braves’ runner, Julio Lugo, was clearly out as seen in the video and appears to be as surprised as the catcher was at the call.  I guess Jerry Meals wanted to go back to his hotel room and either sleep or eat a meal since it was already 2am in Atlanta.

The blog title’s a little skewed since I’m sure the runner thought the umpire made a fabulous call as did a lot of the  Braves fans.  It depends a lot on your perspective, doesn’t it?  Videos and some of the commentary  provided from D’Wizzle’s World, a Yardbarker network.

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Baseball Memorabilia …..Is it Really? How Can You Tell?

Right off let me tell you I’m a collector.  I collect anything baseball mostly for my personal enjoyment and for posterity and  I’ve never sold anything from my  collection.

I subscribe to periodicals that give me a rough idea of what the value of a particular card or item might be, but the only way you can really determine FMV is to sell it which I have no intention of doing.  Occasionally, when I feel I have a special card I’ll send it to Beckett to have it graded, only to find it’s not as special as I thought it was.

One such card was actually a Hockey card ~ a  1979 O-Pee-Chee #18Wayne Gretzky card that had recently sold for over $60,000 on Ebay.   I planned on selling this item and I’d already mentally taken a world cruise with the proceeds from this special Gretzky prize, the best card in my collection of over 75,000 cards.  Imagine my surprise when Beckett returned the card to me not only ungraded but with a notation of “Questionable Authenticity”.  In other words, it was a fake!

I’d paid good money for the card which was purchased from another collector I knew personally.  My first inclination was to contact the guy and ask for my money back.  In reality, I’m sure he bought it with the same expectations I had, totally unaware.   I had no idea what I was buying, no experience and no knowledge in the area of collectibles, and neither did he.  Continue reading

Baseball Stats ….. Traditional vs Sabermetrics.

A few months ago I signed up for the Annual SABR conference in Long Beach.  I wanted to learn about Sabermetrics,  the science of analyzing baseball  in unorthodox ways,  at least when compared with traditional “see ball, hit ball, run” stats. The term is derived from  SABR, which stands for the Society for American Baseball Research.

After reading everything I could get my hands on about the subject, I found this great  Sully video (what would we do without him?) and discovered everything I need to know about Sabermetrics, which is, I don’t need to know anything.

A few days ago a fellow BBA Blogger, Bryan O’Connor, wrote a post that relates to this very subject.  I had to save and read later, because I couldn’t understand it.  Here, see how you do with it ~ Bumgarnering Around …..

Wow!  How confusing is this stuff?  I jotted down a few abbreviations; WAR, OPS, VORP, OBP, OPS Plus, bWAR.  Good grief!  This game is confusing enough.  Don’t confuse me with facts and details.  Just give me a score card and a pencil and let the games begin!

Mistrial Declared in Roger Clemens Case!

Clemens leaving courthouse today!

Wow!  Talk about change of events.  Take a look at this report from Craig Calcaterra’s blog just a few minutes ago.   The Twitter report he refers to is really interesting and is reported in real time.  Fascinating stuff in this day of electronics.

“UPDATE: On day two of what was supposed to be a long, arduous criminal trial of Roger Clemens, the judge has declared a mistrial. It’s over. For now anyway.  A hearing has been set for September 2nd when the entirety of the case will be revisited, but now everyone goes home.

The judge was plain as day when he ordered a mistrial. He said “it was caused by the government.”  How so: the government played a video in which the affidavit of Andy Pettitte’s wife was read, in she said she remembered Pettitte telling her that Clemens had admitted using steroids. The judge had specifically forbade them to play this video because the testimony was inadmissible as about 18 layers of hearsay.  That was a serious transgression. Inexcusable, really, and could have been caused by only (a) extreme incompetence; or (b) contempt for the judges’ order.

The prosecution will likely continue to pursue this case when the matter is revisited in September.  But at this point, between the Bonds’ acquittal and this blunder, I suspect that the fates are trying to tell the government something about the wisdom of pursuing high-profile perjury prosecutions regarding professional athletes and steroids.

UPDATE II:  If you’d like to see an excellent real-time account of what happened, go to Les Carpenter’s Twitter feed here, scroll down to the tweet that begins “Judge Walton is checking his Blackberry,” and read up.  Fantastic reporting by Carpenter. Totally captures how Twitter can be used in reporting this kind of story.

11:26 AM: Roger Clemens’ lawyer, Rusty Hardin, has moved for a mistrial.  And this just isn’t a case of Rusty being Rusty: the judge said that he will probably grant the request, ending this trial before it truly began.

Reports are still preliminary, but apparently the prosecution played a video to the jury with Andy Pettitte’s former testimony on it. Testimony that the judge has already ruled was inadmissible in this case. Hardin went crazy — you can’t practically ask a jury to disregard something they’ve heard, even though it happens often — and according to those in the courtroom, the judge had no small amount of sympathy for Hardin’s position.  Which he should, because such conduct by the prosecution is, quite frankly, inexcusable and is terribly prejudicial to the defendant.

There’s a recess going on now while the judge considers the mistrial motion.  If he declares a mistrial, we start all over again.  Likely many months from now.”

 

All Star Game ….. Tongue-in-Cheek Moments!

The National League won the annual All Star Game tonight  for the second year in a row  by a  score of 5-1, giving home field advantage in the 2011 World Series to  the National League.  Here’s a few of my favorite moments ~

Adrian Gonzalez from the American League All Stars hit a home run off Cliff Lee to start the scoring that presented a sort of deja vu in my mind like “oh boy, here we go again!”  Last year was the first time the National League had won in over 13 years finally beating the American League winning streak and I thought for sure the American League was on their way to starting a new streak. 

But Prince Fielder blasted a three run homer  that contributed to the final score and gave the National League their second All Star victory in a row.  

One of the more hilarious moments in the game came when Heath Bell was called in from the bullpen and instead of jogging onto the field as a relief pitcher usually does, he decided to “run fast, really fast” to the pitcher’s mound arriving with a slide at the mound and ending up at the feet of Manager Bruce Bochy.  Pablo Sandoval who was also standing on the mound at the time couldn’t contain his laughter like others around him, but not a smidgeon of a smile could be seen on Bochy’s face, at least not from my point of view from the couch.  

Too funny was the replay of the momentous jog to the mound showing the TV camera man running behind Bell as fast as he could trying to keep up, but eventually gave it up as Bell out sprinted him by ….. a lot!   Brian Wilson, the illustrious SF Giants closer made an appearance, beard and all, and, of course, closed out the game.

Did I mention how much I missed Derek Jeter?  Derek you’ve probably heard was too tired, exhausted was the word he used, to play in the game.   Last I heard he was seen having a good time dining at a Miami restaurant today with his girlfriend, not that there’s anything wrong with that.  But since Jeter was “selected” as an All Star, he’ll be receiving a $500,000 bonus as part of his contract.  I just think it would have been a nice gesture if  he would have at least attended the game for his fans who, after all, are the ones paying the tab.  But that’s just my opinion.   And I’m sure he  really was exhausted after the fantastic week he’d had with that 3000th hit and 5 for 5 game.  Okay, well maybe next year.  Baseball fans have an incredible tolerance for their perceived heroes and I’m sure they’ll be there waiting for him  again unless he decides to grace them with his appearance.   Nice job if you can get it.

All in all I felt it was one of the better All Star games.   Probably because in spite of the 16 original contestants who were selected and couldn’t or wouldn’t be  there, the ones who wanted to be there, were there.

We Have A Winner ….. Again ….. Seriously!

When I announced our little contest a month ago on June 4th, I never imagined it would be so difficult to give away two tickets to a Major League Baseball game!   But here’s how the events of this past month have evolved:

The original winner, Chris Kompst, from Kihei, HI, declined to accept and sent us a very nice email, which I’ll share with you here with his permission:

“Wow!  I”ve never won anything in a contest before.  My son and I are Angels fans, but we live in Kihei on the island of Maui in Hawaii.  My regret is that we won’t get to the mainland to see a game during the season, so can you pass the tickets on to someone who can use them? You have my permission to release the information in your blog.  Keep up the good work and thank you.    Chris Kompst,   Kihei, Hawaii”

So another name was drawn and after seven days there was no response.   Then a third name was drawn, and after another seven days with no response a fourth name was drawn.  And this time we hit the jackpot.

AT&T Park Main Entrance

The winner is David Wing from Three Rivers, Michigan.  Dave’s  a Detroit Tigers fan, but since he’ll be vacationing in California towards the end of this month, he requested tickets to the July 19th San Francisco Giants -Los Angeles Dodgers game  at AT&T Park.   David’s now in receipt of his tickets and we wish him a wonderful time at the ballpark!   Thanks for being a loyal subscriber to Garlicfriesandball’s Blog David.  It wouldn’t mean a thing without you!

And that goes for all of you!   This was fun!   We’ll do it again when we reach another milestone!    Happy All Star Break everyone!

Dodger Fans ….. On Saving the American Flag!

Happy 4th of July!

This YouTube video was uploaded by giramino on Jun 10, 2008, and this is an excerpt from the comment that was posted with the video:

“On April 25, 1976 at Dodger Stadium, Rick Monday of the Chicago Cubs, grabbed and secured the American flag from two individuals as they were attempting to burn our flag in the middle of the playing field. It was an outstanding display of American Patriotism.”

I particularly liked that this incident took place at Dodger Stadium, because it’s been in the news lately as being maybe not such a great place to attend a ball game.  But great fans are everywhere including Dodger Stadium and little things like God Bless America, sung  by the home team fans, the Dodger fans,after the incident, is symbolic of baseball fans in every stadium.  And even though this happened over 35 years ago, it’s a reminder that patriotism is alive and well in the USA.   Happy 4th of July everyone!