Congratulations to the Cardinals and Orioles for winning the Wild Card Games and advancing to Divisional Play in the postseason. As usual, I don’t comment on play-by-play. You can read about the particulars on every sports page, but I didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to comment on our wonderful baseball fans. Take those at Atlanta’s Turner Field for example.
Okay let’s admit that there was a rather unorthodox call out there in the field in the 8th inning, with bases loaded no less. I mean how many times have you seen an infield fly rule called in the outfield? You can see some of the takes on it below, but in the end the play called by the umpire stood over protest and the Cardinals ended up winning the game 6-3.
Umpire Joyce & Galarraga “after the call”.
No doubt this was a huge disappointment for the Braves fans, but this has happened before and guaranteed it will happen again ~ questionable calls by the umpires I mean. One call in particular that comes to mind was the Jim Joyce call on an otherwise perfect Armando Galarraga game in Detroit. If ever fans had reason to throw something, anything, it would have been during that game. But they didn’t. Those Tiger fans had class.
Turner Field Trash
I always enjoyed watching the fans at Turner Field, especially during those 2010 playoffs. That tomahawk “chop” was an awesome display of fan support and the constant chant from the stadium was like a war dance or something and it was deafening. And that’s what fans do in support of their team and that’s what they did tonight at Turner Field in Atlanta. But that’s when the nice Atlanta Braves fans story takes a different turn. They started throwing things. I mean bottles and things onto the field. It was so bad that the St Louis Cardinals, who had every right and reason to celebrate, for safety reasons, had to take their celebration off the field and into the clubhouse.
Chipper Jones Final At-Bat
All season long during every game I watched the Braves play in, it was all about Chipper Jones. Chipper’s last season, Chipper’s last at-home game, Chipper’s last hit. Well this was sure a grand way to send Chipper out the door. Good job Braves fans. I somehow wonder if Chipper isn’t just a little bit glad to be going. I know I would be.
Posted in A1 Baseball, General, A2 Ballparks, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers
Tagged Armando Galarraga. umpire calls, DETROIT TIGER FANS, DETROIT TIGERS, questionable calls
Congratulations to David Wing from Three Rivers, Michigan. Dave has won an autographed copy of my book “Garlic Fries and Baseball: The Book” which is being mailed to him today. This is our second contest in less than a year and both winners have been Detroit Tigers fans! What are the odds?
Here’s the response I received from David this morning:
“I’m thrilled to have been selected as the recipient of your new book. My name is David Wing and am a big fan of the Detroit Tigers. My address is (……….) Three Rivers, Michigan 49093. Please feel free to use my name in any way needed. Thanks again from an avid reader of your blog. Dave”
The contest was a drawing to celebrate this blog’s 50,000th view which occurred yesterday. The blog started only two years ago and we appreciate the response we’ve received. Baseball fans are awesome and you Detroit Tigers fans are among the best. Look back at our June 3, 2010, post “The Umpire ….. Toughest Job in Baseball” where I fell over backwards loving those Tiger fans. And now with Justin Verlander the raves just keep coming.
So thanks again to all our subscribers and especially to David Wing. We’ll do this again when we reach another milestone!
Posted in A1 Baseball, General, Detroit Tigers
Tagged 000 blog view, 50, baseball fans, David Wing, DETROIT TIGER FANS, DETROIT TIGERS, garlic fries and baseball: the book, Justin Verlander, Michigan, pittsburgh pirates, sport, Tiger, toughest job in baseball, umpire
“I couldn’t see well enough to play when I was a boy, so they gave me a special job – they made me an umpire.” President of the United States, Harry S. Truman.
As a player I probably would have said the toughest position in baseball is catcher. I wasn’t particularly afraid of the ball, but when you’ve been beaned a couple times and missed a ball that was impossible to catch anyhow and the other team scores, you realize even when things are going right, they can still go really, really wrong. But looking at this as a spectator the toughest job has to be, without a doubt, the lowly umpire. My first exposure to this was at age 10 watching my dad at at my brother’s games giving the ump the going-over, beer in hand, standing up yelling obscenities and setting a stellar example for a couple of kids learning by example. Totally mortifying! So years later when I became the parent in the stands cheering my heart out in support of my little darlings at T-Ball I was very cognizant of these memories. Imagine my shock and humiliation when I was thrown out of a T-Ball game for, you guessed it, yelling at the umpire! The embarrassment is still with me.
So all of these memories came flooding back as I watched last night’s replay of the Cleveland/Detroit infamous tag at first. The missed call denied the young pitcher the rarest of rare “perfect game”. This mornings sports headlines would have been all about Ken Griffey Jr’s retirement had this incident not occurred. Well maybe not. A perfect game for sure demands a certain amount of headlines. But no matter. History has been made and it won’t be changed. I feel for the Tiger fans. And I hope the Commissioner’s going to step in and make things right. And he should. It’s the right thing to do. But please, please don’t bring in the instant replay. For crying out loud this is baseball! What really strikes me about this scenario is the candid manner in which the umpire immediately spoke up about the matter on seeing the replay. But then, what else could he have done? (Now’s the time we probably should give this guy a name. He has, after all been a major league umpire for 22 years without any, well, almost any, controversy).
But I don’t want to talk about the umpire, or the kid who threw the unrealized perfect game. or instant replay. This story’s about the DETROIT TIGER FANS. What would baseball, or any sport for that matter, be without the fans? Today when the same players, same umpire(s) and the same fans sat for another round of Cleveland/Detroit baseball, the umpire Jim Joyce was introduced among a smattering of boos, it’s expected, always happens, not a surprise. But what was a surprise was the standing ovation and cheers that went up for this guy. I’m emotional just writing about it. And so was he. He had to wear sunglasses to hide the tears for a press conference later. I’ll bet Jim Joyce didn’t get two hours sleep last night. As much as we love to razz the umps, they have the reputation of being the most honest trustworthy bunch of guys (a little nearsighted at times) but never ever do we believe they make a bad call “on purpose”. And for all those split second “how did they do it?” johnny-on-the spot calls, they get no special recognition. It’s their job and they love it and they do it better than anyone. Detroit Tiger fans know this. They know the umpire has the toughest job in baseball so they cut him a little slack and on they go to the next game. That’s what’s so great about baseball. The Detroit Tiger fans. A real Class Act…….representing the best of baseball.
“….The toughest call an Umpire has to make…. It’s having to throw a guy out of the game after you blew the hell out of the play.” American League Umpire Bill Kinnamon.