BATTER UP!

Discussion in 'The Golden Era' started by 2jakes, Aug 14, 2017.

  1. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I'm trying to coax my mother from jumping off the town wharf after news of the Mookie deal. What has baseball come to that the fan has to pay closer attention to the balance sheet than the box score?
     
  2. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    I think it has always been this way somewhat increased since my man Curt Flood freed the slaves. Not a an analytic guy per se but have to ask; for the $$$ commanded is a player like Mookie really worth it? I can see from the perspective of attracting a fan base stars are needed but for the disproportionate % of the salary cap do they really provide value for $$? It would appear as though RedSox fans will continue to show up regardless.

    I can see blowing the budget for that one ace that may put you over the top but unless it is a horse like Verlander or maybe a Cole it usually represents short term thinking with long term money....eg Price/Sale
     
  3. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

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    ...and Verlander wanted to be a Cub; speaking of, the team needs another Ace in the rotation, shore up the pen;
    and Theo let Joe G walk away; and Castellanos is gone-Cubs have the worst contact rate in baseball,
    and C is gone. Theo couldawouldashoulda hired Joe G, made Ross a bench boss. Kept Castellanos.:(
     
  4. tmal

    tmal One of the Regulars

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    Please explain this to me. Every day the media is full of the players expressing their animosity toward the Astros, and it is clear that they are perturbed more than somewhat, and that the punishment does not fit the crime. But the commish says that he cannot punish the ball players because of the union. Excuse my ignorance, but are not the ballplayers the dues paying members of said union? If, say, a paid up union member who makes his living toiling on the mound, happened to place a leather bound spherical object against the hide of one of the batting Astros, because he (the pitcher) feels that he has been cheated out of his rightfully earned share of a World Series bonus, then has he not expressed the will of the union?

    It is clear that the commish is not concerned about cheating, even if that cheating deprives other paid up union brothers of their livelihood. But he is concerned if one of those conniving union brothers may be struck in the in his behind by a fastball. As for myself, it is my observation that brotherhood has its limits, especially when it involves women or money, but especially money.

    I will end here, but I must say, if I am an Astro I am glad that certain union brothers who work on the mound have retired.
     
  5. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    In this era of litigating at the drop of a hat I anticipate the day when a lawsuit is launched by a batter when a pitcher throws up and in. Perhaps the Commish is anticipating this pushback from an Astro should any retaliation occur.
     
  6. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    In 1940, Bob Bowman of the Cardinals nearly killed Joe Medwick of the Dodgers with a high hard one -- after threatening to do so when he met Medwick and Dodger manager Leo Durocher in a hotel lobby before the game. Dodger president Larry MacPhail demanded that a charge of attempted murder against Bowman be filed, and Kings County District Attorney William O'Dwyer had the pitcher brought in for questioning. Ultimately, charges were not brought, but not for lack of trying. And Bowman spent the rest of the road trip under heavy guard -- never mind retaliation on the field, there was a real risk he'd be "taken care of" by the Brooklyn fans.

    A similar outcry happened twenty years earlier when Carl Mays of the Yankees killed Ray Chapman of the Indians with a high inside pitch and Mays narrowly escaped indictment. I think if the time comes when this level of injury happens on the field again, you will see the player behind bars.

    Manfred, like every commissioner since the death of Judge Landis, is nothing more than the owners' paid mouthpiece. There's been no hard-core punishment because the owners -- regardless of how they righteously pound their chests -- don't want it. It might harm their revenue streams.
     
  7. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    I agree with Lizzie re the owners, but I'd add that if the players - others than the Astros - really want fairness and not just their revenues, they'd find a way to strike / protest / force baseball to punish the guilty players. Right now, the framework allows the not-guilty players to act sanctimonious while cashing their humongous paychecks. If they don't play, something will give - they are the game. And I'd bet big they players would have the public behind them.

    As to the "chin music" etc., in baseball, the 55-year-old me sees it very differently than the 20-year-old me. To wit, back in my younger days, "it's part of the game" was my view - the same with aggressive sliding into second base on double plays and blocking home plate, etc. But now it don't see it that way as it's crazy to risk the health and lives of the players for something that can be changed without changing the essential construct of the the game. Yes, some plays are less exciting, but baseball didn't fundamentally change with the rule changes that protect the players.

    So, baseball should put in a rule about "throwing at the batter" with real teeth and enforce it. Sure, there will be some unfortunate calls where a pitch truly was just wild and a pitcher will be tossed/fined unfairly, but so be it if it reduces the intentional ones. Nothing is perfect and I'd prefer that latter be where that balance is struck.
     
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  8. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    There's no romance in the high hard one for me: Tony C, almost killed by a pitch, his career ruined. Doug Griffin, almost killed by a pitch, his career ruined. Rico Petrocelli, his inner ear destroyed by a pitch, his career ended prematurely. And high-kick baserunning -- Dustin Pedroia's knee says "that's enough." Manny Machado is a punk.
     
  9. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax

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    I'm OK with coming inside. If a pitcher doesn't the offense will eat his lunch. I'm also OK with plunking a player on the butt or something as a message pitch, but head hunting is inexcusable. A pitcher has to come up and in on batters, but needs to be cognizant of their own abilities and accuracy.

    I remember Bill White telling a story about Bob Gibson. Gibson plowed one into White's neck when he was crowding the plate. Sometime after the game, Gibson told White he didn't mean to hit him in the neck. White stated that he knew Gibson wasn't trying to hit him, just send him a message. Gibson's response was, "Oh, I meant to hit you, just not in the neck."
     
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  10. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Jim Lonborg used to have pretty good control that way -- he'd hit batters, but he'd get them on the hip or the rear end. That's a dangerous game to play without pinpoint control, though, and not every pitcher has that.

    This shot of the Medwick incident is perhaps the most chilling baseball photo I've ever seen, even more than Tony C lying in the dirt. It's pretty obvious here that Medwick never saw what hit him -- his feet are still in the box, and he fell over like a dead tree. He never had a chance.

    Bowman is number 26. I've always wondered what he's saying at this moment. Durocher is the Dodger standing over Medwick, and I don't have to wonder what he's saying.

    medwick.png
     
  11. tmal

    tmal One of the Regulars

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    My concerns are: The Astro Players have not been dealt with. My impression (and I admit I could wrong) is that most players are not happy about it. If most are unhappy about it, why fear the union? If nothing is done, doesn't that increase the likelihood that retaliation (chin music) will occur. Just my opinion but wouldn't it be better to be tough on the Astros and avoid this dangerous possibility?
     
  12. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    Yep, don't mess with the talent. Damn, that is twice this week we agree!
     
  13. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    If what we've read is true (the older I get, the less comfortable I am with believing, sadly, anything), it seems hard to believe that not every single Astro player, coach, manager and owner, at minimum, knew what was going on and many actively participated. And not in stealing a single game or cheating on a play or doing something in a grey area now and then (all bad things that should be punished if caught), but in a year-long (at least) sophisticated, technology-driven effort to cheat in every game of the season up to and including the World Series. They made the entire 2017 season a fraud.

    What really could be worse? We don't need baseball - it isn't healthcare, food, shelter, fuel or education. It exists to entertain and - IMO, and it appears, many others - it has no value if it's a complete fraud. Look, we all know there's cheating at the margin in everything (sad but true), but systemic cheating which completely corrupts the system makes the system unsustainable. I'm sure I'll end up watching this season, but I am not kidding when I say, so far, I have all but not followed preseason as I'm that disgusted.

    And while I'm ranting, what's going on with the investigation into the Red Sox's 2018 season? That's beginning to feel like both a season of cheating and, now, a coverup as MLB figures it can't have any more scandal. Look, if they are innocent, I applaud the Red Sox as that was one heck of a team. But, if guilty, then MLB needs to get it out there and, for God's sake, do something with integrity.
     
  14. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    I umpired baseball for many years and discerning what is intentional and what is a lack of control is impossible.
    I was brought in specifically to umpire an exhibition game between two Rep teams (17-18 year old) from different leagues. They had played a month previously and the game was called due to a bench clearing. At the lineup exchange at home plate I read the riot act to the coaches and captains. Zero tolerance! The game progressed uneventfully for 5 innings. Top of the sixth, close game, no one on, #6 or 7th hitter in the order, 1 out. The pitcher came inside and clipped the batter small of the back.

    What do I do? I perceived no intention, the situation to create a rally out of nothing made no sense, the batter so low in the order of little consequence, so I let it slide figuring to make a 'thing' out of it would heighten tensions where none existed.

    The game ended after 7 with no incidents, no retaliation.

    The next season the coach admitted to me that he called for the pitch to hit the batter for retaliation from the incident a month previous. It still bothers me that my inaction allowed the shit coach to get away with something so unconscionable for him as the supposed adult in the room.
     
  15. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    All smart real-life baseball insight that I can't provide. But I do have experience with making rules and regs for gray areas and the first step is to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good: No rules means chaos / no tolerance can destroy the thing or something else as collateral damage that you are trying to protect (not always, but a risk).

    So, the answer is an imperfect balance that, in the case of "chin music" etc., has to lean much further away from what has been acceptable to date.

    Make new rules; recognize they won't be perfect; revise as evidence comes in; arrive, eventually, at an acceptable balance.
     
  16. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I'll just add this thought: with the increasing prominence of legalized sports gambling, allowing such cheating to go without hard-fisted discipline for all involved opens the door to a new Black Sox-style scandal that would, in all likelihood, kill the game for good. I enjoyed the 2018 World Series, but baseball as an institution is more important to me than any petty trophy. Investigate, confirm -- and then bring the hammer down, or we'll be headed down a road I really don't want to see The Game travel.
     
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  17. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    I did get a small measure of revenge later that next season when I threw the coach out of a critical late season game for questioning my strike zone. I hated throwing anyone out as I believed it was my first job to keep folks in the game and if I had to throw someone out it was a small failure on my part. But this time, NO, I enjoyed it thoroughly......and he deserved it regardless of his past misdeeds. It just made it a bit more delicious
     
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  18. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    So, the activity today in this thread had me do a bit of catch-up on the Yankee's pre-season. As I felt all the fun emotions and enthusiasm coming on - I'm already worried about their pitching - I had this nagging feeling of being a fool for letting it get back into my psyche. We'll see where this goes - but I don't think the status quo is sustainable.
     
  19. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    To win they will have to outscore opponents....12-10 or 14-12.
     
  20. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    So you mean like last year. :)
     
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