Does anyone want to read or talk about how bad Joe Blanton has been in two starts? Or should we try to figure out why in the hell John Mayberry was pinch-hitting last night instead of Ross Gload? I didn't think so. Let's talk about a few other things that happened in baseball last night.
1) Bad Umpiring - Two plays happened between first and second base last night that resulted in blatant mistakes by the umpires. You probably all saw the first play, when Ian Desmond tagged Jimmy Rollins with an empty glove then threw wildly to first allowing Howard to reach safely. If the play would have been called correctly, the Phils would have had first and second with only one out. Francisco followed with a single to left. What could have been...
The second bad call occurred in the Houston-Chicago game. Perennial fantasy underachiever Bill Hall got caught in a "pickle" between first and second. He eluded the tag of the Cubs infielder... by running out of the baseline. The video is here. It's not a great video, but if you watch the hilights on ESPN or MLB Network, it's pretty obvious that Hall jumps out of the baseline.
From my perspective on the couch, these were two inexcusably bad calls that shouldn't happen this frequently.
2) Bad Fans - Did you catch any of the Braves-Marlins game last night? No? Well, neither did many people in Atlanta. Attendance at Turner Field last night was 13,865. Pa-the-tic. It's only the fourth game of the year and the fans are already done showing up. Hopefully the players see the kind of support their city gives them...
3) Bad Josh - I'm sure you've all heard, but Josh Hamilton broke his arm tagging up from third and sliding into home head first on a pop-up caught by the Brandon Inge near the third base dugout. Video is here.
What did Josh Hamilton have to say about the play? "A stupid play. I was thinking, 'I don't want to do this ... something is going to happen.' I listened to my coach."
Hamilton, you little bitch, way to throw your coach under the bus and assume no responsibility for your own play.
First, the ball and the play was in front of Hamilton. He does not need to rely on his third base coach on a play like this and he certainly isn't obligated to try to score. It was actually an astute play to notice that Brad Penny wasn't covering home, but after taking two or three steps towards home he should have seen catcher Victor Martinez had also noticed the same thing and was heading towards the plate. With so much of the decision making belonging to Hamilton himself, he shouldn't be acting like it was all the coach's fault.
Second, you don't slide head first into home unless you are willing to take the risk of getting hurt. I don't have a statistic, but most injuries at home that are not from Pete Rose-style collisions, occur to players sliding head first. Hamilton said, "If I slide feetfirst, I'm out." And now he's really "out"... 6-8 weeks.
Third, don't call out your coaches like that. Hamilton should take a lot of responsibility for the play and to be honest, it's quite a bit of bad luck that this happened, but even if it was 100% the fault of the third base coach, Hamilton should be more professional and not be such outwardly accusatory. Josh might not have much life experience with making mistakes, but he should learn that errors in judgement happen and sometimes people need the support from the people close to them instead of constantly being reminded of their errors. Maybe someday Josh Hamilton will make a bad decision or two and somebody will immediately go to the press and call him "stupid."