Dear Stupid (and you know who you are, Major League Baseball) – Chicago Tribune (blog)
OK, kids, gather ’round. It’s time to play the game that’s fun for the whole family:
“How Stupid Is Major League Baseball?’’
The latest episode occurred with a runner on first and one out in the top of the eighth inning of Game 4 of the National League Championship Series. Curtis Granderson struck out on a ball Cubs catcher Willson Contreras couldn’t hold, but the Dodgers outfielder began arguing he tipped the pitch. Plate umpire Jim Wolf said no, but after Dodgers manager Dave Roberts came out, Wolf called a meeting with the other five umpires because baseball embarrassingly refuses to allow video review for such out calls.
So, the scene became this: As the umpires were meeting, the Wrigley Field video board was running replays that clearly showed Granderson missing the pitch completely. Completely.
The umpires broke their meeting and reversed the call, now saying yes, Granderson got a piece of the pitch because one umpire or another heard two sounds. Seriously. That was the story. No lie.
Imagine that: In a park filled with more than 42,000 screaming fans, an umpire heard two sounds that distinct and certain as to change that call.
We’re going to need a new Stupid-O-Meter.
The umps had to go with the cockamamie story about sounds because they couldn’t do something as simple as look at the obvious evidence that everybody in the world could see on the massive video screen in left field. The umps were the only six people in the park who couldn’t be brought into the modern world, and of course their decision was the only one that counted.
And was wrong.
After the game, Wolf admitted he blew it. He said he talked himself into hearing things. Super, huh? But the bigger mess was made by MLB, which caused its umpires and its game to get pantsed on national TV. Everybody could see what the right call was because of advancements in technology. That’s the object of the exercise. Unless you’re an umpire. Then you have to guess about a call late in an elimination game.
That’s as stupid as baseball can look, which is saying something for a business that has different rules for each league.
Maddon raced out of the dugout and was all kinds of pottymouth in arguing the call’s reversal. Consequently, he was ejected, a result the manager was gunning for and a result that’s selfish.
Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but a team playing an elimination game needs its manager. Maddon was on the right side of the argument, but a manager has to show more poise than that, especially with a call that was never going to go the other way once the umps changed it.
“If Granderson hits the next pitch out,’’ Maddon said, “I might come running out of the clubhouse in my jockstrap.’’
OK, no. That’s a visual we can’t unsee. Stop it.
Maddon sounded proud of accomplishing his goal to get thrown out. He shouldn’t have been. He should’ve been smart, not a raving lunatic. He accomplished nothing and could’ve hurt his team with his absence.
Tweet from former major-league pitcher Mark Mulder after the ejection: “Maddon really tries to lose these games the best he can. Cubs are OK now that he isn’t making anymore decisions.’’
Javy Baez’s first home run was a bomb that hit Waveland Avenue, while his second landed several rows back in left, but both seemingly were good pitches from Dodgers starter Alex Wood. The first was a breaking ball low and in, the second a changeup down in the zone. The great thing — and aggravating thing — about Baez is the way he can and will try to destroy any pitch in the strike zone, which in his case runs from his shoelaces to the third deck.
I’m surprised Yasiel Puig didn’t take Baez’s curtain call.
The Dodgers are up three games to one without All-Star shortstop Corey Seager. The Cubs are down three games to one without All-Stars Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo.
Rizzo turned a nifty 3-6 double play on a Chase Utley grounder in the fourth, and you have to say Rizzo loves his arm like he’s Jay Cutler, except accurate.
Since Game 3 of the National League Division Series when Rizzo screamed “Respect me!”, he has done almost nothing to warrant respect at the plate in going 0-for-21.
I assume Cubs fans would give David Ross a standing ovation if all he did was hold the door for someone.
The Cubs held a players-only meeting before Game 4. “Hit better.’’ Good meeting.
What’s up, Jay Johnstone?