Nothing New about the “New Slide Rule”.

The basic premise of this rule has always been in effect.  They just didn’t use it.  It was always up to the umpires, but rather than getting out of their comfort zone, they chose to ignore it.  Really, just the name “Takeout Slides” defines the action.   It doesn’t always have to do with Chinese food or pizza.   Takeout in this context meaning;  “To cause to die; kill or destroy”.

umpire im thinking cartoon image

“I’m Thinking, I’m Thinking”

I don’t know.  I’m just saying the umpire is supposed to have total charge of the game.  In the Buster Posey-Darrell Cousins home plate slide, the umpire, who was standing directly over the play at the time it happened, even had the gall to rule the runner safe (which he was not).  Replay photos showed that Cousins plowed out of the baseline directly at Posey, who was standing out of the baseline and not on home plate, attempting to dislodge the ball from Posey, who never had the ball in the first place.  Posey was injured and out for the rest of the season, and this game was in April so it was a big deal!

This happened a lot.  Sure would be nice if some of these umpires would have stepped up to the plate (no pun intended) and said something like “No More! This ain’t gonna happen on my watch,” like the NFL did when they made it illegal to spear with their helmets, with no intentional blows to the head.

And now they’re calling it the Chase Utley Rule.  Yah – let’s keep Utley’s name alive and well for the glorious honor of breaking a guy’s leg with an illegal play. How about naming it the  “Ruben Tejada Rule, Marco Scutaro, Buster Posey, Ray Fosse  or the Willie Randolph Rule for the injured player instead of naming it for the guy who intentionally and maliciously attacked and injured a fellow ballplayer who was just trying to do his job?

The rule’s always been there.  The only thing that’s changed is the  instant replay part and a penalty that the runner and hitter are both out.  Here’s an idea!  Let’s leave the penalty in and add another …. like, automatically throwing the perpetrator out of the game.  Twice, and he’s out for the rest of the season.

scales of justiceBack in 2006, the Supreme Court of California ruled that baseball players in California  assume the risk of being hit by baseballs, even if the balls were intentionally thrown so as to cause injury.  The powers-that-be over at Major League Baseball must not have heard about this one, or we’d have to wait for another broken leg or two to get some action.

While writing this, I borrowed some excerpts from my post back  in February, 2014, “Revisiting the Posey Play – OR – Getting the Umpire out of his Comfort Zone.”   

 

 

Wanna be a MLB Pitcher?

Jake Smith, San Jose Giants Pitcher

Jake Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

So you wanna be a MLB pitcher. Sometimes you just have to start from the ground up. Literally. Here’s a truly inspirational story that will warm the heart of any youngster with his dreams in the baseball clouds. Written by one of my favorite sportswriters, Andrew Baggarly, or “Baggs” as he’s fondly called, this one’s about a minor league groundskeeper who just wanted to be part of the show, or at least near it. His name’s Jake Smith and you can’t tell me every SF Giants fan in the country won’t be crossing fingers and toes hoping he’ll make it big-time. Maybe they’ll make a movie about him some day, but for now he’s perfectly content to be assigned to a SF Giants farm team, where ever that might be.  Somewhere.  I mean, Jake Smith? Really? Sure sounds like a ballplayer name to me.

Credits to San Jose Mercury News and Andrew Baggarly.

A Cinderella story: Meet Giants prospect (and former groundskeeper) Jake Smith

 

Baseball Stats ….. Traditional vs Sabermetrics.

Getting ansy for baseball and it’s only February. I was browsing through some of my old posts and this was one of the more popular ones, and one of my favorites, probably because it’s still relevant. “Moneyball” came out two months after this post. I kind of thought I inspired the movie until I found out it was a book before it was a movie.

Garlicfriesandbaseball's Blog

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…

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Loving Baseball … And No, Not Just Because it’s Valentine’s Day.

Report from 2012 ~ always relevant!

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It’s Valentine’s Day and I found the perfect little ditty to share with you.  I found it in all places in a teen magazine called,  “Teen Ink”.  Here’s an excerpt from the article:

For the Love of Baseball”  by Joyce, Monterey Park, CA.

We don’t just love baseball, don’t just watch baseball, don’t just talk about baseball – we live baseball and our team’s every season, every game, every inning, and every pitch. We cheer on the rookies and bow down to the retiring heroes. We drive home anxiously from work or school to catch the first pitch and stay up late to savor the closing of a great game. We feel the agony of errors, wild pitches, and blown saves. We argue balls, strikes, and close plays.

We understand and can distinguish between double plays such as the 6-4-3 and the 5-4-3. We appreciate a sacrifice bunt/hit to…

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“BACK TO BASEBALL!”

BACK TO BASEBALL SPRIG EDITION

Here’s something new from our Sounds of Baseball partner.  It was  contributed by Alan Babbitt.  Just in time for spring training, the song evokes the sublime feelings of the sights, sounds and feelings of childhood baseball memories. And, like Alan says, “Kinda gets you hankering for a good hot dog”.

 

To whet your appetite, here’s what he says about the original “Back to Baseball”:

“This song tells the true story of a boy growing up in Brooklyn in the 1950’s. It’s about the joy of 1st love and the heartbreak of losing it. And it’s about reflection, renewal and redemption. It’s even got a humorous, surprise ending!

Oh, yeah, it’s also about Baseball.”

Want more?  Go to Alan’s website:  https://alanbabbittmusic.bandcamp.com/track/back-to-baseball

WHAT’S THAT YOU SAY?

A Bluefoot Entertainment Production, www.bluefoot.tv

I found this as a text document, thinking Dustin Pedroia actually wrote it.  But a little research found it’s a New Balance commercial published in 2011, and I thought you might enjoy it.  Inspirational huh?  For everyone, but especially for the little guys, the kids.  And aren’t they really what it’s all about?

Here’s the text from the “Sounds of Baseball” Twitter page:

  • Tell me I’m five foot nothing.
  • Tell me I’ll be nothing.
  • Tell me I’m just a nice story.
  • Tell me my first year was a fluke.
  • My second year was a fluke.
  • Pedroia with Boston
  • That I’m a sentimental All-Star.  Three Times.
  • Tell me that someone is better.
  • That someone else works harder.
  • That baseball players aren’t warriors.
  • Tell me an athlete can’t make a difference.
  • How precious my time is.
  • Tell us what we can’t do.
  • Tell us who we can’t be.

        One of us is gonna be right.

 

 

 

 

 

FALLING DOWN ON THE JOB …

Those Classy Cards

Opening Day at AT&T Park

Not literally.  I’ve been on sort of a hiatus these past few months and now itching for spring training, opening day, first pitch, the crack of the bat and baseball season in general.  But to be perfectly honest I feel like I’ve been cheating a little here.

I live in the Bay Area and right now there’s something going on that’s taken hold of me and thousands of other non-assuming, “never-wanted-to-be fans-in-the-first-place” fans who’ve been taken off guard, no pun intended.  It’s called Warrior Mania and it’s not just about the phenom Steph Curry.  Never in a hundred years would I have thought I could sit through an entire pro basketball game.  High school, yes, because I was a mom and I had to. But the Pro’s?  Forget it.  Run up court, shoot, make it.  Run down court, shoot make it, and on and on.  Boring.

But my grandson Jake, who recently completed his tour of duty in the USMC, is a huge Trailblazer fan.  Our commonality has always been sports, mostly college football, some baseball, but sports in general.  We took a 10 day baseball trip with Diamond Baseball Tours back in 2004.  What a fantastic experience.  I’d recommend it to anyone.  But I digress.

A few months ago I was surfing channels, looking for the Trailblazer game on the telly so I could carry on a decent conversation with Jake.  Didn’t find it, but instead happened upon the last 3 minutes of a Golden State Warrior game.  The Warriors were behind by 12 or so, but this short little pip squeak (that’s what he looked like compared to all the big guys) scored two 3 pointers and a few more and they ended up winning the game…….it was shocking this huge rush of adrenaline I experienced!  It was exciting and all of a sudden I understood what steph curry 1basketball fans have always known.  There’s life after baseball.  Not exactly the same.  But I’ll tell you this.  Friday night when Steph Curry took that 50 foot shot from half-court with 1 second left on the clock before halftime and the ball didn’t even touch the top of the net but instead swished through that little piece of net on the bottom, I was baptized into the world of professional basketball.  Hallelujah!

38. Dog with teethI let out a spontaneous holler that scared the hell out of my little dog.  I’ve only had him for five months so I may have to put him on Benadryl when baseball season starts.  Or put a sock in my mouth.

So I’m back.  I’ve missed writing.  I’ve been reading a lot about the National League DH issue and can’t wait to get my hands dirty again!