May 2, 2006

"I don't want to be the guy who calls a borderline walk and ruins this kid's shot at history."

Said the umpire, describing his "nice, big strike zone," and kind of besmirching the record -- 2 perfect games in a row -- as he purports to admire it.

IN THE COMMENTS: "So is this really a comment about Chief Justice Roberts in some way?" Yeah, good point! Damn! I keep forgetting to law blog! I need my commenters to elbow me into it. And here I am baseball blogging? Do I baseball blog?

17 comments:

XWL said...

So is this really a comment about Chief Justice Roberts in some way?

paulfrommpls said...

It besmirches the record if this guy was the ump for either of the earlier games. I don't think the story says that does it?

paulfrommpls said...

Actually, what would besmirch the record would be if the earlier games were shortened by the "slaughter rule," as this one was.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

The kid got it right. He said he didn't care about the third perfect game. He just wanted to win.

I admire that team player part of him.

Ann Althouse said...

Paul: Well, it's not as though this ump wasn't calling lots of strikes. The kid lost the bid for a third perfect game by hitting the batter with a pitch.

Ron said...

Killing two birds with one stone, there's always Federal Baseball Club v. National League (1922) to blog about...

Icepick said...

Do I baseball blog?

You do now.

So exactly how DO you feel about the infield fly rule? Does it violate federalism in some way that the Higher Authorities have handed this rule down to be enforced in all states, or does the Commerce Clause allow for this? Or perhaps the Equal Protection Clause has aurthority here?

Mary said...

Well, if we're being cynical...

"That's the only way to break up a third perfect game."

I wonder if the kid leaned into the pitch. Hit in the left buttock... was he batting lefty or righty?

Telecomedian said...

Mary-

If he was hit in the left buttock, he'd almost certainly have to be batting right-handed, as the left buttock would naturally be facing the pitcher.

If he was batting left-handed, and got hit on the left cheek, then this pitcher's got better motion on his curve ball than anybody in the majors! That'd be incredible to see in person.

Mary said...

Thanks for spelling out my point, tele. I wasn't sure if I had to make it clear, or people visually understand:

Batting lefty -- had to be a wild pitch.

Batting righty, a slight swivel turn ... your left bun crowds the plate and... ouch = free base.

Can never be sure if such a move is intentional then, but I give the pitcher and his team props for not being cynical.

Smilin' Jack said...

Ann Althouse said...
Paul: Well, it's not as though this ump wasn't calling lots of strikes. The kid lost the bid for a third perfect game by hitting the batter with a pitch.


He hit the batter in the first inning, so the ump didn't get a chance to call many strikes first.

Ruth Anne Adams said...
The kid got it right. He said he didn't care about the third perfect game. He just wanted to win.

I admire that team player part of him.


I admire his ability to lie to the media...guess they learn early these days.

Henry said...

Ann Althouse baseball blogs! My world is complete.

I don't really blame the umpire for having a big strike zone, but I do blame him for admitting it. Umpire's have lots of discretion when it comes to strike zone. As long as the guy was consistent for both teams, no harm done. But talking about it looks bad. Umps should retire before they talk about their umpiring.

For example, after he retired, Ron Luciano wrote that he liked to have a big strike zone because it made the game shorter, and he wouldn't have to work as hard.

Thorley Winston said...

I admire his ability to lie to the media...guess they learn early these days.

ROTLMAO!

Eli Blake said...

Hey, even in the pros there is some unprofessionalism involving records.

Remember a few years ago in a Packers-Giants game on the last day of the regular season when the Packers offensive line let Joe Strayhan come through and gently wrap up Brett Favre for a sack, and it was obvious the whole thing was planned-- the playoffs had been set and the game had been determined, but it gave Strayhan the NFL record for sacks (bet that made Mark Gastineau feel real good, having his record broken by a set up play).

Want a professional? Try Gene Garber. Gene Garber? Back in 1978, Pete Rose had the longest hitting streak of anyone since DiMaggio, and at 44 had reached #2 on the all time list. He'd bunted a number of times to keep the streak alive-- and most galling, a number of pitchers had served him up big meatballs at the end of games and fielders had intentionally played a few balls slow and let him beat out the grounders to first. And it was a big story and Rose was gloating about it.

Then when he went after game #45 against the Atlanta Braves. In the second inning he had a legitimate chance to get a hit but starting pitcher Larry McWilliams made an outstanding play and speared the line drive. So, in the ninth Rose came up having gone 0 for 4. Gene Garber was pitching. If Rose was expecting a meatball, he didn't get it. Garber reached inside as deep as he could and pitched his best, and struck Rose out swinging. That was because he understood what very few other people understood-- that records are only meaningful when they're earned. If Rose was going to get past him to get another step closer to the Great Joe, then he was going to have to do it by hitting Garber's best pitch, not some batting practice pitch that he hung up there for Rose to tee off on. After that, Garber got boxes of hate mail and was booed everyplace he went. But he didn't care, he'd done his best.

The next night Rose went three for four on his way to becoming baseball's all time hits leader and retiring as a certain hall of famer (I guess there is no such thing as 'certain,' is there?) and Gene Garber, and obscure journeyman relief pitcher retired into even more obscurity. But for one at-bat, he defined 'professionalism' as well as it's ever been defined.

reader_iam said...

And by the way, you're so right about Tuesday. I just blew this week's Tuesday, and now I'm dreading not just tomorrow, but the rest of the week.

Too Many Jims said...

I would rail on the ump and say "call em like you see em", but then I recall my bio teacher from 9th grade who gave me an "A" second semester largely because I was really close and he did not want to be the first teacher to give me a B. (Now if my 10th grade english teacher {among others} had had the same view . . .)

Coco said...

"I admire that team player part of him."

"I admire his ability to lie to the media...guess they learn early these days."

Ahh...the Catch 22 for athletes in discussing personal achievements as part of the game. If he says he only cared about winning, no one believes him. If he says anything else everyone thinks he's a selfish jerk.

I'll give the high school kid the benefit of the doubt. Pros...selfish liars all...but paid handsomely for the disparagement :)

Perfrect Word verification: iwnyijyu

translation: "I win I lose"