Monday, August 15, 2011

Off Day, Off Topic

Just thought I'd post a little baseball story and video that I saw on a few sites this weekend to see what loyal WSBGMs readers think about it.

The newspaper story is HERE. Please read the article and the comments.

Here is the video of the incident.

This is pretty straight forward. It's obvious that the catcher did this on purpose. If you buy the "crossed up" argument, you are a moron. Even a "crossed up" catcher would not throw himself to the ground, drop his glove and stare at the ground where he thinks the ball will end up. A normal catcher might move where he thinks the ball will curve, but would react to the actual ball and at least stick a glove out. No way a catcher completely disregards the ball hurling his way at 70-80 MPH unless he knows where it's going (ie right at the umpire).

The 22 year old umpire didn't handle the situation perfectly. He should have confronted the team and at least the catcher and manager should have gotten the boot. This may even have been cause for forfeiture. However, if that was me at age 22 and a 17-18 year old catcher did that to me, I would have ripped off his mask and pummeled him repeatedly in face, so I give the umpire credit for maintaining his composure and walking away.

What do you guys think?


Anonymous said...

Looks like he was reaching for the ball more then avoiding it and lost his balance then "dodging".

GM-Carson said...

I watched the video before reading the article and Corey's comments. It appeared to be on purpose. The catcher did a poor acting job.

The ump was obviously stunned at what just happened and was probably contemplating on how to handle the situation, which is why he maintained his position for a bit before walking off the field.

At 22, I'd probably have gotten into a heated argument with the catcher if I felt it was intentional and may have shoved the punk ass kid.

Preserve Jon said...

It's pretty clear from the pitch before the one in question that the catcher was unhappy with how the umpire was calling the game. I think he definitely did it on purpose. Because he is so close to the play, from the umpire's vantage point he may not have been able to determine the act was intentional. However, if he was working with a partner - the base umpire should have stopped the game and ejected the catcher. Of course with a runner on base and heading to second the base umpire may have been watching that play develop. It's unclear if the runner was going before the catcher dodged the pitch. If he wasn't, then he should have see the catcher "fall" forward.
At this age, this is something every battery talks about when they feel like they're getting squeezed unfairly by a plate ump. I never actually went through with it, though. It's mostly just adolescent machismo in the dugout.
If the plate umpire wasn't aware if it was intentional, but had suspicions, he should have conferred with the base ump. I worked high school games in Burlington County, NJ a couple years back. At the umpire association meetings, you hear stories like this being told but only as a teaching example of what to do in such a situation. I can't remember the official reccomendation, but here's what I would do:

If a high school scholastic league:
1. Catcher ejected;
2. Coach ejected (even though it doesn't appear there was any collusion, the coach is responsible for his players actions);
3. Catcher suspended for the remainder of the year.

If Big League or American Legion:
1. Catcher ejected and banned from the league after a disciplinary hearing.
(My suspicion is the ban would be overturned after mommy and daddy complain that the ruling is costing little Johnny's chance to play ball in college.)

Jackass. The catcher probably thought he was all hot to trot by pulling this crap. In my book, this kind of dickery is inexcusable.

Preserve Jon said...

I just read the article and I think he took the correct action in abandoning the game. If I'm reading it correctly, the tournament official should back him up rather than question his actions.

Joseph said...

Had a nice bar room discussion which turned into an argument saturday night.

Someone said that Ruiz is a better catcher than Johnny Bench. Can someone please help me out with this argument?

GM-Carson said...

Ruiz is excellent at calling games and and just above average offensively, but he shouldn't even be in the same conversation as Johnny Bench.

Bench, Pudge, Piazza are the elite.

Corey said...

nobody should ever argue that ruiz is as good as bench. never.

here's one though: ruiz or daulton?

Preserve Jon said...

Different skill sets. Ruiz will never drive in 100 runs but he's a better defensive catcher. They're about even in catching runners (29% versus 27% in favor of Ductch). Daulton threw out many more runners, but this is likely do to the fact that the stolen base carries comparatively less value in today's game than 20 years ago.

Daulton also may have benefited from, ahem, catching lightning in a bottle, ahem, during his three core career years from 1992-1994. Take away those years and his career statistics are rather pedestrian. Nonetheless, all acounts written are that Dutch was an excellent leader in the clubhouse and an all-around drill sergeant on the field.

Ruiz is working with a much greater talent level in his pitching staff and has the benefit of being able to fill a nitch on this team. Unlike Daulton from the late 80s through the mid 90s, no one on this Phillies team is going to ask Ruiz to carry the offensive load.

Curiously, their postseason resumes are relatively similar. Both are batting at or just above .280. Of course, Ruiz is coming back to earth after lusty 2008 and 2009 postseasons and Daulton's sample size is relatively small.

I go with Ruiz because he is largely dependable and Dutch had 8 (9?) knee surgeries that kept him off the diamond as much as on.

GM-Carson said...

I still give Dutch the advantage, but 2-3 more good years from Ruiz and it's a different story.

GM-Carson said...

I like Chooch, but after referencing each player's stats, Ruiz is not even close to the same offensively as Darren Daulton. Dutch had back-to-back 100+ RBI seasons, while Chooch's career high is 54. Dutch has had superior power to Chooch.

A very impressive stat is that Daulton only hit into 35 double plays during his 14 year career. Conversely, Ruiz has hit into 56 into his 6th season.

Defense is another matter altogether. Ruiz is by far the better receiver.

Career Offensive WAR:
Dutch - 26.2
Ruiz - 7.5

Career Defensive WAR:
Dutch - (-)3.9
Ruiz - 2

Ben said...

I don't know I just spilled whiskey all over as I was trying to poor my wife's drink and it looked sort of similar. She didn't believe I didn't do it on purpose either...