Tag Archives: Baseball field

Revisiting the Posey Play ~ OR ~ Getting the Umpire out of his Comfort Zone!

Here it is again for the 1,000th time. Photo courtesy of Google Images.

This is my response to the TAKEOUT SLIDES ruling that has been approved by Major League Baseball and is a repost of a blog I wrote on February 23, 2012.

The basic premise of this ruling has always been in effect ~ they just weren’t using it. I’m disappointed MLB didn’t take it further and impose more severe personal penalties on the player such as automatic ejection from the game. The NFL and NBA have this built into some of their penalties and it certainly hasn’t hurt the game.

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The only reason I’m bringing this up again is because Calcaterra over at Hardball Talk said Posey was told to “stop” blocking the plate.   This implies that Posey “was” blocking the plate, which he was not as the photo above clearly shows.  The runner intentionally left the baseline with a spectacular charge  aimed directly towards the catcher with no intention of getting to the home plate.  The runner, Scott Cousins,  said later his intention was to dislodge the ball~ which he could not, because Buster never had it.

But here’s what’s really amazing about this photo.   Notice the umpire.  No one  had a better birds-eye view than this umpire, standing steadfast and staring intently at the play as it was happening and boom!  Crash!  Bam! Slam!   The play’s over and the umpire calls the runner safe, run counts,  and the catcher is lying mortally wounded* (defined below) on the field.  What the heck was he thinking?  The umpire I mean.

Somehow it seems reasonable that MLB Rule 7.08 (b) could be construed to somehow apply in this situation.  A good attorney could probably make it work.  I don’t know.  I’m just saying the umpire has total charge of the game.   And in this case I  think he let this one get by.  Too bad.  Would have been a real feather in his cap if he’d stepped up to the plate (no pun intended) took a stand 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.

Who knows?  An umpire taking a stand.  Might have changed the game forever.  He has the authority to do that you know. Baseball needs a little cleaning up.   It’s not just bulldozing the catcher at the plate that can get really nasty, but what about all those pitches thrown at the batter’s head, back, arm, foot, leg in retaliation for some stupid reason (there are hundreds of them) that everyone knows about, including the umpires.  They all know what’s going on.  It’s extremely rare that a pitcher gets thrown out of a game for hitting or trying to hit a batter, even though it happens regularly.  And if a pitcher does happen to be ejected for intentionally hitting a batter the minimum fine is a whopping $200! (MLB Rule 8.02)  Can you believe it?  Who makes these rules.  I mean a batter could get killed, and has, from one of those bean balls.

“The Scales of Justice”

Here in the land of fruits and nuts according to Wikipedia, “on April 6, 2006, in a case arising from a game involving community college baseball teams, 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.” So I guess the message is  if you’ve got the moxie to do it, do it in California.

You might notice I’ve not once tried to blame any of  this on Scott Cousins (see my June 4, 2011 post).  Scott was doing what he was trained to do which is to do everything he can to win. And he did.

“I’m thinking, I’m thinking”

No, this is something that falls on the  Major League Umpires Association.  They’re the only ones who can get this violent aspect of the game  under control and they don’t need any rule changes to do it.   If they’d start bouncing players out of the game when they resort to these retaliatory pitches and the unnecessary violence at the plate and elsewhere, the players would get the message and it would stop.  The question is, will they?  The answer is,  probably not.  They’d have to move  a tad out of their comfort zone and who the heck wants to do that?

* Mortally Wounded Defined:   A mortal wound is a very severe and serious injury (almost always a form of penetration or laceration) whether accidental or inflicted intentionally…

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An Opening Day Treasure … From that Other Chicago Team.

U. S. Cellular Field

It’s been 11 years and I still want to refer to the White Sox ballpark as Comiskey rather than U. S. Cellular Field.  It’s ingrained in the soul as much as Fenway and Wrigley.  But, nonetheless, couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share a great read with you from this morning’s offerings.  Here’s an excerpt:

Irish Nachos

” I am of Irish descent and I have been to Ireland and let me just say that the old joke that one of the shortest books in the world is Great Irish Cooks is actually no joke at all.  But Irish Nachos defy those ugly slanders and ignominious legacy and leave you feeling happy, Gaelic, bloated and ready to burp all over the rest of the American League.  God Bless Baseball.”

Here’s the entire article written by Terry Keshner at Seamheads.com.

Chicago White Sox Opening Day:  Irish Nachos and Baroque Batter’s Box

Opening Day 2012! Woo Hoo!

MLB All Star Game

Woo Hoo!   Today’s opening day for Major League Baseball and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than by re-posting this great blog by Bill Miller, “The On Deck Circle”.    Couldn’t have said it better myself Bill!

Take  a look at one of our previous blogs that shows  George Carlin expressing this same sentiment.

“Ten Reasons Why Baseball is Better Than Football”

Written by:  Bill Miller, April 4, 2012.  “The On Deck Circle”

I have to face the fact that football seems to have brazenly overtaken baseball as the de facto national pastime.  Even in its off-season, football news and gossip (usually the same thing), often intrudes itself into our lives with depressing regularity.  The bi-weekly drug arrests, revolving quarterback soap operas, and mind-numbing stories about which draft picks will break camp hold about as much interest for me as my aunt’s wilted cole slaw on Easter Sunday.

Still, I won’t go down without a fight.

So, for the record, here are ten reasons why baseball is better than football.

1)  Baseball is not constantly interrupted by little men throwing their dainty little yellow flags all over the field every time they have a conniption fit because they saw something that offended their hair-trigger sensibilities.

2)  Baseball players do not wear helmets that make them look like anonymous Terminators bent on the destruction of the universe.  They look like actual, you know, people.

3)  When a baseball player hits a home run, peer pressure causes him (generally) to put his head down while circling the bases, cross home plate, and quietly receive the accolades of his teammates.  When a football player scores a touchdown, he (generally) responds with an epileptic seizure in the end zone.  It’s not something I enjoy watching, and it makes me wonder why they don’t regulate their medication more effectively.

4)  Baseball fans embrace their sports history and mythology in a way that football fans are incapable of understanding.  Baseball’s lineage is practically Biblical.  To the average football fan, football history goes back to last weekend.

5)  A father playing catch with his son is an emotional bonding experience, passed down through the generations, an unspoken acknowledgement of love, mortality and hope.  A father throwing a football at his son is just a guy suffering from low self-esteem who needs to occasionally pretend that he is an N.F.L. quarterback so he can justify the ongoing emasculation he suffers every Monday morning at work.

6)  Baseball has induced tremendous social change in America.  Jackie Robinson is one of the most famous Americans who ever lived.  His personal bravery and talent greatly improved our civil society by challenging us to re-examine our personal values regarding fairness, race, and what it means to be an American.

Football teaches us that there is nothing bigger in life than immediate success and personal gratification.  Winners are loved, losers are vilified, and none of it means anything three days later.

7)  Baseball gave us Tommy John surgery so that young men with injured arms could rejuvenate their careers.  Football has given us Post-Concussion Syndrome in numbers so large that it is now becoming a virtual epidemic.

8)  A baseball diamond is a pastoral throwback to a time when most of America lived on or near farms and in the countryside, and understood man’s proper relationship to his world.  The football grid-iron, by contrast, resembles the endless modern suburban sprawl that disconnects us from our natural environment as well as from ourselves.

9)  Baseball has “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” a fun, carnival-like song that kids and grownups alike can relate to.  Football has “Are You Ready for Some Football?” an unimaginative, annoying pseudo-country song written by a man who has forever been trying to simultaneously emerge from and cloak himself with the shadow of his much more talented father.

10)  Every baseball at bat boils down to one man facing another, and may the best man win.  It is Achilles vs. Hector, Burr vs. Hamilton, Doc Holliday vs. Johnny Ringo.  An N.F.L. quarterback, by contrast, has no correspondingly singular opponent.  The protagonist has no antagonist.  He wields his sword dubiously against the faceless masses before him, a Roman Legionnaire lost amidst the swirl of the barbarian horde.

And that’s why baseball is better than football.

Braving the Fan Fest at AT&T Park!

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Photos courtesy of KNBR and Ronni Redmond

I made up my mind last year that no matter what happened, I was going to the Fan Fest this year!   And I did.  We, my husband and I, always take Cal-Train to Giants games at AT&T Park just to avoid the parking and we did the same today.  It’s a few blocks to the ballpark from the train station and it’s the perfect way to travel stress-free to the games.

All the stories about the crowds proved true again this year.  Rumor has it the crowd was around 35,000 but to tell you the truth we avoided all of that.  I leave the autograph-seeking to the youngsters  so we headed up to the club level and found a perfect spot, a little to the right of  home plate,  front row, seats 1 and 2.  And we settled in for the day with our perfect seats for some perfect photo’s and perfect weather.  I loved this.   And we had a fantastic view of the KNBR Broadcast Stage and could hear the interviews and conversations as though we were sitting right there with them.   We had a great time at the park today!

Baseball season is finally here.  Almost.  But it’s close enough you can reach out and touch it, feel it.  Tomorrow’s Super Bowl Sunday which is probably great if you’re a football fan.  Oh okay,  I have to admit I did get a little taken up with the Tebowing  thing this year, but honestly can you truly say there’s anything better than spring training and opening day of baseball?   I’ve been waiting for this since the 7th  game of the world series last year and it’s just as good as I’d hoped it would be.  Thank you God. Baseball, one of the many pleasures in life.

You might remember a Bill Cosby video many years ago that included a story about little Jeffrey.  “Little Jeffrey” on the airplane.   On the one and one-half hour ride home  we had a little Jeffrey on the train.  Little Jeffrey screamed all the way home finally de-training just one stop before we did.  I watched him as his poor drained parents stepped off the train and  carried him past our window, little Jeffrey all smiles.  Our children are all grown now and gone, with children of their own.   But I remember the days.  Thank you again God.  Retirement, one of the many pleasures in life!

Athletic Baseball Players?……..You kidding me?

When I first saw this video I thought it was some sort of trick photography.  But these past few weeks, as team’s are playing with their entire seasons on the line gearing up for post season playoffs, you see some really amazing stuff.   I’ve seen really spectacular plays at home plate,  catches at the back wall similar to this video, unbelievable diving catches  and  just good old fashioned baseball at its best.   My son’s track coach once told me the best all around athletes are those who’ve mastered the pole vault because of the all-around skills and athleticism needed for the sport.   Maybe.  But when I watch today’s baseball players in slow motion, going through the gyrations they go through, pitch after pitch after pitch, it’s truly unbelievable.  I mean  surreal!   Here’s a few examples:

And it’s everyone playing as a team, just to get that one out, or make that one play, or get on base.  It’s something to see!   Just watching the speed  in rounding the bases is enough to make a believer out of  anyone.   Baseball season lasts for 6 months not including post-season.  That’s 162 games a year.   And this isn’t for  that one play the coach might call you in for.  For one particular play. And this isn’t for the one game you’ll play this week, or for that one tournament that month.

So when you look at these photo’s remember these guys are playing their sport 6 months each year.   Think about it.   Football, basketball, golf, track & field, soccer.  These are all great sports but the only sport that has the athlete going out day after day after day is baseball.   I think of this often when friends tell me baseball is “boring” or baseball’s too slow.   Good grief!   Anyone can go out and run around the field non-stop for an hour or so once a week.  (Well, that is, anyone in training, maybe, sort of)  But it takes a real athlete to get out there day after day and perform those tasks as shown in the photo’s above.   Ugghhh……it hurts to just look at some of those shots.

Well, anyhow, this is my opinion.  I just get tired of non-fans trying to minimize the athletic abilities of professional baseball players.  Baseball rocks!   Get used to it!

This day in Baseball History………Hazard at the Ballpark!

August 4, 1983.

  • 1983 – While warming up before the fifth inning of the Yankees 3-1 win over the  

    Dave Winfield

     

    Blue Jays game at Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium, New York outfielder Dave Winfield accidentally kills a seagull with a thrown ball. After the game, Winfield is brought to the Ontario Provincial Police station on charges of cruelty to animals and is forced to post a $500 bond before being released. The charges will be dropped the following day.

  • Imagine.   You’ve played 4 innings of an otherwise uneventful ballgame and are warming up for the 5th.    After throwing the ball around the field, you lob it into the catcher to start the next inning, and BAM!!!   A seagull flies right into the darn thing, falls dead to the ground, and you’re hauled off to the police department to face charges.  That’s one you won’t forget!   And this is kinda sorta before the nutcases surface that are trying to protect the tutsigz ant from forever being extinct.   I thought this little ditty was so intriguing it sent me to the baseball archives to see what other oddities and potential hazards might be lurking out there

    A few years ago a fan was cheering for her local baseball team, sitting close to the dugout.   She took a look at the score board and “boom” it hit her!   A foul ball slammed into her face, ripping her lip, shattering her teeth and fracturing her palate.   This type of thing doesn’t happen very often, but more often than you’d think.  Usually it says on your ticket that liability is very limited.   Recently we had seats right behind left field.  I spent an entire week-end trying to dig up an old mitt, knowing we’d be sitting in “home run territory”.  As it was, the guy next to us spent most of the game at the beer stand and asked me to take care of his mitt.   No home runs our way this time but you just never know.

    On March 25,2001, during the 7th inning of a Diamondback/Giants game, Randy Johnson sent a

    Randy Johnson

     

    lethal pitch towards the catcher’s mitt, only to hit and kill a dove who flew in front of home plate at exactly the wrong time!  The pitch sent the bird over the catcher’s, Rod Barajas’, head and landed a few feet from the plate amid a sea of feathers.  He explained later he was waiting for the ball, expecting to catch it, and all he saw was an explosion, feathers flying everywhere.   The bird literally disintegrated.  Pundits mused because it was a bird it was a “fowl” ball.  Others commented the bird obviously wasn’t a baseball fan or he wouldn’t have flown within 5 feet of home plate – in any direction – when Johnson was pitching!   The official ruling from the umpire was “No Pitch” and play resumed.

    On a lighter note, The San Diego Chicken mascot appeared at a Chicago Bulls game (wrong sport!) back in January, 1991, and in his enthusiasm tackled a cheerleader (must have run out of pickup lines) and injured her.  She sued the chicken and was awarded $300,000 for her injuries.

    In July, 2000, the Florida mascot, Billy the Marlin, fired his trusty air-pressurized T-shirt Gun into the stands, accidentally hit an elderly male fan in the head, hitting him unconscious.  He recovered and, naturally, filed a lawsuit.

    On August 24, 1919, Cleveland pitcher Ray Caldwell is flattened by a bolt of lightning in his debut with the team. He recovers to get the final out of the game, and defeats Philadelphia, 2-1

    Going way back, August 24, 1886 – Just as he reaches the ball on a long hit by Jimmy Wolf, Reds center fielder Abner Powell’s pants are grabbed by a stray dog.  Wolf circles the bases with the homer that wins the game for Louisville 5-3 in eleven innings

     In 1998, the infamous Phillie Phanatic cost his team $2.5 million after he aggressively hugged a store employee at a grand opening.  Phillie is the most sued mascot in baseball history, known especially for flipping trays out of concession workers’ hands and causing grief  just about everywhere he appears in the stands.  

    Just remember, if you’re going to the ballpark, take a mitt, wear a motorcycle helmet or some other protective device,  stay alert and watch out for those dogs and birds!