Games » Los Angeles AngelsJun3
Today’s subject is things I have no clue about. This is a category I can turn to whenever I need to fill space, because I’ve got no clue about a lot of things: Is there a God, what do women want, and does Zack Greinke need to throw inside more?
(What Jim Palmer said to Earl Weaver also applies to me: “The only thing you know about major league pitching is you couldn’t hit it.”)
Frank White seems to think Greinke needs to go inside more, and I’d trust Frank more than me. Correct me if I’m wrong (actually, I’d rather you didn’t, but it’s the kind of thing you say right about here), but Greinke needs that low and away zone. His best fastballs paint it and his sliders start there and dive out once the hitter commits. And going inside with a 95+ fastball keeps hitters from leaning out and covering that spot.
But I could be wrong. (Could I get Frank to take some of the blame if I am?)
Weird game: runners making the first out at third, umpires baiting catchers, cats marrying dogs and Yuniesky Betancourt falling asleep and getting picked off first…OK, so maybe it wasn’t all THAT weird.
In the third inning, Jason Kendall apparently said something to home plate umpire Mike Estabrook that Estabrook didn’t like. I’m guessing it was about balls and strikes (that’s your main topic of conversation back there).
Baseball has been played since about the Bronze Age and has its own rules of etiquette. (Hell, it’s got more unwritten rules than Miss Manners on a camping trip.) One of the main rules is that players do not show up umpires. If a player disagrees, he does it without looking back at the man behind the plate.
After a questionable call, you’ll often see a hitter smoothing out the dirt in the box. Look carefully and you might see his lips moving while he tells the umpire what he thinks of the call. Sometimes the umpire does the decoy housecleaning and comes out to brush off the plate while he lets the catcher know he’s heard just about enough.
Opinions are being expressed within reason, but the main rule is: don’t show anybody up. Kendall might’ve been giving the umpire an earful, but he did it the right way, staring straight ahead. I have no clue what was being said, but unless Jason started talking about his mother, Estabrook was the one who broke the rules of etiquette. The umpire came around in front of Kendall and got in his face for everybody to see.
Umpires and catchers have a special relationship. They have to work together in order for each one to do his job. They confer on positioning and what constitutes a ball or strike throughout the game, so this was like watching mommy and daddy have a fight in front of the kids. Disturbing. Estabrook’s lack of baseball manners brought Ned Yost out of the dugout to protect his player. Ned got tossed and the game went on.
In the sixth inning, the Royals lost a double play when, with the bases loaded, a ball was hit to Alberto Callaspo at third, he stepped on the bag and then threw home. Kendall was blocked by the runner, didn’t see Callaspo remove the force by stepping on the bag, and failed to tag the runner coming home.
Originally I scored this as a mental mistake, but after reading about what happened (See? People DO need to read newspapers), changed the scoring. Jason’s version of the play was backed up by the fact that Mike Estabrook, who I assume was also screened from the tag, originally called the runner out at home.
You might also notice Kendall received three outstanding defensive plays: a great block with a runner on first and two more blocks with a runner on third. If you’ve ever managed a game with a catcher that can’t block, you know what a big deal this is.
Some managers like to put plays on immediately after an on-field distraction. A pitching change, an argument, a streaker, Morgana the Kissing Bandit (Google her, kids) or a botched double play. Right after that play at home, the Angels ran a double steal. The idea is to catch the defense flat-footed while their mind is elsewhere.
Once again, no way of knowing, but it would explain the timing.
The rules of baserunning…
Erick Aybar made the first out of the game trying to stretch a leadoff double into a triple…that’s bad baserunning. Here are the rules: Zero outs, 0 chances, (do not try to advance unless you’re sure, you’ve got runners and no outs, don’t screw up a possible big inning). One out, one chance, (try to get to third so you can score without a hit). Two outs, two chances, (try to get to second so you’re one hit away from scoring or try to get home so you don’t require another hit to get a run in).
Despite Aybar’s trip around the bases, there is no “run-like-a-chicken-with-its-head-cut-off-until-someone-tags-you” rule.