August 3, 2011

The St. Louis Cardinals complain of "gamesmanship by the Brewers in the form of manipulating video boards behind home plate."

Is this a serious issue or a pathetic whine?

Here's Milwaukee-based coverage of the issue (in the Journal Sentinel):
Apparently, the Cardinals were unhappy about lighting inconsistencies with the ribbon board that surrounds the stands above the loge level. The insinuation was that the home plate area was darker when they were batting than when the Brewers were batting....

There have been whispers at times about possible cheating by the Brewers at home because they have been so much better at Miller Park than on the road. They are 40-14 at home, the best winning percentage in the majors, and only 21-35 on the road....

When told about that suspicion, Brewers rightfielder Corey Hart said, "Why did we wait until the fifth inning to do it? I was 0 for 2 by then."

73 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Whiners.

I like the reply from the rightfielder (laugh)

The Crack Emcee said...

Cheating? Cheating? I'll tell you about cheating,...oh, wait - it's the wrong kind of cheating.

Nevermind.

Fred4Pres said...

Crack, Are you sure that anti gravity yoga was not a tea bagger meeting? You know, the one that makes Anderson Cooper giggle.

Kit said...

Well, it certainly isn't helping Craig Counsell, any. And funny, coming from a guy who has McGuire sitting in his dugout.

m stone said...

Actually the torpidity of the game makes for active minds to create anything that will give the team an edge. Someone, somewhere is thinking about the ribbon board.

The irony is that LaRussa is angry because he didn't think of it first.

DaveW said...

I haven't read the whole article so I'm not sure exactly what the complaint is, but these sorts of tricks are recognized by MLB as being quite a big deal indeed. For example, looking from the batter's box towards the pitcher, you could have a huge impact on a player's ability to see the ball by changing things in the background behind the pitcher.

Again I'm not sure what they're complaining about exactly, but changing the background in a baseball game is a big no-no.

The Crack Emcee said...

Fred4Pres,

Crack, Are you sure that anti gravity yoga was not a tea bagger meeting? You know, the one that makes Anderson Cooper giggle.

Hey, I don't know WHAT'S going on inside those bags, man,...

ndspinelli said...

One needs a little history lesson. Tony LaRussa is a Machiavellan asshole. He has complained @ Coors Field about the pitching mounds in the bullpen being too low. He complained @ Great American Park that the balls for his pitchers were too slippery. He alway accuses teams of stealing signs. He's a headhunter evidenced by his ordering[admitted in postgame interview] Braun get drilled after Pujols was hit by accident.

This probably sums it up best. Ryan Ludwick was traded by the Cards last season. As he travelled around the league w/ his new team[Padres] he mused about he never realized how much LaRussa and the Cards are despised until he left the LaRussa bunker..I mean dugout.

Maguro said...

Pathetic whine. What else would you expect from Tony LaRussa and his band of candyass pussies?

SunnyJ said...

Pujoles...Fielder....Pujoles...Fielder...Pujoles...Fielder...

That is what gives LaRussa fits.

So what exactly is the Cards home/away ratio? Is that perhaps why LuRussa finds something wrong wherever they play away?

Corey Hart is a great kid and always good for a funny take during interviews.

Shut up and play ball!

ndspinelli said...

Regarding the specific complaint about Miller Park. The umpire crew chief was obligated to report the complaint but said he didn't see any difference in the lighting. Again..you have to know the history of this asshole. Plus, he was found drunk sound asleep in his car..WHILE IT WAS IN PARK @ A TRAFFIC LIGHT["stop n' go light" for you cheeseheads]. Finally, he's a member of PETA. Don't get me started!!!

Hockey Bum said...

"manipulating video boards behind home plate."

Because Vaseline ball and corked bats are so last century.

E.M. Davis said...

Apologies to all ...

You wear your sunglasses at night
so you can
so you can
Watch me pitch the ball right by your eyes
And you wear your sunglasses at night
so you can
so you can
Swing and hit some measly pop flies
Milwaukee's deceiving me
they hurt our ability.
Have they got control of these? ... It makes it hard to play
Don't switch the rays on the guy at home plate
oh no.
Don't change the rate the ribbon radiates
oh no
It's so deceiving!
St. Louis can't make it in the Badger State
oh no.


- Corey Hart, Brewers Outfielder

DADvocate said...

I'm not sure what they're complaining about exactly

Professional baseball pitchers throw the ball hard and fast. some can make curve a mile. A 95 mph pitch takes a little over a second to reach home plate. Obviously, a hitter has little time to react and swing the bat.

Any slight change in lighting that gave one team a slight advantage over the other, such as brighter more stable lighting for the home team, would give that team an advantage.

The Cardinals and Brewers are locked in a dead heat for the National League Central title. Every little thing matters and millions of dollars are at stake.

Patrick said...

Up here, there was trouble with the Metrodome when fielders would lose the ball because of the white dome. They more or less corrected the problem, but the dome was still a lousy place to play.

At the same venue, the Vikings would blast sound from loudspeakers when the opposing team had the ball. Cheating bastards.

Ansd sunnyJ has it right about the Cards.

Bob Ellison said...

Baseball is such a fantastically pristine game, what with all ballparks designed and built identically so that no player should ever suffer a disadvantage. The ball itself is a perfect sphere, and the bats are all made of Unobtainium so that they behave the same. The MLB is even considering replacing pitchers with rubber Tees.

wv: "mensheen"-- too late to work that guy in?

DaveW said...

Well, I read the article and it still isn't clear to me what he's complaining about exactly.

And LaRussa does invalidly bitch a lot, or so it always seemed to me. When he did this was it at a critical point in the game, was he trying to give his guys an extra minute to adjust or something? Was he trying to interrupt the pitcher's routine or timing? I always thought that's what he was doing.

DADvocate said...

A 95 mph pitch takes a little over a second to reach home plate.

Actually, less than a second. My math was off.

Scott M said...

If more than 18" of pine tar can call back a home run, a darker plate during the away team's at-bats is open season.

Snark aside, does it matter how dark or light the paint is while you watch it dry? How about the grass? does it matter how dark or light the grass is while you watch it grow?

Exciting.

garage mahal said...

Pathetic whine. What else would you expect from Tony LaRussa and his band of candyass pussies?

LaRussa stood by and watched the heinous assault on Hank Aarons home run record. You didn't notice the pharmacy in McGuire's locker all those years? And he's bitching about lighting differences nobody else sees? Typical.

phx said...

He should complain? What about the home viewer who has to watch these exciting games with 'www.harryslaw.abc.com' staring right at his face, midscreen.
Then next batter they change the spam.

t-man said...

The dramatic inverse in the Brewer's home vs. away winning percentages might lead me to suspect something is fishy, but only they are complete outliers in the majors. Are they?

The Phillies have a similar home record, but that is matched with a winning away record.

ndspinelli said...

Oh..LaRussa has a law degree, need I say more?

edutcher said...

A little more cheese for that whine...

traditionalguy said...

If you're not cheating, you're not trying. And nice guys finish last.

I blame the NFL guys. They are jealous of America's game's incestuous control over the American competitive mind.

In baseball it is one on one, until a ball is hit and then it is one on one to catch it. Double plays are the exception that proves the rule.

And every player gets a turn at bat.

slarrow said...

DADvocate, you'd probably enjoy this video on hitting a 90-mph fastball. The decision time is incredible: only 0.09 of a second to decide whether to swing.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=5311306

And good grief, La Russa haters on the Althouse blog? I get enough of that nonsense on sports blogs.

Crimso said...

"Why did we wait until the fifth inning to do it? I was 0 for 2 by then."

If you'd quit wearing your sunglasses at night you might hit a little better, Corey Hart. [Only people of a certain age will get this]

Triangle Man said...

At least now we know how the Cardinals try to cheat at home.

Triangle Man said...

@Crimso

I get the reference, but I still don't know what the lyrics mean.

slarrow said...

Really, Triangle Man? 'Cause if so, they need to get better at it; they're only 29-24 there. (Oh, and it's a far more open design than Milwaukee. Lighting's not the same there.)

Seriously, though, 40-15? 25 games over .500 at home and 14 games under away? What's up with that?

Seven Machos said...

I'm sorry the rest of you aren't able to root for my beloved Cardinals. Year after year, we chase pennants. We have the second most, after the Yankees.

It's especially fun to be a Cardinals fan here in Chicago where the Cubs demonstrate such futility. However, it must be especially galling to be a Brewers fan watching the Cardinals. After all, what does St. Louis have that Milwaukee doesn't (other than competent baseball management)? And the last time the Brewers were in a World Series, you got bounced by...the Cardinals.

I do like that slide, though. And those sausage races look fun. At the end of the day, though, I'll take championships.

jeff said...

"Snark aside, does it matter how dark or light the paint is while you watch it dry? How about the grass? does it matter how dark or light the grass is while you watch it grow?

Exciting."

No problem Scott. Just let us know who has the gun to your head forcing you to watch and we will alert the authorities.

Seven Machos said...

And Garage -- La Russa had not one thing to do with Hank Aaron's record.

You should be embarrassed.

Scott M said...

After all, what does St. Louis have that Milwaukee doesn't (other than competent baseball management)?

The Arch? 2nd highest murder rate? East Saint Louis?

Scott M said...

Just let us know who has the gun to your head forcing you to watch and we will alert the authorities.

I think it was a Glock Free Skybox Tickets. Not sure of the caliber but it was big, air conditioned, and full of free food and booze, so I'd say pretty big.

Seven Machos said...

East St. Louis is in Illinois! You can't blame anyone in Missouri for its incompetence at everything but strip clubs.

Scott M said...

meh

It's part of the metro, unfortunately. Sauget and Brooklyn have better strip clubs that East St Louis, trust me. Plus Pops and Oz.

Chip S. said...

C'mon, man. Arthur Bryant. Charlie Parker. and, uh...

Chip S. said...

Wait. I see that you're just talking about St. Louis, not all of Missouri.

Never mind; need more coffee.

Oh Yea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oh Yea said...

You mean it isn't just Red's fans that think the Cards are whiny?

Curious George said...

slarrow said...
DADvocate, you'd probably enjoy this video on hitting a 90-mph fastball. The decision time is incredible: only 0.09 of a second to decide whether to swing.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=5311306"

I'm surprised Nomar didn't pull a hammy...

Pianoman said...

There's no crying in baseball!

Edmund Ironside said...

As a Cards fan I am absolutely certain they were cheating. I am a New York Times journalist. You can trust me completely.

DADvocate said...

Curious G - great video.

Imagine facing Aroldis Chapman who has thrown 105 mph in a game.

Kit said...

McGehee just hit his third homer, today, vs. Cards!

Curious George said...

"DADvocate said...
Curious G - great video.

Imagine facing Aroldis Chapman who has thrown 105 mph in a game."

Wasn't my link, I just made a snarky comment about Nomar who was in it.

105MPH? Wow! That said, it better move or even he will get whacked around.

It's been a while, but I knew my baseball career would be short lived when I started seeing good breaking stuff. I remember leaning out over the plate on what I thought was an outside corner fastball from a lefty...it almost took my head off.

Curious George said...

garage mahal said...

LaRussa stood by and watched the heinous assault on Hank Aarons home run record. You didn't notice the pharmacy in McGuire's locker all those years? And he's bitching about lighting differences nobody else sees? Typical.


What a load of crap. You want to blame someone for steroid use in baseball...Milwaukee's own Bud Selig. He was commissioner, and did nothing.

Trooper York said...

The Cardinals were always a bunch of crybabies.

Get up there and swing the bat you pussies.

Trooper York said...

Tony LaRussa is a cancer on the game. I hate that he influenced Joe Giradi and so many of the current day managers.

Billy Martin and Earl Weaver and Sparky Anderson thought he was a jerk.

And he is.

Trooper York said...

Baseball is easy.

Throw the ball. Swing the bat. Play the game.

It's a round bat and a round ball but you got to hit it square.

It's not brain surgery.

Trooper York said...

Tony LaRussa is why there are no complete games anymore.

Creeping LaRussaism is like fucking polio or something.

Trooper York said...

You know what the Babe would have done to LaRussa.

He would went in the clubhose....ate a dozen hot dogs....screw a couple of whores.....drink a gallon of beer .....and went out and hit a bunch of homers.

I bet he would have dangled this loser off the back of the train.

Curious George said...

One of my favorite baseball snarks

"The only thing Earl (Weaver) knows about big-league pitching is that he couldn't hit it." - Jim Palmer:

Trooper York said...

That's why he had George Fucking Bamberger.

His credo was hit a three run homer and lets go pound some Budweiser.

Moneyball my balls.

Trooper York said...

Tony LaRussa belongs in the overrated Hall of Fame between Bob Dylan and Woody Allen.

He ain't a jerri-curled hair on Cito Gaston's balls.

His teams only won because they took more drugs than Amy Winehouse and Courtney Love on Spring Break.

Chip S. said...

Tony LaRussa : Moneyball :: Trooper York : Huffington Post

Trooper York said...

Tony LaRusse:Winning::Janine Garafalo:Christina Hendricks

Curious George said...

Trooper York said...

His credo was hit a three run homer and lets go pound some Budweiser."

Actually it was "Good pitching, good defense and the three-run homer."

And the Orioles had a lot of all three.

ndspinelli said...

Cards got rocked partly because they had no bullpen..Tony shot his wad doing his pitcher shuffle last night and his starter had to stay in and give up 10 runs because there was no bullpen today..yeah, fucking genius!!

He's a dago but the worst fucking kind. Piersall used to ride his ass constantly and call him "LaRusso" just to piss him off. Rumor has it Tony is going back to the Sox next season w/ Ozzie going to Miami, where he'll never need to speak English.

Trooper York said...

If they want an alcoholic loser they should have reached out to Davey Johnson.

Trooper York said...

What's the deal with recycling the same old managers?

Get a new guy in there who has some fire in his gut. The White Sox must have a boatload of old players who could manage.

Where's Ron Kittle when you need him?

Jose_K said...

If true, they are right. The conditions must be the same for both teams as soon them are under control of the home team. Said so cheating is to baseball as sending naked pictures is to democrats politicians like Louis Magazzu

Jose_K said...

looking from the batter's box towards the pitcher, you could
Thats why behind CF is all black

Jose_K said...

Up here, there was trouble with the Metrodome when .. It was the same for both team it was not whiter for the visitors

Conserve Liberty said...

Hey everybody on this thread hating on Tony LaRussa - - -

We'll talk in October.

Meantime, in St. Louis we like everything you hate.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"It's not against the rules to relay pitch signs but if the other side suspects it, confrontations can ensue."

In other words, its not against the rules to steal signs.

But in baseball, its the unwritten rules that tend to even things out. Steal signs during a game, and risk getting a fastball in your ear next time at the plate.

LaRussa is a well-known douche of baseball, as other commenters have pointed out. These types of characters are not uncommon.

I've been involved in many games where we picked up signs, identified pitching tendencies ('tells', if you will - a pitcher's expression, the way he holds or moves his glove before a pitch, etc) and flat out relayed pitch calls from second base to batters. If you aren't doing this, you aren't trying. Its baseball.

I've even been involved in games where idiot pitchers were set up by their catchers - thats right, the catcher, if properly annoyed by his pitcher, will tell the batter what pitches are coming.

Don't doubt me on this.

Dan said...

shame, shame, shame!!!! brewers obviously cheat (tongue firmly in cheek)

William T. Sherman said...

When told about that suspicion, Brewers rightfielder Corey Hart said, "Why did we wait until the fifth inning to do it? I was 0 for 2 by then."

This year Hart is batting .233 on the road, and .316 at home. He slugs an anemic .397 in road games, but at home it jumps to .542. The Brewers as a team lead the NL in home OPS (on base % plus slugging), but on the road they're third from the bottom.

If this was merely a park effect you'd expect Brewer pitchers to get lit up at home, but then do better in road games. But they're actually about average in home ERA, but worse than average in road games.

I don't know if the Cards' manager is full of it or not, but the Brewers' home and away splits are about what you'd expect see from a team that's doing what he accuses them of doing.

Curious George said...

"Trooper York said...

Where's Ron Kittle when you need him?"

Probably parking cars or bartending....

I saw Kittle hit an upper decker against the Tigers into a 15 MPH wind on a day that never hit 40F in April.

I've never been so cold at a sporting event.

ndspinelli said...

William T Sherman, Let me answer your question. The Cards manager is full of shit. And, the reason the Brewers do so much better @ home is because they all took the Promise Keepers pledge and don't fuck groupies on the road, waiting for their wives affection when they get home. That's just as likely as all of these Oliver Stone fucked up theories..has cocaine paranoia returned??

Trooper York said...

You know what the Cardinals will be doing in October?

Setting up a tee time.

slarrow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.