Archive for the 'Umpires' Category

…. Struggle?

Tim Lincecum won his first start, but walked seven, matching a career-high. This Sam Miller piece, a BP Premium article, suggests that Hector Sanchez may have been responsible for much of the damage. In fact, the article outlines, using GIF's, the exact ways Sanchez fails to adequately frame Lincecum's pitches, and shows that Lincecum was robbed of perhaps as many as a dozen strikes, many

of them not even close to borderline.

The article explains the obvious fact that Sanchez is a subpar framer, and any analysis of his work shows that he lunges, drops his head, and generally acts like he's constantly surprised by the location of the ball. For all the talk throughout the Giants organization about players being ready for the majors before they are brought up, it's a little surprising to see that Sanchez is a player who is clearly not ready for the action on major league pitches.

And Miller highlights an article by Tim Kawakami that details the possible reason Sanchez has somehow become Lincecum's personal catcher:

…. It’s almost certainly true that Lincecum has never told Bochy he disliked pitching to Posey, and I know Posey wants to catch Lincecum.
But it’s probably just as true that Bochy knew that Lincecum was more comfortable with Sanchez or Eli Whiteside.

And it’s beyond doubt that Posey is nothing like Molina, who coaxed his pitchers, pumped them up, and especially was on the same emotional wavelength as the improvisational Lincecum.

Posey likes to make a plan, stick to the plan, and has been known to utter a few sharp words to pitchers—even Lincecum, even when Posey was young—during games to get them back on the plan.

Whether Lincecum realizes this is unknown, but he is struggling with Sanchez behind the plate (18 0f his last 20 starts), and Sanchez may very well be why. In fact, maybe the reason Lincecum was so lights out as a reliever in last season's championship run had nothing to do with the fact the he could “air it out” and not have to worry about running out of gas, and more to do with the fact that Posey catches and frames his pitches better, so he gets the calls.


…. I forgot

Sorry about forgetting about the slide. Yes, it was illegal, and the runner at first should’ve been called out for baserunner’s interference. Obvious missed call. Dirty? Um, not so clear. It was a guy trying to do too much, and he was wrong; but I don’t think it was an effort to hurt Scutaro or anything like that. If the umps get the call right, and call the runner at first out, there’s a lot less to talk about.

Nonetheless, once again, we’re talking about the umpires. The missed tag on Blanco, a

call in the Giants favor, was terrible. The action happened right in front of the umpire, who was looking right at the play. The infield fly rule disaster, the constant ball and strike disputes, I mean come on….

For Bud Selig and Joe Torre to keep insisting that these mistakes are acceptable, that human error is part of the game…. well, it just makes them look ridiculous. Sure, mistakes are part of life. But everyone, I mean, everyone, does everything they can to mitigate them, to make sure they don’t happen. People spend their lives trying to atone for mistakes. People ask for forgiveness for their mistakes. If you make a mistake, fine. Apologize, fix it and get over it.

However, if you make a mistake, and there’s a way to fix it right in front of you, and you refuse to do anything about it, you’re an asshole. The cashier gives you too much change and you keep it? Pretty slimy, no? What if the cashier gives you too little change, and then tells you, too bad? That’s what happens all the time in baseball. Pitcher throws a strike. Bam. Next pitch, same spot, ball. Too bad. Move on. And not only can’t the teams do anything about it, neither can the umpires.

In baseball, if the umpires make a mistake –other than on home run calls– they are prohibited from doing something about it. They are not allowed to see a replay. They are not allowed to have someone from the commissioners office call them up

and say, hey, you just missed that call. All they can say is sorry, and let’s move on. That’s absurd. Baseball has a system in place right now that they don’t even have to pay for. It’s called television. In fact, television pays them. In these playoffs, MLB is paying two extra umpires to stand twenty feet away from the other umpires and asking them to do what all of us at home can do effortlessly, which is to see what’s happening.

Why not have those same two guys watching the game on a high definition TV? There could be one in each dugout. Or right there by the cameramen. Or up in the press box. Whatever. There’s no way this can be done quickly and efficiently? Bullshit. In fifteen seconds, everyone in the world could see that Blanco was out, everyone could see that Holliday had slid over the bag and that the play was illegal and the runner at first was out. At home, on their high definition televisions, everyone can see the runner is out of the basepath, that the fielder trapped the ball…. everyone, except for the men given the task of figuring out what’s happening and ruling on it.

You wanna know how ridiculous baseball is, all you have to do is look at what happens on disputed home run calls. First, all of the umps get together and talk about whether or not the play is in dispute. Um, yeah, that’s efficient. Then, all of the umps leave the field. One guy has to walk all the way inside the clubhouse, or wherever the hell they go, and sit there looking at what, the clubhouse TV? Who knows, who cares.

I know about ten people who could come up with something more efficient and simpler than that in about a week. Give one of the umps an iPad for crying out loud. Do something. Sure football’s system ain’t perfect. It’s a thousand times better than what we have in baseball.

All commentary is the opinion of John J Perricone unless otherwise noted.
None of the opinions expressed should be construed as being endorsed by the
San Francisco Giants, Major League Baseball, or any other organization mentioned herein.

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