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Protest, Yanks Playoff Opponent, Dillon Gee & Ron Darling, Sesame Street, Big Hurt Beer, Worst Dressed Met



By Mike Silva ~ August 18th, 2011. Filed under: Morning Digest.

The Yankees were robbed by the umpires last night as they blew the Billy Butler home run call in the third inning. The Yanks should have lodged a protest on this one. It was so obvious on slow motion replay (click here and fast forward to the 1:50 mark). The last protest to be upheld was 25 years ago in 1986. This was due to the umpires incorrectly calling the game due to rain. Check out the details courtesy of the Houston Chronicle.

National League President Charles Feeney has upheld the Pittsburgh Pirates’ protest that their 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night was improperly called because of rain and ordered the game resumed from the point of suspension. Feeney ordered the contest, initially recorded as an official victory for the Cardinals, be resumed with a Cardinal on first and one out in the top of the sixth at 5:30 p.m. CDT tonight, prior to the Cardinals’ and Pirates’ regularly scheduled game. Umpire-in-chief John Kibler called the game after back-to-back rain delays of 17 and 22 minutes. Between the delays, play resumed long enough for losing pitcher Rick Rhoden, 4-6, to throw two pitches to Mike LaValliere. In a telexed directive, Feeney said he agreed with the Pirates’ contention that Kibler called the game prematurely and in violation of National League Bulletin No. 24 and The Official Rules of Baseball. According to the National League Green Book, the bulletin requires umpires to wait at least 75 minutes during an initial weather interruption and 45 during a second before calling a game. Baseball rule 3.10c requires the crew chief to wait at least 30 minutes before calling a game.

If you are going to have replay on home runs there is no excuse not to get it right. Occasionally you might get a tough one. Two years ago there was a challenging replay off the Subway sign at Citi Field. This one there was no excuse. They cost the Yankees a ballgame in a very tight AL East race. This is inexcusable. Worse yet, why didn’t Joe Girardi file a formal protest?

What should aggravate the Yankees is the confusion amongst the umpires regarding the ground rules. Take a read of this excerpt from the Journal News:

It was first-base coach Mick Kelleher who delivered the Yankees lineup and went over the ground rules before Monday’s series opener here in Kansas City.

“They were pretty explicit and clear, but there was one question that I had,” Kelleher said. “It was about the top rail in left-center field. It was padded, the ball had to leave the ballpark. We talked about that twice… There’s a fence that goes up that’s green, then above the green there’s a little cyclone fence. I said, ‘What’s that?’ They said, ‘It’s clear and open. Above that is a padded rail, so it has to clear the padded rail.’

So basically the umpires contradicted the exact ground rule they went over in the pre-game. Another gem in a season of terrible umpiring.

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Of course, the most infamous protest happened at Yankee Stadium on this play. The ruling was overturned and the right call was made. At least I think the right call was made. I am surprised the BBWAA didn’t penalize Brett for pine tar when they were voting on him for the Hall of Fame.

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A few weeks ago I talked about how it would behoove the Yankees to avoid Justin Verlander and the Tigers in a five game series. If the playoffs started today the Yankees would face Detroit with home field advantage, while the Red Sox would play Texas. The AL East race is too close to call, but it looks like the winner will have home field advantage, but play Detroit, while the Wild Card will go on the road face the Rangers with 3 of 5 in Arlington. Which do you prefer?

Personally, I think losing the division is a win for the Yankees. The Rangers don’t have an ace like Verlander (C.J. Wilson is not on the same level), I don’t trust their closer and middle relief, and the Yankees can slug with them. Although they would open up at The Stadium against Detroit, I believe Verlander could be the type of pitcher that gets the Tigers 2 wins, meaning they only need to win 1 of the remaining 3 to advance. Don’t forget that Jim Leyland took a slumping and underdog Tigers club into the 2006 ALDS and dispatched of the Yankees in four games.

Of course, the Indians can screw the whole thing up and beat Detroit to make this irrelevant. I believe the Tigers will outlast this final burst by the surprising Indians.

I am curious what the readers think. You want Verlander and home field, or the Wild Card and Texas on the road?

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Everyone complains about how the Wild Card takes away from the home field, but the Yankees and Red Sox are actually playing for home field advantage despite both teams virtually guaranteed a playoff berth.

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Dillon Gee won his 11th game yesterday in San Diego. Throughout the contest the booth mentioned that Gee is among good company for most wins as a Mets rookie starter. Gee is listed amongst names like Seaver, Koosman, Matlack, Gooden, and Darling for double-digit wins in their first season.

There is no way you could put Gee in the category of Seaver, Koosman, Gooden, or even Matlack. I could, however, see Gee turning into a pitcher like Darling. Not in terms of type of pitcher, but production and role in the rotation. Although he had some really good seasons with the Mets (85, 86, 88), he essentially was a league average pitcher during his tenure that gave you innings, competed, and won some games. Sounds a lot like Gee who has struggled recently, but is 11-4 with a 3.92 ERA. Darling was 12-9 with a 3.81 ERA during his rookie campaign in 1984.

On a lighter note. Gee made an appearance at the MLB Fan Cave, and decided to try out for Sesame Street. I don’t know if he is going to wind up making the cut, but I will let you decide.

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If Gee ever were on Sesame Street he wouldn’t be the first member of the organization to make an appearance on the show

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Former All Star Frank Thomas is coming out with his own beer. The Chicago Tribune reported the following:

The Big Hurt’s new product — a namesake lager — is expected to arrive in Chicago-area bars and liquor stores in August. And at 7 percent alcohol, Big Hurt Beer — like its bat-wielding inspiration — also promises to be a hard-hitting presence in the city.

“I’m very picky when it comes to beer,” said Thomas, who described the brew as light and crisp. “It’s a very good-tasting beer.”

Check out the logo courtesy of beernews.com

Has there ever been another big leaguer with his own beer? I can’t remember, can you?

Speaking of Thomas, with all the Hall of Fame talk after Jim Thome’s 600th home run, would you support the Big Hurt for the Hall of Fame when he is eligible in 2014?

He was the DH about 60% of the time. That isn’t like Edgar Martinez, but it’s a good amount. Will the BBWAA recognize him? I could see it taking a couple of years because of the offensive era, steroid obsession, and the DH penalty. I count 11 Hall of Fame caliber seasons. His career is almost split up into two parts. The first 10 years (1990-2000) he hit .321 with 344 homers and an OPS of 1.018. His OBP was an incredible .440. After the turn of the century he dropped off quite a bit.  From 2001 to 2008 He hit .262 with 177 homers and an .884 OPS. Much of that production happened in 2003-2004 when he rebounded after a few down years with the White Sox. I am sure there will be steroid whispers from the BBWAA on that one.

Overall Thomas has the period of dominance and total numbers that meet my Hall criteria. I wouldn’t go crazy if he is kept out, but I believe Edgar Martinez might be what gets the ball rolling for DHs like Thome and Thomas.

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R.A. Dickey has taken to the world of Twitter and you can follow him @RADickey43. He answers questions from the fans daily, and yesterday someone asked him who are the best and worst dressed on the team. He said Jose Reyes and Angel Pagan were the best dressed. The worst went to himself and Tim Byrdak.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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5 Responses to Protest, Yanks Playoff Opponent, Dillon Gee & Ron Darling, Sesame Street, Big Hurt Beer, Worst Dressed Met

  1. Chuck Johnson

    “Worse yet, why didn’t Joe Girardi file a formal protest?”

    Can’t protest a judgement call.

    In looking at the ground rules, the call was correct, so maybe there was a misunderstanding between the umpires and Kelleher during the pre-game.

    The railing is recessed from the fence, so it’s considered part of the stands. Anything clearing the yellow line and bouncing off the railing and back onto the field is a HR.

  2. Ralph C

    MLB has announced the call was, in fact, incorrect.
    http://www.myyesnetwork.com/12461/blog/2011/08/18/joe_torre_comments_on_missed_call_in_kansas_city

    If Girardi had protested, he probably would have lost the protest but it might have been worth a shot. Judgement calls cannot be protested but I question whether this was a judgement call because it was more about the umpire not knowing the ground rules than simply missing the call ala Richie Garcia in 1996.

  3. Chuck Johnson

    “Ground rules” aren’t rules, Ralph.

  4. Mike Silva

    Chuck

    Wouldn’t it a distinction without a difference? If he protested at least they could acknowledge the incorrect call was made based on the ground rules, which I assume are documented. It seems like everyone is putting this as a judgement call, which it appears it really isn’t.

  5. Chuck Johnson

    They’ve already acknowledged the call was wrong..without a protest.

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