The on-field umps got it right.4:13 PM, Oct 12, 2015 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
I largely agree with Lee Smith’s take on the collision between Ruben Tejada and Chase Utley in the bottom of the 7th inning at beautiful Dodger Stadium on Saturday. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Utley isn’t “to blame for Tejada’s injury”— to me, Utley’s excessively late slide deserves a strong portion of the blame—but Smith is right that Tejada’s awkward, too-late pirouette, and his related failure to get out of the way or off the ground, made him very vulnerable in a way that middle infielders are taught to avoid. This was a case where—unfortunately, both for the Mets and for Tejada’s health—extra effort didn’t pay off. (Utley’s slide was not too far wide of the bag—he could have touched it, although he didn’t.)
But whether Utley’s too-late slide was somewhat dirty or barely clean—and whether it was deliberately late or just poorly executed—the thing that really did in the Mets (if not Tejada) was instant replay. On the field, the umps called Utley out. The Dodgers tied the game on the play, as Enrique Hernandez scored from third, but there were then two outs. The next batter, Corey Seager, flied out to left, which should have ended the inning with the Dodgers having scored just one run in the 7th and the game tied, 2-2.
Then the unfortunate spectacle of instant replay intervened. Someone in New York (clearly not a Mets fan) decided that Tejada hadn’t touched second base after all, and hence Utley was safe. (Somehow this didn’t result in an error for the Mets, but that’s another matter.) Never mind that Utley hadn’t touched second base. Never mind that it wasn’t entirely clear (at least on my T.V.) that Tejada hadn’t toed the bag. (He probably didn’t, but I couldn’t say with certainty.) Never mind that Tejada was “in the neighborhood,” and the throw hadn’t pulled him off the bag (although it didn’t exactly lead him to it, either). Never mind that both Utley and the batter, Howie Kendrick, could have been called out as a result of Utley’s late slide (although, given that Tejada had almost no chance to turn the double play, and given that Utley’s slide was not clearly beyond the pale—Cal Ripken thought it was clean—that would have been a tough call against the Dodgers, leaving them behind 2-1 and ending the inning on a judgment call).
Instead, all judgment went out the window, and a call that was well-made on the field, but which was already a pretty favorable call for the Dodgers (who were lucky that Utley and Kendrick weren’t both called out), was changed to a call that declared a guy who was later suspended for his role in the play, and who never touched the base, to be safe. The Dodgers’ three subsequent runs in the inning never should have scored—they were all effectively scored with three outs—and what had been a great game to that point should have headed to the 8th with the score tied at two. It not for the hubris of those who weren’t even on the field, it would have.
7:22 AM, Oct 12, 2015 • By LEE SMITH
Last night Major League Baseball’s chief baseball officer, Joe Torre announced that Dodgers infielder Chase Utley was suspended for game three and four of the National League Division Series.
A fish rots from the head.4:11 PM, Sep 30, 2015 • By LEE SMITH
The Washington Nationals ended the home campaign of their 2015 season on a high-note Monday with Max Scherzer taking a no-hitter into the 8th inning before giving up a single. Manager Matt Williams pulled Scherzer soon after, with the right-hander striking out ten and getting credit for the 5-1 win over the Reds.
Yogi Berra, 1925-2015.3:02 PM, Sep 24, 2015 • By LEE SMITH
Baseball fans continue to pay their respects to Lawrence Peter Berra, aka “Yogi,” the legendary Yankees catcher, big league manager and coach, and homespun philosopher, who died Tuesday at age 90. “What I really liked about him is that he was such a stand-up guy,” one mourner standing outside the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in Little Falls, N.J.
11:04 AM, Sep 11, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Nearly 14 years ago, President George W. Bush took to the mound at Yankee Stadium to throw out the ceremonial first pitch in Game 3 of the World Series. This was weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and Bush's down-the-middle-strike was a triumphant moment that helped unite the country.
ESPN has produced a documentary short as part of its 30 for 30 series to commemorate the pitch. It's 24 minutes and worth the watch:
Right?!?2:46 PM, Aug 27, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The Boston Red Sox are nearing the end of a woeful season, running last in their division, thirteen-and-a-half out of first, leaving the taste of wormwood and gall in the mouth of every member of Red Sox nation.
2:59 PM, Aug 21, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The Yankees’s C.C. Sabathia is not having a stellar season. With a 4-9 record and a 5.24 ERA he could be forgiven for feeling a sense of frustration. Even one serious enough to get him into a near brawl with fans in, of all places, Toronto.
10:33 AM, Aug 21, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The Washington Nationals’s winning streak ended Thursday night in Colorado. After two games. But when recent performance includes a six game losing streak that helped the team fall from first place, by 4 and a half games in their division, to trailing the Mets by four, then you take what you can get. With the loss last night putting an end to a 3-7 road trip, the Nats are plainly a team that is not hitting on all cylinders.
1:36 PM, Jul 6, 2015 • By WILL BREWBAKER
Another big-headed candidate is running for president. And no, this one isn’t vying for the GOP nomination.
Instead, this new candidate raced along the warning track at Nationals Park last Friday night, competing against the likes of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, William Howard Taft, and Theodore Roosevelt in the Presidents Race.
4:04 PM, Jul 4, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
One of the great July 4th speeches was delivered by a shy man who played baseball for a living. Lou Gehrig played every day, never took a game off, until he was told, at age 35, that he was dying. More than 60,000 fans and former teammates came out to Yankee Stadium to honor him. Between the two games of the doubleheader, he came out of the Yankee’s dugout and stood, listening as former teammates spoke into the microphones that had been set up behind home plate. He was embarrassed enough by their words that he teared up.
2:55 PM, Apr 28, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Baltimore Orioles will play tomorrow's baseball game at an empty stadium. It will be closed to the public due to ongoing riots in Baltimore.
The baseball team announced the unusual move in a press release:
The Orioles tweeted out the announcement:
Nov 10, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 09 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Most of us at The Weekly Standard are baseball fans. Like all human institutions we are imperfect, so we have a few colleagues who superciliously disdain sports, and a few others who vulgarly prefer football or basketball. But we ignore the naysayers and carpers in our midst. We’re proud to endorse the words of baseball pioneer Albert Goodwill Spalding:
October baseball notebook.7:38 PM, Oct 29, 2014 • By LEE SMITH
Gregg Ritchie, head coach at George Washington University, says that the Royals have more of their game-changers going into tonight’s game than the Giants do. With pitching, as my former GW teammate explains, the two clubs are basically even. Royals’ starter Jeremy Guthrie and his Giants counterpart Tim Hudson are pretty similar—right-handers whose top velocity is 90-92 mph, and who, as Ritchie says, change speeds up and down, making them plus-and-minus pitchers, rather than power pitchers.
October baseball notebook.5:34 PM, Oct 29, 2014 • By LEE SMITH
The fact that the Royals and the Giants have pushed the World Series to a game seven is evidence the two clubs are very evenly matched. Even tonight’s probable starters, Tim Hudson for the Giants and Jeremy Guthrie for the Royals, are similar style pitchers. Top velocity for both is around 90-92 miles per hour. They’re not power pitchers, but plus-and-minus pitchers, meaning they change speeds, up and down, to keep hitters off balance.