MLBRT 4/30: What really makes it an official game?

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Around the league and other places for another week in baseball and the MLBRT crew fields five more pressing questions… What really makes it an official game for you? Peanuts and crackers jacks… cold beer… hotdogs… or just being there and taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the game?

Can the Astros break on through?

When does the Hall Call clock start ticking?

And more… here and now…

1) Roaming around on the internet I saw this story… a high school player at some high school caught a pitch coming at him with hand. The batter attempted to continue the at-bat, but, the umpire ruled it a hit-by-pitch.HBPcatch042515

Anything wrong with that ruling? Or was it the right call?

Archie1Archie: IMO it was the right call unless the batter crossed over the plate to catch the pitch. If it were coming right at him and he “instinctively” snatched the ball out of the air for protection then I think it is absolutely the right call. 

E.J. 12Earl: It sounds like the pitch would have hit him if he doesn’t grab the ball first, so it sounds like a correct call to rule it a hit by pitch.

So, I’ll say it was the right call. Baseball_2_tnb

64432_1353574773361_2104488_nJoe: Big time gripe. The batter interfered with the pitch. No way he gets awarded first base.

In fact, in my opinion, should have been called out for interfering with the game.  But, I think the rules say its a dead ball and the batter gets a strike.

Steve-01-288x300Steve: I have a huge problem with this, the batter obviously did not get out of the way, which from what I understand, the batter has to make some sort of effort to get out of the way of the pitch. This batter caught the ball like he was playing playground baseball. Hell, I have done this many times while playing with my kids in the backyard, just so my lazy ass doesn’t have to go get the ball when it goes behind me. So at best, this was a ball, but I think the pitcher should have a gripe that this was batter interference.  

2) Prior to 2007 spring training after 16 seasons with the NY Yankees team, the Yankees offered Bernie Williams a $1 million nonguaranteed deal to try out for a spot on the roster. Williams declined the offer and has never played another inning in baseball since that day.

Then this year the Yankees announced that Williams would have his # 51 jersey retired and would be given a plaque that would be hung in Monument Park in a ceremony in May.

One problem Bernie never officially retired.

So, on Friday (4/24), the Yankees staged a ceremony in their press conference room in which Williams signed a player contract with the Class A Staten Island Yankees and then immediately signed papers officially declaring himself a retired ballplayer.

Question: It may be a moot point but when does Bernie’s Hall of Fame clock start ticking… in 2007 or this Friday?

Archie1Archie: By the rules as I UNDERSTAND them his clock began on Friday the 24th.

I don’t necessarily agree with that, but, I think that has to be the official clock. 

E.J. 12Earl: The clock starts now. He wasn’t officially retired before, and, he did sign a one day contract and then declared his retirement. So, his retirement and the Hall of Fame clock began as of April 24, 2014.

Bernie Williams officially retires
Bernie Williams officially retires

That’s the rule.

64432_1353574773361_2104488_nJoe: I’m gonna have to say the HOF clock starts now. Although, with Bernie I don’t think its that big of an issue because he isn’t going to get elected to the Hall anyway. But, with some players who might have a borderline case I could see where that could be a possible issue.

I hate needing another rule being made by any institution, but, maybe a clarification by the Hall should be issued on when it considers a player’s retirement to be official and established.

Steve-01-288x300Steve: I saw this the other day in an ESPN article, and, I had to say I kind of laughed a little bit. I honestly had no idea that Williams was never retired officially.

To answer this question, His Hall of Fame eligibility clock begins Friday when he officially retired. However, I don’t think he is a Hall of Fame player, he is more in the Hall of very good.  

3) When you attend a MLB game, what ritual do just have to do to make it an official MLB game experience?

Archie1Archie: Beer and hotdog, peanuts and the 7th inning stretch…

That kind of makes it official. 3367227011_10cb775f07_z

E.J. 12Earl: I have no rituals to be honest. Other than buying a beer or two but that’s about it.

I like going to sporting events, but I don’t really view it as some grand experience.


64432_1353574773361_2104488_nJoe: Every game I go to… I get a hotdog, a diet coke and a score sheet… now, it’s official.

If, it’s the first time I have ever been at that particular ball park… then add in a t-shirt with the home team’s logo and a fitted team cap. Now, it’s really official. Comerica-Park-

Steve-01-288x300Steve: Okay, some may laugh at this, and, I never really thought of it as a ritual of sorts, but, what I do every single time I enter the stadium, I find the nearest walk way to see the field, and, just kind of absorb the scenery.

For example, I was at a Cubs vs Braves game last season at Wrigley Field, and, before I would do anything… buy a beer, use the restroom… I told my girlfriend that I needed to go up to see the field before we sat down. It’s just kind of a reflection of my childhood. 

4) Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News writes that the Angels’ decision are about to eat close to $60 million and essentially give Josh Hamilton away to The Texas Rangers in a low-risk cash only deal.

Should the commissioner step in and block this deal with his “for the good of the game” powers?  

Archie1Archie: I don’t think so. The Angels lured Hamilton away from the Rangers with that big deal, and, if they wish to eat crow and send him back now as damaged goods and take the loss, then so be it. I think the Commish should stay the hell out of it. I don’t see where the “for the good of the game” concept applies here. 

E.J. 12Earl: No, the commissioner shouldn’t step in.

This deal between the Angels and Rangers doesn’t seem any different than other big money teams dumping their garbage off on other franchises.  IMG_20150424_182825_6747

64432_1353574773361_2104488_nJoe: While I think it’s up to the teams involved, I have seen in the past where the commissioner of baseball has stopped deals over the money issue. Usually from the aspect of selling off players who have just had good to great seasons.  Some of Charlie Finley’s deals come to mind.

So, I guess what I am saying is that if the commish shouldn’t step in on a deal like this over the money then he shouldn’t step in on any other player transactions just because of the money involved.

Steve-01-288x300Steve: No, the two teams should be able to work out their own deals without Manfred getting involved. The Rangers or the Angels for that matter don’t HAVE to make this deal. So, if both sides are agreeing to a deal, then why should the commish get involved at all? 

5) There’s only 1 team in the AL West above .500 and it’s the Houston Astros… is this what can be expected from this division for the season? A bunch of teams fighting to stay around .500 and hoping to sneak off with division title at season’s end?

Archie1Archie: I think so. They have already been dubbed the weakest division in all of baseball by an analyst (I think it was Buster Olney), so, I don’t see any of those teams making huge leaps in front of others. 

E.J. 12Earl: I think so. al_west

The AL West teams all seem pretty even on paper, so I can see them all kind of hanging around until one of them starts to get hot as we hit summer.

64432_1353574773361_2104488_nJoe: I don’t see the Angels or Mariners being below .500 teams by season’s end and I actually think they will win at least mid 85-90 games or be at least about .525 or better teams.

I do think the Astros’s are gonna surprise people this year and stay in the hunt until the end. Maybe even make the playoffs.

Steve-01-288x300Steve: It’s a slow start for the West, but, I don’t see this staying in place. I still see Seattle, the Angels, and the A’s, at the top of this division. The Astros are an improved team, so, I don’t see them quitting any time soon, but, reality will set in, and not only will the division winner win 90 games, I think the wild-card comes out of this division as well. 

 Extra Innings…



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